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Health and Wellness

Mind. Body. Community.

Throughout a student’s Middle School and Upper School years, Dana Hall works diligently, thoughtfully, and intentionally to cultivate a brave, open, and safe community that values the health and well-being of all.

Our celebrated Forum curriculum is the centerpiece of those efforts. Through regular meetings led by teachers, students learn how to build self-confidence and strong relationships by exploring core themes of community, communication, identity, and self-care. They embrace alternate viewpoints, lean into discomfort, and negotiate the “oops” and “ouch” moments that come with adolescence.

The Peer Education program here does not just scratch the surface of challenging conversations, but instead welcomes new ideas and perspectives, all the while fostering new friendships across grade levels.” EMILYPeer Educator

We evolve our Forum programming each year to reflect emerging developments around race, gender identity, and other societal factors that affect our school and our world.

Throughout the year, we also welcome guest speakers who address topics that range from how to become a good digital citizen to personal stories of recovery and resilience. Recent speakers have included Dr. Lisa Damour, an expert on adolescent girls’ development and the author of the bestseller Under Pressure, and Rosetta Lee, a highly respected diversity speaker and trainer. 

The physical health of our community is also a top priority. While participating in team sports isn’t a requirement at Dana Hall, we expect and encourage every student to be physically active. The breadth of activities and programs offered at our Shipley Center—from squash to rock climbing—helps ensure that students exercise their bodies as well as their minds. Recreational sports, which complement our robust athletics offerings, are woven into the fabric of student life, providing valuable lessons in teamwork, leadership, cooperation, and collaboration. 

Health and Wellness News

From the Roar

Peer educators in training in a classroom
Margie Bailey, Assistant Director of Health & Wellness

Originally the goal of the Peer Education program was to prepare students to lead peer-to-peer discussions around topics such as body positivity, mental health, healthy friendships, and digital responsibility during the eight weeks they were scheduled to teach. While the main goal of the group continues, the student peer educators expressed they wanted to impact the Dana Hall community beyond just the classroom.

Read More about Enhancing the Peer-to-Peer Experience
Two students observe the small car they built in science class
Lauren Goldberg, Director of the Middle School

We rely on schools to keep our children safe and meaningfully occupied during the day, but it’s not just high-quality custodial care that makes a school like Dana Hall so valuable. A good school experience is one where every aspect of a child’s life is enhanced.

Read More about Learning in Community
Students conduct an experiment in science lab
Nia Jacobs, former Academic Dean

When I taught Senior English for the first time at Dana Hall almost a decade ago, the summer reading book was one that I hadn’t read before, Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird. I wasn’t in love with it at the start; I wasn’t entirely sure that this book was going to fit well with the course that I was teaching, an interdisciplinary, co-taught course focused on Black history and literature. However, the central lesson of this book and the story from which the author takes its title has proven to be incredibly valuable to me and my work in many different ways.

Read More about Taking it “Bird By Bird”