Novella Prep’s enrichment programs are focused on optimizing overall performance and growth in areas that will best prepare your student for college and beyond. The foundation of our program consists of a series of customizable, student-driven activities, tasks, and goals, based in core executive functioning strategies, that aim to meet and support your student where they are at.
This unique approach to academic enrichment through the lens of executive functioning skills is something founder Tony Di Giacomo and our growing team of credentialed Novella teachers and advisors know well. We work with students of all learning profiles (including students with ASD, ADHD, language processing disorders, and more) to support an individualized experience focused on the specific needs and goals of your student. Whether your child is an A student who feels overwhelmed, disorganized, or inefficient, or a student who, with the right study skills, could be an A student, this program is for you.
Our programming addresses the fundamentals necessary for academic and personal success in all environments. To achieve the best grades, highest test scores, and become the strongest student one can be, executive functioning skills are the bedrock of any success in academics for students of all achievement levels. We enhance a student’s ability to utilize executive functioning, as well as to become more adaptable and proactive in one’s learning. As we support our students and families, we also look to enhance talents with skills so a student not only improves performance in grades or test scores, but also in understanding interests, passions, and abilities.
What is Executive Functioning?
Executive functioning is known as “ the management system of the brain”, it encompasses a student’s ability to self-manage and enhance their academic and personal behaviors in pursuit of individualized goals. It is a set of mental skills including flexible thinking, self control, and working memory. Any issues with executive functioning can make it hard for students to focus and follow directions, resulting in their learning process being affected. Executive functioning starts to develop during childhood, but can also continue to progress well into a student’s mid 20’s. Executive functioning is responsible for many other skills as well, including:
- Paying attention
- Organizing, planning, and prioritizing
- Starting and staying focused and engaged in tasks
- Regulating emotions
- Self-monitoring, or keeping track of what you are doing
- Understanding different points of view
Students We Serve
We help a wide variety of students through our Study Skills programs, including but not limited to:
- Students who are underperforming due to executive functioning or study skills issues
- Students with learning differences, ranging from language processing, ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder), anxiety, depression, dyslexia, and ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder)
- Students seeking early college advising, including 10th grade into 11th grade students
Issues with executive functioning can affect students in different ways. The signs can resemble ADHD, as students with ADHD often experience a few symptoms related to executive functioning. These may include:
- Having trouble starting or completing tasks
- Forgetting what was just read, or class discussions
- Panicking when rules change
- Having trouble organizing thoughts
- Having trouble prioritizing tasks
- Difficulty keeping track of belongings
- Having trouble managing time
- Trouble following directions
Our experienced team of life-long educators has the skills to help students with learning differences thrive from middle school through high school, and into college.
Achieving Student Success Through Executive Functioning
As the core of our programs, we seek to optimize this essential component to student success and promote a student’s capacity to self-evaluate, learn, and implement key executive functioning skills. These include time management, planning and organization skills, proactive communication, task prioritization, problem-solving, reasoning, and analysis. We take a step-by-step approach to completing tasks, and work with students to organize their time, plan tasks more effectively, and encourage them to ask questions when they need clarification.
Through our foundation of executive functioning skills, we support students as they develop healthy study habits that champion hard work, focus, and discipline. Our program teaches essential note-taking skills and strategies, appropriate goal-setting, mindful daily scheduling and organization skills, effective routine development, self-monitoring, self-control, adaptable thinking, and optimal study tactics.