Students engage in our Connections program Wednesday afternoons. They explore the web of connections that exist between themselves and others through Health & Wellness, environmental sustainability projects, community engagement projects, and college counseling.
9th Grade: Health & Wellness
Connection to Self
The freshman Connections/Health & Wellness program is designed to inform, challenge, and support students in their ethical and personal decision making. Students learn about and grapple with complex health and moral issues. They gain the skills and resources necessary to make informed and responsible choices for themselves. Additionally, freshmen receive mentorship and guidance from seniors who have applied to and been trained to be Health & Wellness Teaching Assistants.
The Health & Wellness curriculum addresses mental health, stress management, sleep, nutrition, drugs and alcohol, conflict resolution, friendship, questions of identity, digital citizenship, communication skills, gender roles and gender fluidity, and body image.
Additionally, sophomores, juniors, and seniors continue to receive occasional Health & Wellness seminars as a component of their Wednesday afternoon Connections. The tenth grade Health & Wellness curriculum includes safety and self-defense, sexuality and relationships, including consent, stress management, positive psychology, and substance use education. Juniors have a session at their fall retreat followed by two spring sessions on health, sexuality, and substance education.
10th Grade: Sustainability
Connection to the Environment
The unique location of our campus—surrounded as it is by rural farmland, preserved open space, a creek and wetlands—affords compelling opportunities for our students and teachers to examine and model sustainability at home.
Students learn more about our campus water and power use, as well as our trash production and land use. With the advent of the Guild & Commons buildings, this aspect of the program will also focus more on issues of food production and food equity. Students learn about how the concept of sustainability applies to their personal lives, the life of their community and the future of our planet. Through speakers, field trips, and hands-on activities, students understand the connection between the environment, the economy, and the concept of equity.
As students learn more about sustainability, they become aware of the role and responsibility they each have in making our community and planet sustainable.
11th Grade: Community Partnerships
Connection to the Community
Through our Connections program, most juniors spend Wednesday afternoon leading workshops—theater, robotics, digital film, sports, etc.—at our two neighboring local elementary schools, which also happen to be the most underserved schools in Santa Rosa. Our students mentor neighboring elementary students in athletics, theater, music, robotics, and art. They travel to these schools to work with their mentees, and on occasion, we are able to bring these neighboring students to our campus for school-wide presentations of the work we’ve done in partnership.
12th Grade: College Counseling & Transitions
Connection to the Future
Seniors receive intensive college counseling during the first semester of Connections, giving them time and guidance to work through their college applications. The second half of the year, the senior Connections program is focused on college and real-world readiness, including budgeting, resume writing, interviewing, life skills, a candid alumni panel, as well as more sessions on sexuality and substance use.