This course fosters community, develops social skills, builds character, and provides opportunities to discuss adolescent concerns and have fun. The class meets once during the seven-day rotation. To promote sharing and involvement, the groups are smaller than a regular class (approximately 10 6th-graders to a group). Texts consulted for Choices include the following: The First Honest Book About Lies by John Kincher, What Do You Stand For: A Kid’s Guide To Building Character by Barbara Lewis, and Let’s Get Real published by the Respect for All Project.
Students interact with speakers from the local and school community who are invited to present on an array of topics related to health and wellness. The class covers a broad range of topics, from adolescent brain development to alcohol to gaming addiction to internet safety. Students participate in group research projects, and student presentations are part of almost every lesson presented.
Self-Science class is a continuum of a school wide philosophy that focuses on promoting self-reflection, core values and ethical behavior. It is a cooperative effort amongst the educators to create a structured, consistent, and safe space for discussing or doing activities related to social/emotional growth. It is built on an understanding of the moral, emotional, physical, cognitive and psychological dimensions of the developing child. The class meets once during the academic rotation to learn more about health issues (broadly defined) which face adolescents. In this weekly class the counselor works closely with teachers, advisors, and students in order to translate and connect the Self- Science curriculum with class content and the students’ current experiences. Thus, it makes learning meaningful by tailoring the content to the interests, needs, and learning styles of individual students and groups. Some of the topics covered include Self-Awareness, Identity, Mindfulness, Healthy Eating, Time Management, Coping with Stress, Social Media, Gaming Addiction, Stereotypes, Peer Pressure, Leadership Skills, and Relationships. We bring in speakers, use films, class discussion, and research projects to provide information and opportunities for thoughtful discussion.