General Tips & Advice for Parents during COVID-19

The impact of COVID-19 has affected everyone in different ways, but most parents of K-12 students are experiencing similar issues. Whether it’s teaching your student what they didn’t fully understand in the classroom, online, or figuring out how to manage your work-life when your child is home multiple days a week, it’s been especially hard for families. Because the pandemic has no clear end in sight, ConnectPrep has created a list of tips for parents to help cope with these new and challenging times. Be sure to check back next week for a similar blog directed to students which will include our full resource guide. This guide will not only provide them with supplemental materials to facilitate their learning, but it will also take some of the burden off of you as a “part-time homeschool teacher”!


     1. Check-in with your student

Make sure your child has the resources they need to succeed. Have conversations with them about their study habits and how school is going. Do they have a quiet place to study? Are they getting distracted often? Are they completing their assignments on time? Because teachers are interacting with students less often, it’s important to see how your child is doing and ensure that they’re getting the most out of their education. 

     2. Talk with other parents

Everyone is going through the same situation right now which means you’re not alone. Reach out to parents in your area for advice. Each family is dealing with the impacts of COVID-19 in different ways which means there are lots of ideas out there which have yet to be heard. Parents might have good solutions to the new complexities around school like getting extra help, balancing your work schedule with your child’s schooling, or assisting with homework assignments. Don’t be afraid to reach out because all parents are in a similar boat. Local groups on Facebook or Nextdoor can be a good place to start. Also, reach out to your PTA for other ideas and activities that can help connect you to your community.

     3. Speak with your child’s teacher or school counselor

Like parents and students, teachers are going through this for the first time as well. If you have any recommendations or ideas which could help your student (and others), speak up! Teachers and counselors are responsible for the education and comfort of many students, and nobody knows what these students are going through better than you. Tell the school what is working well for your child and what is not. Chances are, other students and parents have similar perspectives and thoughts. 

     4. Empathize with your child

Being a kid today is a lot different than when you grew up. Let them know that you understand their frustrations and offer to talk about them. Acknowledge the fact that times are tough and think about talking to them about how COVID-19 is affecting your life too. It’s important that they understand that they’re not alone. 

     5. Think about the future

Some days, there might not be that much going on. Compared to a normal school year, many students (and parents) have less activities or obligations to attend. Since there is more time on our hands, think about setting long-term goals for you or your student. Bring up the idea of applying to a job or an internship, starting their college search early, or getting a head start on SAT/ACT test prep. Even if it isn’t academic-related, goals like preparing for a 5K, writing a song, or building a surfboard are great ways to be productive and make use of the extra time we might have.

     6. Enjoy family time

Being home on a computer all day can be exhausting for both students and parents. Set aside time away from the computer screen and get together as a family. Try cooking dinner together or making a tasty dessert. Board games, movie nights, or kicking around a soccer ball are all activities which can be done as a family and help clear your mind and relax. Even though your family is at home together more often than before, it is important to create time where everyone can come together as a family and spend time with one another.

ACT Essay


ACT Reading

New SAT Reading

Connor Barth

IT Team
Connor is a senior Electrical Computer Engineering student at the University of Rochester. He is currently employed as a IT Consultant at the Simon Business School. His main interests include computer technology and wireless communications. As the son of a college professor Connor not only enjoys the benefits of an engaged educational experience, but also understands the importance of learning and finding the correct educational environment. Connor looks forward to using his skills, passion and experience to help the ConnectPrep team succeed.

Yiyuan Wu

Data Analyst Team
I graduated from University of Kentucky with a bachelor’s degree in applied mathematics. I have tutored Algebra and Calculus I for undergraduate students throughout my undergraduate years. I am currently studying statistics at Rutgers University. I have a deep passion for education and believe that my mathematical and statistical skills can help improve the quality of education greatly.

Sam Callis

Social Media Team
Sam is a junior at the University of Rochester studying History with a minor in English literature. He has a deep passion for education and hopes to work in the field for the rest of his life.

Borja Rojo

Development Team
Borja Rojo is an Electrical and Computer Engineer at the University of Rochester, ’17, and also studies Computer Science and Audio Engineering. He has a passion for starting projects from the ground up and becomes inspired from reverse-engineering many kinds of systems. Now, he is helping design a portable ultrasound system to help with medical imaging on-the-go. Apart from his academics, you might see him designing a video game or recording his latest song. Here at ConnectPrep, he will be working on creating a web-based platform that automatically generates questions for students to study with and practice their skills.

Philip Fenimore

Development Team
Philip is an undergraduate at the University of Rochester studying Computer and Electrical Engineering. He enjoys realizing ideas through coding, like creating a 3d interactive environment with C# and modeling complex mathematical systems with Matlab. Philip is excited to work for ConnectPrep, using his set of skills to maximum effect on the data analytics team.

David Giannella

Development Team
David is attending the University of Rochester, pursuing a BS in Physics and Astronomy as well as a minor in Computer Science. He has gained knowledge of a number of programming topics including application development, data structures, and rendering. David is eager to use his programming skills to help ConnectPrep vault onto the web.

Matt Dombroski

Development Team
Matthew currently attends the University of Rochester studying for a degree in Computer and Electrical Engineering. He loves to design and build anything that catches his interest, from using only digital logic chips to construct a calculator or verilog code to design and test a CPU. He has also lead one week long science camps for the past two years, teaching young kids the basics of chemistry, physics, and electricity. Matthew is excited to put his talents and interests to use in helping implement the data analytics and graphics engines for ConnectPrep.

Jon Aho

Development Team
Jon is a Electrical and Computer Engineering student at the University of Rochester. He’s been coding for nearly 7 years, and has a number of comprehensive software and hardware projects under his belt. Currently employed as a Research Fellow at his university, he also works at implementing the ConnectPrep Analytics website.

Jon Aho

Development Team
Jon is a Electrical and Computer Engineering student at the University of Rochester. He’s been coding for nearly 7 years, and has a number of comprehensive software and hardware projects under his belt. Currently employed as a Research Fellow at his university, he also works at implementing the ConnectPrep Analytics website.

Deanna Thompson

Data Analyst Team

Deanna recently graduated from the University of Rochester with a BS in chemical engineering and legal studies minor. During her time as an undergraduate, she served as a writing tutor, speaking tutor, trained prospective tutors, and eventually served as the tutoring group’s president. Deanna is excited to work for ConnectPrep, continue to assist the tutoring process, and use her engineering background to help develop ConnectPrep’s analytic programs.

Jason Altabet

Analytics and Social Media Team

Jason has always had a thirst for education, whether it be for himself or for others. He is currently training to be a public speaking tutor for his university colleagues and, in addition, plays a central role on the Committee for Political Engagement, where he works to educate the student body on all matters political. At ConnectPrep he serves as the point man for social media, but when he gets the chance likes to try his hand at everything from analytics programming to web development. In his spare time you can expect to find him practicing fake law as a member of his school’s mock trial team, promoting class council initiatives, or working on his soccer “skills.” Jason currently attends the University of Rochester, majoring in Economics and Political Science.

Scott Luntz

IT Team
Scott is a senior at Purdue University studying Cybersecurity.He works with the IT team and has a passion for Internet security and threat detection. His goal is to use his knowledge in information technology to improve vulnerability analysis and fix any potential cyber issue before it becomes a problem.

Michelle Fine

Director of Operations
Michelle spent several years of her career in the fashion industry, learning about emerging trends in marketing and various aspects of planning a wholesale business. Michelle has had several opportunities to work directly with students, and her most recent transition into the field of education was inspired by her devotion to investing in the future of our youth and the fulfillment she experiences in this pursuit. She is eager to bring her experience and skill set to ConnectPrep to help all students reach new heights. Michelle graduated from the University of Florida with honors.

Kevin Bretthauer

Kevin is the co-founder of Connect Prep, specializing in technology and online services. Kevin is an Oregon native and Stanford University graduate. He has years of experience working in sales and marketing in the petroleum industry and has managed projects involving the promotion of bio-fuels and emissions reducing products. When he’s not working, Kevin enjoys playing golf, traveling, and watching college football. He has a passion for education as well as creating interactive educational software that will be able help more students reach their educational goals.

Jeremy Fine


Jeremy is our education guru. He has years of experience working as an educator with students of all ages, using cutting-edge academic and test-prep curricula to take learning to a new level. He has helped students score in the top percentiles on SAT’s, ACT’s, and receive top marks in many academic subjects. He brings a wealth of knowledge to our company, with a dynamic vision for innovation and market growth. Jeremy earned a BA from Washington University in St. Louis and an MPA from the University of Pittsburgh.

Overview of New SAT changes: