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In This Issue:
What are Charter Schools?
Study Tip: The Power Of Sleep
Coach of the Month: Matt Westerman
Quick Links


Academic Success Partner of the Month


This month we highlight Shelley Halpern, a Certified Hypnotherapist located in West San Fernando Valley. Shelley adopts a practical approach in her methods, combining traditional methodology with a process called Therapeutic Imagery to help her clients to attain their immediate goals and lift the blocks that keep them from moving forward. Through her skill and experience as a Hypnotherapist, Shelley has helped untold numbers of people gain power in meeting life's challenges and create the positive change in their life that they desire. For more info call her at 818 205 7271, visit the website or email 

Looking for a Student Community Service Opportunity?

Meet Rickey Smith, social entrepreneur and owner of the sustainable food business Urban Green. He's started a community education venture called the Urban Green Kids Row program, creating opportunities for kids from diverse backgrounds to participate in many activities related to food sustainability, from planting seeds  to learning about how organic food is grown and harvested. For more info on a terrific community service and volunteering opportunity for kids, email Rickey, visit the website at

or call (800) 200 3320. 

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 The Higher Road life skill coaches work with teens in the most challenging aspects of their lives: social skills, managing stress, motivation, organization, health and wellness and oppositional behavior.

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Check out The Higher Road website to learn more about this dynamic program.
Check out Our  YouTube Video!


Academic Success
is very proud of the two-minute video we recently produced to give you a feel for who we are, our philosophy and the way we approach our work
How Academic Success Can Support You
At Academic Success we take great pride in finding the right coach to support the unique needs of each student we help.  Please check out the areas where we work on our web site and let us know how we can support you.

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Looking for a College Counselor or Ed Therapist?
We work and partner with excellent Educational Therapists and College Counselors throughout the L.A. area.  Give us a call and we can recommend the right fit for your child.




With National Charter Schools Week about to be celebrated across the nation and a renewed focus on education reform and improved performance here in Los Angeles, our attention this month is on the charter school movement.


 There are now more than 3,000 charter schools in the US and over 200 here in the Los Angeles area alone. While they have been viewed mostly as a positive development, there is much debate over their success and administration: Are they providing a higher quality of education? What are the results? How easy is it to enroll a child in a charter  school? We think the articles below will shed some light on the issue.


In other news, we found an interesting rebuttal to the 'Tiger Mom' approach that we covered in last month's newsletter.  


At Academic Success, we're constantly striving to provide clarity and perspective to help you make informed decisions about your child's education.


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Please call with any questions at 310 823 4398.


All the best,




"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit."  

                                                                     - Aristotle


Education News

What Are Charter Schools & Do They Work?


Charter schools are public schools  of choice, created by teachers, parents and community organizers and sponsored by community and private organizations in concert with local boards of education. The "charter" establishing each school is essentially a performance contract, detailing the school's mission, goals, methods of assessment and ways to measure success. The school is accountable to its sponsors to produce improved academic results while adhering to the charter contract. The basic concept of a charter school is that it is permitted greater freedom in its educational practice in return for greater accountability to sponsors, parents and the rest of the general public. More general information on California charter schools can be found here.  


Success Stories


Of the six schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District which recently received the prestigious California Distinguished Schools Award, five were charter. A total of 19 charter schools received the award this year, a major achievement. 


The Promise Academy, a middle charter school founded in the New York City by the Harlem Children's Zone, produced stunning results with under-achieving students through rigorous assessments, a lack of bureaucracy and an ability to spend more time and resources in finding the right teachers. Read this glowing op-ed in the New York Times.


Heavy Focus On Testing May Be Problematic


While there have been successes, there are questions around whether or not standardized test scores truly measure the quality of education being provided by charter schools. A study of last year of Milwaukee's charter program (the biggest in the country) showed very mixed results.


How Does Enrollment Work?


The California Open Enrollment Act of 2010 allowed the enrollment of students in higher-performing schools without regard to the residence of their parents, opening the way for more accessibility to charter schools throughout the state. This interactive map will allow you to find charter schools near you. 


Study Tips

The Power of Sleep


While the temptation may be strong to cut down on your rest in an attempt to increase study time and achieve higher grades, research shows that while a lack of consistent sleep may hurt overall performance, people who get their rest are very likely to achieve better results.


The National Sleep Foundation suggests 8.5 to 9.25 hours a night for adolescents. Some tips to increase sleep time include creating a sleep schedule, staying away from caffeinated drinks after meals, and taking the critical time to wind down before sleep by removing computers, phones and TVs in favor of  activities like spending quiet time reading a good book, listening to soft music or dimming lights and allowing oneself to doze.  


Getting adequate rest is part of studying and test preparation and plays a crucial role in enabling students to achieve maximum success on a daily basis.   

Coach Profile

Coach Profile Of The Month

This month we profile a dynamic and well-rounded tutor on our team, Matt Westerman. Having earned his BA in psychology from UC Santa Barbara, Matt is very familiar with many of the mental and emotional challenges that face students today, bringing an insightful, compassionate approach to his coaching. 


Matt believes in being relentlessly optimistic and encouraging when working with his students. Knowing that enthusiasm is infectious, Matt motivates his students to push themselves farther than they normally would. He understands that everyone learns differently, and enjoys discovering the best ways in which his students learn and then applying that method. Matt loves to see his students begin to believe in themselves and realize how much they're capable of.  


Matt enjoys playing basketball with his friends in his spare time and is also a talented singer/songwriter who plays frequently in the LA area. 


We consider it a privilege and an honor to support students and their families throughout the Los Angeles area.  Please call us at any time; we welcome your thoughts and input.  We are available at 310-823-4398.

Jamie Altshule
Academic Success, Inc.