Intro to Acing High School: 9th & 10th

For 9th and 10th Grade Students

Register and Pay for Introduction to Acing High School for 9th & 10th Grades (2018-19)

This year we will have four sections of our wildly popular, essential class for students who intend to Ace High School! Join us to for 8 weekend classes for two hours each. Includes time for both instruction and individualized problem-solving. Limit of twelve students per class.

  • Saturday Dates:
    2018:  Oct 13, Nov 10, Dec 15
    2019: Jan 12, Feb 16, Mar 16, Apr 13, May 18
  • Time: 2pm – 4pm or 4:30pm – 6:30pm


  • Sunday Dates:
    2018: Oct 14, Nov 11, Dec 16
    2019: Jan 13, Feb 17, Mar 17, Apr 14, May 19
  • Time: 2pm – 4pm or 4:30pm – 6:30pm


Click the green button to register and pay.


The main task for early high school students is to identify where they want to direct their efforts, and to find opportunities to start honing specialized abilities. In this class we start by learning about and  monitoring our study skills. Our goal: better grades in less time! Later in the class we design our individualized high school plans, learn about extracurricular opportunities by meeting extraordinarily accomplished high school seniors,  and plan for leadership in school and community service.

In this class, I explain how high school success is a like a three-legged chair, with three essential supports:

  1. Academics
  2. Character
  3. Skill Development (through both academic and extra-curricular activities)

Students work to define personal and extra-curricular strengths and making realistic plans with tangible steps to reach our goals. Start high school knowing how to study effectively to build your unique academic and extracurricular skills that will help you get into a quality college.

Study Skills

This course teaches study skills for students who want to learn more, have more fun, and earn better grades in less time. In our five two-hour meetings students will learn:

  • Academic personality assessment – Figure out your strengths and goals, then plan accordingly.
  • Time Management – Schedule efficiently so he can do more fun stuff and cure procrastination.
  • Note-Taking – Write down only the right info to save time on studying and papers.
  • Reading – Read even the toughest material without spacing out, and remember it.
  • Studying Effectively – Be half a step ahead in her classes so she can take an extracurricular trip if one comes up.
  • Multiple Choice vs. Essay vs. Math/Science Exam Strategies – Know what’s on the test before it’s announced.
  • Writing Papers – Learn to love huge assignments; anybody who doesn’t is doing it wrong.

We teach about sustainable academic success and motivation for students who want to keep up their excellent academic performance while taking their extracurricular interest to the next level. We continue to monitor study skill habits and effectiveness, but also learn about speaking skills, how to become everyone’s classroom favorite, leadership skills, and thinking about long-term goals.

Taught by Paul Rivas of Smith Rivas Academic Coaching and Counseling.



Thank you for teaching Emilie such important skills in a fun, engaging way. I know that, all year long, she has been implementing the study skills you taught her last summer. I just wanted to reaffirm how much she got out of those sessions with you.
– Maria Mahoney, parent of a successful college freshman

Paul Rivas had a great way of connecting with my daughter and really individualizing study skills and time management tips for her.
– Jane Carey, parent of a rising college freshman


paul_rivas_profile_pic-2x6of1ux63pdu7gxo4j7cw Smith Rivas Director Paul Rivas attended the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he triple majored in Math, Sociology, and Spanish, studied abroad, and worked 20-50 hours per week at an awesome job. Making the most of his college experience made it possible for him to be a radio host, English teacher, Math teacher, Spanish translator, writer, and stand-up comedian, travel to 40 countries, and start his own business.


I participated in the “Mentoring Your Teenager” seminar last summer. You are very knowledgeable and experienced. You know how to help parents to see what their kid’s passion is. You also help parents like to me to see the big picture of my kids’ next phase. This helped me to put all “the puzzles” together. I’m still benefiting from your seminar, thank you!
– Jennifer Fan