Educational Consultants for Help Choosing a School

Parent Q&A

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  • Hello, ISO an educational consultant that works well with families with neurodivergent kids. We are looking for the right fit elementary school in the Bay Area.

    Thank you for recommendations.

    Recommending Dr. Lisa White at Summit Center:

    We got her help last year to narrow in on best options for where to apply for one of our kids. It was extremely useful to already have in hand an extensive neuropsych evaluation report, and to have already done a bunch of thinking and research on area schools, because we wanted to squeeze her thoughts into a one-hour consult. However, I imagine that she could also walk a family more slowly through the process and that even sans evaluation, if you know your kid well, she could assist!

  • Have you worked with a consultant for private middle or high school that you really loved and would recommend?  Did you find the process of working with a consultant to be helpful and worthwhile (or did you think that you should have just done it on your own)?  Interested in hearing some perspectives. Thanks!

    We have recently confirmed our daughter’s acceptance to an all-girls boarding school in Connecticut for fall 2022 for 9th grade. This option had crossed our minds until we worked with Lisa Spengler.  (We’re quite familiar with boarding schools having sent our older kids to 2 different co-ed schools).  After a few separate zoom meetings with us and our daughter, she advised us on possible best-fit schools and walked us through the entire process.  We totally loved working with Lisa and  are very grateful for helping us find the best fit school for our daughter.   Please reach out to her lisa [at]

    Hi - I highly recommend Gail Berland in Berkeley. She was wonderfully helpful for my son when he wanted to transfer, in 10th grade, from a private high school on the Monterey Peninsula, to a more culturally diverse high school in Berkeley. Her many years of experience, as well as careful listening to him (as well as me :) helped him find an exceptionally good fit for his remaining high school years. 

    Website is

    I also highly recommend Gail's associate Tami Uecker for helping navigate the college gauntlet. While we did not need to use all her services, she had several sessions with my son and pointed him in the right direction.

    Yes! I highly recommend Angela Dumalig. She really knows her stuff and hopefully will save you lots of money too. She was enormously helpful to our family.

    I recommend Mallory, Ross, Baron, Kindler & Adeosun in San Francisco.  We worked with Amanda Mallory a few years ago to help us find a better high school for our son when the local public high school didn't meet his needs.  This group helps families with a whole spectrum of educational needs and it was worth the money we spent.  Our son went to a wonderful boarding school in California that allowed him to regain his confidence.

  • Our bright and artistic ADHD child is currently enrolled in a small private school. While we really love the strong and loving community, we don't feel his educational needs are being met. We are seriously considering switching schools and we don't know where to look. We would love a recommendation for an educational consultant who has experience with ADHD. There was an older post for Theresa Lozach but it looks like her website is down and her company is no more? Any and all recommendations for an educational consultant are truly appreciated.

    No responses received.

  • Private School Consultant

    Feb 26, 2018

    We did not grow up here, so are unfamiliar with the Private School system in the Bay Area. Our child is currently in a public elementary school, but we are consider going private for Middle/High school. I'm not looking for "the best" school. I just need one that is a great fit for our child. I'm looking for a consultant who can tell us what schools are out there, suggest a good fit for the strength and weaknesses of our child, and then help us apply and get in. If you can recommend a consultant or a service (even a series of workshops?), it would be greatly appreciated.  

    You need Theresa Lorzac'h! With our child's strengths and weaknesses in mind, she helped us pick the perfect school out of several private and public options, and she offered support throughout the entire process, helping with applications and timing. Good Luck!

    If your child is a student of color, definitely check out A Better Chance. It's a fantastic organization and it's FREE!

  • We are new to the area and have an elementary school aged child with dyslexia and ADHD. We are looking for names of reputable Educational Advocates or consultants. Any ideas would really helpful!

    Jane Ashley is SUPER. She was an absolute life saver for my dyslexic son with mild ADHD, who could not read a simple three letter word half way in third grade, and a year and a half later was reading AT GRADE level!.  She just quit her part time job at her school district so she can devote more time to really helping Dyslexic students. She is very active in the Statewide Dyslexia Association too.  She works from her home in South Berkeley where she has tons of materials she uses. Run and get a spot! Her phone number is (510) 601-9780. My friend who had older dyslexic students referred me to her and I practically parked on her lawn until she accepted my son.

We had both a daughter and son who wanted to leave their current schools (which were quite small). They both opted for boarding schools in the East. We used an excellent private high school placement counselor (Christine Southgate, Nextstep) who found schools that had openings for their gender and grade. In the case for our daughter, it was the 2nd or 3rd week of August before 11th grade when she decided she didn't want to go back to her current school.  Within a week Christine found 7 schools in the east and arranged for us to visit and interview. We got on a plane, traveled to all the schools, and by their start date right after Labor Day weekend, she was in a new school. We used her again with our son, who in March of 9th grade, decided he didn't like his current school, and we had more choices and he went to the new school for 10th grade.

Archived Q&A and Reviews


RE: Which Albany Kindergarten?

Feb 2012

We recently went through the craziness of choosing a school for our son who will enter kindergarten in the fall, so I feel your pain! While I can't speak specifically to the Albany choices, I recommend you contact Theresa Lozach. She is an educational consultant. I first talked with her by phone and then met with her in person, and both interactions were all I hoped they would be. We were struggling with the many schools, the many things to consider, the many ways of looking at what's right for our child, and she brought us such calm and clarity. She really helped us sort out the facts and our feelings and guided us in choosing a school that matches both our goals and our son's personality and needs. She has many years of experience, so much passion for her work, loads of useful information, and best of all a real understanding of what it's like to be in this process! Check out her blog (http://beyondqualityco...) and give her a call. You'll be glad you did! Happy Parent


Need Help with High School Selection

Dec 2011

We need some guidance and help with looking at high schools. It is so overwhelming. Can you recommend someone to help us. Have you ever heard of Gail Berland or Amanda Mallory? Please send your recommendations. thanks! Middle School Mom

Amanda Mallory is very experienced and professional, in addition to kind. She was an immense to us when we were looking into alternative highschools for our son who was struggling at the time. I can't say enough wonderful things about her. HTH Grateful mom

Help pinpointing best school for 1st grader

Nov 2009

We need someone to help us. Our son is in first grade in a bilingual school (this is his 4th year, has been there since pre-K). While his language acquisition is great, it is becoming clear to us that the school's learning approach is not a good match for our son. He is very interested in science and hands on work (a kinesthetic learner), and the emphasis in the program is on language acquisition and verbal engagement (auditory learning). We are considering moving him to a different school -- but the thought of navigating the search for private schools in Oakland is extremely daunting. We were hoping that we could get a recommendation for an education consultant -- someone who really knows about learning and Oakland schools -- who could help us pinpoint the private schools that might be the best fit for our son. Any recommendations would be much appreciated! Help us find a school for our hands on learner!

We were so lucky to have found Ethan Ris from another parent on the newsletter. I have talked to some other consultants but found that Ethan to be the most reasonable and helpful. Yes he looks very young, but he has been in the business for quite a few years and has a good connection and understanding with teenagers. He answers calls/emails quickly. We used his Diagnostic Evaluation package but he went beyond. He gave great tips on essay ideas and strategies on why my son should apply certain schools and why to avoid others. He is warm hearted and always willing to help. If it's anything quick, he'd help you even without charge. For us, he read and commended on my son's essays and answered our ''emergency'' questions (i am sure you will have one or two of those in the last minute) how to fill application forms. His fees are very reasonable and he does not just watch his clock and to count the fees. He goes to your home to meet the child and parents, that's another big plus. his website and contact info is in google. i think he does hourly rate too which is really reasonable in the bay area. good luck to you! we have another child who will need such advisor in a couple of years. we will definitely use his service again. you can contact me for any other questions.

Seeking consultant to help select private school

Dec 2008

We would like to move our energetic third-grader to private school, and are searching for a consultant who can help advise us. Any recommendations? DC

I would highly recommend Nancy Blum. She's lived in the Bay Area most of her life, raised her children in Marin and knows all the principals and schools throughout the Bay Area. Her background is in education and she's been an educational consultant for many years. She's absolutely lovely! She really listens to what you're looking for, what your child's interests are, and understands best ''fit''. She can be reached at 415-435-2414. Best of luck to you. Dana