Be Kind, Be Well | Aberdeen Hall Preparatory School

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Be Kind, Be Well

Be Kind, Be Well

A Message from Head of School - Chris Grieve

The emotional and psychological well being of students at Aberdeen Hall Preparatory School is of utmost importance, and the Board, faculty and staff are fully committed to doing everything in our power to ensure we foster and maintain a safe, kind and inclusive community. 

Last spring, I was having a conversation with an Aberdeen Hall father about a concern he was having with the dynamics of his daughter’s social circle, and he said: “I just wish the girls would try to be a little kinder to one another.” 

We very much agree that learning to be a little kinder to one another can go a very long way towards improving relationships with those around us. With this in mind, the Management Team has been reviewing how the school could have a significant impact in this area. Our goal is to educate students, eliminate (or at least minimize bullying) and foster a kind community that our students will flourish in.   

Actions we have taken include:

  • reviewing and evaluating the programs presently in place in the Junior, Middle and High Schools
  • researching potential new programs
  • measuring the role of our assemblies
  • discussing opportunities for role modelling (faculty, staff, students and parents)
  • education opportunities for faculty, staff and parents
  • opportunities available for newsletters and school publications
  • visual displays around the school
  • developing a common language which each of our constituents can understand
  • creating a best practice investigation process regarding reports from students, employees and parents
  • fine tuning our tracking systems, data collection and reporting systems
  • recruiting experts in the area of child conflict and anxiety from UBC, and the education sector
  • researching, curating and utilizing the latest empirical data

Are you aware of ERASE ? This is another excellent resource we use at School.

ERASE is a British Columbia initiative, and according to their website: “ERASE is all about building safe and caring school communities . This includes empowering students, parents, educators and the community partners who support them to get help with challenges, report concerns to schools, and learn about complex issues facing students.” ERASE has a robust website that is also worth reviewing.

We have a number of faculty with specialty ERASE training and will be increasing both the level and quantity of our trained employees next month when we host the Central Okanagan erase workshop for teachers.   

Aberdeen Hall’s school based curricular and co-curricular programs for students are designed to assist students with their social-emotional well being.

Programs used in various grades in the Junior School: 

  1. Kids in the Know
  2. Second Step Anti Bullying
  3. MindUp
  4. Zones of Regulation
  5. Canada Food Guide

Divisional and school wide programs that assist with wellness:

ERASE Training (see above)

School Clubs

  • Art club - Hosted by Jesse Berteig and Becca Nydr
  • Yoga club - Hosted by Lauren Cross
  • Diversity club (Potentially hosted by Meghan Dunn and Becca Nydr - has not started yet but we have teachers that are passionate about bringing this to our school)

Advisors and the Advisory Program

This program groups students in Grades 9-12 together for their high school years and has the same faculty mentor.  Appendix.

  • It allows for peer mentoring among the grades
  • Students have the opportunity to build positive relationships with one another over the course of a four year period
  • The teacher advisory focuses on this group of students, offering mentorship, building rapport and providing support when needed.

Assemblies and Guest Speakers

  • We bring in guest speakers and have teachers share during assemblies. They discuss their personal struggles or triumphs. We request that each of these speakers end their talks with a solution-based mindset so they help students see that there is a positive end to their story. Two of the speakers we have planned for this year are the White Hatter and Terry Small. Past presentations have also included groups/films like MADD, Screenagers, Angst, as well as our local school police liaison.

School Tutors and Mentors

  • In cases of academic or social concerns, teachers can and have been allocated as tutors/mentors to assist particular students in times of need. In some situations, mature students can also serve as tutors/mentors. This program is operated on a voluntary basis and allows younger students to benefit from the guidance, experience and friendship of their older peers.

Aberdeen Hall employs a full time Registered Clinical Counselor 

  • Ms. Becca Nydr assists the faculty with identifying and assisting students that require counseling. Ms Nydr is trained to assist students and families with certain issues, and serves as a liaison when more significant assistance is required by specialists. We have protocols in place to identify students in need, but also rely heavily on an open constructive communication from parents in this regard. Please know that no concern is too small, and if you have a question or concern, Ms. Nydr or your child’s division Principal are the best first points of contact.  

Moving Forward as a Community of Care

Our school is committed to being a safe school where students are cared for and practice care towards one another. As per the recommendations of the BC Government, “safe schools make a ‘big deal’ about ‘small’ incidents.” It is our intention that schoolwide programming, training and modelling reflects our commitment to developing as a community of care and our desire to maintain a safe school environment.

A school environment has thousands of daily interactions, and will include different levels of conflict. We rely on a proactive management based strategy (vs elimination based). We work to ensure that behavioral expectations are clear and to educate our student population proactively. When mistakes are made, we apply consequences when necessary. Our management strategies are not punitive in nature, rather the primary goal is to learn from the experience and eliminate future similar occurrences. On the occasion that students are not adjusting their behaviours accordingly, we utilize the school’s Code of Conduct to apply consequences.  

We welcome your comments and questions at anytime and look forward to continuing to work with you in building our welcoming and vibrant community.

With warm regards,

Chris Grieve
Head of School 
christopher.grieve@aberdeenhall.com

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