What services do you offer?
Classroom Matters offers several services designed to support your child and your family:
Tutoring: We offer individual academic support and mentoring with an emphasis on study skills and organization. We help your child develop habits of a successful student and offer guidance and ongoing oversight in creating and maintaining a system of organization based on individual learning styles (learning strengths and weaknesses). Tutors integrate this information into the academic subject areas and help students apply it on their own. We create a network of support among students, tutors, parents and teachers. We meet with our tutors regularly to assess progress, give ongoing training and collaborate on how to best serve each student. We conference with parents via email or phone to share information and to address concerns. We also contact teachers to get their feedback and work with other professionals (therapists, doctors, etc.) when relevant. Tutoring sessions are an hour in length for grades 6-12 and 45 minutes for grades K-5. Tutoring is available Monday through Friday from 3:00 PM to 9:00 PM and on weekends.
Supervised Study™: Supervised Study is an after-school homework program designed for students who need supervision while they study. We offer a comfortable, non-distracting, collaborative learning environment. Students work in groups of 8-10 and are supervised by a “Point Person”. The Point Person greets each student, helps them develop a study plan and then regularly checks in to make sure that the student is sticking to the plan, working productively and getting help as needed. If the Point Person is not able to answer a question (because she is a French tutor and not a Calculus tutor), she will model problem-solving techniques for the student by enlisting help from other tutors, students, our library resources and online resources. Supervised Study is a cooperative working environment where students are encouraged to help each other in a controlled way (with monitoring and mentoring) so as not to get off task. The Point Person will also ask the students questions that they might not know to ask themselves like, “When is your next test in this class?” or, “When is your next big project or assignment due?” If the student is receiving tutoring, there will be notes from the tutor to the Point Person on what the student should be studying (or not studying), like, “Please don’t let Sarah read her English novel in Supervised Study. She should do that at home. Instead, she should prepare for her history exam in three days by reviewing the chapter questions that I gave her and when she is done she should study her flashcards on dates and terms. She may need help with the more difficult terms.” The Point Person will also reinforce the habits that students are learning with their tutors like active reading, note taking, how to study effectively and more. Supervised Study is available from Monday through Thursday from 4:00PM to 8:00PM.
What is your philosophy?
At Classroom Matters, we support the whole student. This means that we address more than just academic issues. We understand that many factors contribute to a child’s academic success. We encourage students to be well-rested, well-fed and well-exercised. We strive to build a rapport with students that fosters trust, mutual respect and a strong emotional bond. Our tutors model how to be emotionally-balanced people as well as responsible and contributing members of society. We teach students self-advocacy and adult management. Our goal is to empower students to be life-long learners, to achieve because they want to, and to find their passion in life.
How much does tutoring cost?
Because we customize our services for each family, our prices vary depending on what services your child needs and how often he or she needs them. For this reason, we ask that you call our office to speak with us directly. We recognize that tutoring is an additional expense for your family and we will work with you to design a program that meets your needs as well as your budget. Please note that we offer a sliding scale to low/single income families. If you feel like you fall into either of those categories, please inquire about our sliding scale. Our goal is to create a financially sustainable relationship with you so that your child may receive the ongoing support he or she needs.
Can my child sign up for Supervised Study™ without coming for tutoring?
Students may attend Supervised Study without tutoring but we do not recommend it. We find that we get better results and students have a greater sense of belonging when they are connected to a tutor. A combination of tutoring and Supervised Study has the greatest impact.
How often should my child come?
At Classroom Matters, we customize our program to meet the needs of each individual child and family. How often a child comes is dependent on a variety of factors: the child’s emotional and academic needs, his or her willingness and desire to come, his or her ability to get to the center, the family’s needs and budget, and more. We will make suggestions and work with you to design a program that feels right and that can change as your needs change.
How do you match my child with a tutor?
We take great care in matching your child with a tutor. We want it to be a good fit. Your child should feel comfortable with his or her tutor and look forward to the sessions. Because there is a strong mentoring component to our program, we want your child to trust his or her tutor and even to look up to him/her. We take into account many factors when making a match: academic and emotional needs, personality, interests, etc. Occasionally, we make a bad match. In these cases, it is important for the families to communicate with us early on in the relationship so that we can make adjustments and/or change the tutor. Everyone at Classroom Matters wants what is best for your child – and tutors understand when a family decides to change for a better fit.
Who are your tutors? Are they credentialed teachers?
Our tutors come from all over the United States (and abroad) and have a variety of backgrounds. Some of our tutors are credentialed teachers who are taking a break from the classroom. Others are undergraduate and graduate students who are completing their studies in education or other fields. What they all have in common is a love of learning, a passion for working with kids of all ages, and an ability to explain things in a variety of ways so that students understand. We rigorously screen all applicants before we hire them and require that they have a minimum of three years previous tutoring experience. We also provide extensive training in our philosophy and approach to learning. We invite experts in the field to present workshops to our tutors on learning disabilities, multiple intelligence theory, mental health issues and more.
How do I sign up?
We offer free consultations by phone and in person. These usually take about 30 minutes, during which time we will assess your child’s needs, get to know you and your child and customize a program for your family (including matching your child with the right tutor). Just call our office to schedule an appointment: 510-540-8646. Our office hours are Monday through Thursday from 2 pm to 7 pm.
Where are you located?
Classroom Matters is located at 2436 Sacramento Street in Berkeley, California. Our nearest cross street is Dwight Way. Our building is on the western side of the street, near the Breads of India and the Homemade Café.
How do I get there on public transportation?
We are located approximately 1/2 mile from the North Berkeley Bart station. We are also accessible by bus. Check www.actransit.org for bus schedules.
If I am driving, where should I park?
There is 20 minute parking at the curb outside our building for convenient drop off and pick up. For longer stays, there is ample street parking on Sacramento Street and Dwight Way, as well as on side streets off of Dwight Way above and below Sacramento Street.
Do you offer in-home tutoring?
Yes! Although we believe strongly in the center model, we recognize that not all families are able to come to us. Ask us about our rates and availability for in-home tutoring.
What is your cancellation policy?
We require a minimum of 24 hours notice if you wish to cancel or change a tutoring session. We respect our tutors as professionals and we value their time. They have set aside time and spent energy preparing for your child and they depend on the income that they earn from tutoring. Therefore, we pay them when they are scheduled to meet with your child and bill you for the session if you do not cancel 24 hours in advance. If your child goes home sick from school or there is an unexpected emergency, we will do our best to contact the tutor before the scheduled session and make payment decisions on a case-by-case basis.
What is your refund policy?
If you are not completely satisfied with your experience at Classroom Matters, we will refund the balance of your payment. We take pride in our work and we want you to feel that you are getting value for your money. We always welcome your feedback.