EF Consulting and Training Service Options

Executive Function Skills Development:

The Key to Promoting Student Independence and Success through High School and Beyond

We have the opportunity to effectively develop the executive functioning skills truly needed to empower students to independently manage, decrease stress, and learn to problem solve; these EF skills are the missing pieces.

  • Executive functioning is not only about organization, planning and time management; it is about the process, actions directed towards a goal, problem solving, perseverance and self regulation to become independent and successful
  • The goal is to build lasting skills through training and developing effective habits and processes
  • Students need to learn how to develop plans and processes, then figure out when and how to use them
  • Key component is parent-student-school working together to build consistency – knowing roles and emphasizing training (in addition to establishing accountability measures)

At Solutions for Student Success, we…

  • See and offer a unique perspective  – we serve as a front line for helping families identify root causes and possible solutions; they come to us with concerns, and we assess and problem solve then assign roles and train the relevant skills (and/or point them in the direction of additional resources)
  • Have a history of working with and facilitating between all parties – school teams, professionals, students, parents – and fostering independence and ownership in realistic and practical ways
  • FOCUS on WHAT might work for each scenario and HOW to do it
  • Are relatable and connect on each level; we live this ourselves, as parents and as professionals
  • Emphasize concrete and visual tools and structures to support independence and ownership
  • Take what can be perceived as challenge or negative and shift to a solutions-based approach: what CAN we do? And HOW?
  • Help keep perspective and look at the entire picture; goal is to develop lasting skills for life
  • Specialize in customization and training
  • Do not offer a set curriculum, but rather provide support, trainings and materials that incorporate concrete tools and strategies which are easy to integrate into current life/plans/structures
  • Focus on outcomes and goals (whether it be independence, “getting parents off of backs”, decreasing stress/anxiety, improving grades, learning to self-manage, or simply basic strategies for organizing, planning and managing time) and how to get there
  • There is an increasing trend in concern for students becoming independent, managing stress/anxiety and developing lasting executive functioning skills for managing successfully in life after HS
  • These EF skills build confidence and decrease anxiety, almost like a security blanket, and we frequently see stress and anxiety levels decrease significantly as skills develop
  • The emphasis is placed on developing independence and the ability to problem solve and self manage
  • It is key for all involved (school personnel, parents, professionals, students) to identify what is a “can’t” or “haven’t learned” versus what is a “won’t” or “something is getting in my way” and strategize accordingly
  • It is important to define roles and responsibilities (the “who is doing what”) to foster independence: find structures and approaches, implement accommodations effectively, identify needs or skills areas, train and build skills, establish accountability measures, etc.

PARENTS

·       Want to help and for their kids to learn the skills, but are not sure how or how much

·       Are looking for direction, support and accountability along the way; need permission to pull back and hold their student accountable (often there are mixed messages about how to help)

·       Frequently get caught up in fear and “but what if my student…”  This drives interactions and decisions and can result in “helicoptering” or “lawnmowing” (over-involvement or involvement interfering with a student’s ability to become independent and deal with challenge), and in increased stress levels on both parent and student parts

·       Express the desire for their children to manage on their own and be confident and successful

·       Need concrete and specific action steps and tangible take-aways

·       SURVEY:   Based on a recent parent survey of over 200 high school parents…

        Top 3 priorities:

·       Preparation for life after high school – 65%

·       Learning effective study skills and strategies – 56.7%  

·       Time management, planning, procrastination – 50.5%

         Concerns for overall well-being: 

·       School related stress and anxiety – 63%

·       Social-emotional stress and anxiety – 56.7% 

STUDENTS

·       Often do not have the tools (even if many skills have been taught, students forget or have not personalized and made meaningful enough to consistently implement)

·       Have difficulty with follow through and accessing or implementing, and need strategies or coaching around this

·       Need to learn differentiate can’t vs. won’t (and recognize when these are occurring)

·       Do best when trained in practical and realistic (customized) strategies and have accountability measures

·       Desire independence, ownership and skills to be successful long term, but not sure how

STAFF/TEACHERS

·       Express not having a full understanding of executive functioning and skills development strategies (during a recent institute training, only 4% felt they had a solid idea of what executive functioning means and how it impacts students in nearly all aspects of life)

·       Observe challenges, but often look for direction on most efficient/effective ways to address, as well as how to differentiate “can’t” vs. “won’t” and how best to engage with parents on this

·       Seek guidance as to their role in implementing accommodations and helping support student independence in all students (with or without formal plans)

·       Find it difficult to implement or dedicate time to training (or customizing plans)

·       By nature of the classroom structure, do not have the time to individualize solutions or train skills

·       Want and need simple tools and solutions which can be easily integrated within their work

FORMATS

  • Professional consulting and program development
  • Parent trainings (1 – 1.5 hour workshops; large or small group)
  • Staff development trainings (in person and online courses; half or full day)
  • Student trainings (workshops, development of materials and plans, online courses) and creation of student programs through consulting services
Professional Consulting
  • EF 101 training/recommendations for integrating best EF practices into current programs
  • Development of custom plans for schools to train and share with staff and/or students to develop EF supports
  • Creation of student mentoring program (peer-peer or staff-peer)
  • Blending concrete EF skills development tools with current school recommendations and resources; customizing materials for students
  • Guidance and creating structures for laying out roles, responsibilities and resources (who to go to for what and where, when and how)
  • 504/IEP facilitation – using an EF approach for establishing roles and responsibilities
  • 504/IEP – recommendations for accommodations and effective implementation  
  • Staff development: workshop plans/outlines for staff implementation of EF programs
  • Facilitating communication between all parties and creating solution-based plans or custom materials for students or teachers/staff

Parent Trainings

  • Provide specific training, strategies and tools families can implement easily at home and which foster development of skills and independence
  • Emphasis on how to prioritize, choose skills, differentiate can’t vs. won’t, learn HOW to train and develop these skills and then follow through and hold students accountable so the skills emerge; we want them to be the “Playbook Parent”

Staff Development

  • Trainings and institutes
  • Focus on education, awareness and impact; connection between EF, the work they do and student outcomes
  • Online courses

Student Trainings

  • Workshops
  • Online courses / guided training
  • Customized materials
  • Student planners (EF approach and integration)
 

POTENTIAL COSTS OF SERVICES

Professional services offered at a rate of $150 per hour for consulting, preparation and presentation time

(exclusive of travel or materials costs: student manuals, planners, success planning posters, etc.)

Examples of fees

  • 1 – 1.5 hour talk – ranging $400-800
  • Half day institute training – typical range $900 – $1250
  • Full day institute training – typical range $1250 +

Proposals available for specific consulting work on a project basis

  • Largely depends on goals and scope of project
  • Anticipated minimum for consulting services 8-10 hours

TOPIC AND TIMING IDEAS:

A few general ideas:

  • Top reasons students struggle and what can be done (parents, students and staff/teachers)
  • Fostering organization, planning and time management skills needed for success
  • Your role as a high school parent….  supporting students as they learn to persevere and become independent: HOW and HOW MUCH to help
  • Best practices for easily integrating EF skills development into the classroom
  • Preparing students for life after high school with the skills they will need to successfully manage
  • Decreasing stress through building of EF and self management skills
  • Finishing the semester strong – Final exam planning: how to REALLY manage – an EF approach to the entire process
  • The writing process (a complete approach from an executive functioning perspective)
  • School Success Plan training
  • How to help your student (as a parent) learn HOW to study and improve quiz/test performance
  • Using information from parent-teacher conferences to build skills and habits (for teachers and students)
  • EF 101 for Teachers: Understanding EF and its Impact on your Students (Identifying and addressing student challenges)

** Additional topics can be customized based on top area of priority or the problem we are looking to solve

  (see above for common observations in our “Key Points of Note” )

A few suggestions for timing of possible topics (student focused, but customized to audience):

Note: The majority of topics can be offered year-round. These are only a few suggestions for common concerns/themes relevant to time of year. 

August

  • Setting up for success: time management, planning, organization, developing routines and anticipating/creating plans for potential obstacles

September

  • Parent roles and responsibilities

  • Fostering student independence

  • Planning/time management

  • Organization

  • How to ask for help

October

  • Parent roles and responsibilities

  • Study skills

  • Stress management

  • Self awareness/regulation

November

  • Final exam prep – how to finish the semester strong

  • Study skills

December

  • Managing stress

  • Follow through, procrastination

  • Self regulation

  • Planning and time management

Jan

  • Resetting for 2nd semester  / restart (similar to beginning of year)

February

  • EF approach to ACT prep and study skills

  • Preparing for life after college, self management and problem solving

March

  • Breaking it down: EF approach to organizing your college search information and process

  • Stress management

April

  • Finishing strong

  • Study skills

May

  • Looking ahead to summer and building skills needed for long term or to focus on in the year ahead

Summer (Jun-July)

  • Goal setting (along with analysis of previous year)

  • Task analysis, initiation and execution: How to break down a task into action steps (incorporates planning, time management and self regulation)