Berwick Academy defines resilience as the ability of an individual to cope with everyday challenges, to bounce back from disappointments and adversity, to develop clear and realistic goals, to solve problems, to relate comfortably with others, and to treat oneself and others with respect.
The Academic Wellness program at Berwick Academy is designed to assist students with developing academic skills and habits of mind to enhance resilience, metacognitive awareness (ie., “how do I think and learn?”), self-efficacy, self-reflection, and self-advocacy; to better understand and appreciate the diversity of learning approaches and modalities involved in academic work (ie., “what learning approaches work for me?”); and to help students identify the resources available to them as they seek balance, equanimity, and happiness between their scholastic and personal lives.
Counseling and Emotional Wellness: The PK-8 and 9-12 school counselors’ primary roles are to provide emotional and/or social support to students who are struggling during the school day. Ongoing support is available on a short-term basis and if deemed necessary, the school counselors will contact the parent(s) of the student. If additional therapeutic intervention is required, the school counselors will contact the parent(s) and discuss appropriate next steps. Both the counselors work closely with other school personnel and outside professionals to provide appropriate support for the student(s). The counselors are also available as resources to parents, and can assist in connecting students and their families with outside mental health professionals in the Seacoast area.
Mindfulness is about learning to direct our attention to our present moment experience (senses, thoughts, emotions) with open-minded curiosity and acceptance. Rather than worrying about what has happened or might happen, it trains us to respond skillfully to whatever is happening right now. Mindfulness programming has emerged in the context of each division through creative use of common time, advising time, and/or assemblies. While certainly a presence in the Wellness Center spaces, mindfulness work vary by division and take place in a variety of physical spaces across campus.
Social Emotional Learning Program: Lower School students receive regular instruction in the language of social communication from our academic coordinator and counselor. These pragmatic skills include: Eye Contact, Noise Level, Personal Space, Body Language, Tone of Voice, Feedback, Turn Taking, Staying on Topic, Positive Comments, and Clarification. Instruction involves the application of these skills to relevant school-day situations, with the ultimate program goal being age-appropriate problem solving and empathic development beyond the specific instructional setting.
The Freshman Foundations course offers both a health & wellness and an organizational/study skills curriculum to give our freshmen a solid introduction they need to be successful in the Upper School. This class meets once a week during a study hall and is co-taught by the School Counselor and the Academic Support Coordinator.
Students interested in content area tutorial support support and/or mentoring may consider working with a peer tutor in addition to seeking extra help from their teachers. Cross-age peer mentoring is available for middle school students who may benefit from the academic and social-emotional support of an upper school peer. Peer mentoring relationships are facilitated by the Academic Support Coordinator.
The Student Wellness Advising Team (SWAT) is a group of Junior and Senior students interested in the wellness of the Berwick Academy student body and who model respect and integrity in their everyday actions and interactions.