Student Health Services at The Fessenden School
Health Center nurses at our boys day and boarding school tend to the students’ daily healthcare needs, including first aid and emergency treatment. Our nurses regularly collaborate with the athletic trainer on staff to manage sports-related injuries. Our school physician, Dr. Ellen Geminiani of Boston Children’s Hospital, oversees the Health Center staff.
The school psychologist and school counselor collaborate with teachers and administrators to provide support for students who need it. Although they do not provide ongoing counseling, the school psychologist and school counselor can schedule check-ins and provide referrals to outside counseling for students at our boys boarding and day school who need additional help.
The school psychologist and school counselor work with teachers in the Lower School on lessons about social-emotional development, as well as host students for special lunch groups to discuss topics like building social skills and learn about their transition to the Middle School. For the older boys, the psychologist and counselor occasionally present topics at division meetings and partner with teachers for activities in classes.
The Health Center has extended evening and weekend hours to care for the needs of our boarding school students. Additionally, a registered nurse is on call overnight, and boys may use the Center bedrooms overnight if they become ill and cannot return to their dorms.
Health Center staff help coordinate all needed medical care for our boarding students, such as orthodontic, dental, and vision appointments. Our school physician, Dr. Ellen Geminiani, visits campus once per week to see boarding students if needed and can refer boys to specialists in the area. More intensive care is coordinated with the nearby Boston Children’s Hospital and Newton-Wellesley Hospital.
Our school psychologist and school counselor are experienced in providing support for challenges that can arise at a boys boarding school, such as homesickness and anxiety. Parents of boarding students who have concerns or questions about their child’s social-emotional well-being are encouraged to reach out directly to the Health Center or their child’s advisor or dorm parent.
Health and Wellbeing in the Curriculum
Health and wellness education at Fessenden is about putting health and wellness concepts into age-appropriate context. Boys learn why nutrition and exercise are important factors in health and develop skills in critical thinking and responsible decision-making. From Pre-Kindergarten to ninth grade, boys grow in self-awareness and confidence in an environment that supports and nurtures them at every turn.
In the Lower School, the health and wellness curriculum is embedded in the homeroom experience and physical education. Boys learn why it’s important to take care of their bodies, as well as how to build healthy relationships with others.
Middle School students take a wellness class that covers physical health, including healthy eating and exercise, and mental health, including stress management and mindfulness. Students also gain awareness of health-related issues they’ll encounter in their teens and beyond, such as drug, alcohol, and substance abuse.
The Upper School curriculum includes a health and wellness class at each grade level:
- Introduction to Health (Gr. 7) begins the exploration of topics such as family life, nutrition, emotional development, substance abuse, and human sexuality. These themes are examined in more detail in Grades 7 and 9.
- Making Healthy Decisions (Gr. 8) explores how people make decisions and what factors keep them from making healthy ones.
- Contemporary Issues in Secondary Education (Gr. 9) addresses complex issues that students will face in high school and addresses the notion of maleness/male behavior in modern society.