Health & Wellness
A MESSAGE FROM THE DIRECTOR OF HEALTH & WELLNESS
My goal as Director of Health and Wellness is to create a school community where students feel empowered to talk openly about issues that are normally seen as taboo: identity, mental health, body image, disordered eating, substance use, and sexuality. By working closely with the school counseling team, Dean of Student Life, mentors, peer advisors, and student club leaders, I aim to facilitate meaningful dialogue that can decrease the stigma in our community and create holistic systems of support for all of our students.
Director of Health & Wellness
PEER ADVISING PROGRAM
There is a network of support systems here at UHS to help students through academic and social transitions. An integral part of this network is the Peer Advising Program. Peer Advisors are juniors and seniors who work with the 9th and 10th graders providing them with support around the many issues teens face in their High School years. The Peer Advisors (PAs) are trained and supervised by the Director of Health and Wellness. PAs work closely with their 9th and 10th-grade clusters and help plan and assist in teaching the 9th grade and the 10th-grade health education classes in addition to being a part of our larger student support team.
9th Grade Health and Wellness
All ninth graders participate in a year long human development course. The Director of Health and Wellness has integrated health and wellness curriculum into that course to help with the adjustment to highschool and the challenges of early adolescence. We cover topics such as adjusting to UHS culture, identity (including race, culture, gender and sexuality), finding balance (between school, extracurriculars, social life and family), navigating developing personal boundaries and healthy relationships.
10th Grade Health Education
All tenth graders participate in a quarter-long Health Education course taught by the Director of Health and Wellness and the senior peer advisors. Our goal is to foster a safe and inclusive learning environment through open dialogue and honest and comprehensive teaching models. After spending 18 months in relative isolation, many students are grappling more than ever with their socio-emotional identities. Our hope is that through this course, we can help empower students to make healthy decisions based on knowledge and personal boundaries rather than peer pressure and perceived social norms.
Some topics that will be covered in this course include:
- Basic Anatomy and Physiology
- Sexual Identity (Gender, Gender expression, Sexual orientation, and fluidity)
- Healthy Relationships and Boundaries
- Sexual Health & Safety (including sexually transmitted infections and contraception)
- Substance Use and harm reduction
HEALTH AND WELLNESS READING LIST:
Interested in more Health & Wellness content? Check out the resources below!
- Sex, Teens, and Everything in Between: The New and Necessary Conversations Today's Teenagers Need to Have about Consent, Sexual Harassment, Healthy Relationships Love and More by Shafia Zaloon
- Yes Means Yes!: Visions of Female Sexual Power and a World without Rape by Jaclyn Friedman
- Girls & Sex and Boys & Sex by Peggy Orenstein
- Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle by Emily Nagoski, PhD
- The Teenage Brain by Frances E. Jensen MD with Amy Ellis Nutt\
- The F*** It Diet by Caroline Dooner
- You Have the Right to Remain Fat by Virgie Tovar
- The Body is Not an Apology by Sonya Renee Taylor
ARTICLES AND MORE:
- Getting 'Consent' Before Sex is Too Low a Bar (New York Times)
- Today's Marijuana: What You and Your Teen Need to Know (YouTube)
- Facebook, Instagram, and Social (Common Sense Media)
- Building Resilience and Resistance to Hypersexualized Media and Porn (Culture Reframed)