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'The Sequence' Is the Secret to Success

Carolyn Means - Thursday, March 29, 2018

Wendy Wang, director of research for Family Studies, wrote an article published in The Wall Street Journal today. Based on one of the best studies of youth and young adults, researchers have identified a 'success sequence': getting a high school diploma, working, and then marrying before having children. In India, Asia and Japan, parents teach their children that the path to success runs through this sequence. Thus, in these regions, less than 4% of births are out of wedlock. In America, the path to the American Dream also depends upon following the sequence. But Wang and her colleague found that among millennials of lower-income, over 44% had a child out of wedlock versus 19% of their upper-income peers. A common statement by high-school students in the lower-income group was, "No one in my school talks about this," or "My mom never said anything either." Wang concludes, "It's time to stop hoarding the success-sequence message and start sharing it with those who need it the most," through MTV shows and media campaigns. 

The Joy School Summer Programs

Carolyn Means - Thursday, February 01, 2018

"What does JOYful learning look like?" The Joy School Summer Programs brochure arrived yesterday and it's full of fun summer options for students of all ages - including some super middle school camps. Students can choose from social and academic remediation to creative writing and theme park design plus more.  You do not need to be a Joy School student to attend, but registration fills up quickly, so apply soon. www.thejoyschool.org/summer

ISEE Scores Are Coming In

Carolyn Means - Friday, January 27, 2017

Tears. Shock. Joy. Sighs of relief. What is the reaction at your house? The Independent School Entrance Exam scores are coming in. With these scores, hopes can rise or fall depending on whether the scores are in range of what the target schools generally want to see in applicants. The ISEE is one of the toughest tests a student will take. I tell my students to think of sharks in an Olympic-size pool – only the strongest and fastest are in the pool and they are all fighting to the finish line. Students don’t believe me until they take the “Practice Test”. Then reality sets in and they are ready to devote every weekend until January to test prep. Adding another layer of anxiety, new guidelines allow students to take the test more than once and choose the score set they want to submit to schools. I often say that ISEE scores will not get a student “in”, but they can keep a student “out”. Students who read good literature for pleasure and those who can quickly and accurately compute have a huge advantage over students who don’t like reading and have weak math skills. As an educational consultant, I do a lot to help my families manage all aspects of the ISEE.

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.


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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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