- Lower School Counselor, Main Campus
Supported, Nurtured and Known
Every teacher, coach, club sponsor and administrator is part of the “circle of wellness” that surrounds each of our students. On-campus experts, including learning specialists, counselors, nurses and more, stay up-to-date with the latest research to ensure we’re meeting the needs of all our learners, from pre-kindergarten through senior year.
To prepare our students to be successful in college and beyond, our teachers, advisors, counselors and administrators all work collaboratively to develop strategies to encourage academic success. The Sandra F. Birdsong Center for Academic Excellence provides supplemental learning support to maximize each student’s capacity to learn. The Center also provides professional development opportunities to faculty and staff to further their understanding of learning differences and differentiated instruction, which includes utilizing student’s strengths, learning styles and interests to provide the appropriate level of challenge for each student.
Identifying students’ social-emotional needs is essential in removing barriers to learning and helping students develop skills and behaviors critical for lifelong success. Our school counselors specialize in dealing with different types of student social and development issues specific to each age group. They visit classrooms and coordinate lessons with teachers as needed, working with students in a one-on-one setting or in small groups. Topics vary by age and grade level but include goal-setting, problem solving and decision-making, education in understanding self and coping strategies, conflict resolution and peer mediation, academic planning and support and school-to-parent communications and conferencing. They also provide crisis intervention and management and referrals when necessary.
Through the advisory program, middle and upper school students also participate in lessons that address a wide range of social and emotional themes, including gratitude, compassion, emotional wellness, communication and community building.
To create a healthier and a more equitable, innovative and compassionate community, our counselors and nursing staff have partnered with the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence’s RULER Institute to use a systematic approach to social and emotional learning called RULER, which is an acronym for the five skills of emotional intelligence (recognizing, understanding, labeling, expressing and regulating).
Opportunities for developing physical fitness abound, from athletic teams fielded in more than a dozen sports to an after-school running club. A weight room is also open to students. NSA partners with a specialist from Pivot Physical Therapy, who serves as the strength and conditioning coach and provides clinics, training and advice to coaches and athletes regarding conditioning, strength training and injury prevention. The specialist also partners with our certified athletic trainers to implement a comprehensive plan for injury prevention and recovery, including concussion management.
Two full-time nurses support our community’s physical wellness. At the Main Campus, NSA partners with Flik Independent School Dining to provide wholesome, nutritious meals in conjunction with nutrition education, equipping our students, faculty and staff with tools needed to live a happy, healthy life.
Head of School Speaker Series
Throughout the year, Head of School Debbie Russell hosts a “Head of School Speaker Series” to provide parents with the opportunity to hear from experts on a number of health and wellness topics.
- Stress management
- Substance abuse awareness
- Social media
- Internet Safety
- And more!
The Health and Wellness Committee is dedicated to promoting our current wellness initiatives as well as planning and coordinating new initiatives to encourage and support a healthy lifestyle.
- Lower School Counselor, Harbour View Campus
- School Nurse
- P.E. Teacher
- P.E. Teacher
- Upper School Dean of Students
- SFBCAE Instructor
- School Nurse
- Middle School Counselor
- Upper School Counselor
- Director of College Counseling
- Associate Director of College Counseling