Middle School Student Support
At San Domenico, we strive to empower students and facilitate personal growth. To do so, we support each student uniquely and holistically. Our multi-faceted approach to student support provides each student with the tools to take educated risks, be mindful, and know when to ask for help.
Middle School teachers serve as advisors for approximately ten to twelve students.Teachers typically meet with their advisees during advisory on Tuesdays and Thursdays. This time is reserved for community building and regular academic check-ins. Throughout the year, students engaged in various community-building activities designed to help promote connection and camaraderie among students. This includes celebrating Unity Week each year, a week in October dedicated to promoting kindness, inclusion, and acceptance at school. We also partner with Beyond Differences, an organization focused on ending social isolation, to help put on various events including Know Your Classmates and No One Eats Alone.
The social and emotional well-being of our students underscores our mission and is paramount to healthy student development. The Middle School Counselor works closely with faculty and staff, overseeing the needs of 6th-8th grade students. The Counselor supports the classroom teachers and administrators in maintaining the social and emotional well-being of all middle school students. The Counselor’s role is not to provide formal psychotherapy to students. Rather, the Counselor is actively involved in student life to enhance the students’ understanding of self-expression and self-awareness through classroom discussions, small group interactions, and one-on-one support.
Learning Resource Center
Learning style diversity is something that we celebrate at San Domenico. We acknowledge that certain learning profiles require additional, personalized academic support, monitoring, and supplementation. The Learning Resource Center ensures that such support is in place, ongoing, and consistently assessed. Through regular student meetings, faculty education, and open communication with families and specialists, the LRC works to encourage and empower all students to excel academically. Click here for more information.
Student Support Team
Each tenet of student support at San Domenico is comprehensive and essential, and their success lies in the constant communication of our Student Support Team. There is always a bigger picture to see, and every week, this group meets to ensure that picture is clear. This team consists of the Director of the Middle School, the Dean of Students, Learning Specialist, the Middle School Counselor, and the Grade Level Moderators. Each participant brings the week’s experiences, questions, and concerns to the group, soliciting advice and creating solutions that support students at every grade level. Meet the Student Support & Wellness Team.
Social and Emotional Learning
A hallmark of our school is our firm commitment to educating the whole child. This means a purposeful focus on students' character development, both inside and outside of the classroom, through programs, approaches and activities that support social and emotional learning (SEL) at every grade level. From the very first days of school, and throughout the school year, our students actively participate in many social-emotional learning opportunities. These include Second Step lessons, our all-school efforts with the No Bully initiative, including the strategy of “Solution Teams”, several counselor-led programs and activities, and the Middle School Family Life program. All of these programs and approaches complement each other, reinforcing fundamental and foundational skills our students need as they get older. They also support our School’s Social Vision Statement: “We are a community of belonging where students, staff and families are dedicated to inclusion and respect for all.”
The Second Step curriculum ranks among the most highly respected and effective SEL programs used in schools today.This program helps to equip students with the skills, knowledge, and mindsets they need to handle strong emotions, better understand and connect with their peers, and avoid or resolve serious conflicts. In addition, the program supports academic achievement by increasing social connectedness and growth mindset (the belief that intelligence can be developed) and contributes to a positive classroom and school climate overall. Second Step lessons are integrated into Sixth and Seventh grades; in Eighth grade, students participate in “Guidance” class, facilitated by the counselors and designed to discuss many of the same topics in developmentally relevant ways. Each grade level of Second Step is divided into four units: Mindsets and Goals; Values and Friendships; Thoughts, Emotions, and Decisions; and Serious Peer Conflicts.
No Bully Program
This evidence-based approach leverages the empathy and kindness inherent in all of us. The No Bully System® is a step-by-step process and set of interventions to prevent and stop bullying and cyberbullying in school and after-school programs. It guides school leaders, teachers and staff through a series of interventions for responding to bullying and harassment, depending on the severity of the incident. When severe or persistent bullying occurs, teachers facilitate Solution Teams, where the target’s peer group and the bully come together to stop the bullying.