The student came to Cardinal Education after 9th grade and in a deep hole academically. He was struggling severely in school with a 2.75 GPA, lacking the independence and motivation to succeed on his own. Alarmingly, the student was not on track to graduate high school. In addition to the academic troubles, the burden put on the parents to guide the student through each school year strained relationships within the family and prompted them to turn to us for help.
In an initial consultation, we identified and prescribed the aggressive approach needed to remedy the situation. We would need to start taking Algebra I online over the summer while working to foster academic skills that were completely broken. An Academic Coach worked with the student five times a week throughout the summer, transitioning into taking ownership of all classes when the school year began.
Once progress was being made, we recommended the student start taking Spanish online in addition to Algebra I in order to get back on track. Another Academic Coach specializing in Spanish was brought in to assist, while the other continued to focus on all other classes. The two met regularly to review the case, working together to motivate and inspire the student over the course of a year.
While this case is ongoing and there is much work to be done, the progress has been steady. In one year, the student has earned the best grades of his high school career with a 3.33 GPA while beginning to transform into a more confident and motivated person. In addition to the concrete academic improvements, the parents feel their relationship with their son has tremendously improved.
The student came to Cardinal Education for help with Private School Test Prep for sixth grade admission. His initial diagnostic exam placed the student below the 20th percentile in all sections, indicating a lack of foundational skills. Our first meeting with the student confirmed what the diagnostic told us – the student did not know how to add, subtract, multiply, or divide. Furthermore, his reading fluency and comprehension were not at grade level. Admission to a top-tier private school required an aggressive approach.
We started with the foundations in the math and worked on building the student’s reading comprehension. A Test Prep Coach met with the student three times per week, working on time management, motivation, and overall engagement in academics through teaching ISEE/SSAT material. The student initially resisted coaching, and homework compliance was poor; however, as we solidified his math foundations and reading comprehension, the student began to see his own potential and put in the work to succeed.
After months of consistent sessions and hard work, the student was accepted into his top choice private middle school. After the student finished test prep, he requested to continue working with Cardinal Education. Two years later, the student is still working with us while continuing to grow into a mature, confident individual who is able to balance the rigors of an elite private school.
The student moved to San Francisco, California after her parents’ divorce. The student’s family initially struggled to find a stable place to live, resulting in academic performance that was not consistent with her potential in terms of grades and engagement. In 6th grade, the student’s teacher believed she was performing lower than her grade level, at which point Cardinal Education Scholars stepped in to provide support. The student became part of a cohort of seven students that we would work with throughout their middle school careers.
When we first worked with her, the student did not complete any homework assignments nor did she participate in any group discussions. We made it our mission to bring the student out of her shell and move her towards meeting her potential. After almost a year of relentless guidance, encouragement, and emotional support, we started seeing the curiosity, empathy, and resilience in her. Through the years, she has learned to challenge others’ ideas as a way to encourage critical thinking. At the same time, she patiently nurtures and guides students towards progress when she sees them struggle.
The student demonstrated improved academic skills as well as a passion for writing in becoming the top performer in her English classes. With our support in the application process coupled with her own tremendous effort towards achieving her goals, the student was one of six students accepted into the Creative Writing Program at the Ruth Asawa San Francisco School of the Arts – an extraordinarily competitive magnet school of the San Francisco Unified School District.
Although the student is passionate in writing, she agrees with our recommendation of taking advantage of a highly structured environment at a competitive boarding school designed to help students become the first in their families to earn a college degree. Today, the student continues to find ways to give back in supporting current students of Cardinal Education Scholars.
When the student first started working with us, he was in a constant state of negative emotion. It wasn’t the academic performance that was the root of the problem – it was the family dynamic. The student had a fractured relationship with his parents, resulting in stress that threatened his emotional well-being as well as his academics.
We worked with the student on test prep for admission into private school a Test Prep Coach met with the student twice a week regularly over the course of several months. We challenged the student with material he had never seen in school, engaging him in a way that steadily built resiliency, confidence, and positive emotions. The student mentioned he had never worked this hard before, something that was noticed by his parents.
The student scored at or above the 90th percentile in all sections on the ISEE, receiving admission into an elite private high school. Just as importantly, his relationships within his family have improved, stemming from character development throughout the test prep process.
The student came to Cardinal Education for private school test prep and had multiple learning differences that affected the student’s grades and overall motivation. We met with the student and used the first several sessions to develop an individualized plan to take advantage of her unique learning style.
Initially, we focused on building a narrative of progress for the student by fixing basic math skills that were broken. As the student began to see concrete progress, she engaged her own engagement and effort. As we continued to fill in content gaps with our curriculum and emphasized the importance of the confident test-taking mindset, we demonstrated to the student that her learning differences were something she could overcome.
Through the months, the student moved from reluctance to enthusiasm in solving difficult problems. Her grades began to improve as her motivation to do well steadily progressed. She achieved admission into her top choice school, and is thriving there.
When the student came to Cardinal Education, they were in a crisis: coming to the end of Sophomore year, the student had a 2.3 GPA, did not do their homework, and was completely resigned to going to community college.
We began by having the student meet with one of our college admissions advisers to help the student see that getting into a 4-year university was possible. We then paired the student with an Academic Coach to begin repairing the academic damage and motivate the student to begin putting in effort.
For the next two years, we utilized a team of coaches to help the student navigate their classes, prepped the student for the ACT, guided them through the application process, and ultimately transformed their entire mindset.
By Senior year, the student was earning a 3.7 GPA with two AP classes, and earned admission to three top 100 universities (Michigan State, University of Iowa, and Rutgers), while becoming a mature and confident individual.