For basic information about our tutorial programs and how they work, please read the page “How to Make the Most of Your Tutorials/ What to Expect” on the lower scroll menu.


Q. When do classes “meet”?  What if I can’t get online at the right time?

A. Except in the case of upcoming webinars, there is no meeting time, as our courses and tutorials work asynchronously.   When your assignments or submissions are ready, you simply email your writing to us (preferable in a Microsoft Word attachment). If you have questions, you may email those to us as well, and Mary will respond within 72 hours.

Q.  What is the program used for tutorials and how do we store and organize our different drafts of papers?

A.  We use Microsoft Word in the review setting for in-text teacher comments; we can also send tutorials as a PDF file, so that families who may not have recent Word program will not encounter any difficulties.    Please let us know if you prefer PDF format; otherwise your tutorials will be sent as Word attachments.    To simplify storage and organization of drafts, Mary will “paste” each new draft into the same document, so that previous drafts remain handy.    Therefore, except in instances of very long works, only one file will be used per project.

Q. How do conferences and “Skype” tutorials work?

A.  Every tutorial student or family is encouraged to participate in one complimentary Skype or telephone conference with Mary, in order to discuss your goals and tutorial plans.    Additional conferences may be arranged for an extra cost ($45 per half hour; $75 per hour) for students who want extra guidance at any point during their tutorial process.

Families who prefer a more traditional, “face-to-face” tutorial format may opt to do their tutorials on Skype.   Skype sessions do, however, require that the student can use googledocs, so that student and teacher can synchronously share drafts or exercises during the session.

Q. If I do not live in the United States, will I still be able to participate in the tutorials? 

A. Absolutely.

Q. How private will my writing assignments be? 

A. All student writing goes directly to your instructor.   We will never make any writing public without the author’s permission.

Q. Can I email my instructor directly? What if I want to call or Skype? 

A. Yes, email is the primary communication tool for these tutorials.  We make every effort to get comments and feedback on tutorial assignments back to the student within 72 hours.   In order to protect the instructor’s privacy, phone calls are not typically permitted (outside of previously scheduled “conference hour”) but may be granted in unusual circumstances.

Q. I want to write a book based on my life or a fictional novel. Is this something you can help me with? 

A. Yes.  The Chase Hill School works with students in any genre and with students of all ages from 10 years old and up who are prepared for intensive writing courses.

Q. I know the kind of writing I want to focus on. Can I just sign up? 

A. Even if you know what kind of writing you want to concentrate on, you should complete the questionnaire for new families and submit a writing sample;  discussing your specific objectives with Mary is also a good idea, in order to ensure a shared understanding of your goals.

Q. What if I can’t get an assignment completed in time.

A. Late assignments are always accepted, as long as the member family’s account is in good standing.   Since tutorials are scheduled  either once a week or twice a month, the only “cost” of turning in an assignment late is that you may end up missing one of your  tutorial sessions for that month.

Q. What if I have computer problems and can’t get on the internet?

A. Because all communication in these tutorials is asynchronous, you can access assignments at any time. Likewise, you can work on them at your pace and submit them at any time as well.

Because you can work on your assignment offline, brief service interruptions should not be a problem.   If for some reason you are affected by access issues, you should let us know. While we won’t be able to fix your hardware or software problems, we may be able to suggest alternative solutions to getting your assignment in. Ultimately, maintenance of your system is your responsibility. If your system failure forces you to drop out of a course or program, our standard refund policy will be applied (see Registration Policies for details).

Q. Do I need any special hardware or software to participate in tutorial? 

A. In order to participate fully in courses and tutorials, you will need a personal computer with a microphone and an internet browser, email, Skype and Googledocs access.   Please let us know if you cannot meet these requirements; we may be able to create a workaround.

Q. What if I already own a textbook that I want to use—will Mary work with our textbook too?   

A. Tutorial students are always welcome to use their own texts and their own assignments; it’s helpful if you can let Mary know what sort(s) of text and assignments you have in mind during your introductory conference.

While Mary is open to using whatever assignments work for tutorial students, she cannot adopt a particular textbook or set of unique terms for each of her students.  Mary uses standard terms in her lessons and comments, and provides explanations for concepts that may be new to her students, so while the idea of needing to share a text is often a concern for new families, it has never actually been necessary.

Q. Do I have to buy a textbook? 

A. No. Typically any content required for tutorial programs will not come from a text but will be written by the instructor with your needs in mind.   Texts are occasionally required for courses, however; in such cases, we do not sell the book but rather leave it up to our students whether and where they want to purchase or borrow it out from their local library.

Q. What is the cancellation policy? Can I get a refund? 

A. Yes, refunds of up to one month’s tuition are possible: please see the “Registration Policy” for more information.