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Newsletter: How To Have The Best Semester Yet: Create A Student Dashboard (January 12, 2024)

Updated: Mar 15

NOTE:  For the next 4 weeks, I am going to send you my TOP TIPS for having a successful semester. These emails are part of a series called "How To Have The Best Semester Yet." Each of these emails is inspired by the course, The Semester Success Blueprint, which is designed for parents or educators to work alongside students with ADHD or Autism, to help prepare them for a successful school semester. Learn more about the course by clicking here.

What can you expect this semester?

A new semester is upon us and as a parent or educator, you may be filled with part optimism and part dread. 

In the past, you have seen your student go through the cycle I describe as CHASE. They start the semester committed, excited about the prospect of a new semester to prove they are finally going to "own" school.

But soon, hurdles emerge, in the form of:

  • Missing assignments

  • Low test-grades

  • Unflattering codes on report cards like "Needs to demonstrate more effort"

  • And more 😖

If nothing is done, you start to see alarms. If you are a parent, this might take the form of emails from the teacher or alerts to your parent management systems that your child is in danger of failing a class. 

If you are a teacher, this might look like parents emailing you in frustration that their child continues to have missing assignments. "What are you doing to support my child!" they may exclaim, while you juggle the demands of hundreds of other needy students. 

In this chaotic brew, the student may pick up on the nagging of their parents or the pushing of their teachers, and start the scramble, desperately attempting to catch up on missing assignments and past-due projects. Sometimes it works, sometimes it does not. 

All this usually leads to the result of exhaustion. The student, teacher and parents, all sigh and resign themselves to this process, only to repeat semester after semester.

Does this sound familiar?

The "CHASE" process

Hurdles Emerge

And now for something completely different

Let's imagine another universe in which a sophomore in high school, Aaron, ends the CHASE, and starts a new story for each semester. With support from his parents and teachers, this is quite possible.

Instead of walking into the semester "hoping for the best," Aaron sits down a week before school and opens up his copy of our digital planner. Within this planner he: 

  • Lists out all his teacher's emails

  • Organizes his login information and key passwords for all school portals

  • Blocks in all his classes and where he needs to be throughout the day

Already, Aaron is feeling prepared for the upcoming semester, and he knows that he will easily be able to access all essential education information throughout the semester just by opening one document.

And that is only the start of Aaron's organizational journey. Through out this series, we will learn how Aaron:

  • Masters Time Management Using Google Calendar 📅

  • Learns the Art and Science of Communicating with Teachers using templates 📧

  • Breaks Mid-Terms & Finals Into Manageable Chunks 🔨

  • And more!

Today, let's start with the most important first step: setting up the student dashboard.

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About the author

Sean G. McCormick is a former public school special education teacher who founded Executive Function Specialists to ensure all students with ADHD and Autism have access to high-quality online executive function coaching services. 

With this mission in mind, he then founded the Executive Function Coaching Academy which trains schools, educators, and individuals to learn the key approaches to improve executive function skills for students.

He is also the co-founder of UpSkill Specialists, a business with a mission to provide adults with ADHD and Autism Spectrum Disorder, access to high-quality executive function coaching services that can be accessed through Self-Determination funding.

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About 👋

EFS started with one teacher deciding that kids with ADHD needed better access to quality executive function coaching services. Since then, we have grown to a team of specialists working both private students and public schools to enhance executive function skills for all students. 

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