Wellness at Maret
The wellness curriculum aims to help students develop self awareness and empowers them to make healthy choices, lead balanced and fulfilling lives, and contribute to a positive culture at Maret and beyond.
The wellness program helps students practice self-reflection and teaches everyday conflict resolution and emotion management skills. Through a sequenced wellness curriculum, students develop intra- and interpersonal skills. They think reflectively about themselves as individuals, as members of a school community, and as active participants in the world outside Maret.
The wellness curriculum addresses:
- Digital Citizenship
- Mental Health
- Physical Health
- Sexuality & Human Development
- Social-Emotional Development
The lower school wellness curriculum builds students’ capacity in five main areas:
- social awareness
- relationship skills
- personal decision-making
- self-management, and self-awareness
These competencies are at the core of each wellness lesson, which is designed to meet students at their developmental levels. The wellness curriculum is responsive; it allows the flexibility to address particular issues or social dynamics that arise within a class or grade.
During the weekly wellness classes taught by the lower school counselor and homeroom teacher, students learn how to identify and manage emotions, address the bullying cycle, resolve conflicts, build pro-social behaviors, and learn about the benefits of mindfulness.
Over the course of the year, students learn about appropriate physical boundaries and consent and explore their personal identity surrounding a variety of topics including race, gender, socio-economic status, family structure, religion, ability, and ethnicity.
Students practice effective communication skills and teamwork through games, videos, stories, and discussions. Throughout the grades, students learn about, use, and deepen their understanding of Maret’s lower school problem-solving model, STOP: Stop, Talk, Own Up, and Plan.
Fifth grade wellness focuses on friendships, self-awareness, and decision making.
The first semester gives fifth graders a chance to learn and practice mindfulness skills. Students learn how to form healthy friendships, be an upstander, and a responsible online citizen. The second semester is spent teaching students about puberty, reproductive anatomy, and pregnancy, as well as gender identity and gender expression. Through reflective activities, students explore and articulate their boundaries with regard to personal space, emotions, language, and behavior.
In sixth grade, students concentrate on friendships, peer dilemmas, self-awareness, peer pressure, and decision-making.
Students spend a majority of the year exploring their identity based on the “Big 8” social identifiers: race, ethnicity, gender, socio-economic status, sexual orientation, religion, and ability.
Additional lessons on body image and family structure are added to the lessons on the “Big 8.” Students end the year learning about mental health and effective mindfulness practices.
Human Development 7
Students meet in gender-specific groups to discuss the effects of emotional and physical changes occurring in their lives.
They explore human development, reproductive anatomy and physiology, sexually transmitted infections, and the importance of consent and boundaries. Students also learn about nutrition, diet and exercise, body image, eating disorders, and mental health. They learn to make decisions that show respect for themselves and others and take into account the possible consequences of their actions.
Human Development 8
As they prepare to transition to Upper School, eighth graders explore sophisticated themes associated with human development and relationships.
Small and large group work, class assignments, and videos are used as the basis to discuss consent, identity, racism and prejudice and digital citizenship. These themes are reinforced and integrated across the middle school curriculum and through advising.
The wellness program helps upper school students develop into adults who are thoughtful, healthy, empathetic, engaged, and involved in their communities.
Faculty, administrators, and staff work to ensure that students are respectful of each other and adults; that harassing or offensive comments or acts are recognized, addressed, and corrected; that students are academically honest and understand and avoid plagiarism; that fair play and sportsmanship are encouraged in sporting events; and that open debate and differing points of view are respected.
Many upper school classes embed SEL work into the curriculum. Additional activities take place in advising groups to develop intra- and interpersonal skills.
Coursework and Activities Focused on Relationships, Sexuality, Respect, and Consent
- Grade 10: Human Sexuality class include lessons on sexual assault and consent.
- Annual assembly for entire Upper School, addressing sexual assault and consent, usually featuring an outside speaker, and awareness raising campaigns preceding this.
- Many student clubs focus on conversation about relationships, identity, and issues of respect/consent, including Action for Women, Diversity at Maret, Queer Straight Alliance, End Sexual Assault, Bridging the Divide, and various Affinity Groups.
- Faculty and students attended two years in a row Georgetown Day School's Summit on Sexual Assault and Consent.
- At the annual Day of Dialogue in March 2018—entitled “Relationships Build with Consent: Ending Gender Stereotypes and Sexual Violence with an Enthusiastic “Yes!”—all US students were involved in education and conversation around these issues.
- Courses that incorporate discussions about Respect and Consent include: Topics in Psychology; Civil Liberties; Contemporary American Literature, Law, Culture and Society; and Women’s History.