The modern world is a complicated one and children and parents alike need guidance as they navigate the complexity of the 21st century. As generations continue to grow and develop so do the issues they face. As the XIIIs make the transition from middle school to high school, they require a select set of skills that are not taught in the traditional curriculum.
Michele Bloom, Director of the Middle and Upper School, recognized this problematic missing piece in the traditional curriculum and tackled it head-on, as she constructed a series of “Wellness Seminars” with the intention of educating the XIIIs on delicate and complex “decision-making process necessary to navigate safely through an increasingly complex world of sex, drugs and increased stressors that impact mental health”
“This weekend, one of my charges is to circulate a questionnaire to the XIIIs asking what is it that the XIIIs are interested in learning about I have ideas about what I think is important. I want to make sure that we are able to impart a degree of information that we think you should have that will satisfy the XIIIs’ curiosity too,” said Michele.
In previous years, the school has attempted to do a similar thing by bringing in outside organizations, such as Hallways, to talk to the XIIIs about vaping and drugs in particular. Hallways does “school-based prevention work” with children and teens with a focus on bringing awareness to the dangers of high-risk behaviors and teaching teens various skills to manage adolescent life. The overall response to Hallways though was negative due to the fact that the XIIs and XIIIs preferred to have these conversations with faculty they were already familiar with. Taking the feedback into consideration, in an ideal scenario, Michele would also like to bring in a panel of alumni to talk to the current XIIIs about their high school experiences.
“The survey about a potential panel of graduates would be like--what do you want to know? They’ve all been here. They’re all in high school now. Do you want to know what the first month was like? What are parties like? And I would like like to have a Q&A,” said Michele.
Michele has made it known that she wants the topics covered in her seminars to come from genuine student interest so that they get the most from the talks. Although the seminars have not taken place yet, in interviewing some XIIIs one can get an understanding of some of the questions brewing in their minds as they make their transition to high school.
“Since we haven’t experienced bullying at C&C will we experience bullying in high school? If so how do I manage it?,” asked Hanna Kenyatta, XIIIs.
“I have always wondered how extra-curricular activities, sports, after-school clubs, and homework are all fit into a schedule, where one is not overwhelmed or stressed. In my opinion, that seems difficult,” said Nathalie Robayo, XIIIs.
Michele is working hard to develop her seminars attempting to make the biggest impact possible on the XIIIs, but some are skeptical about the response to her seminar.
“I think Michele did a good job with the vaping seminar and the message was there; it was clear, but I don’t it’s going to keep kids from vaping because kids are kids and they want to experiment with things,” said Chase Holness, XIIIs.
“I felt that the seminar gave a lot of valuable information but I don’t know how convincing they actually were because they didn’t feel strongly against vaping,” said Max Beyer, XIIIs. Regardless of the feedback, the vape and smoking discussion was one of more talks to come and however the information is processed, Michele is providing the XIIIs with a valuable set of
skills to guide them as they enter high school.
Regardless of the feedback, the vape and smoking discussion was one of more talks to come and however the information is processed, Michele is providing the XIIIs with a valuable set of