Our Wildwood, Winter 2017, Volume 40

in Schools, suggests students pass around a talking piece (a shell, a stuffed animal, or another object) as they follow the four intentions of Council: speak, listen from the heart, speak spontaneously, and be brief.

Mind and Heart stand out, and it’s also a way to have some fun. A key responsibility of the Student of the Week is to pick a balloon from a bunch and pop it to reveal the Division’s “Fun Friday” activity. This week, Friday is “dress up as a twin” day. TUESDAY— FOCUS ON PERSONAL GROWTH Mindfulness characterizes Tuesdays in Division One. Students practice focused breathing intended to promote relaxation and academic preparedness. In Division Two, Tuesdays are often devoted to Council discussions—offering a space for students to talk about academic anxieties, social fears, or even gratitude. The Council protocol, developed by the Ojai- based educational nonprofit Council


something that weighs on their mind). It’s an effective way to help students leave the weekend behind and look ahead to the school week. On a typical Monday in Megen O’Keefe’s advisory, students share a range of roses from sweet to silly. “We went to my grandma’s house for her birthday,” Justin D. shares. “I had a kazoo solo in my band,” Nolan G. shares. While Grace M. combines her rose and thorn, “I baked a cake—but it was a fail. So I made another one— it was way better, then I ate it.” Meanwhile, Division One students (grade 6) have their own activity. All gather in Becca Hedgepath and Louise McCune’s humanities classroom for their weekly Big Room gathering. Here, the Division One teachers help students frame the school week ahead—noting any important work deadlines or upcoming events. Big Room ends with the naming of the Student of the Week. This recognition goes to someone whose demonstration of the Habits of

In Division One, midweek brings an opportunity for collaboration to advisory. All 6th grade students and teachers are free to work together. Students work on individual and group projects, while teachers are available to help or meet one-on-one with them. In Division Two, Wednesday is “Wildcard Day.” A student can use this time for Community Involvement work, Wildwood’s multicultural curriculum, or to prepare for upcoming student-led conferences.

The most current academic and brain research guide our advisory program, which correlates social-emotional support with educational outcomes.

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