Essay-Coaching Practices & Policies
As part of the reservation process for essay-coaching sessions,
we ask that you read through our Practices & Policies.
Pre-Session Prep & Deadlines
Every Hillside essay-coaching session is customized through pre-session study of student progress. Fees include the close review of student drafting and of coaching notes for session-planning. For the most effective support, students should therefore be prepared to meet each deadline for sending progress. This is especially important for the Discovery steps that launch The Uncommon Essay and The Jumpstart. For these programs, the parent input ("Two Cents from 'Rents"), the student's Ten Sentences Exercise, and the student's response to coaching questions in the follow-up Ten Sentences Exchange all must be completed according to the schedule shared at sign-up and reiterated during this preliminary process. NOTE: If Discovery is not complete in time for these support programs, or if a student's Discovery materials are insufficient, Hillside may postpone launch — through cancellation of the first scheduled session — and require an additional session to be scheduled and purchased.
Hillside is as flexible as possible in accommodating clients who need to make changes to secured scheduled session times. During the very busy summer and fall seasons, however, options can be limited. The online scheduling system provides current availability, and the link for making changes is provided inside of confirmation e-mails to clients. The sooner we are aware of the need for a scheduling change, the better the chances we'll be able to find a solution. If a client reschedules with less than 24-hour notice, or must be rescheduled owing to not having met a writing deadline, we must charge the cost of the session.
After a coaching session is scheduled and secured with deposit, we ask for a week's notice for any cancellations. In the event of a cancellation with less than a week's notice for any client who is not in The Uncommon Essay Program, we must charge the session fee. Except in the case of emergency (health, family, etc.), the session fee is automatically charged for all cancellations with less than 24-hour notice. We can allow for one emergency cancellation per client.
Students signing up for The Uncommon Essay are required to schedule four sessions. In fairness to others seeking session times, Program reservations that remain incomplete after five days are cancelled. We can hold complete reservations (of the four sessions) for seven days pending deposit payment.
A valid credit card is required for session reservations but is NOT charged during the online reservation process. After scheduling, Hillside reviews the plan and then separately e-mails an invoice to clients for deposit payment, which can be made directly online or by check through the mail. The deposit invoice lists the reserved session time(s).
Once a deposit is received, the coaching schedule is secured. Session times that have been scheduled but not secured through deposit are made available to others after seven days.
For clients in The Uncommon Essay and The Jumpstart, receipt of the deposit launches the preliminary Discovery steps. The Uncommon Essay balance is requested — with an e-mailed link for payment — after the first of the four sessions and is due before Session Two. The Jumpstart balance is requested during Discovery and is due before the scheduled exploratory session. An automatic reminder is sent to clients about balances due. If the Uncommon Essay or Jumpstart balance has still not been received a week after the due date, Hillside will charge the balance to the credit card on file.
Deposits for individual essay-coaching sessions are completely refundable if sessions are cancelled with at least a week's notice. (See cancellation policy above.) The Uncommon Essay and The Jumpstart deposit is completely refundable before access to the Ten Sentences exercise is sent out in the Discovery stage. After this Discovery step and before Session One, 50% of the deposit is refundable. After Session One and before Session Two (for Uncommon clients), 25% of the deposit is refundable.