Health and Wellness
Advisory: Health and Wellness is a low-stress zone for students, founded on confidentiality and mutual respect, and it is the place where important school information is communicated. The class is held every Friday, but students can and do check-in with advisers throughout the week.
- An adviser’s role is to monitor his/her advisees’ academic and emotional progress; to help address any concerns that may arise; and to act as advisees’ advocates throughout their high school careers. Advisers stay with their advisories for all four years of a student’s career. Advisers are the first point of contact between parents and the school, and over the course of four years they build strong relationships with families. They most often write the counselor recommendation for college admissions. Twice a year teachers write detailed narrative reports for each of their students. These narratives (called anecdotal reports) include data about the skills and knowledge taught in the 1st or 3rd quarters and personalized comments about how a student can improve upon his or her achievement. In conferences (November and April), parents and their children meet with the child’s adviser to review the student’s progress. In this holistic review of all of the student’s anecdotal reports, trends and patterns emerge about student achievement and growth.
- Freshmen classes focus on transitioning to high school and health topics; these include behavioral and emotional heath, conflict resolution and anti-bullying themes, nutrition, drug and alcohol education and sexual health and disease prevention. Outside speakers specifically trained in Health topics supplement the instruction to students, while Health and Wellness Advisers tackle the social, emotional, and academic aspects of the curriculum.
- Sophomore classes focus on Community Service, and continue discussion of health topics, including sexual health and disease prevention.
- Juniors and seniors focus on the college process from beginning to end and transitioning to college, in addition to discussing health topics such as privacy issues, Internet etiquette, sexual health and disease prevention.
As citizens of New York City, it is common to become blind to the needs of those around us. The Beacon Community Service Program allows students to become directly involved with their communities. Because students choose their own placements, many of them will work to improve the neighborhoods that they have lived in for their entire lives. All Beacon sophomores are required to complete at least 50 hours of Community Service. Students have secured internships at organizations like Councilperson Gail Brewer, Assemblyperson Daniel O’Donnell, Congressperson Jerold Nadler’s offices, or the Public Advocate’s Office; Amnesty International and New York Civil Liberties Union; Planned Parenthood; Foundling and Mt. Sinai Hospitals; Global Kids; Harlem Live; the Museum of Natural History; the Central Park Conservancy and Brooklyn Zoo; the 92nd Street YMCA and many local schools and community centers.
Alongside their service, students explore the workings of major non-profit organizations throughout New York City. By studying New York City’s political hierarchy, students discover the power centers of New York City. In doing so, they learn how to make a non-profit organization effective in NYC and how to serve as a catalyst for change in their communities. Working in their advisories, students learn about non-profit organizations, prepare for their community service placement, and develop a Community Service Day of Action Plan that takes place during Spring Semester.
Students who complete 75 hours of Community Service (or 25 more than the requirement) receive an honors certificate for Community Service. Our students are often invited back to their community service placements for internships or paid jobs.
Beacon has a strong belief that education extends far beyond the classroom. Throughout the school year, we seek to enhance several areas of our curriculum with visits to cultural institutions in the city and far beyond. We believe that our classes should make students aware of the world beyond our classroom, to encourage them to travel and to question as well as contribute to these new worlds.
Within New York City, typical examples include trips to MOMA, The United Nations, The Jewish Museum, and Ellis Island. Innovative lessons often draw upon the numerous sites of cultural and historical value and provide students and teachers with a broader platform to look at their discipline.
Internationally, Beacon has led exciting educational trips to France, Spain, South Africa, Mexico, Mozambique, Costa Rica, India, England, Russia, Sweden, and Canada. As part of these trips, students spend time after school studying the cultural, political and economic conditions of these countries before prior to leaving.