(888) 394-5060

Dear Academic Approach Families and Colleagues:

We are happy to share with you some words of wisdom from a great colleague of ours, Dr. Lionel Allen. We started working with Dr. Allen almost a decade ago at Urban Prep Academies as we helped build out their 9th-11th grade ACT student assessment program and a professional development program for their faculty. Dr. Allen has ever since remained a colleague and a friend; he currently provides coaching to school leaders seeking to develop the impact of their schools on student achievement and college readiness:


With closures extended in Illinois and New York, it is quite possible that students will not return to brick and mortar schools this year. This means that much of the responsibility for maintaining academic progress this school year will fall on parents and families. Undoubtedly, many of you have established tight routines while other families are still searching for a rhythm. Regardless of your circumstances, please consider the following:

  1. Be grateful. Despite the stress and uncertainty, we all have something to be thankful for (our health, our support networks, provisions, etc.). Expressing gratitude at this moment can help ward off negativity and give us the strength to charge forward as we journey through uncharted territory.
  2. Establish a routine that works for you. Social media is abuzz with COVID-19 daily schedules. While these can be great resources for families, they may not work for you and your family. You may need to start your day later, shorten learning times, or incorporate more frequent breaks. What works for some families may not work for others, and that is OK.
  3. Set realistic expectations. This is not the time to be laser-like focused on outcomes. Do the best you can to follow the remote learning plans offered by your district, but give yourself permission to struggle and even fail. We are all adjusting to this new normal. Even if you are a trained educator, teaching your own children is a daunting task (this is why teachers send their children to school). Do not put undue pressure on yourself.

Dr. Lionel Allen, Jr.
Founder, ed Leaders Matter
P: 312-860-9324
E: [email protected]
T: @eLM_Coach


Be well,
Matthew Pietrafetta, Ph.D., Founder & CEO

Standford joins Harvard, Yale, Dartmouth and others in reinstating ACT/SAT requirements!