At Fenway, we believe taking care of our students’ social-emotional health is as important as providing them with a rigorous and balanced academic curriculum. Our Student Support Team (SST) promotes healthy relationships among students, teachers and parents. Their goal is to encourage social and emotional well-being and to support a harmonious and safe community. The overarching techniques they use to achieve this goal include:
- Teaching social and interpersonal skills
- Fostering communication and community building
- Providing support and guidance
- Educating and promoting healthy behavior
- Providing staff consultation and professional development
SST runs a number of events and programs throughout the year. Some aim to provide our students with the knowledge they need to succeed after Fenway, while others foster a sense of community.
- College Fairs and Financial Aid Workshops – These events provide opportunities for students to meet with college representatives, learn about the options available to them after Fenway, and gain the knowledge they need to turn possibilities into reality.
- Health Series – Guest speakers teach students about all facets of emotional and physical health so they can take care of themselves and make responsible choices.
- Community Building – The team organizes events designed to strengthen the “Fenway Family,” including house community building activities and all-school Community Days.
- MORE (Men Organized, Responsible, and Educated) – Fenway’s group for young men of color, aimed at closing the achievement gap that disproportionately disadvantages young African-American and Latino men and creating a smaller sense of community within the school.
- Freshman Orientation – All incoming freshmen participate in an overnight, off-site retreat designed to introduce them to their classmates and teachers in a welcoming, unintimidating environment.
- Peer Mediation – Mediations occur between students, or between teachers and students, and help people resolve conflicts by talking to each other with fellow students and staff members who are trained to listen to and facilitate conversations without judgment. Mediation is one way to avoid serious disruptions and long-standing grudges that might limit success or affect Fenway’s climate, and may be recommended as an alternative to suspension or disciplinary action. Mediation helps the conflicting parties arrive at a suitable agreement that is accepted by everyone.
Fenway was the subject of a study conducted by the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education. A link to the study, Fenway High School: Social Emotional Learning as the Foundation for Social Justice, can be found here.