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The Kinkaid School

Carolyn Means - Saturday, April 25, 2015

The Kinkaid School hosted a luncheon for “Richmond Guard” classes between 1955 and 1965, those of us who attended Kinkaid on the former campus on Richmond in the Montrose neighborhood. Headmaster Andy Martire, who is only the fifth head of school in Kinkaid’s history, made brief comments about the addition of the middle school classrooms, new cafeteria, and parking garage.

Independent School Management Consultant Walker Buckalew

Carolyn Means - Thursday, April 23, 2015

Independent School Management Consultant Walker Buckalew addressed a capacity crowd at St. Thomas’ Episcopal Church and School on the topic of growth and management of Christian schools.

My second tour of The Monarch School

Carolyn Means - Tuesday, April 21, 2015

My second tour of The Monarch School this spring was with a family whose child was a candidate for the Chrysalis Program. The stiking O’Quinn Center houses the welcome center with an auditorium where weekly tours begin with a video and introduction by Director of Admissions, Jacquice Jones, and Head of School, Debrah Hall. Christopher Perri, Chrysalis Program Director, gave an informative tour of each classroom, of which there are many, determined by the need of the child.

HIECA

Carolyn Means - Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Judy Muir, Katrin (Muir) Lau, and I presented the program for our HIECA (Houston Independent Educational Consultants Association) whose members must also be members of IECA or HECA. All current members of our local group are college counselors except for me. Our program was on the development of the brain and executive functioning skills. I talked about how EF skills show up in entrance tests and group visits for children and working memory at all ages. Judy Muir talked about the science of neurons and all she has learned from her Harvard graduate studies on the brain and learning. She gave all guests a copy of her award-winning book, Live Wires.

Off-site athletic fields

Carolyn Means - Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Off-site athletic fields are a necessary choice for many Houston private schools which grew out of early childhood education programs at churches. In the past 20 years, the demand for field sports for girls rivals that for boys. St. Francis Episcopal Day School has added fields at their S. Piney Point campus which will also house their Primary School. First Baptist Academy opened its satelite Athletic Complex a few years ago two miles north of the school’s campus. Presbyterian School’s Outdoor Education Center is an easy 15-minute school bus ride south on Hwy. 288 from the School campus. The 14-acre OEC has extensive playing fields, environmental science study areas, an outdoor chapel and playgrounds.

The Annual Sounds of Scotland

Carolyn Means - Thursday, April 02, 2015

The Annual Sounds of Scotland production showcasing the bagpipe and drum bands and highland dancers in grades 5-12 at St. Thomas’ Episcopal School was held a few nights ago. This is a spectacular show at Jones Hall and open to the public each year. The Highland Arts curriculum is the hallmark of STE and students who participate through high school learn much about music, character, and confidence by performing and competing on local and world-wide stages. Good luck to the STE band in World Competition this summer.

Professional Growth

Carolyn Means - Monday, March 23, 2015

Professional Growth ranks high is an on-going passion and absolute need for a consultant.There are so many topics with which I need to be current. Just this week, my journal from the International Dyslexia Association arrived. All the articles are dedicated to the relationship of ADD/ADHD and dyslexia. I can’t wait to read up on this current research.

In February, I attended the annual conference of the Houston Branch of IDA. The topic of the conference was Executive Functioning – and Working Memory in particular. EF Skills are all related to success with learning and, reading, in particular. Fascinating!

I also attended an excellent half-day workshop on handwriting presented by Lynn Armstrong and provided by The Neuhaus Education Center. Yes, some schools still teach handwriting and children still need to be able to read it even if they always print or use a keyboard. One of the first ways I detect learning problems may be in handwriting – or printing. Pencil grip, planning space on a page, letter formation, etc. A lot shows up on a page of letters.

My Houston IEC group hosted a program on the benefits of a Gap Year, ably presented by Chris Webb, Director of Admission at Bridgton Academy.

One more event I attended was the annual luncheon in support of The Joy School. The speaker was noted author and child psychologist Michael Thompson, Ph. D. If you liked Raising Cain, you will like Thompson’s new book, The Pressured Child.

Recent School Visit

Carolyn Means - Monday, March 23, 2015

Recent School Visits At last! I am finally feeling well enough to see schools once again. Since I had a family from out of the country needing to see schools, I decided to go with them. We saw Presbyterian School, St. Mark’s Episcopal School, St. Francis Epsicaopl School and The Branch School. Each of these schools is enjoying strong leadership, happy parents of well-served students, making wise use of technology in the curriculum, and seeing the need to expand wherever possible to meet the demand for more places in good private schools.

Expansion of schools: The Branch School has a small but healthy middle schoool. St. Mark’s is taking a larger 6th grde class this year and construction will soon be underway on an new building with four new classrooms, an innovations classroom and half-gym. Presbyterian wisely developed a satelite outdoor education and athletic center some years ago in answer to being land-locked – a common challenge to our schools. The strong partnership of Presbyterian with the Houston Museum of Fine Arts continues inthe master plan to tear down and rebuild the Glassel Institute of Art where Presbyterian students will have more art studio space. St. Francis has taken one more step forward toward beginning a high school which could be ready as early as Fall of 2018. One other school responding to the need is St. John’s School. With their new property acquisiton and buildings, St. John’s has accepted an additonal 25 students in Grade 9 this year.

I have been so eager to see the LED classroom at The Monarch School and in February, I was on campus for a student meeting followed by a brief tour by Director Deborah Hall. Monarch is one of Houston’s gems for chidren with neurologically-based learning differences.


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Nothing is more important than your child's education. SCHOOL SOLUTIONS in Houston, Texas, offers educational consulting services to help parents make the right choice for their child’s school. As an Educational Consultant and founder of SCHOOL SOLUTIONS in 2004, I have helped over 1000 students find the right fit at over 90 different Houston private and public schools, from preschools to high schools, including special needs schools.

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