The mission of the Student Services Department is to provide a continuity of developmentally appropriate services to support the academic, social, and emotional growth of our TK-12 students. Through partnership and collaboration with the broader school community, we strive to maximize every student’s potential and empower them to become independent and passionate learners.
Nurture and care are foundational to the classroom experience in the Lower School where students are learning to problem solve, think abstractly, and feel empathically. Through play and the development of peer relationships, Lower School students have opportunities to better understand the views and experiences of others. The interplay between academic skill building and social-emotional development is found inside the classroom and out. Resiliency skills are fostered through developmentally appropriate experiences to position our Lower School students for success in the transition to Middle School.
The Middle School experience builds on academic and social-emotional skills started in the Lower School. The developmental onset of abstract reasoning in Middle School has students exploring ethical and moral principles that exist in their community. Middle School faculty and staff place much emphasis on social responsibility as a tool for nurturing this exploration. The focus on social responsibility pushes students in Middle School to naturally turn inward to begin exploring their own self-identity. Opportunities for self-reflection and empathy building are utilized in the classroom and co-curricular spaces to foster self-awareness and identity development.
Upper School students continue to explore their personal values and academic skills that contribute to the greater community. The classroom and co-curricular experience gives students the opportunity to expand their worldview as well as practice skills necessary to foster independence and autonomy. In preparation for future opportunities in college and beyond, student support in Upper School is focused on the exploration of how students’ skills and interests intersect. These intentional practices and opportunities allow students to graduate from Providence Day School as globally minded, self-aware, and socially focused individuals.
Social and emotional growth is an important educational element at Providence Day School. There are school counselors at each division level: Margot Brinley and Jenny Gould in the Lower School, Lisa Bernard in the Middle School, and Claire Bell and Marissa Kohn in the Upper School. The School Counseling Program at Providence Day School has three primary functions: providing direct counseling services, indirect support services, and creating social-emotional programming for all students throughout their time at PD.
School counselors are educators uniquely trained in child and adolescent development, social-emotional learning, a variety of mental health issues, and crisis prevention and intervention. School counselors do not work in isolation; rather they are integral to the total educational program. School counselors collaborate with teachers and parents on early identification and intervention of children’s academic and social-emotional needs. Early intervention is essential in removing barriers to learning and developing skills and behaviors critical for academic achievement. Counselors partner with families, therapists, and other treatment providers to help to ensure a successful school experience.
As our students develop and grow over their time at PD so does the social and emotional programming at each division. The School Counselors help to create and guide this programming at all levels to ensure that it is developmentally appropriate for our students. This programming works to create space for students to learn and practice skills that will serve them as future global citizens.
Lower School focuses on Character Development through classroom lessons centered in the PD Passport Character Traits. Middle School starts the Advisory program, an active time for students to meet in smaller groups with peers and a trusted adult. The curriculum is based on the PD Passport and focuses on relationship building and the search for identity. Upper School continues the Advisory program during co-curricular time. Co-curricular time provides the space for students to continue to explore the skills, dispositions, and knowledge outlined in the PD Passport.
The Providence Day School Counseling program provides education, prevention, and intervention activities, which are integrated into all aspects of students’ lives. The program teaches students the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary for academic and social-emotional development. Through an intentional and developmentally appropriate scaffolded approach, students are prepared to graduate from Providence Day School with the social-emotional skills necessary to be successful in college and beyond.
The Learning Specialists assist students, parents, and teachers to help identify and support the academic needs of a wide range of students in TK-12th grades. There are learning specialists at each division level: Elisa Clark in the Lower School, Julie Hill in the Middle School, and Shelley Mikszan and Emily Young in the Upper School.
The primary role of the Learning Specialist is to help students become successful learners and self-advocates. The Learning Specialist serves as a resource consultant to administrators, counselors, teachers, and parents, while acting as a liaison with other educational specialists.
Students and families may seek classroom and standardized testing accommodations through the Learning Specialists. Services are available to students who have been diagnosed with learning differences as well as those undergoing psychoeducational evaluations. Teachers may also consult with the Learning Specialist when a potential learning difference may be interfering with a student’s academic progress.
In addition, they facilitate access to a variety of school-based and community resources. In the event students require more specialized services, the Learning Specialists will work with parents and school personnel to identify appropriate outside services when necessary.
Occupational Therapy services are available for students who need individualized treatment for handwriting skill development, sensory regulation, fine and gross motor skill development, visual motor and perceptual strengthening, and motor planning and isolation. On-site services allow the therapist to work closely with the student’s academic team and parents. These services are provided on the school campus with payment from the student’s parents directly to the therapist.
Speech and Language Therapy
Speech and Language services focus on helping students with a wide range of speech-related problems to meet performance standards. Providence Day currently contracts with two speech and language therapists. Their work includes prevention, assessment, intervention, and program design efforts that are integrated within the school setting. They serve a full range of communication disorders, including those involving language, articulation, fluency, voice/resonance, auditory processing, written expression, and phonological processing. Services are provided on the school campus with payment from the student’s parents directly to the clinician.
The PD Tutoring Program is a supplemental service and is in addition to the after school help sessions that are offered by teachers. Parents are responsible for paying the tutor a designated fee on a weekly or monthly basis. The tutoring program provides one-on-one tutoring in most subject areas and at all grade levels. Tutoring is available before and after school. Middle and Upper School tutorials begin after the regular teacher help sessions at 3:40 p.m. daily. Resources for specialized tutoring are also available. Summer tutorials can also be arranged by contacting Student Services Director Joyce Harris at 704-887-6075 or firstname.lastname@example.org.