Introducing Rigatoni and Ravioli, the newest "furry" members of Karyn Kunzelman's 8th grade science class! In an effort to promote wellness among her students in her already dynamic and exciting classroom, Kunzelman applied for the Pets in the Classroom
grant. Pets in the Classroom is an educational grant program that provides financial support to teachers to purchase and maintain small animals in the classroom. "The students like to hold them and snuggle with them," commented Kunzelman. "I've never had guinea pigs before, but picked them because they are very social and love to be held. A small way to relax and decompress during a busy day! For faculty too!"
This is just one of many ways our faculty and administration prioritize student wellness. In the Lower School, teachers will continue to foster social emotional development through Responsive Classroom
programming. Through morning meetings and other activities, students will develop essential social skills such as responsibility, empathy, and self control.
Being introduced to our Middle School programming this year is The Social Institute
, an online learning platform that empowers students to positively navigate social media and technology. Twice each month, students will work through lessons with their advisories. "The grade specific lessons engage students in a series of discussions and challenges meant to help them make positive social-emotional choices. Parents are also able to continue the conversation at home with resources provided by the institute," said Dean of Students Jen Whitt. The program is unique in that students across the United States help generate the content. If interested, St. Andrew's students are able to apply to participate in the Student Ambassador Program that develops the curriculum.
Additionally, in response to student survey data, the Upper School schedule
was reworked to include longer class blocks which in turn allows for longer breaks and lunch periods. The schedule Tuesday – Friday features 80-minute classes which have been proven effective for high school students as they allow for more student-centered approaches to teaching/learning. Research also shows that longer lunches and breaks are central for adolescents’ intake of nutrition, overall academic success, and socialization skills, cutting down on what can be a stressful, frenetic pace of the school day. Longer lunches also pave the way for more robust, less-rushed programming such as Travel Thursdays and other student- and faculty-led gatherings all of which are distinctive to the St. Andrew’s experience.