Oak Hill Academy is all about #WarriorWellness this academic year! As our chosen theme for the year, #WarriorWellness provides a focal point for our advisory program and for the entire school community. With this as our guiding motto, Oak Hill will emphasize intellectual, emotional, spiritual, physical, and social well-being in our classrooms and beyond.
Closely related to our theme is the concept of social-emotional learning (SEL). From an academic perspective, SEL describes everything that takes place in the classroom beyond the basic subject material. How do students interact with each other? Do they feel comfortable to participate? What are the expectations and organizational features from one class to another?
Beyond the classroom, SEL is also a key component of daily life here at Oak Hill. Our residential life curriculum and advisory groups both promote positive emotional health and growth. Students participate in small group discussions with residential life staff in the dorms and engage in structured activities with their faculty advisor—opportunities to develop and apply SEL skills in daily life.
Starting this year, Oak Hill will be cultivating even greater opportunities for SEL and overall emotional wellness through our partnership with The Jed Foundation (JED). We are proud to be one of only five boarding schools in the United States to partner with JED, a nonprofit organization that exists to protect emotional health in teens and young adults.
Together with JED, our school will participate in in a two-year self-assessment of our emotional health support systems. We will examine best practices for guiding our community toward healthy life skills, social connections, and positive campus culture. And with JED’s guidance, we will use what we learn to develop a strategic plan for better supporting holistic well-being at Oak Hill.
Why is all of this so important? SEL competencies have been shown to increase academic performance, to improve classroom behavior, and even to assist with the management of emotions. Beyond any statistics or metrics, however, #WarriorWellness underpins the mission of Oak Hill Academy—to see all OHA students growing and thriving in every possible way.