Karen Grites, M.S.
Karen has assessed over 1000 students and trained over 4000 teachers over her career spanning the last 35 years. As a special education teacher for 18 years and as a California mentor teacher she recognized that far too many struggling learners never qualified for the services they needed to learn more effectively and efficiently. Her experience includes diagnosis and remediation of reading difficulties, executive functioning and non-verbal learning challenges as well as ameliorating the impact of inattention on struggling students. As a clinical diagnostician and head of the learning disability department she observed a similar pattern when she led the School Age Diagnostic teams during her 25 years of service at Children’s Health Council.
Hundreds of children who struggled with learning continued to fall between the cracks of the public school system. The common theme for many of the children was that the number and severity of their deficits did not meet the requirements to obtain services- there was no mention of the many strengths these children possessed and no plan for leveraging those toward greater success. Looking back on those children who eventually became successful, the factor related to obtaining special education services or specialized placement was far less important than harnessing their strengths and leveraging those to support learning challenges and guide choices about academic and career planning. Karen is a regular presenter of Parent Education topics around the San Francisco bay area related to learning and is a National Faculty member of the All Kinds of Minds Institute; a leader in brain research and learning.
Kristin France, M.A.
Kristin holds a master’s degree in special education and is a national faculty member of the Schools Attuned program for teachers. She has been in private practice eleven years and specializes in middle and high school student support across all curricular areas ( science, math, language arts). Teen age students benefit from her coaching which has the goal of empowering them toward independence and paving the way for success in college. Creativity and strength to strategy application are hallmarks of her work with students with whom she embraces an easy collegial interaction style. She meets her students wherever they are, holding a vision of success that at times even they or their parents cannot imagine! SAT testing and college documentation evaluations are offered through a strength based perspective but employ the guidelines of the college board.
LearningWisely’s mission is to empower students through their strengths.
LearningWisely provides a number of services that are all infused with a strength based approach: direct one to one assessment and education therapy to students, parent education, teacher professional development based upon All Kinds of Minds Institute and web based Strength to Strategy plans.
LearningWisely translates brain research about learning to focus on student strengths within a composite learning profile. Too often the weaknesses in that profile obscure the power hidden in a learner’s strengths. Health care and special education funding are often tied to that kind of a deficit model and demand that a child be reduced to a diagnostic label based upon what is not working for them. Remediation of weaknesses can be a costly and often futile effort and does little to help a child taste success, understand their learning strengths and harness essential skills that will take them into successful college majors and career choices that are based upon what they love and do well!
To accommodate schedules and provide flexible options for services, Karen and Kristin often use a team approach to insure continuity for students and access to respective areas of expertise.