Mastering Middle School (Grade 6)

Is your child ready for middle school?

Everything your student needs to know about making a successful transition can be found in this program. This intensive 3.5-hour master workshop prepares incoming 6th grade students who are entering middle school next fall.

Topics covered include:

  • Note taking strategies your elementary school teacher never revealed
  • Time management and organizational techniques necessary for 6th grade
  • Everything they forgot to tell your student in 5th grade!

Fee: $495



Master Workshop —  Sat, Aug 13, 9 am to 12:30 pm
Parent meeting — Tues, Aug 16, 7 to 8:30 pm
Student Follow-up — Sun, Sept 18, 1 to 3:00 pm

Middle School Blitz (Grades 7 & 8)

Fast-paced, hands-on 3-hour blitz through critical study strategies designed to make middle school easier to manage for your student.

Entering 7th and 8th grades, middle school students are suddenly faced with the demands of balancing class work, homework and outside activities. We teach students to have control over their time and their workload. It’s not hard; its just different from what they've been doing!

Areas of focus include . . .

  • Meeting academic challenges
  • Developing self-advocacy skills,
  • Utilizing note taking techniques for social studies, language arts, science, math,
  • Learning to plan for multi-step projects and papers.

Fee: $245



Sunday, Aug 14, 2015, 9 am to 12 pm

Nailing Ninth Grade (Grade 9)

How prepared is your rising 9th grader for high school?

The transition from middle to high school can be challenging. Our "Nailing Ninth" course will prepare your students for a successful move to high school. 

The course includes:

  • Intensive two-day weekend workshop
  • Follow-up meeting with students
  • BONUS: Parenting for Academic Success Mini-Workshop
  • BONUS: Final-exam prep session!

That’s a total of 12 hours of instruction and coaching! 

Participants come away witnailing ninth gradeh an invaluable toolbox of strategies they can use to:

  • Take notes effectively
  • Shoulder the heavier course load
  • Manage time & stay organized
  • Plan complex projects
  • Tailor their study approaches to fit their learning style
  • Focus on process & its impact on academic success
  • Prepare productively for final exam tests
  • Communicate effectively & advocate for themselves

Nailing Ninth made all the difference for my son's move to high school. The transition was much more relaxed than he expected. I've felt confident allowing him to manage his schoolwork as a result and he's done great!
-Julie, Lafayette

Enroll now to secure a place!

This is a popular workshop and space is limited.

Fee: $695 | This includes all materials, lunches, and meetings.

Session A

Two-Day Student Intensive—Sat & Sun, Aug 6 & 7, 9 am to 1 pm
Parent Workshop—Tues, Aug 9, 7 pm to 8:30 pm
First Follow-up—Sun, Sep 11, 10 am to 11:30 am 
Final Exam Prep—Sat 10 am to Noon - Choose Nov 5 or Dec 18

Session B

Two-Day Student IntensiveSat & Sun, Aug 20 & 21, 9 am to 1 pm
Parent WorkshopTues, Aug 23, 7 pm to 8:30 pm
First Follow-up—Sun, Sep 11, 12:30 pm to 2:00 pm
Final Exam Prep—Sat 10 am to Noon - Choose Nov 5 or Dec 18

Write On - Essay Fundamentals for Middle School Students (Grades 6, 7 & 8)

write onAre you concerned that your middle school student doesn’t know how to organize and execute a five paragraph essay?

Learning how to construct analytical paragraphs and papers, complete with thesis statements and evidence is an essential skill for 6th - 8th graders. Make sure your child is prepared now for the writing challenges ahead.

"Yesterday, (my son) had a paper to write. He used the suggestions from the (workshop) as a way to help him format a cogent, well-articulated paper. The materials are excellent and really made the process much easier for him than it has been in the past. Thank you for giving him an invaluable tool that he can use for the rest of his life."- Parent

Fee: $495



7.5 hours over three sessions, Aug 9, 10, 11
(Tu, Wed, Thu), 3 to 5:30 pm

Writing Rx (Grades 9, 10, 11)

writing rx

Everything your student needs to know about expository writing for high school!

$545 | Orinda, CA | 4pm to 7pm on August 2, 3, 4 
Includes Workbook & Snacks
| Register Now 

The introduction of Common Core has shaken up writing education. This course addresses that challenge in a way that no schools have successfully done.

Writing Rx is an intensive, Common Core–aligned, multi-day boot camp that trains students to write expository essays, taking a position and amassing details to support it. Students learn to:

  • Organize their thoughts on a topic
  • Gather evidence
  • Find sources
  • Develop an argument
  • Take notes on documents & incorporate them into the argument
  • Organize information effectively
  • Craft a thesis statement

"Yesterday, (my son) had a paper to write. He used the suggestions from the Writing Rx as a way to help him format a cogent, well-articulated paper. The materials are excellent and really made the process much easier for him than it has been in the past. Thank you for giving him an invaluable tool that he can use for the rest of his life."

- Parent

Students learn a system for writing that they can repeat again and again.

Many students approach assignments by jumping from the prompt straight into writing, hoping the essay will emerge fully formed from their head. This course develops a dependable strategy that students can repeat again and again.

Our prescription for writing will:

  • Replace “analysis paralyisis” with a sequence of discrete steps to follow
  • Free students from “reinventing the wheel” with every assignment
  • Provide a system students can replicate no matter what the subject
  • Increase students’ confidence about writing

We provide individualized attention for all students.

Instructors for this course are SOS senior coaches with extensive experience, from teaching students with learning disabilities to helping Advanced Placement students tackle more complex assignments. Writing Rx maximizes their impact with:

  • 1 – 6 students per instructor
  • Maximum personal attention
  • Nine hours of workshop over three days

"SOS was the missing link for my son's academic success and a positive boost for his self confidence!"

- Tammy, Parent

$545 | Orinda, CA | 4pm to 7pm on August 4, 5, 6 | Includes Workbook & Snacks


Secrets of Successful Note Taking (Grades 9, 10, 11, 12)

Effective note taking is an essential skill students must learn by the time they reach 9th grade, but unfortunately, many have never been trained.

The result? Test anxiety and low performance are often directly correlated to inadequate note taking strategies.

Do any of the following statements ring true for your teen? He or she . . .

  • Only takes notes when required to by a teacher.
  • Takes notes just to get through them; has no technique so usually just lists notes in bullet form.
  • Copies notes verbatim from a text book without a sense of what he/she is actually reading.
  • Takes too many or too few notes.
  • Has never learned that there are a wide range of options for taking notes.
This program . . .
  • Teaches high school students multiple options for note taking,
  • Demystifies the note taking process,
  • Gives students ways to take notes for different classes,
  • Explains how to use notes for tests and papers,
  • Provides all students with best practice tips for both text and lecture note taking.

Fee: $245



Sunday, Sep 18,  9 am to Noon