Health and Wellness
Effective health policies, practices, and education are essential to our School community. The health services team takes a holistic approach to working with students, families, faculty, and staff to meet the needs and help realize the potential of each student.
Each campus has a health care coordinator (registered nurse) on-site throughout the school day. A health and wellness assistant (certified athletic trainer) is also available on the Middle and Upper School campus.
Members of the health services team serve as liaisons between families, community health professionals, and the School to coordinate the acute and chronic healthcare needs of students. The team also acts as an educational resource for the School community to promote self-advocacy, disease prevention, and safety.
Health and Wellness Education
Health and wellness education for students and parents promotes health and social-emotional competencies consistent with a Quaker education. Through classroom learning, speakers, assemblies, special programs, and service learning, wellness education addresses four key areas:
- Self-awareness. Students develop confidence, self-efficacy, and the ability to listen to their inner, guiding light. They explore their identities; recognize core values, strengths, and challenges; and understand how emotions influence behavior and health.
- Self-regulation. Students are mindful of emotions and act in accordance with personal and academic goals and values. They learn to manage frustration, anxiety, and disappointment and to make responsible decisions about sexual and other behaviors that affect health.
- Social awareness. Students understand the importance of empathy and respecting diverse perspectives. They learn about consent, respecting others’ boundaries, and developing healthy relationships.
- Social regulation. Students make socially responsible decisions and acquire communication and conflict-resolution skills. They learn about managing peer pressure and making safe and ethical choices.
Sidwell Friends continues to evaluate and modify the School’s social and emotional education programs to meet the changing needs of our students.
Counselors support our community through education, counseling, and assessment and consultation with faculty. Our developmentally appropriate curriculum promotes self-awareness, emotion regulation, and social skills.
Counselors work with individual students and groups and also provide parent education and coaching. When students’ social and emotional needs get in the way of learning, our counselors provide brief, solution-focused counseling, which may include
- Supportive reflection
- Cognitive restructuring
- Relaxation/deep breathing
- Problem solving
- Interpersonal resolutions
Counselors assess students’ mental health needs in consultation with parents, teachers, administrators, and academic support coordinators. Referrals to outside mental health professionals are made as needed so that students can succeed emotionally, socially, and academically.