11.1 – Q & A with Annie Sullivan, Program Director of Intelligentsia tutoring company!



Q:  Please tell our readers all about the Intelligentsia Tutoring Co.


A: Intelligentsia is a full-service tutoring company offering tailored academic tutoring for all subjects, high school admissions assistance, expert test prep, and the very best college admissions consulting. Our goal is not merely to transmit information, but to transform the way students tackle their studies. We have particular expertise in working with NYC independent school and specialized high school students.


Q: We are in this new school world…. How do you think your company can be most helpful to our parents and children?


A: Our strength has always been meeting students where they are and putting them on a trajectory to succeed. This is particularly important this year when their learning not only looks different, but their ability to focus, organize, and be self-sufficient learners may be greatly impacted. We can be most helpful by responding to individuals’ academic needs in a customized way to address any deficit caused by remote learning with individualized support to bridge gaps, while also helping with time management and executive functioning.


Q: Will you be doing PODS? Please explain 


A: We’re hosting small-group test prep courses, which are essentially pods. Only 5-8 students per class, so that scholars still get individualized attention while parents get a cost savings. And while we’re not playing matchmaker for overarching education pods, we are providing instructors for pods, creating custom curricula for pods, and consulting on pod formation, best practices, and enrichment.


Q: Where do you get your tutors from? How do you vet them?


A: Our tutors are the best. What happens most often is that we get referrals from current tutoring staff or personal connections in the education world and then I make sure they have at least four to five years of previous teaching or tutoring experience. I also look for tutors who have additional curricular development or enrichment backgrounds, because it speaks to their ability to teach not just their own mastery of a subject. For high school or advanced work, I generally require graduate or postgraduate degrees from top tier universities.


Q: What is the pricing? Are there different pricing options, please explain 


A: Our pricing ranges widely based on the experience and expertise of our tutors and reflects our tutors’ commitment to educating the whole student. This year, we’ve added more tutors in an effort to offer our services to a wider array of clients.


Q: Will the tutoring do be online, during zoom sessions? 


A: We’ve been primarily remote (Zoom, Hangouts, Skype, FaceTime) since mid-March, but have recently begun sending some tutors in-person if the client requests it.


Q: How did you come up with the idea for your much-needed company today?


A: Intelligentsia started with the desire to fill the gap between what schools offer and what students absorb. After many years of working as educators for universities, private schools, and tutoring companies, our founders Hilda and Matt Seidman began tutoring on their own, intent on improving the very notion of what it meant to hire a tutor. We take a holistic approach to tutoring, addressing not only academics but mental and emotional health. This approach was inspired by Hilda (a practicing psychoanalyst) and Matt’s first-hand experience of discovering the quasi-therapeutic relationship between tutor and scholar and their recognition that effective academic tutoring meant being able to navigate social/familial dynamics and help manage stress.


Q: Do you have tutors that specifically work with children with special learning issues? Please elaborate


A: Yes! We have select members of our tutoring team who have multiple years of experience working with students with a variety of learning differences or special learning requirements. We also have a learning specialist on staff who is available to consult with parents and students on the most effective use of tutoring, understanding your IEP, and how to advocate for your child’s unique needs to both teachers and in school environments.


Q: How long are the tutoring sessions? How many times a week do you recommend?


A: It really depends on the age of the student and the subject but consistency is key and we want to make sure students have enough time to fully understand the concepts they’re working through. For high school, the ideal schedule is at least two 90-minute sessions each week and we’ve actually found that virtual sessions are slightly more efficient, so even 60-minute sessions are effective right now. For elementary school students, sessions are no longer than 60 minutes and in some cases, we’ll do 30-minute sessions multiple times a week.


Q: Please tell our readers anything else that you want them to know about your amazing, much-needed company… 


A: So glad you asked! We’ve actually just announced a few new offerings that we would love to tell all the DivaMoms about. The first is Remote Education Managers, tutors that oversee your student’s daily time management, assignment tracking, teacher communication, and technological assistance needs. They’ll check-in strategically throughout the day or week to ensure learning stays efficient and on track while allowing you to focus on your own work. The second new offering is a college application critique that allows students to get feedback from our experts on their completed applications. And the third is our small-group test prep courses that we mentioned previously. We’ve also provided tutors for all kinds of things over the years: computer programming, grad school applications, lighting design portfolios, songwriting, and nutrition, just to name a few.


Q: What is the best way to get in touch with you (please give your email, phone number and any other information)


A: You can reach me, Annie, directly by calling (347) 201-1897 or emailing annie@intelligentsianyc.com You can also visit up online at inelligentsianyc.com and check us out on Twitter and Instagram at @intelligentNYC.