Sunday, June 25, 2017



* Frequently Asked Questions *ISEI_EI_Seal_smallJPG


clifton cornerWhat is an Initial Family Consultation?

An Initial Family Consultation is a friendly "Meet and Greet" at the Corner, usually lasting 45-minutes to an hour in length. Sandra visits with families to assess if her unique academic coaching services are a good fit to meet your family's individual needs, serve specific scholastic objectives, and achieve desired goals.  During this time, Sandra provides a prospective family the space to express concerns about the current educational journey and to ask clarifying questions about learning opportunities at the Corner.

As a Social & Emotional Learning Coach, Sandra also provides ongoing Family Consultations to improve communication between students, teachers, and their parents.  These powerful tools, which are incorporated student sessions, are also discussed in the section of the website called "SEL." 

Who attends the Initial Corner Consultation and how is it scheduled?

After a free 10-15 minute conversation on the phone with Sandra, parents coordinate a calendar date to visit the Clifton Corner, which is scheduled at least 48-hrs in advance of the actual appointment.  All meetings are held at Sandra's private practice in Chapel Hill, NCAt least one parent (and preferably all adults) attend/s this initial session with their daughter or son.

Why is the Initial Family Consultation important?

Consultations are a vital part of the Clifton Corner process. This initial introduction allows us to obtain important information in order to create a tailored, specific, and individualized learning plan for each student. The Initial Corner Consultation is an opportunity to brainstorm and troubleshoot about concerns and challenges in order to establish an ongoing, supportive relationship with the family.  Student success is best achieved through a team effort, and the Family Consultation helps Sandra to facilitate and coordinate efforts between home and school for better academic results.

What does my family need to bring to the Initial Consultation?

Please bring any evaluative documents, anecdotal reports, grade cards, past tests, writing samples, and/or other samples of recent academic work that may be helpful.  In addition, please complete the Client Survey prior to the consultation, which Sandra will provide via email and/or during this appointment.  Completion of this documentation is required.

Does the Initial Corner Consultation include a cost?

While Sandra provides a free 10-15 minute phone call before this session is scheduled, Sandra coordinates materials, schedules space, and reserves time for this meeting in her complicated calendar.  Your Initial Family Consultation must be confirmed through an online reservation of $50 through PayPal, which is half the rate for regularly scheduled client sessions, and be received 48-hours in advance of this meeting--or, if discussed in advance, you may have the option to pay with a check on the day of the consultation for $65.  After over ten years in private practice, Sandra has found that families who invest in an Initial Family Consultation are committed to improving their child’s ongoing academic success and personal happiness.  {Please note that any school consultations, classroom visits, and coaching for college application essays are a different rate than standard student sessions.}

What happens after the Initial Family Consultation? Following the Initial Consultation, if both the family and Sandra agree that the Corner is a "good fit," weekly sessions and a monthly schedule are created to support the student’s needs at that time; the Client Agreement and required paperwork are then signed.  If appropriate, parents also share important contact information about other professionals on the learning team, so that Sandra can begin collaborating with them.

Individualized Instruction

Where are coaching sessions held?

All coaching sessions are held at the Clifton Corner--or through online support via the phone, Skype or Zoom.

Why are all individualized sessions held at Clifton Corner?

My private practice is created to be a special space that supports learning in an atmosphere of intellectual fun. Clifton Corner provides a safe, creative environment free of conflicting family demands and/or interruptions so that we can focus on achieving academic excellence together without other distractions and/or disruptions.

clifton cornerHow often do academic coaching sessions occur, and for how long?

Coaching sessions occur a minimum of one time per week, for at least one hour.  Some students schedule multiple appointments each week to accommodate additional academic demands and/or accelerate growth.  Sandra requires a minimum of three months (a "Corner semester") for the initial commitment, in order to establish rapport, evaluate learning needs, and to make progress.

What happens during coaching sessions?

Individualized coaching sessions are tailored for each particular student’s academic and individual needs, which are anchored in effective organizational tools, emotional literacy, and proven teaching strategies.

How is academic coaching through educational therapy different from traditional tutoring -or- psychotherapy sessions?

Traditional tutoring stresses the intellectual aspects of performance in the classroom, but Sandra focuses on the process of learning as a certified coach and an educational therapist.  Holistic tools and techniques of Social & Emotional Intelligence are also integrated into each session, and combined with confidence coaching, to improve students' class participation, strengthen relationships with teachers/peers, highlight individual learning styles, increase extra-curricular involvement, and to enhance overall enthusiasm for the educational journey.  Please read more information about educational therapy here at this link.

While much of educational therapy does translate in wonderful ways into other areas of our clients' lives, academic coaching is not intended to replace traditional psychotherapy for either students or their parents.  Sandra does support "Highly Sensitive & Twice Exceptional Students" through the tools of Emotional Intelligence, but a traditional therapeutic situation would involve significant aspects of these issues:  school refusal and/or truancy; extended diagnosed depression; hostility and or violent outbursts, either at home or school; and/or a personality disorder, attempted suicide, drug abuse, and/or other symptoms of a serious clinical condition.  In these cases, families are referred to an additional team of qualified professionals best suited to address issues outside Sandra's scope of improving academic engagement and strengthening scholastic success.

That said, through academic coaching and educational interventions, Sandra does address these aspects of students' lives:  a lack of focus at school; low self-esteem as a result of poor homework investment and/or social relationships; mediocre motivation due to little interest in subjects/classes; difficulty with juggling various demands related to struggles with Executive Functioning; angst around preparation and organization; exam and writing anxiety related to unrealistic expectations, perfectionism and internal pressure to perform.

How do parents keep up-to-date with what happens in coaching sessions?                                       

In addition to regular email correspondence/reflections about your child's learning process, Sandra is in contact with schools and families to facilitate each student’s individual improvement and progress through conversations with neuro-psych evaluators, school administrators, learning specialists, deans, and classroom teachers. 

How can we measure success at the Corner?

Families at the Corner invest in the journey of learning and understand that external achievement is icing:  earning specific grades and achieving certain test scores are often wonderful “by-products” of improved academic investment–we focus on sharpening critical thinking skills, increasing academic confidence, and investing in the adventure of discovery, creativity, and authenticity.

Scheduling & Payment

How are coaching sessions scheduled?

Coaching sessions are individualized “classes of one” which are scheduled month-by-month. The student/coach relationship is an ongoing commitment which provides continuing support to the student and family, rather than just attempting to “fix” an academic crisis or improve a single test score/grade. All sessions are scheduled using the Corner Google Calendar, which can be found on the Clifton Corner website at the "Home" link under Calendar.  Please let Sandra know if you and your child would like a "code name" for your slot on this calendar.

How much do academic coaching sessions cost?

There are a variety of financial options and programs available at the Corner to accommodate different levels of investment in your child’s growth, which are discussed during the Initial Family Consultation. {The Corner also provides a reduced rate for families of need and several select students who demonstrate an extraordinary commitment to excellence and improvement, including but not limited to scholars enrolled at Prep for Prep.}


Sandra personally coordinates and facilitates multiple facets of each student’s academic journey, spending unseen hours of administrative time to create quality instruction for each family and improve their child’s individual school experience.

How do I pay for coaching sessions?

Payment for a student's sessions are required at the beginning of each month, in order to both reserve and confirm your child’s school support. Sandra sends an invoice from PayPal during the last week of each "old month" which is due by the 5th of each "new month," and personal checks can also be mailed directly to the Corner.

What is the cancellation policy?

The Director requires 48-hours notice for the cancellation of a session. Families are responsible for all appointments, and failure to provide 48-hour’s notice for a cancellation will not result in rescheduled or refunded session.  Additional details about policies are provided in the Client Agreement.  Sandra requests that families commit to a three-month coaching schedule, so that real progress and rapport can be established with students, and usually expects that the coaching relationship will extend into a full semester or scholastic year, so that Corner Kids can depend on this structure as part of their regular routine.

What if I need an “emergency session”?

The Corner Calendar is complicated and all individualized appointments are scheduled over four weeks in advance.  “Emergency sessions” are defined as any appointments that have not been invoiced in the monthly calendar, prior to the start of the month. The rate for an “emergency session” is an additional $20, due to the administrative tasks required to schedule these sessions. 

If one of your questions has not been addressed, please feel free to contact Sandra by sending an inquiry here.


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