Social and Emotional
The school offers one-on-one meetings with a counselor and student. These meetings encompass many different issues. The issues range from struggling with school, relationships, and family to more serious issues that may require support from outside professionals. We provide referrals for outside professionals - psychiatrists, psychological testers and licensed mental health care providers. The counselors work with the outside professionals when necessary to ensure that the student is getting the support they need, both on and off campus. Regardless of the issue, the counselor will help coordinate with the dean and teachers to be sure the student is getting the help they need to thrive. The counseling team is also available to speak with parents to help support and provide resources for their child.
The school is working on providing educational videos about ways to reduce stress, resilience, communication, and how to advocate for what you need.
The learning specialists offer support for students struggling with academic issues and are available to help students who need extra support. You can reach the Director of Upper School Learning Center, Julee Madkins at firstname.lastname@example.org and our Middle School Director of Learning Center, Jennifer Gabrail at email@example.com. The Learning Center at the US campus works with auxiliary services on campus that can help with specific subjects:
Peer Tutoring: Student Strategies/Content Support
Peer Tutoring Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Faculty Advisory: Ray Visaiz, Assistant Director of the Learning Center email@example.com
Peer Tutors help students in almost every subject offered at the school. Oftentimes, getting support from a peer tutor is just as helpful as meeting with a teacher as the tutors have taken many of the courses with different instructors here at HW.
Math Lab: Dr. Josh Helston (M-F from 3:15 to 4:00 p.m. in Chalmers 311) firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chemistry Help: Nancy Chen (M & Th. During lunch in the Science Office)
English, History & Writing Support: (Available in Learning Center M-F from 7:30-4:00 p.m.) Jenna Dillon-Gasparino email@example.com and Ray Visaiz firstname.lastname@example.org
The school counselors provide counseling, not therapy. We offer short term counseling where the counselor meets with a student for a couple of meetings to determine the most appropriate on-going support both on and off campus if necessary. We provide a private space for students to discuss whatever is on their mind. Being able to label your thoughts and feelings with a trained professional can foster self-awareness and eventual problem-solving skills. We do not diagnose, create treatment plans or perform testing. We are here to listen, offer coping skills, provide psychoeducation, and work with students to find the best way for them to be successful at HW and beyond.
Adolescence can be an incredibly challenging time to navigate as many teens are beginning to develop their sense of self. Teens are often craving independence, which can leave parents feeling confused about how to help their child navigate these years. It is important that parents provide a safe space for their teen to have open conversations about the challenges they may be experiencing. While some teens may not be able to have open conversations with their parents (which is quite common), it does not mean that they don’t need your support. Please make an appointment with one of the counselors to discuss your specific parenting needs. We can begin the conversation with you, and if needed, offer additional parenting resources and referrals.
Teens are encouraged to get between 8-10 hours of sleep per night in order to function at their best. This amount of sleep allows teens to perform at their best academically, enhances emotional well-being, and promotes physical benefits. The exact amount of sleep required for each individual varies depending on the teens physical activity level. Please discuss this further with your child’s pediatrician.
If you are worried about your child’s mental health, you can contact anyone from the counseling team who will be able to connect with your child and check in with them to assess any possible mental health challenges. If they observe any serious mental health concerns, one of the school counselors will reach out to you and discuss the next steps in supporting your child’s needs. If it is an emergency, and your child is not at school (weekends and evenings) please call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room.
First of all, it is remarkable that you are curious about how your family’s challenges may be impacting your child’s well-being. When families go through difficult times such as divorce, moves, new siblings, blending families, they often need to go through an adjustment period. While it is typical that children have some stress related to these events, you can be on the lookout for some signs that your child may need more support. These signs include changes in sleep patterns, appetite, mood, angry outbursts/tantrums, or declining academic performance that last for more than two weeks. If your child is experiencing any of these signs or if you would like to have your child talk with a counselor, please feel free to contact us. We also can provide referrals in the community to family therapists that specialize in family dynamics.
No, your child cannot receive therapy at school. However, the school counselors can provide your family with referrals for mental health therapists outside of the school based on the needs of your child. Please contact one of the counselors and we will proceed from there.