Q: How many coaching sessions do I schedule? 

The Uncommon Essay, which is Hillside's most comprehensive service, requires the scheduling at sign-up of four one-hour sessions in order to ensure availability and to determine the timing of Discovery steps, which set the stage for in-person coaching.

Students signing up for The Jumpstart schedule one session, which builds on Discovery progress. Students interested in extending Jumpstart support in order to build a specific step-by-step outline for essay-drafting may add an Extended Jumpstart Session at sign-up or later (schedule allowing).

After review of the support plan, Hillside sends a deposit invoice by e-mail to secure the scheduled sessions. 

Q: How much time should I allow for the preliminary Discovery steps?  

Allow at the very least two weeks between securing a schedule (with deposit) and the initial coaching session for the completion of the Ten Sentences Exercise, Two Cents From 'Rents, and the Ten Sentences Exchange (more below). A lead time of a month is ideal. Receipt of the coaching deposit launches these important Discovery steps. (Please see our Policies regarding incomplete Discovery steps.)

Q: How much time should I allow between Uncommon coaching sessions? 

Seven to ten days between sessions is ideal. Naturally, other obligations and pursuits (employment, travel) can get in the way of achieving this ideal. Most important is to try to allow no more than ten days between Sessions 1 and 2 (for pre-drafting work) and to allow enough time after Sessions 2 and 3 for drafting and revision.

Q: What happens after scheduling?  

Once scheduled sessions are secured with deposit, Hillside reaches out by e-mail with next steps. Parents are asked to respond to the specific Two Cents From 'Rents questions, which are provided online. When the timing is right, students who are signed up for The Uncommon Essay or for The Jumpstart receive a personal introductory message and access to the Ten Sentences exercise, with a deadline for completion (parents are copied). All Discovery material informs the initial coaching session. 

Q: Does coaching have to happen in person?   

For local clients, Hillside strongly recommends in-person coaching, at least for the initial session. Coaching via Skype, FaceTime, or phone (using shared online documents in real time) is available and common. 

Q: Does Hillside have morning coaching time available by Skype when the school year is underway? 

Arrangements can sometimes be made to schedule coaching time with students who have openings in their class schedules. Inquire below.