April 24, 2019
Dear Sixth and Seventh Grade Parents,
As we head into the final weeks of school, we wanted to take an opportunity to update you on our spring curriculum and touch on the many valuable conversations happening each week. As groups who now know each other well, we are poised to take advantage of the deeper connections that have formed which in turn have led to even better conversations and honest questions about the lessons we are learning.
Some highlights of our work together include a recent study of personal values and what it means to be an “upstander” who can stand up for these values in peer conflict scenarios. We watched a powerful video together about multiple ways to interrupt bullying behavior and discussed the price of remaining a “bystander” when others might be experiencing harm. It’s a great one to watch and discuss with your child and might lead to an interesting discussion of values—yours and theirs!
We have spent time in both sixth and seventh grade diving into our unique identities and understanding categories of human diversity in our community (as defined by the Independent Schools Diversity Network) and begin to understand the basic psychology of “in-groups” and “out-groups” and how they form. When the sixth-grade science classes explore physical changes in adolescent human growth and development this spring, we will discuss the emotional changes associated with this period of rapid growth.Seminar will augment the reproductive science by offering tools to manage new feelings of attraction and rejection and avoid harmful gossip or unnecessary harm to others. The seventh graders have been primarily focused on what defines a healthy versus an unhealthy relationship. By examining equity, respect and creating boundaries based on individual values and needs, the students are learning to use their voices to choose what is best for themselves while being mindful of the needs of others. We will dive into the concepts of consent, peer pressure, healthy sexuality, puberty and managing emotions. As it is our consistent focus, we will reinforce the critical value of honoring our own and other’s personal boundaries in healthy relationships of any kind.
Seminar continues to be a wonderful opportunity to emphasize the value of building connections with classmates with whom they will be traveling through Middle School. Please be in touch with us if you have suggestions or ideas about any of these topics (including ideas on what you hope we will discuss with your students next year!).
One final update to relay is that Lydia Maier will be taking a medical leave for the final few weeks of school to recover from surgery. Her seventh graders are lucky to have Kate Corbett, our school counselor taking over for the next month, and Blake Keogh will cover her sixth grade section. The students know Kate and Blake well.
Best wishes for a healthy and happy Spring,