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Health and Wellness

The Health and Wellness faculty recognize the dynamic and unique nature of the Middle School student. The changes in physical appearance through often rapid muscular/skeletal growth and hormonal influences effecting the beginning or progression of puberty challenges the 11 to 14 year old to master his/her body in seemingly constant ways. At the same time cognitive changes find her more able to think abstractly, reason morally and advance her desire to solve “real life problems.” His desire and even need for peer friendships, approval and acceptance can be overwhelming. Her desire for independence can also feel overwhelming; his need for self identity and defining of self– the adolescent’s most important task– can result in personal turmoil and tension at home. The egocentrism and “feeling invincible” reality for most adolescents cannot be denied.

But wait! The Middle Schooler is also fun loving, expansive in her thinking and empathetic. He probably loves competitive sports and a good debate.Through a variety of programs inserted throughout the year we strive to help and guide the 6th and 7th grader to a better understanding of herself  and all that makes up his world. Our school counselor and health educator hold seminar style interactive sessions with students. Community resources may also be invited to engage our students in self discovery. This year for example our 7th graders will be attending a series of presentations with a Vera House educator addressing healthy relationships and communication. The conversations and activities will involve our students in thinking about bullying and harassment.

Course for Graduation Credit 

First or Second Semester

(The semester this course is taken is determined when schedules are created.)

Health and Wellness 10

This course emphasizes the consequences, both positive and negative, of personal choices, decisions, and behaviors. Students learn about the impacts of controllable factors on long-term health and wellness, and they improve their understanding of the external influences on their ideas and opinions. The study of nutrition, exercise, sleep, hydration, reproductive health (including discussion and activities related to contraceptive methods and abstinence), stress management, and healthy relationships form the core of the course. As the course progresses, students gain an appreciation of how the health of the mind, body, and spirit reinforce one another. On occasion, speakers from health-related community agencies present to and facilitate the class. Students acquire CPR/AED certification through this course.

Required Course

First Semester

Upper School Seminar 9

Upper School Seminar aims to help ninth graders feel positively about themselves and live a healthy lifestyle while learning effectively in the Upper School. In doing so, it exposes ninth graders to the strategies, skills, habits, and mindsets that can help them gain more control over their Upper School academic experience. In this course, students practice and reflect on keeping track of and prioritizing assignments; planning ahead; exercising self-awareness as learners (metacognition); asking good questions and contributing to class; independently expanding their knowledge base; and recognizing their potential for growth. In once-a-cycle class meetings, a key point of emphasis involves redefining appropriate academic goals for Upper School students by giving more attention to the process by which they go about learning and less attention to specific outcomes.