Back in September, during our series of parent nights, I focused on one of my most important goals for Brookline High, which is to cultivate an exciting and challenging learning environment that develops “healthy and happy kids.” We are working on that goal in many ways, and I want to share a few updates. Our 2014-2015 School Improvement Plan includes this goal:
“To focus on mental health, wellness, and managing stress. Our goal is to identify and publicize a more comprehensive mental health support system. And also to achieve a better coordination among current mental health services at BHS or in Brookline.”
To that end, we have many corners of the school reflecting on stress, homework load, creating balanced and manageable course schedules, mental health and wellness, and coordinating our continuum of socio-emotional supports. These groups are involved: Student/Faculty Legislature, School Site Council, Faculty Council, Department Heads, Guidance Department, a new BHS 2020 “Wellness” Working Group, and the Health and Fitness Department.
In terms of changes in staffing over the last few years, we have increased our psychologists at BHS from 2.5 to 3.1 FTEs. And we are intentionally dedicating more psychologist time to directly supporting students. The school department has hired Christina Palmer, LMFT, who serves as the Director of Guidance and Clinical Services for grades pre-K through twelve. She works to support the BHS guidance and clinical services staff.
BHS also welcomed school social worker Jorge Membreno this year. Jorge joins social worker Mary Minott, and together they are our substance abuse prevention team. They work closely with our three BHS social workers to support students and the work of guidance counselors and deans.
We strive to provide our students a top-notch learning experience within a positive atmosphere and school culture. We also believe strongly in the family-school partnership that supports your children while they are at BHS. Remember that, in addition to family and community supports, BHS has a rich array of services to help students navigate the ups and downs of high school. I've listed those programs, services, and contacts on the attached page.
Please do not hesitate to reach out to us, even if you are simply worried about your child but unsure of the problem, and just want some feedback or another perspective.
BHS Counseling Resources