Today's Lesson

In our experience we have met 2 types of parents; parents looking for the best school (‘best’ based on a set of criteria predetermined well before they speak to us). And - the other type of parent.  Parents who are determined to find the best school for their child.


If you are the first type of parent, best of luck to you on your search. We are confident you will find an amazing school (as many do exist) and your child may (or may not) bask in their glow of excellence. Unfortunately, excellence does not breed through osmosis. We believe that one rather, should approach selecting their child’s school with a grain of realism. 


Which brings me to the most important question you can ask yourself to launch your search: “What is the best school for my child?”


At Wolff Educational Services we conduct needs assessments that breaks this criteria into 3 selection houses. They are the Social, Emotional and Academic Houses of your child’s success and achievement at school. We have broken these houses into realistic criteria based on actual achievement data (the learning skills) and are written in academic language (reflective of curriculum expectations). Once the assessment is completed, it is simply a matter of matching the results (your child's area of strength and need) with the schools that offer programming in these areas. The equation breeds student success and achievement. Its flawless in its design.


Parents, education today is comprised of these 3 houses working together in unity and harmony. Students must demonstrate learning in all 3 of these areas in order to be successful. The way the curriculum is taught and learned is not inherent of 20th century practices anymore. 21st century classrooms are much more layered in there design and learning platforms are reflective of differentiated instruction, individualized for your child to demonstrate learning and skills. 


Before you begin your school search, know what it is your are looking for. Know what your child's strengths and areas of need are in each area (house) of the learning platforms and how they relate to both the classroom and school. Understand what the classroom does and can do, map the landscape as you would any foreign environment. 


And if you feel like you need an education in all things education before you try and map out a route for your child - call us! We can help - however, we will only find the best school for your child….not necessarily what you think is the best school.


Until Our Next Lesson……


Who Can Benefit from an Educational Assessment? Everyone!!!

It’s spring and teachers have their eye on June. How much more curriculum do they have to cover? Do they have enough information for the Report Card? What recommendations will they make for each student regarding a class placement for next year? Spring is the time to begin thinking about next year.

What do parents need to know at this point in the year?

Parents need to have accurate, up-to-date information in order to help them make informed decisions about next year as well. Take a minute and think about the following questions as you reflect on the present school year and your child:

  • Do I feel my child has worked to the best of his/her ability?
  • Am I aware of any areas of weakness? Does my child receive good marks in all subject areas?
  • Does my child feel good about school? Are they proud of their achievement?
  • Do my child’s marks reflect the effort he/she puts forth?

If you cannot answer, “Yes” to all of these questions, then it is time to think about an Educational Assessment.

An Educational Assessment is an assessment that uses standardized tools.

This means that it is consistent in the questions that are asked and the manner in which it is administered and scored. The same questions are given to everyone. It requires specific training in order to administer it and it is given in a one-on-one setting, according to certain rules and specifications, so that the testing conditions are the same for all. Because it is standardized, it is scored according to specific criteria. The results are more reliable and valid than the non-standardized assessments given by classroom teachers.

Why should my child have an Educational Assessment?

There are several reasons for this. Firstly, it provides a very precise picture of your child’s academic strengths and weaknesses. For example, it doesn’t just inform that your child may be weak in Reading, but breaks it down into specific components. Is your child having difficulty because of a weakness in decoding? comprehension? fluency? If math is an area of weakness, is it due to a weakness in calculations? reasoning?

Secondly, an Educational Assessment is invaluable in informing classroom instruction. Wouldn’t it be nice to meet with the teacher in September with a list of areas where your child demonstrates strength as well as areas that need improvement? Teachers appreciate this information and because they have indisputable information, they can plan accordingly.

Lastly, an Educational Assessment can be used for making informed decisions. Will my child benefit from accommodations in certain subjects? Would a different type of class or even a different school environment be preferable?

The results of the assessment are interpreted to identify next steps.

An Educational Assessment provides parents with a clear and comprehensive picture of their child’s’ academic skills, areas of strength and weakness. It is information all parents could use in order to determine realistic goals and ensure that the present learning environment is the right fit for their child.

Think about ending this school year by preparing for next. We know that students who start the year getting what they need, will demonstrate success and achievement in classroom. We can help you gather information now to ensure that in June of next year you can answer, “Yes” to all the questions.

Until our next lesson…