The global COVID-19 pandemic has severely disrupted the academic year for Houston-area students. As of this writing, most Houston private and public schools are physically closing their doors until at least Monday, March 30th (now April 13 for HISD).
However, the physical closures could last even longer:
- STAAR end of year testing is suspended per Governor Greg Abbott;
- Public schools may not reconvene for the rest of the academic year per TEA’s Mike Morath;
- ACT and SAT testing is canceled through May.
- Advanced Placement (AP) testing be will administered remotely via a 45-minute free response test.
- International Baccalaureate (IB) testing is canceled for this year.
Most private schools are attempting to implement remote teaching beginning Monday, March 23rd. Even Houston ISD is trying to develop at home learning solutions.
Schedule Private Tutoring to Fill in the Gaps
Private tutoring can limit the disruption to the academic year caused by the lack of regular classes and/or remote instruction.
Depending on parents’ preferences, students can meet with a tutor in a variety of mediums:
- Online via Skype or FaceTime with the aid of a digital whiteboard
- In-Office or In-Home once shelter-in-place orders are lifted
Our tutors can follow the school’s current curriculum or tailor lessons to achieve individual goals like remediating weaknesses or getting ahead.
For students subject to remote-learning requirements, we recommend meeting 2-3 times a week to maintain a high quality of learning.
For students with absolutely no school, we still recommend ensuring they are well positioned for end of year tests like AP and IB exams plus SAT subject tests.
Middle school students should not let themselves fall behind especially if they plan to apply to a private school later this winter, as they will still be expected to be up to date in Math and English.
Our COVID-19 Precautions
For families who choose to meet tutors face-to-face–in-office or in-home–we’re taking precautions to limit the chance of transmitting any disease:
- All office visitors are requested to either a) wash their hands or b) use the automated Purell hand sanitizer when entering the office.
- Tutors are disinfecting hard surfaces before the start of each session with sanitizing wipes, and they are regularly washing their hands and ensuring good hygiene.
- No one exhibiting COVID-19-like symptoms including fever and cough are permitted in the office or to meet for tutoring.
Did you know that nearly 25% of General Academic’s tutoring staff are current or future medical school students?
Service Schedule Updates
- Private tutoring will continue online until the stay-at-home order is rescinded.
- Mock testing is suspended, but we can provide PDFs for take-home tests.
- The Study Lounge shared tutoring service will be closed until at least April 10th.
- Stephen Hayes and Andy Peters will not maintain regular in-office hours; please schedule desired meetings in advance.
ACT and SAT Testing Schedule Disruptions
ACT and SAT have canceled testing in March and April; the next official test date is in early June. We suggest taking mock tests either in-home or in-office as a substitute to ensure students don’t fall behind in preparation.
There remain at least five test dates for current juniors to achieve the scores they desire, and we expect ACT and SAT to add at least one additional make up date during the summer. While test dates past August have not been officially confirmed(*), we expect the following dates:
ACT Test Dates
- June 13
- July 18
- September 12*
- October 24*
- December 12*
SAT Test Dates
- June 6
- August 29*
- October 3*
- November 7*
- December 5*
We’re Here to Help
We know that the current disruptions are unprecedented in modern history, and the resulting uncertainty is stressful and anxiety-inducing. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us to talk about a mitigation strategy for your child.