Update: Februrary 15th, 2021
We are encouraged by the recent downward trend in COVID-19 cases and pleased that Colorado is making progress toward lessening and eventually eliminating the pandemic. At the same time, we recognize that COVID remains a serious threat, and that we must continue to follow safety protocols to help ensure the safety of our students and staff.
Although many CollegeDrive locations are now open, most of our students are choosing to take their classes and tutoring via Zoom. Students who are not comfortable with Zoom-based instruction do have the option of taking their classes and tutoring sessions at a CollegeDrive location.
Students (and parents) entering CollegeDrive (DriveSafe) centers are still required to wear face coverings. To allow for social distancing we continue to limit the number classroom students, as appropriate, by location. Finally, we conduct temperature checks for all students.
We are gratified that, despite the pandemic, Colorado families continue to recognize the critical importance of preparing for the SAT and ACT, as well as keeping up with school coursework. We are also thankful to our incredible instructors and staff, all of whom have consistently provided outstanding service in the face of very challenging circumstances.
Here’s to higher test scores and bright futures.
Ben Baron, CEO
Update: September 21st, 2020
We hope the 2020-21 school year has gotten off to as smooth a start as possible for you and your family. With so much uncertainty around test dates and application requirements, we encourage you to reach out to CollegeDrive with your questions. For more than a decade, we have served as a trusted resource for Colorado parents, students and high schools. Never has it been more important that you get up-to-date, accurate information about your student’s college testing options.
For high school seniors, most colleges and universities have switched to test optional this year, meaning that students won’t be required to submit an SAT or ACT score with their applications. But test optional is not the same as “test blind.” We encourage seniors to prep for and take the SAT/ACT with the confidence that a strong score can help their chances for admission, but a weaker score will not hurt them.
For juniors and younger students, the test calendar will most likely return to normal in 2021, and most colleges will resume their traditional requirements (one notable exception is the University of California system, which will remain test optional for 2021 and 2022).
We are currently preparing students for upcoming SAT, PSAT and ACT test dates. Most students are opting for live classes and tutoring via Zoom, but some are choosing live, in-center options (which are following appropriate safety protocols including social distancing and required face covers). Please contact us so we can discuss the best options for your student.
Here’s to a safe year and your student’s success,
Ben Baron, CEO
Update: April 16th, 2020
First and foremost, I hope you and your loved ones remain healthy and safe.
I want to share with you the latest information we have regarding upcoming SAT and ACT test dates and CollegeDrive’s plans to continue fulfilling our mission of preparing our students for their future and helping them reach their greatest potential.
On Tuesday, April 14th, on what was supposed to be the Statewide SAT, CollegeDrive hosted SAT Day, where we provided a free, proctored (via Zoom) practice SAT to high school juniors from all over Colorado. Nearly 500 students participated in SAT Day and have already received their results. This is just one of the ways CollegeDrive is working to help students continue to strengthen their skills for their upcoming tests.
Yesterday, the College Board announced, as anticipated, that they have cancelled the June 6th SAT, which means that August 29th is the next scheduled SAT. The Colorado Department of Education has not yet announced its plans for making up the State SAT, but we anticipate it will take place in September, when schools are back in session.
CollegeDrive will be offering classes and tutoring throughout the Spring and Summer, currently via Zoom, and eventually back in our centers when it is safe. Our data shows that average score improvements are the same whether a student preps online or in a center. It is no surprise that we are seeing our students become increasingly comfortable with remote learning. Shortly, we will be announcing an exciting new service to help students prepare for their exams. Please stay tuned for that announcement!
We also encourage all students to become familiar with the ACT because we know that, for many, it is a better exam than the SAT. With the extended time window before the next SAT, this year presents a unique opportunity to prep for and take the ACT. The next two ACT test dates are scheduled for June 13 and July 18. We are closely monitoring the ACT and will notify you if these dates change.
Finally, we know how challenging it is for students to keep up with their schoolwork in the current environment. Relaxed grading standards may wind up masking students’ failure to grasp important concepts they will need to master for ongoing academic success. Academic tutoring can serve as a critical bridge from this school year to the next.
The world we inhabit today seems far different than it did just one month ago. CollegeDrive will continue to support our families through these challenging times. If you have questions or need any assistance, please reach out to us.
Ben Baron, CEO
Update: March 25th, 2020
Dear Baron Education (DriveSafe and CollegeDrive) Families,
Over the past 10 days, all of our lives have changed dramatically. I know this has impacted many of you and has led to quick changes to your teens’ schedules, quite often in the form of changed or cancelled lessons. To the extent that we gave little notice when making these changes or communicated them brusquely, I apologize. Our entire business is built around our positive relationship with our families, and we would never choose to put that at risk.
Like you, we have been dealing with the rapidly shifting landscape, and have had to do so in the 12 markets we serve, all governed by different municipalities, and many with conflicting guidelines. Most recently we were given less than 24 hours’ notice to shut down our centers.
Moving forward, we will endeavor to provide more constant communication with our families, and to do so in the positive manner befitting our company, whose sole mission is to prepare our students for their future and help them reach their greatest potential.
For DriveSafe, here’s where we stand: Our traditional 30-hour classroom course is now being offered live online via Zoom. We have completed one series of classes and are three days into the second (two more series are scheduled to complete the “Spring Break” cycle). In April and May, we will continue running live online classes on weekends and weeknights. Feedback from students, parents, and teachers has been extremely positive. In fact, our teachers have commented that student participation has been even greater than in our in-center classes! We fully expect to be running live in-center classes again by late May, if not sooner. We will keep you apprised.
For those of you whose driving lesson or license test had to be cancelled on short notice, we are sorry. We anticipate being able to resume lessons and tests in mid to late April. As soon as we are cleared to begin working with our students, we will let you know and start scheduling again.
For CollegeDrive, the school shutdowns have turned everyone’s plans upside down. Although we do not yet know the date that the State will administer the SAT, we do know it’s coming. Our recommendation to juniors is to sign up for the national test date on June 6th and or the ACT on June 13th as these dates will fill up fast.
Our best advice to juniors is to keep prepping! Preparing for standardized tests takes time; it is not like preparing for school tests where you might get by with cramming. Use the extra window of time before the exam wisely, and you will be paid off with a higher test score. As you may already know, all of our classes and tutoring have been converted to live online via Zoom.
Upcoming Express Prep classes will run via Zoom on the originally scheduled dates. Check the times as they may have changed . We’re very pleased to report that CollegeDrive’s average score improvements: 140 pts. SAT and 4 pts. ACT are the same online as they are in-person.
Finally, Academic Subject Tutoring might be a good option for students who will need to get through a lot of material, with less guidance than usual, over the next two months.
Thank you for being part of the Baron Education community. We appreciate that now more than ever. Here’s to a de-escalation of the public health crisis and the resumption of our normal lives. Until then, please stay healthy.
Ben Baron, CEO
Update: March 15th, 2020
Dear CollegeDrive Family,
Thank you for entrusting your student’s test prep and/or academic tutoring to CollegeDrive. We consider you and your student part of our CollegeDrive family, and we appreciate that you and your family are making thoughtful decisions about your activities with the recent news about COVID-19.
We, too, are monitoring the news. We will do everything possible to make sure your student can complete their prep and academic tutoring in a healthy environment. We want to ask your consideration and make you aware of options for you and your student.
First, please do not send your student to class or for tutoring sessions if they are not feeling well. We need to be especially respectful of the close quarters for students and instructors in our tutoring rooms and classrooms.
We have advised our instructors that during this time they can cancel tutoring sessions with a student who arrives visibly sick. Those sessions will be rescheduled. Our Managers will contact families for students who arrive to class visibly ill. We have advised our instructors as well to not to come in to work if they are ill.
Second, we offer Live Online Tutoring sessions where students can meet with the tutor from the safety and convenience of the student’s home. We use Zoom technology where the tutor and student can see one another and share a white board. If you would like to switch to a Live Online instructor, please call 720-496-2244.
During this crisis period, we are modifying our 24-hour cancellation policy to 6 hours for our in-Center tutoring sessions. We ask that you call or notify us at least 6 hours prior to any tutoring session to avoid a $35 cancellation fee. This will give us time to properly manage our instructor’s lesson time.
Our Center teams will be working actively to sanitize our facilities. Your student is welcome to bring any additional personal hygiene materials to increase their comfort.
We are confident that, if we work together, we will be able to provide high quality prep and academic tutoring in a positive and healthy learning environment.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact our team at 720-496-2244.
Ben Baron, CEO