In the last few months, Anne-Elise Parker, Director of Personalized Learning, has been busy providing academic, social, and emotional support to students.
In late August and early September, Mrs. Parker's time was spent getting to know students and their families. She accomplished this by attending divisional assemblies and Parent Nights and visiting classrooms and advisories. Middle and Upper school students completed a "Needs Assessment," essentially a quick survey about themselves and how they were feeling about the start of the school year.
In mid-September, Mrs. Parker began meeting with Middle and Upper School Advisory groups to provide social and emotional guidance and support learning. She also visited a few Lower School classrooms to give lessons on empathy and friendship. She presented time management skills to freshman during their study hall time, and she was invited by Mrs. Lau to talk with AP Chemistry students about growth mindset.
In September, Mrs. Parker also started meeting with students individually. She will continue to connect with students who need support around social, emotional, academic, or personal concerns. Middle and Upper school students have access to an online request form, which they can complete at any time should they feel they need to speak with her. Lower School students can be referred by a parent or teacher to speak with Mrs. Parker as required.
In October, Mrs. Parker began offering optional small group sessions for all divisions. Three to eight students of the same grade or divisional level meet informally with Mrs. Parker to talk about a shared topic of concern or interest. Participating students may learn new skills, practice new behaviors, and connect with their peers. Parents who have questions about small groups, or would like their child to participate in small group counseling, should contact Mrs. Parker.
Mrs. Parker is extending her professional expertise beyond Elgin Academy. In October, she spoke to the Barrington Chamber of Commerce on "Perfectionism and Anxiety in Children," and she gave the same talk to the public at the Gail Borden Library.