Elite Educational Coaching

Specializing in enrichment, test prep, writing, and high-school & college admissions

Congratulations to my students in the class of 2015 on their admission to U Penn (early decision), Northwestern, Univ of Chicago, Cornell, Georgetown, Pomona, Wash U (St. Louis), UC Berkeley, UCLA, USC, U Mich (Honors Program), Case Western (University Scholar merit scholarships), Washington & Lee, and UW-Madison!

Harvard-trained professional & former Harvard instructor
  •      A.B., magna cum laude & Phi Beta Kappa, Harvard University
  •      J.D., cum laude, Harvard Law School
  •      Former McKinsey & Co. management consultant and Ropes & Gray lawyer
  •      Insightful, analytical, supportive coaching on test prep and admissions, informed by over a decade of experience with hundreds of students
Small-group workshops and private coaching
  •      SAT, ACT, and PSAT prep
  •      High-school entrance-exam prep (Core Skills for grades 6-8): Chicago Public Schools selective enrollment exam, NWEA MAP, PARCC, ISAT, ISEE & SSAT (for private schools and boarding schools), HSPT (for Catholic schools), Terra Nova, 
  •      Enrichment for grades 4-6 (Greek mythology, reading, writing, math)
  •      College admissions workshops (including personal essay workshops)
E-mail me if you are interested in workshops (PSAT, SAT, and ACT prep for grades 9-11); high-school entrance exam prep for grades 6-8; academic enrichment for grades 4-5; or private coaching sessions.

News and announcements

6/20/15: Summer is the best time of year (and for many students, the only time of year) for serious vocabulary work. Read my latest blog post for advice, tips, and recommended vocabulary books and materials.

5/2/15: Juniors and parents of juniors, take a look at my blog post offering specific recommendations and tips on how to plan your college application work this summer.  

5/1/15: On May 29 and 30, I will give two recitals in Reykjavik, Iceland -- one at the Residence of the US Ambassador, and the other at the Culture House in downtown Reykjavik.

4/26/15: The Chicago Bar Association Symphony Orchestra, of which I am concertmaster, performed at Orchestra Hall (Symphony Center).

4/25/15: This afternoon, I will be performing at a salon concert under the auspices of the Musicians Club of Women, of which I am an active member.

4/24/15: The Chicago Tribune's classical-music critic, John von Rhein, has listed my orchestra's April 26 concert as one of his recommended concerts this weekend.

4/23/15: Today I gave a PED (Payton Educational Dialogues) talk at Walter Payton College Prep in Chicago, speaking to 100 students about what management consultants actually do.  I worked as a consultant at McKinsey & Company in New York after graduating from college.

4/22/15: Come hear and see the Chicago Bar Association Symphony Orchestra, of which I am concertmaster, perform at Orchestra Hall (Symphony Center) in downtown Chicago this Sunday, April 26, at 7:30 PM. Details here

1/26/14: I've just posted the dates and times of SAT prep workshops in February and March. E-mail me if you would like to sign up for these small-group classes.

12/5/14: Read my latest blog posts (advice for students who took the PSAT or ACT Plan/Aspire in October) at sarasujones.wordpress.com.

9/5/14: I will be giving a recital on Friday, October 3, at 12:10 PM at Fourth Presbyterian Church on Michigan Avenue. Free admission. Details here.

8/27/14: I have updated the list of PSAT, SAT, and ACT workshops that I will offer this fall.  E-mail me if you would like to sign up for these classes.

7/18/14: Students are already making reservations for private coaching sessions during the summer of 2015. E-mail me if you would like to work with me next summer; I can accommodate a limited number of private students each summer.

7/17/14: I've posted the final schedule of summer Core Skills Workshops, which will help rising 7th and 8th graders prepare for high-school entrance exams.

7/10/14: I've posted the final schedule of summer PSAT, SAT, and ACT Prep Workshops.

6/19/14: I've posted the schedule and descriptions of summer PSAT, SAT, and ACT Prep Workshops.

6/1/14: To mark the end of my first decade as an educational coach, I launched my blog and Twitter account.

5/31/14: Chicagoist.com featured a photo of me performing on the violin at Make Music Chicago.

April 2014: Congratulations to my seniors who were admitted to Brown, Cornell, University of Chicago, Wash U, Northwestern, Carleton, Pomona, Wellesley, University of Michigan, and Case Western (Presidential Scholarship), among other schools!

4/8/14:  All students applying to CPS selective-enrollment high schools must now take the NWEA MAP, an adaptive computer-based test based on rigorous Common Core standards. Rising 8th graders who attend private or parochial schools will have to take the NWEA MAP this Sept/Oct

Current 7th graders who attend public schools will take the NWEA MAP in late April or early May, at their peak of preparedness during the school year.  To succeed on the NWEA MAP, private-school students will have to overcome the challenges of (a) summer learning loss, b) lack of experience with Common Core standards and content, and (c) lack of familiarity with the NWEA MAP and with adaptive computer-based testing more generally.  Thus, it will be critically important for current 7th graders at private or parochial schools to use the summer months to strengthen their math and reading skills and to gain familiarity with the substance and style of the NWEA MAP. E-mail me if you are interested in having your child work with me this summer, either in small-group workshops in August or in private coaching sessions, to prepare for the Sept/Oct NWEA MAP.

3/10/14:  Three of my students were admitted to Groton School, a highly selective boarding school in Groton, MA.
This year's Groton admit rate was 12%.

8/4/13: I gave a violin and voice recital, together with pianist Tatyana Stepanova, at the Cabrini Shrine in Chicago as part of the "Music in the Shrine" concert series.

7/25/13: I gave a solo violin recital on the main stage at Harpa Concert Hall, the home of the Iceland Symphony Orchestra in Reykjavik, for an audience of 600. Pianist Dennis Moore accompanied me.

3/21/13: CBS Chicago named me one of the "Best Local Female Musicians" in Chicago.

2/21/13: I spoke at Northwestern University Law School as a member of a panel on alternative careers.

1/13/13: 98.7 WFMT broadcast a performance by the St. James Cathedral Choir, in which I sang.

10/22/12: I performed on the violin at Preston Bradley Hall (Chicago Cultural Center).

8/17/12: 98.7 WFMT (wfmt.com) broadcast a performance of the Brahms Requiem by the St. James Cathedral Choir, in which I sang.