Imagery: Making an Impact On the College App Essay

Imagery: Making an Impact On the College App Essay

By: Jonathan Shapiro, New York Writing and Evolved Education

Recently, I was working with a high school junior on her Common App essay. She told me she had lost 40 lbs. “Great! What was the turning point when you committed to losing weight?” I asked.  She described how her friend and her mom could not get a prom dress over the student’s shoulders.

That scene, that image, of having her mom and friend try to pull a dress over the student’s shoulder became the opening scene of the student’s essay. After detailing her transformation from overweight and shy to thinner and more confident, the student closed her essay with another image: singing a school cheer at an assembly of her peers.

In terms of writing, and something that most high school students are not aware of, a key to moving readers is imagery, language that evokes feeling through visual or auditory sensations.

The essay of the shy student who wrote about trying to pull her dress over her shoulders, and, then, triumphantly, confidently, leading her school from the gymnasium floor in a cheer, will move readers to feel her struggle and her joy. The student, then, will have a greater chance of her essay affecting readers than those whose writing stays broad, abstract, general, vague. Most students write broadly, and abstractly, and their essays will not move readers as much as they could.

The goal for writers of personal statements is to have their readers feel, so that readers on the admissions committee nod, say yes, or wow, or unbelievable, and then, lets invite this student to our school.  

Jonathan Shapiro of NewYorkWriting has been helping students write personal statements for their college applications for more than 20 years. His students have been accepted to the top schools in the country, including Stanford, Harvard, Yale, Brown, and many many more. To find out more about his work, visit and to sign up for his summer course at Evolved Education click here

What Happens When Summer Comes and Students Take the Road Less Traveled?

What Happens When Summer Comes and Students Take the Road Less Traveled?

By: Gina Rotundo

To do summer work or not to do summer work, that is the question

In just a few weeks, I will begin a familiar battle with my kids. Should they be doing academics during the summer? For one daughter, homework is assigned, but usually not collected nor graded. For the other, no summer work is assigned. Both scenarios make my job even more difficult. How can I MAKE them do summer work? As I was plotting out our summer plans, it occurred to me there are more plans this year with camps, traveling, family time…I realized, the battle this year would be bigger than ever.

Why DO I CARE SO MUCH?! Why do I so desperately want them to do work over the summer? Why can’t I be more relaxed about it? The answer to these questions lies in my experience. My kids are entering 5th and 10th grades. Over the years, I have tried everything, including not making them do anything at all.

If they take the road most traveled and do nothing all summer long, I KNOW what will happen for the first three months of the next school year and it’s worse than the summer battle. Not to mention, it is unfair to their teachers that they have to spend so much time on material from the previous year. So, this year I decided to hire a tutor who is flexible and can meet both in person and via FaceTime when we are away.

Here is why I insist my kids take the road less traveled, but the one that WILL make all the difference, just as it did for Robert Frost.

Continuity Insurer: If your students don’t spend time over the summer maintaining knowledge and skills, they will ride the infamous Summer Slide. And, just like real slides, going down is fast and easy. Climbing to the top, especially when you’re doing it over and over again is exhausting.

Stress Releaser:  September – December at EEC is MAYHEM and it gets really bad after the first report card, especially for those in new schools. Transition is hard, especially for kids. Give your child the benefit of a smooth transition. In our house, school ends, but tutoring continues. Yes, our tutor will visit or Facetime with my kids each week, just as she does all year long.

Confidence Booster:  Summer study is the only time your children can study and not be measured by an arbitrary and sometimes unfair system of grades. Summer assignments or summer camps that incorporate learning do it for the Love of Learning and that is something we all need more of!

Learning Style Facilitator: During the off months, educators and kids can freely explore how one learns best. Without the pressure of due dates, strict schedules and bedtimes, kids can explore the many different ways to learn and determine what works best for their individual learning styles.

Social-Emotional-Physical Enhancer: During the summer, academics and skills can be reinforced and learned outside, poolside, in the park, at the museum and through new mediums – one-to-one in person, Facetime, small groups, etc. Learning in new and relaxed environments allows one to thrive and will ultimately contribute to one’s intellectual growth.  

Contact us for a free phone consultation on how to get your kids studying this summer! 917-388-3862 or


To Watch or Not To Watch; That is the Question: 13 Reasons Why You Might Not be Able to Control What Your Kids Watch, But You Can Control How They Process It

To Watch or Not To Watch; That is the Question: 13 Reasons Why You Might Not be Able to Control What Your Kids Watch, But You Can Control How They Process It

By: Mary Miele and Gina Rotundo, The Evolved Education Company

If you have not already heard about it, 13 Reasons Why is a series on Netflix that many young people are watching. In the series, a teenager commits suicide and she blames 13 people in her life. The mystery of how she came to her decision is revealed in a series of tapes she leaves behind. The series has been banned in places like New Zealand because adults feel it is too graphic and too upsetting to young people. The series is based on the New York Times bestselling novel by Jay Asher. It has been translated into 35 languages and is also an International Best Seller. It has been on my bookshelf for a couple of years. I knew it was a mystery about a girl’s death, but never knew it was about a suicide. It’s no wonder my daughter never read it.

In NYC, schools are sending messages to parents warning them to not allow their children to watch the series. For many families, though, this warning is too late. They have already watched it, and the story is becoming part of their thoughts and most intimate conversations among friends. Its message connects with many of our young people. Teenagers in the movie engage in social ostracising, bullying, undeage sex and drinking and rape. The story could be unfolding in any high school, in any part of the world. It could be any of our kids.

Suicide is final. Controversy around whether she had a choice or made the right choice is what all the kids are talking about. Were there signs? Are the 13 people really responsible?  And now there is an off-spin trend – kids are now making their own lists of 13. “If you were to do it, who would your 13 be?” Apparently, everyone has a list. My daughter asked me if I had made MY list. Apparently, if you have seen the series, you ought to have a list.

At the end of the last episode the directors and cast are interviewed. Watch it. They all agreed the film needed to be made and that important conversations would happen as a result. Selena Gomez is the director. All the kids know she is open about her struggles with anxiety and depression. She is the face of our kids’ generation – they are self-aware; these issues matter to them; and, they want to talk about them all the time.

We are not here to tell you whether you should or should not let your kids watch this show. That boat has sailed. The truth is, they are already watching it. If you have banned it, they are most likely watching with friends, on their phones, or when you are asleep. I remember Judy Blume books were banned from my elementary school because she talked about menstruation in Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. What book did every single 6th grader have hidden under her bed? Yep.

Here are 13 reasons why you can’t really control what your kids watch, but you can control how they process what they consume:

1) Understand, where there is a will, there is a way.

Students will be talking about this series in school, and everyone will be curious. Where there is a will, there is a way. No matter how closely you watch your child, there is a way for them to view this material. Peers are often the window into these kinds of experiences. You want them coming to you with these difficult conversations first.

2) Know what happens when mom and dad say no.

Teenagers are in a position to test limits and to question authority. It is actually an important part of their development. They will likely not respond well to “no” or “don’t do this,” without explanation. It might even encourage them further. Offer to watch it together.

3) Recognize that social ostracization is the worst for a teenager.

Everyone is talking about it, and when a teenager can’t be a part of the conversation, this can be very painful. It’s important to give your child a WAY to be included, even if they are experiencing the scenario in a different way…which leads me to #4.

4) Empower you kid.

Talk with them about 13 Reasons Why. Ask them if they’ve seen it. If they haven’t, ask them if their peers are talking about it. Open the lines of communication.

5) Make it a teachable moment.

Watch the show and teach your child HOW to handle different issues that come up. Talk about “what if…” and discuss coping techniques for how to handle the situations which came up in the show. You might be surprised. My daughter and her friends were ANGRY at Hannah’s choice to commit suicide and blame it on her classmates. They talked about all the things she could have done differently. They were also disappointed in Hannah’s guidance counselor’s inability to see the signs. A wake-up call for adults that work with kids!

6) Be proactive, not reactive.

If you feel your child is NOT worried about these situations, remember that your child is spending 6-7 hours away from you each day. Your child is speaking with friends who may not have involved parents. The topic may come up. It is better to be proactive instead of reactive. Speak about the issues before they become an issue for your child. As a wise person once said, “You might be too early, but you don’t want to be too late.”

7) Give your teenager a WAY to be included.

If your child’s peers start talking about 13, what do you want your child to do? Leave the conversation? Engage in conversation? Show concern for their friends? Think about this and then give your child a game plan. This is what the show is about, these are the characters, this is what happens. It’s sad. It’s dark. It’s difficult. If you haven’t seen it, you can still engage in the conversation by asking your friends questions about how they are feeling.

8) Role play important conversations.

Even elementary school kids are talking about it, especially if they have older siblings. My 10-year old knows my 15-year old has anxiety and although I didn’t let her see the series, she knows what it’s about and has begged her older sister not to kill herself. As a parent, that is SO HARD to hear; but, it is impossible to ignore. I watched the entire series in one day. Yes, I binged it and I am certain some of your kids are binging too.

9) Don’t assume your child knows everything presented in the movie to the sophistication that you do.

The issues that are presented in a series such as 13 are complex and sophisticated. It is easy for a teenager to miss nuances and hidden layers within a story. You should watch the show and make a list of all of the points of view and underlying meanings you notice. Be ready to have open conversations about these tough issues and answer questions honestly.

10) Understand they will know someone who suffers what Hannah and the others suffer.

The truth is that these are real issues our kids are contending with or know of someone who is – depression, alcohol abuse, drug abuse, social ostracization, sexual assault and suicide, just to name a few.

11) Know the signs.

We pay a lot of lip service to this, but do we really know the signs of depression in teens? How is it different from their everyday mood swings? Do your research. Ask a therapist. Watch the series.

12) Create your village! Surround your child with trusting adults,  reach out to them and learn from them.

Spouses, partners, siblings, parents, aunts and uncles, babysitters, friends, therapists, tutors, guidance counselors, coaches, advisors, teachers – you would be surprised at what your child will share with others that he or she will not share with you.

13) Be curious, not furious.

If you have banned 13 Reasons Why and your child has watched/read it anyway, be curious – ask questions and listen.
Have questions or need support? Call us at 917.388.3862 or


Admissions Letters: How to Help Your Child With the News

Admissions Letters: How to Help Your Child With the News

By Mary Miele, Founder of The Evolved Education Company
When one door closes, another one opens.

We know the story. You and your student had hopes high for a particular school. The foundation was laid – in the best possible way. The past months have been all about tours, tests, grades, interview prep and hours of research. Anticipation grew.

The letter arrives. It is opened, read. And, stomachs sink. There on the page is the name of a school not at the top of the list. Parents and students are left with an emotional ride which requires some skills and coping mechanisms.

We’ve been there — with everyone from PreK through College. Here is some well said advice for how to steer those emotions and how you can teach your student to manage the disappointment that comes with being denied a top choice admittance.

State the facts.

No where else but in NYC do young families have to deal with letters of rejection from desired schools. If your child did not get into a top choice school, it is worth stating this fact.

Of course, college admissions is another story, and around the country, often this is the first time a student is encountering rejection.

Remind your student that at the end of the day, all of the schools placed on an application are good schools (or else you shouldn’t have put them there). I am reminded of my own college experience, where I went to my second choice school. At the time, I was devastated. I thought my life was over. I went to this school, and I made it work. At the end of my four years, I couldn’t imagine going to school anywhere else. My experiences were amazing and fulfilling. I learned there are actually multiple ways to have a successful education.

Answer questions.

What am I going to say to my friends?

Tell them the truth. You got into name school here. It was not your first choice, but that we (the parents) are looking into any options for appeal, and that if at the end of the day, you end up going to name school here, that is okay. Name school here is a great school, and we will all find ways to make it work. You are going to have a good experience. (provide that glass half full reaction to unexpected news!)

How am I ever going to get over this?

Ever heard the saying, “If it’s meant to be, it’s up to me?” Empower your child with some real coping skills. What do you do when you encounter rejection? Provide those ideas. It may help to know that often school admission rejections have little to do with a qualified candidate’s credentials. Other factors may have gone into the decision such as demographics,  group dynamics or numbers from a particular school. If it is possible to get feedback from an admissions office about a student’s application, that is also sometimes helpful.

How am I ever going to go to school with out insert best friend name here?

Ah! There are more than one ways to remain someone’s friend. The separation of besties is a pre-teen and teenage challenge, but we adults can remind them of how this is only the first time they’ll likely encounter such an occurrence. It is best to find ways to foster friendships even when they are not convenient. Participate in a club, go to camp together, write letters or emails, be friends on social media — there are so many great options! Plus, new friends will be made.

Provide perspective.

Talk to your child about experiences you’ve had with rejection. Let them know how you felt and what you did to over come these experiences.

Remind your child that rejection does not indicate a great fault. Rejection happens because of an opinion or an evaluation or even a metric completely out of your control — sometimes having nothing to do with you or who you are.

The best possible thing to do when you encounter a rejection is to learn from the experience — if there is something to learn  — and then move on. Be even more amazing!

Do what you can do.

If you feel your child was wrongly denied entrance into a school, then ask questions. Appeal the decision.

I’m always about providing a “no regrets” experience, so follow suit and be sure you have not left any stone un-turned. This is your child’s experience, and you want to be sure you’ve done everything you can to provide your child with the opportunities they qualify for.

Block out the noise.

Your friends are talking about the schools they got into. Parents are calling you to share their news. You haven’t heard from Cathy– that must mean they didn’t get a good spot. Did you hear!? So and so didn’t get in anywhere!!! The gossip around school admissions can be exhausting and really not productive.

Try to block out the noise of “where everyone got in,” and focus instead on spending time with your child. Go do something else for a while — read a book, go to a movie, call an old friend who doesn’t live in NYC or who isn’t within the college admissions process. I promise, this too shall pass.

Circle back.

Come back to the conversation over time. Your child may need time to digest the rejection and to cope with it. That is okay; however, continue to check in with your child to be sure that they are truly managing the situation healthfully.

Of course, if you notice your child falling into longer periods of sadness or despair, address this sooner, rather than later. I always like to speak up to our students by making an observation, and then asking a question — Hey, Sam, I notice you’ve been looking a little glum lately, What’s that about?

Teach compassion and empathy.

Even if your child did receive a top choice placement, admission letter times are great opportunities to teach compassion and respect for peer experiences of rejection.

Your child’s peers may be experiencing rejection. They may need to speak about this with someone. Open lines of communication. Ask them if they are okay, and if there has been much talk about schools among their friends.

Offer ways to display compassion and empathy. Even though you and your family are excited about your admission, you might want to be sensitive that not everyone is having the same experience. Teach your child how to be kind and compassionate through example. Encourage your child to reach out to their friends who are experiencing rejection and offer support. It is during these times that a real friend is often really needed!

Need help?

Call us. Email us. We are here for you and your amazing children.

917 388 3862 • •



What is Learning Style and Why Does it Matter to Your Child?

What is Learning Style and Why Does it Matter to Your Child?

by: Mary Miele

What type of learner is your child?

A very distinguished developmental psychologist, Howard Gardner, developed a model of eight different types of intelligence.  When you glance at the list of the eight different types of intelligence below, think about whether your child shows strengths or weaknesses in any of these areas. Once you pinpoint your child’s strengths and weaknesses intellectually, you will have more direction as to how to best assist your child in a learning environment. You will also have a clearer understanding of and greater perspective on your child’s performance.

Linguistic: This learner thinks in words, using language to express and understand complex meanings; excels in reading, writing, and speaking skills

Logical/Mathematical: This learner thinks of cause-and-effect connections and understands relationships among actions, objects, or ideas; excels in problem solving, calculation skills

Bodily-Kinesthetic: This learner thinks in movement; excels in physical skills such as balance, dance, acting, and working with one’s hands

Spatial: This learner thinks in pictures and perceives the visual world accurately; excels in artistic design and construction skills

Musical: This learner thinks in sounds, melodies, rhythms, and rhymes; excels in musical ability, vocal and instrument ability

Interpersonal: This learner thinks about and understands other people; excels in group interaction skills and sensitivity to people’s motives, intentions, and moods

Intrapersonal: This learner thinks about and understands oneself; skilled in self-assessment

Naturalist: This learner thinks in terms of the natural world, and in understanding patterns of life and natural forces; skilled in animal and plant care

If your child is weak in linguistic learning styles, then he or she may need more visuals to support reading material. If your child is a musical learner, he or she may need auditory supports that allow him or her to listen to explanations of concepts and ideas. If your child is a bodily-kinesthetic or spatial learner, he or she may benefit from more experiential learning with the subject matter.

How does learning style matter to your child?

When a child learns how to learn best, he or she can advocate for himself or herself by asking for information to be presented in the best possible manner.  Each time a student learns successfully, he or she has a higher probability of feeling good about himself or herself and the learning experience.

What we’d love to happen to each of our students is what happened to Jessica. Jessica learned about her learning styles, and when she went to meet with her teacher to review information in preparation for a test, she asked for a visual to help her understand the material. The teacher was very happy to provide this.

Here is an exercise you can do right now with your student or child to determine his or her learning style. Keep in mind that a student will typically have more than one learning style.

1. What kind of book would you like to read for fun?

2. When you are not sure how to spell a word, what are you most likely to do?

 Sing the letters (musical)

3. What’s the best way for you to study for a test?

 Create a music video to review information (musical)

4. Of these three classes, which is your favorite?

 Science class (naturalist)



 There is a new SHSAT 

As you may have heard, the NYC Department of Education has been planning some changes in the SHSAT (Specialized High Schools Admission Test), which some 30,000 NYC eighth graders take every fall in hopes of admission to one of the city’s eight specialized high schools, including Stuyvesant High School and Bronx High School of Science.

The key takeaways are these:
  • No more scrambled paragraphs or logical reasoning
  • Grammar, syntax and editing questions will replace the removed content on the verbal side of the test
  • The test will be longer
  • The test will include “experimental” questions that are not counted toward scores
  • The math test will include some student-produced “grid-in” questions
  • 4 answer choices instead of 5

These changes are being implemented in response to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s desire to increase the enrollment in specialized high schools of historically underrepresented demographic groups. The number of African-American and Latino students at the schools has been falling in recent years, a development that has generated much public criticism. Whether these changes will move the needle on diversity is an open question that remains to be answered. In terms of test prep, it is possible that the new content on the test will necessitate more tutoring and teaching.

We have attached a DOE memo summarizing the changes to the test as of Fall 2017. These include:

  • Standard testing time is increasing from 150 minutes to 180 minutes.
  • The verbal section is being renamed the English Language Arts (ELA) section.
  • The ELA section will no longer include scrambled paragraphs and logical reasoning questions.
  • The ELA section will now include questions that address revising/editing skills, in addition to continuing to have reading comprehension passages and questions; all ELA questions will be multiple choice questions.
  • The math section will now include five “grid-in” questions, in which students must solve a computational question and provide the correct numerical answer, rather than selecting the answer from various multiple choice options; the math section will also continue to have multiple choice word problems and computational questions.
  • All multiple choice questions will now have 4 answer choices instead of the previous design with 5 answer choices.
  • Each section (ELA and math) will include 57 items: 47 items in each section will be scored, with each question worth 1 raw score point, and the remaining 10 items in each section will be field test items that are not used in determining a student’s score. Scoring and the process for using test results to determine admission to the Specialized High Schools is not changing. See further below for details.

Click here to access the DOE site where you can find information about the SHSAT.

Reprinted from our friends at Noodle Pros

ELA and NYS Math Test Preparation

New York State Testing Preparation at The Evolved Education Company

The Evolved Education Company is offering small group classes, mock testing and private lessons to support students in preparation for the NYS Tests this Spring. Here is what you need to know about the tests and our offerings.
Dates for Tests
  • ELA: Tuesday, March 28 – Thursday, March 30
  • NYS Math: Tuesday, May 2 – Thursday, May 4
What to Know about This Year’s Tests
  • This year’s tests are shorter in length
  • There is no time limit on the test
  • The tests contains complex questions (for both ELA and NYS Math)
  • The questions test understanding of concepts, not just mastery of skills.
  • Math contains multi-step problems

What to know about the ELA Test

Questions are text based and students should find answers in the text. There are a good amount of “prove it” questions — requiring students to go back to the text to find the answers and to back up their answers with text evidence.

Passages will be authentic and will be balanced between information and literacy text. For grades 3-5, the texts will balance  information and literacy topics. For grades 6-8, the texts will also include subject-based texts. Students should be familiar with academic vocabulary.

The ELA Test will include passages to read and multiple choice questions, short response questions and extended response questions.

Students should be able to do the following:

  • Find Main Idea by pulling quotes, summarizing them, answering a questions such as “a title similar to this passage would be…”
  • Make Inferences
  • Understand Structure and Craft
  • Be able to read and understand texts above grade level
What to know about the NYS Math Test
The math test focuses on priority standards. Students are required to write out their answers, demonstrate deep understanding of concepts, fluency and application skills.
The test contains multi-step words problems, short answer and extended response questions where the answer must be described using words.
Students must practice reading directions and following them. Some are complex.
For older students who are dealing with finding percent off and tip, they will need to master the concept and skill to solve these multi-step problems.
Often problems relate to real life –such as using a menu, money, sales tax, tip, or riddles.
Test Preparation Class Information


Performance on state tests have an impact on student choice when it comes to middle and high school admissions, particularly for 4th and 7th graders. At EEC, we will defuse the anxiety and stress built up around the process. We instill confidence in our students as we help them to deconstruct the tests, how to approach each question and manage their time on the test day. We make our courses fun and engaging!

EEC Test-Preparation Program: ELA and MATH for 3rd through 8th Graders 

Differentiation: The first part of the program involves getting to know our students. We use the Evolved Education Paradigm and a placement test for ELA and MATH  to determine how each student can thrive in our program. We learn and evaluate a student’s academic history, learning styles, school environment, family environment and social-emotional-physical quotient prior to creating the student’s individualized and custom-tailored program.

Based on the information we gather, we create a test-preparation program that combines content and strategy.  Where applicable: some of the lessons will be whole-class, but most will be created for individuals or small groups of students with similar needs and will include study tactics and approaches and test-taking techniques to alleviate test-taking anxiety and ensure optimal performance on these standardized tests.

Curriculum: We teach both content and strategy and have found it is often best to weave the two together. For example, if we are building vocabulary, we will simultaneously teach students how to look for common root words. For the ELA and NYS Math courses we are ensuring mastery in the priority items for each test and giving plenty of guided and independent practice. In addition, because of our education background and pedagogical strengths, we are able to create lessons that include hands-on activities, games to improve mastery and motivation, and traditional, stamina-building test preparation exercises.

Materials: According to the Department of Education, the exams have been redesigned to cover a broader range of performance indicators including common core standards.  Our preparation materials will reflect the new test formats and common core standards. We use a combination of typical test preparation materials. However, our master test-prep tutors will heavily supplement lessons according to student’s’ individual needs.

Class Structure: Group classes vary according to needs; one-to-one classes are structured according to the specific needs of the student and his or her family.

Teachers: Each test preparation class is taught by certified and trained EEC teachers, and is supervised and overseen by EEC Test Preparation Lead, Christina Amendola. Christina will visit in-class lessons, and she will oversee the curriculum development. She will be collecting and maintaining data analysis on each student’s progress, and working to identify and address specific learning differences so as to determine how lessons will be differentiated and scaffolded, unlocking the potential for each student in the program. What this means for our students is that they will each have careful attention and meaningful instruction in preparation for the State Tests. 

The Evolved Education’s Mock Testing Program

One of the most challenging aspects of taking a standardized test is the newness factor. Even for a seemingly simple task like using one’s pencil to fill in a bubble sheet can be thrown off by testing in a room full of strangers in a strange place or sitting for the unusually long period of time required by most standardized tests.

EEC’s mock testing program involves creating an environment that mirrors the actual test day. The information gathered from each student’s practice test is used to inform future lessons so as to ensure improvement. Each test is graded, data is collected, and feedback including specific follow-up work is provided prior to the next lesson. Additionally, we are able to provide accommodations for students with IEPs or 504s.

Each mock test is given a number grade and detailed feedback. Individual recommendations regarding the number of recommended practice tests an individual student takes will be made as the course progresses. 

There is an additional fee for mock testing and they can register by clicking here.
Here are the dates:

The Evolved Education’s Partnership with Parents and Caregivers

Inherent to EEC’s whole-child philosophy is our belief that families play a crucial role in the educational endeavors of their children at all points of the educational process. Knowledge is power; and, we empower families with our knowledge not only of what their children are learning, but how they are learning. We provide families with the tools they need to support their children at home in order to make any test preparation process successful.

Teachers will provide families with weekly reports for each student.

The EEC Paradigm and Track Record

Our company’s support for each member of our community, whether their program be one-to-one, small-group, large-group, online or in-person, is individualized. Each child, family and school is unique and our Evolved Education Paradigm allows us to recognize and honor each student’s distinctive strengths and challenges.

EEC provides top quality customized test preparation courses. Families that contract with EEC do so through an understanding and recognition of the importance of a test preparation program that works within a paradigm that is developmentally appropriate for prepubescent and pubescent children because doing so ensures each student will reach his or her academic potential. Of the students we have worked with 99% of them have scored within the top 75% of students who take standardized tests and over 95% of them have scored within the top 99% of the students who take standardized tests. We have a track record of excellent results and look forward to helping your children reach their highest potential!


Universal PreK Application Process Information 2017

Universal Pre-Kindergarten: Everything You Need to Find a Program, Apply and Help Your Child Excel

 by Mary Miele from the The Evolved Education Company

A Presentation for Parents: Universal Pre-Kindergarten In NYC

  • Applications Open on Monday, January 17, 2017
  • Information Sessions Wednesday, January 18-January 25, 2017
  • Application Due on February 24, 2017
  • Offer Letters sent Late April 2017
  • Pre-register by May 9, 2017
  • Round 2 Application Process April 20- May 9, 2017

Find more details here: DOE Main Webpage

Find more information about UPreK here

What is Universal Pre-K?
  • A free program offered through the NYC Department of Education.
  • Runs five days a week, from September through June.
  • Most programs are full day (6 hours and 20 minutes)
  • Some programs are half-day (2 hours and 30 minutes)
Which are the Different Program Types?
  •  District Schools-Programs: Located within elementary schools
  • NYCEECs: Community-based Organizations that contract directly with the NYCDOE to provide pre-K
  • NYCDOE Pre-K Centers: Unique learning environments dedicated exclusively to pre-K students, led and operated by NYCDOE staff.
  • Charter Schools: Public school programs that contract directly with the NYCDOE.
What is the curriculum?

A Foundation for the Common Core vs. Common Core Curriculum

  • Approaches to Learning: Engagement, Creativity and Imagination, Curiosity and Initiative and Persistence
  • Physical Development and Health
  • Social and Emotional Development
  • Communication, Language and Literacy
What “Academics” Will Be Included?
  • Approaches to Communication
  • Reading: Literature and Foundational Skills
  • Writing
  • Speaking and Listening
  • Math
  • Science
  • Social Studies
  • Arts
  • Technology
How Do You Apply and Enroll Once Accepted?

Step 1: Explore your options! Pre-K Options. Read school reviews, tour schools and reach out to other parents. Use this document as a guide while touring: Pre-K Tour Checklist. Go to an Open House.

Step 2: Submit your application between 1/19 and 2/24 (you may do so online at online application, on the phone at 718-935-2067  (8am-6pm, Monday -Friday) or in person at a Family Welcome Center (8am – 3pm, Monday – Friday). Click here to find a local Family Welcome Centers.

Step 3: Receive offer letter via regular mail or email, if you applied online.

Step 4: Pre-Register before the deadline (you must bring your child with you, proof of child’s date of birth and two proofs of your address: see this list for acceptable documentation).

How Do You Decide What to List on the Application? 
  • You may list up to 12 programs in any zone or district across NYC: If you are interested in district school pre-K programs, and you have a zoned school with pre-K, you are encouraged to list it on your application. While placement is not guaranteed, your child will have a high priority to be admitted to your zoned school.
  • After you list your most preferred choice(s), you should also include other programs in case your child cannot be placed at one of your most preferred programs. Adding more programs to your list will not decrease your chances of receiving an offer to your first choice.
  • Your order matters: List them in your TRUE order of preference : Your ranking of programs does not affect your priority at those programs. You are matched to your highest-ranked program possible, based on your and other applicants’ priorities.
    Listing more programs on your application does not decrease your chances of getting an offer to your first choice program.
  • Eligibility matters: Read the priorities that each program gives– Some NYCEECs may have additional eligibility criteria related to your household income, address, or childcare needs. Click on the Information icon next to choices on your online application or review the Pre-K Directory or Pre-K Finder to check whether there are any additional eligibility requirements at programs you are interested in.
  • If you are interested in half-day and five-hour NYCEEC pre-K programs or charter school programs, contact those programs directly to apply
  • No transportation is provided
  • Some programs offer extended day for a fee

What if you don’t get your first choice as your offering? 

If you do not receive an offer to your first choice program, your child will automatically be placed on the waitlist for that program and any other programs you ranked higher than the program where your child receives an offer. For example, if you receive a placement offer for the program you listed third on your application, your child will automatically be added to the waitlists for your first and second choices. Programs will contact you directly if a seat becomes available for your child; no additional action is required to remain on the waitlist.

Additionally, if you do not receive an offer to any of the programs listed on your application, you will receive an offer to a program with available seats, as close as possible to your home address. Your child will also be placed on the waitlist for all programs listed on your application.

What Should You Expect After You Submit an Application?
  • All families who submit an application by the deadline will receive an offer
  • If none of your preferred programs are available to you, you will be assigned to one by the DOE
  • You might be wait-listed

What Should You Look For in a Pre-K Program? Do Your “Field Work” 

  • Visit the websites of the schools that interest you
  • Read independent reviews about any NYC school here:                      Inside Schools                                                                                                           Noodle
What are the Next Steps? Transitioning to Pre-K

Use this worksheet to guide you through transitioning your child and family into Pre-K and to help your child excel in school.                     Pre-K Next Steps Worksheet

Visit this site to see what your child will be learning in Pre-K          Pre-K Learn

What can you do outside of school to support your                                Pre-K On The Go

EEC Pre-K Services

What  Support is Available to You From Evolved Education Company? 

EEC offers tutoring, consulting, and information sessions.


We create academic support that addresses all aspects of a child’s learning process. We can help families with test preparation, school readiness or academic support.

By creating a Learning Profile for each child using the Evolved Education Paradigm, which includes information about a student’s academic record and standing, organizational and executive function skills, school, home and family environment, as well as emotional well- being—instructors create lessons that meet academic goals for each student.

Consulting Services

Learn about Universal Pre-K process and work in person with a specialist to learn specifics about programs and choices. Develop an individualized Pre-K plan that works for your child and family.

Thinking about moving out of NYC? Explore your child’s schooling options with a school placement specialist. Learn details about both public and private schools for your new location or for the location you are researching.

Information Sessions

Gather your group of friends or have EEC come to speak at your child’s school about the PreK process. EEC offers an array of speaking and information sessions year round. Check out our upcoming events here.

To set up an appointment or for a price quote for in-person services, remote services or pre-paid packages :                                                        email us at or call us at 917-388-3862. 


Top Tips for High School Juniors and Seniors

EEC Top Tips for High School Juniors and Seniors

With the holidays right around the corner, December is a busy month! The college process is gearing up for juniors and seniors who are eagerly awaiting the results from their applications. Early Decision and Early Action decisions are being mailed this month and a lot can be done in preparation of the New Year.

Here are suggestions for juniors and seniors from EEC’s College Counselor, Molly Kahan.


Make your first New Year’s Resolution! Juniors should get a jump start on the college process, because starting early will make it manageable, stress-free and fun.

  • Write a description of your “ideal” college and think about what you would like in a college or university in terms of size, location, academic majors, extracurricular activities, sports teams, distance from home, etc.
  • Visit local colleges to get a “feel” for different types of campuses.
  • Create an account with the College Board (
  • Register for the SAT and/or ACT in February, March, and/or April.
  • Register for the SAT Subject Exams for June, if applicable.
  • Prepare for the SAT and/or ACT: ask us about EEC’s Test Preparation Program.
  • Schedule college visits over February and Spring breaks.
  • Get involved! Find volunteer opportunities, clubs and extracurricular activities that interest you.
  • Research and apply to summer internship opportunities.
  • Meet with your school counselor to discuss course selections for senior year.
  • Schedule a college consultation session with EEC’s college counselor, Molly Kahan, LMSW to create an individualized college timeline. You can reach her at


If you have been accepted into an Early Decision school, withdraw all remaining submitted applications.

If you have been accepted into multiple Early Action schools, make your decisions and/or start to compare the financial aid packages.

Complete and submit Regular Decision applications.

  • If you have been deferred from an Early Decision or Early Action school, finalize your college list and submit those applications for the Regular Decision deadlines.
  • Remember to have a well-balanced list of “reach”, “target”, and “likely” schools. Do not get discouraged; you will find a school that is a “good fit” even if it was not your original “dream” school.
  • Send your SAT and/or ACT scores to Regular Decision schools.
  • File the FAFSA and CSS Profile for financial aid if you have not already done so.
  • Research and apply for additional scholarships through the institution or outside organizations.
  • Once all of your applications have been submitted, write thank-you notes to anyone who wrote a letter of recommendation.

After the New Year

Look at important dates and attend an “Accepted Student Day” if you still have not made your final decision.
Visit any schools to which you were accepted and have not yet toured.

NYC Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten Admissions Information

Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten NYC Admissions Planning

By: Mary E. Miele

Before you endeavor in education planning, we want you to take a few minutes to think about your child in terms of each of the following ways:

  1. Record your child’s academic history.
  • What has your child’s experience been like? Formal? Informal? Private? Public?
  • What academic experiences has your child had so far?
  • What are your concerns and/or what are your child’s concerns?
  1. Write about your child’s learning style.
  • Find a chart in the book on page 36.
  • Does your child have a diagnosis of any kind which may affect his or her learning or emotional well-being?
  1. Write about your child’s school.
  • How does your child perform at his or her school currently?
  • What does your child love about school? What does he or she not love about school?
  1. Write about your family.
  • What are your family’s education values? What kind of school do you want your child to be in and what type of education is important to you? 
  1. Tell us about your child socially, emotionally and physically.
  • How is your child developing socially, emotionally and physically
  • Go to page 85 in the book to learn more about how to monitor your child’s social, emotional and physical development.

Pre-Kindergarten Process Information

For the UPREK Process, here are some great links and resources:

For Independent School Information:

Kindergarten Process Information

Public School:

Independent School:

Religiously Affiliated School:

Please continue to revisit EEC and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for up to the date information about our speaking series in 2017! And Email us today for a free consultation to find out how we can help you with the Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten admission process.




How to Talk to Your Children about Trump’s Election

Dear Families,

Since we partner with families to support the development of the whole child, I felt it important to reach out to our families this morning to give some advice on how to talk to our children about Trump’s presidential election.

No matter which side you find yourself on — I think we can all agree on a few key facts. Our country is experiencing something extraordinary: we are divisive, conflicted and uncertain. We must open lines of communication with our children at home, help them to navigate their understanding of the world around them and provide them with the security they need to share their concerns and cope with their worries.

Here are three ways you might help your child starting this morning:

1) Deliver the news of the election to your child even if you feel they already know from the news or from school. Ask your child if they have any questions or concerns. Now is not the time to share your opinions, rather, listen to learn how your child is feeling. Practice active listening — listen and then repeat back what your child says. Really digest what your chid’s concerns may be. Maybe your child is not worried. You will want to know this.

2) Encourage your child to share his or her concerns with you over time — open dialogue today, but keep it going tonight and next week.

3) Try to keep your personal concerns and worries in check. So much will be discussed and hypothesized in the news and some of it is opinion, some is fact. Your child may need to be sensored from the news right now.
Your child will look to you for stability and in their own daily lives they might not need to be affected by the bigger picture of what our country is facing. No matter which side you find yourself on, our country is clearly going through a divisive, difficult time.

No matter what is important that your child knows that in their own school and home they are safe, protected and able to thrive within the experiences of their own childhood.

Mary Miele

Four ways to help your child learn now

Four Ways to Ensure Your Child or Student Learns Now

by: Mary Miele
While working with a group of educators this week, I found myself helping them to refine their lessons in a way that made them individualized to each student’s needs.  Some were strictly academic while others needed support in the realms of the social emotional and/or physical.  I maintain there four are recurring themes parents and/or educators ought to always keep in mind when thinking about planning for a child student.
1) What is your child’s or student’s learning style? Use it to help him or her learn best.
2) What school experience has your child or student had thus far? Is s/he using it to his or her advantage by learning well in each class and meeting with teachers for support or clarification?
3) How much time does your child have to move from instructional, to guided to independent learning ? Are you aware of the stage in which your child or student finds himself? How would you judge the quality of time spent during each stage?
4) What challenges does your child face within the learning process? Is your child facing  a learning issue or obstacle? Is your child socially, emotionally and physically fit?
Current Success Stories
*all names have been changed to protect the privacy of our students
Johnny is in the 7th grade at a prestigious private school in NYC. He is tasked with learning six major subjects: English, Latin, French, history, math and science. He has four tests this week and as one might imagine, he is feeling overwhelmed with all he has to learn. Johnny is a visual learner, so he and his parents and his tutor have created a visual calendar of his study plans.  They also created a one page map of the information Johnny has to learn and he spends time each day picturing what he will learn with each study plan.
Dennis is an 11th grade student at a public school in NYC. He is working on preparing for his ACT test, keeping up his grades at school and also looking into colleges. Dennis has ADHD and must employ executive functioning strategies in order to manage all of his responsibilities. His team, comprised of his parents, his teachers, his advisor and his tutor, has decided to help him focus on getting help with initiation, planning and organization, and flexibility of thinking. In addition, he has been taught to practice mindfulness techniques that will help him focus within each area of work he endeavors.
Carol is a 4th grade student at a rigorous public school in NYC. She is working to learn the math content for the Lower Level ISEE test which will be given in the fall of her 5th grade year. For this exam, she has to learn fractions, decimals and percents, material she has not yet studied in her current school. Her parents realize they must give her time to be instructed on these concepts, so they enroll her in a math tutoring program three days a week as well as a daily exercise program seven days a week. As Carol learns the material in a traditional lecture-style approach from a teacher, she must also practice each weekend for an additional two hours. The five hours a week she is investing in this process along with her seven hours of exercise will ensure Carol learns the material well all while balancing her physical well-being with her rigorous academics, acknowledging the reciprocal benefits of each.
Samantha is a 10th grade student attending an Independent school in NYC. She is a Type-A, overachieving student who enjoys perfecting her papers and study guides for all of her subjects. She plays tennis, attends parties, and is involved in community service. Samantha is doing well in all aspects of her life from a results point of view, but at home she shows her struggles as she frequently melts down, cries and fights with her parents and siblings; and, she has difficulty sleeping. Her social, emotional and physical well-being is suffering. A whole-child education specialist came to meet with Samantha and her family to help her to learn how to become more equipped to manage her responsibilities and maintain her overall health and wellness.