Students We Serve
Tilden Prep serves a wide range of students with a large variety of reasons for choosing our one-to-one mastery learning approach over a traditional classroom setting.
1) Students with Learning Differences
Some students who come to Tilden have a learning difference or diagnosed learning disability such as dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyscalculia, non-verbal learning disability, etc. During our initial intake process, we talk with parents about their student’s strengths and challenges, what has and hasn’t worked for them thus far, and we review in detail results from neuropsychological evaluations, IEPs and/or 504 plans to gain a full understanding of the services that each student has received up to that point. We then incorporate this information into our plans for each student to ensure their learning needs are fully accommodated.
2) Students Who Experienced Learning Loss due to the Pandemic
The learning loss that many students experienced this past year has directly fueled anxiety and depression for many teens. Developmentally, teens are sensitive to failure, whether it is real or perceived. These real or perceived fears often result in mood changes, poor performance in school, or refusal to attend school. We start with where students are, both academically and emotionally, and work step by step to close gaps in learning, build skills and help them regain their confidence. One-to-one classes help reduce anxiety because students can go at their own pace away from any peer pressure. Non-academic group classes (such as Drawing & Painting and Introduction to Photography) provide an opportunity for students to work together on creative projects in a relaxed setting, and regularly scheduled social activities in an environment where inclusivity is fostered and supported, help students regain their confidence socially.
3) Exceptionally Gifted Students/Students Who Want Academic Rigor
Many students who come to Tilden are exceptionally gifted and are ready to take a rigorous course load beyond their chronological age. At Tilden, middle school students can take high school level courses inclusive of Advanced Placement courses, and high school students have the opportunity to take a full load of upper-level Honors and AP courses. Students can also take college courses in partnership with U.C. Berkeley, local community colleges, and online universities, and we will provide credit and the grade on Tilden’s transcript.
4) Twice Exceptional Students also known as 2E Students
Tilden has vast experience working with students who are twice exceptional. Some students are advanced in some academic areas while needing support for learning in other areas. Other students who are academically advanced beyond their chronological age in all academics, but at times need support with social emotional integration with peers, are supported at great length. Our learning model within a small campus environment allows us to create an accelerated program in some areas for 2E students, while providing the academic, social and emotional support needed for life-long success in all academic and social aspects of life.
5) Building skills in organization, planning, time management, assignment-tracking and other executive function skills
Teen brains are still developing, and many teens can benefit from support building “executive function” skills – these include organization, planning, focusing attention and related skills such as time management and assignment-tracking. With one-to-one and small group classes, teachers can incorporate teaching and practicing these skills within the course. For students who can benefit from additional support, we offer an elective class focused exclusively on learning and successfully incorporating these skills.
6) College Eligibility
Often, students who have not thrived in a classroom setting will also have grades that do not reflect their true potential and capability. One-to-one classes allow students to learn at their own pace and in ways they learn best, and our mastery learning model allows students to work up to 80% (B) or higher each step of the way so they have a strong foundation for moving on and succeeding with increasingly challenging material. The results are not only higher grades, but the ability for students to understand how they learn best, persevere with their courses, advocate for themselves and build confidence and self-esteem as a result of their newfound abilities. These qualities all set students up for success in whatever they do next, whether it be to go on to another high school, community college, 4 years college or pursue other interests. When applying to colleges, Tilden transcripts reflect all that hard work, and excellent grades – our transcripts are accepted at colleges throughout the county, and students often receive merit scholarships as well because of their impressive GPA.
7) Students with Health/Emotional Challenges
Students facing physical or mental health challenges often fall behind in a traditional classroom setting. Through no fault of their own, they may have missed classes and find it difficult and stressful trying to catch up. At Tilden, we can start where students left off in their classes and work with them at their own pace to ensure success in their courses. Students who no longer feel stressed by trying to keep up with others find they are able to understand the coursework and this leads to them making excellent progress.
8) Athletes and Performers
Students who are pursuing their talents in sports or performance arts need a flexible school schedule that can work around their practices, rehearsals, performances and competitions. At Tilden, students can attend classes that coordinate with these other activities. In addition, one-to-one courses take less time than those in classroom settings, resulting in a shorter school day that allows plenty of time to pursue other talents and interests.
9) Students at Home
Some students opt to take online classes with Tilden, allowing them to attend from home or any location of their choice. Some students choose to complete all their coursework online, while other students make a gradual transition to on-campus life. For those wishing to transition to in-person classes, we are there every step of the way to facilitate this process.
10) Students in Transition
Students can enroll mid-semester and continue at Tilden with the courses they started at another school or program. We can average previous grades and give credit for work with a passing grade, or help a student improve previously started course work in order to give credit. Students can also take tests to show mastery in order to move ahead to the new section of the class. In these ways, we make sure students have a strong foundation while also receiving credit for work they’ve already completed in the class so they don’t have to start from the beginning.
11) Students Wanting a Small and One-on-One Learning Experience
Not all students thrive in traditional public and private schools. Some need a smaller environment that is individualized to their unique academic and social/emotional needs. Tilden offers this through our one-on-one instructional model combined with support, when needed, for students to build friendships, work through any problems that arise, and build social/emotional skills that strengthen all their relationships.
12) Social/Emotional learning
Studies on social-emotional learning show that social competence and support are some of the strongest predictions of positive health and resilience. Developing social competence takes practice, and we provide many opportunities for this on both our campuses. In addition, students with strong social skills have the opportunity to take leadership roles, while students for whom this is a more challenging area have support from Tilden staff to learn social skills and find success in joining our inclusive Tilden community.
13) Early College Path
Blending high school and community college provides an array of opportunities for many of our Tilden students. These students are able to challenge themselves in the subjects they enjoy while also earning the equivalent of AP credit (a grade bump on college transcripts) and increasing their strength in the subject in preparation for college. The end result is impressive to college admissions officers. Admissions officers see a student who pursued his/her passion, a high GPA and a student who was not afraid to take on academic challenges. Now that many community college classes are online, this has become a more accessible option for many students. Students who choose this path also gain experience relating to professors and they feel more confident when they arrive at their post secondary destinations after high school. Most community college classes are UC transferable and therefore an added benefit is that families can reduce the cost of both Tilden and college tuition costs. If you are interested in learning more about this option for your student, please call and we would be happy to explore this with you.
14) Entrepreneurs at Tilden!
Some of our Tilden students want to design their own educational path. They have exciting passions that they are highly motivated to pursue. We love that and we enjoy encouraging and supporting these students. An example is a student who wants to create their own iPhone ap or some other computer related program. We had a student who wanted to research and provide activity packets for Alzheimer’s patients to fit their level of capabilities at each stage of the disease (her grandmother suffered from the disease). She tailored her coursework to fit her goals. There are many other examples and we encourage our entrepreneurs to see the sky as their only limit.
“Tilden's administration and teachers are completely devoted to ensuring that their students learn the material in an engaging way - the one-on-one structure guarantees that students can remain focused on their work. It also helped him learn to be self-motivated, which has benefitted him in college. Thanks to Tilden, my son is now a freshman at his number one college choice and is having a fantastic year.”Tilden Parent