Key & News- July 2018

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Eye Level of Herndon has seen a rapid ascension in the Virginia market since opening. Business partners Ramya Krishnamurthy, Kavitha Thiyaghu & Priya Krishnan have found success in attending external events where they have connected with parents , children and members of the community. Participating in these events has resulted in increased inquiries and enrollments. Understanding the value that comes from building a network, this trio held several internal events to draw in new members. 

An event that was particularly successful for the Herndon center was the Oratacular. Due to their extensive grassroots community outreach, they had the most Oratacular registrations of all Eye Level centers. They achieved this through Member and Non-Member promotions. Member promotions were achieved through discussing the event and it’s benefits with parents and students, in turn building anticipation and excitement for the event. In addition, they posted event flyers in the center and included them in students take home folders, reinforcing the verbal communication from the instructors and director. Non-member promotions were achieved through connecting to and being active on relevant Facebook groups such as mom and local school groups in the area. In addition, they boosted posts about the event which expanded their audience. Local schools’ businesses also allowed them to post flyers about the event as it was free competition and not a direct commercial ad. Through these efforts they earned a total of 65 students in attendance. In addition to this, one of their students was selected as the National Gold Winner of the event. 

Herndon’s conversion efforts post registration as well as during and post event were equally outstanding. Post registration, they utilized Constant Contact to communicate event details. During the event they ensured they had personal contact with each non-member, providing them with program information and benefits as well as informing them of upcoming events. Post event, Herndon kept the dialogue open with continuous emails to both non-members and members regarding center activity and upcoming events. In addition, they scheduled follow-up consultations with the center director for interested non-member families. 

When it came time to hosting the event, they chose to host internally seeing the value of having 35 non-members onsite to see their operation. They split their two classrooms between younger and older constants enabling them to judge two contestants at once. The Herndon center held the awards ceremony for Aerehan, the National winner and his family who are now looking to enroll in the Fall. 

These efforts laid the groundwork for future events such as the Critical Thinking Challenge – another highly successful event for the center. We’re certain they will continue to see success utilizing these grassroots marketing techniques. 

 

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Writing is an important skill that many parents are continuing to seek out. They are continuing to look for a program that will focus on both reading and writing over a longer time frame, preparing their students for advanced writing as they enter higher grades within the school systems. The writing booklets for the lower level English program have been very well-received over the past year and many centers and parents are looking for more for the higher levels. 

Over the next few months we will be training and rolling out the Writing Booklets for Levels 5 – 8. The students will maintain consistency in terms of writing genres as well as structure of writing up through the higher levels. The will continue to write narrative, informational, research and opinion/argumentative pieces, demonstrating their abilities to write up to a five-paragraph essay. The breakdown of booklets with be consistent to those of Level H & I but requiring more in terms of length and depth. See the structure below. 

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In terms of the booklet structure itself, students will continue to complete a pre-writing activity, preview a model essay, utilize graphic organizers and prompting questions, as well as prepare a first and a final draft. They will also continue to have their final draft graded based on the rubric on the back cover. Below you will see an example of the actual structure of the booklet itself. The first three illustrations reflect the introduction as well as the model essay. 

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The next three illustrations reflect the prewriting and first draft. 

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The final illustrations reflect the Writer’s Checklist, Final Draft and Grading Rubric. The grading rubric should always be utilized when grading the student final draft, just as it is in the previous levels. This is crucial in order to keep consistency as well as the identify strengths and weaknesses of students writing. 

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With the length of the writing growing, many students may take upwards of a month to a month and a half to complete one writing booklet. It is important to continue to move at the pace of the student and their abilities. Some students may need to return to the final draft and revise one more time in order to reach proficient or advanced proficient of writing. Keep in the mind that students will also continue to complete the reading booklets as well. Some centers may choose to have student’s complete half of the workbook each week because of the depth of text within the comprehension sections. If need be, students who are in Level 5 or 6 and being within those levels are also able to utilize the lower level writing to prepare them for the longer writing booklets. 

Just as with the lower levels, centers will also be able to order writing grading guidelines which will assist with the grading process, a curriculum chart of the high levels that will include when each writing booklet is to be completed and of course the writing booklets themselves. 

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We are all looking for students that are excited to come to class at Eye Level and are proud of their achievements. There is nothing more satisfying when a student is excited to show off his work to the you, the instructor, and/or his parent. How can that happen in your center? 

Firstly, you must stay organized. Materials that students use need to be put back in the same spot every time. Students need to be able to find the supplies independently without having to interrupt the instructor. Everything that an instructor needs during class-answer booklets, level certificates, pencils, etc.- should be readily available. The stock room should be organized so that in case there is an urgent change that needs to be made to a student’s homework, the booklets can be easily found by anyone that works in the center. Parents and students will appreciate how quickly the material is found and that the student can get right back to work. 

Secondly and most importantly, the student needs to be placed in the appropriate level. This is known as the comfortable starting point. When students are placed in a comfortable starting point, they will feel satisfied with their work and might be able to get perfect scores on booklets. Starting in the right level will help them become familiar with the routines of the classroom without being overwhelmed by difficult work. As the material gets harder, the student will still feel confident because you have built them up to handle the harder material. 

If you are giving booklets ahead of time, you have two options. The student can simply continue to work through the material that she is on. Furthermore, you can repeat the level that the student just finished. If a student completed multiplication, it might be hard to start division without the guidance of the instructor. Therefore, the student can repeat level 13 to further reinforce her multiplication skills and in the end will not need as much repetition when she begins division. 

In a student’s first level, repetition should not be needed because the student should have been placed in a level in which the material is known. When the material does get harder, do not fear reinforcing topics through repetition. Last week, while visiting a center I heard a student tell his mom how excited he was that he finished a whole booklet in class. I checked the progress plan, and it was his second time seeing the booklet. He was so excited about the fact that completed his work accurately and quickly that it did not matter it was a booklet that he had previously seen. 

There is a new Mathematics Diagnostic Test that will be implemented soon. This new DT will consider both speed and accuracy when placing a student in a level. When considering both speed and accuracy will allow students to be placed in a slightly higher level, yet it will still be a comfortable starting point. Be on the lookout for resources and trainings to help properly use this new assessment tool.