The school has two part-time counselors who are on campus daily. The counselors provide office hours for individual student or parent visits. They also hold weekly grade level (6-8) “lunch clubs” that are open to all middle school students. These clubs provide a healthy, safe and respectful venue for discussing school and life topics germane to young people and students in our school.
In addition, the school engages three other counselors. One sponsors a weekly “Girls’ Club,” one a “Boys’ Club,” and one a “Diversity Club” for middle school students. These clubs touch on social dynamics, student relationships, and other topics that middle school students navigate on a daily basis.
The head of school, head of middle school, head school counselor and school chaplain share responsibility for teaching FOCUS classes (grades 6-8), which meet each week. Each of these adults brings his/her own personal perspective and position to bear in discussing a variety of topics. Discussions touch on topics that range from adolescent drug use to teen angst as well as decision-making, ethics and pertinent school and greater world issues.
The head school counselor also offers a thirty-minute class each seven-day rotation for grades K-5. These classes focus on positive development of students’ feelings, social relationships and behavior management. In addition, the counselor, along with the learning specialists, offers a monthly lunch club (grades 1-5) for students with diverse learning needs. These clubs offer student support, celebration of successes, and brainstorming opportunities for academic struggles.
Early adolescence is a time of immense brain development cognitively, emotionally and socially. At the same time, adolescents begin to encounter newer cultural realities and group bonding pressure as they move away from the comfort and structure of home. Each trimester, Trending with Teens will take a brief look at an issue or challenge that middle school and high school students in Denver, Colorado, and nationally are facing. The goal is to raise parental awareness of these issues and to provide strategies and resources for guiding your teen through these challenges.