Health & Guidance

The Division Heads of the Lower (K–IV), Middle (V–VIII) and Upper (IX–XII) Schools are well informed about each student’s circumstances and her progress and can put concerns in a larger context of their work with students, families and teachers. Classes VIII and IX are each also supported by a Class Head, who stays with the girls for two years as they negotiate the personal and academic transition from Middle to Upper School. Other important resources are the School Psychologist and Learning Specialists, who work with families, and the School Counselor, who works with Middle and Upper School girls.

A Home Base for Students

Room teachers are home base for students in each grade. Life in the Lower School is centered in the homeroom, with most academic subjects taught by the room teacher. In K–V, room teachers also work with individual students and with the class as a community. In Classes VI–IX, room teachers are no longer subject teachers for all of the students in their homerooms, but lead weekly group discussions together with grade level advisors. Students in X–XII request an advisor from a group of teachers who work with the grade in its last three years at Brearley. The Academic Dean also works closely with Upper School students as they select courses.

Academic Coordination

Department Heads oversee the academic program in thirteen curricular departments: the traditional academic subjects, the arts, physical education and the more interdisciplinary Library, Computer Education and Learning Skills Departments. Teachers who share sections of a course meet once a week to discuss, plan and reflect on their work.

Brearley girls can count on a number of mentors

  • In Middle School, the School Nurse leads discussions on human sexuality and body changes, and the science curriculum includes anatomy and physiology of the reproductive system.
  • Class IX meets weekly with senior Peer Leaders for informal discussions. In Junior and Senior Seminar, students meet with the School Counselor as well as with a counselor from Freedom Institute who is trained to talk to students about substance abuse, and outside specialists in sexuality and medicine.
  • All members of the School Health Team—the School Counselor, the School Nurse and the School Psychologist—can guide girls individually or make additional referrals.