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A Coeducational, College Preparatory School for Ages 3 Through Grade 12

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Student Support

I am as unique and as precious as my desires, my needs, and my ideas. - ESD Manifesto

At ESD, we believe that in order to succeed, each student must be thoroughly supported both academically and emotionally. The Advisory Program, a cornerstone of student life since ESD’s founding in 1974, is the heart of our student support system. Through this long-standing program and a strong team of support specialists, our students are able to soar and reach their highest potential.

Advisory Program

ESD Advisories: The Cornerstone of Middle and Upper School Life

More than four decades ago, as Father Swann was formulating the kind of school ESD would become, he believed strongly that children feel assured that they would not be anonymous – that they would not “fall through the cracks.” He believed that within a larger community, there should be small, intimate groups where everyone felt accepted; where the power of cliques is minimized; where an adult could shepherd and guide. Thus, the ESD advisory system was born.

Through the years, the concept has evolved. Today, our advisory system is a cornerstone of the day-to-day life of the Middle and Upper School students at ESD. It is a continuation of the warmth and care found in homerooms at the Lower School. Every morning, each advisory, comprised of eight to ten same-grade students, attends Chapel together. During lunch, every day in the Middle School and twice a week in Upper School, the advisory sits together at the round tables in the Daryl Johnston Family Dining Commons. Advisory also includes community service projects, special programming, one-on-one meetings between the advisor and the advisee, and group activities at Wolf Run. These experiences allow the advisor to get to know these young people in a way that transcends academics.

About Advisories: Meg Fahrenbrook '01, Assistant Head of Middle School

As an alumnae and a teacher, I think that the advisory system plays a huge part in creating the unique and special community that ESD has. It gives each child a sense of security of knowing there is an adult at school they can rely on to help them organize, talk to teachers, and deal with social issues. It also provides the parents with one primary contact at the school who knows their child and will serve as a conduit for information between the parents and the students' teachers.

Emotional Wellness and Learning Support Team

Maricela Aquino LMSW

Maricela Aquino LMSW

Middle School Emotional Wellness Counselor
Melissa Crosby

Melissa Crosby

Academic Language Therapist
The Rev. Amy Heller

The Rev. Amy Heller

Senior Chaplain, Chaplain: Beginners - Fifth Grade
Hilary  Hodgson Ph.D.

Hilary Hodgson Ph.D.

Upper School Learning Support Counselor
Cara Holmes Ph.D.

Cara Holmes Ph.D.

Lower School Counselor/Learning Specialist, EWLS Team Coordinator
Ashlyn Hudson LPC

Ashlyn Hudson LPC

Upper School Learning Support Counselor and Field Hockey Program Director, Ninth and Tenth Grade Advisor
Adam Jones

Adam Jones

Middle School Learning Specialist and Crew Program Director, Sixth Grade Advisor
The Rev. Tim Kennedy

The Rev. Tim Kennedy

Chaplain, Middle and Upper School Chaplain, Middle School Religion Teacher
Amanda Sherman LPC

Amanda Sherman LPC

Middle School Emotional Wellness Counselor
Merredith Stuelpe LCSW-S

Merredith Stuelpe LCSW-S

Upper School Emotional Wellness Counselor
Barrett Van Zandt

Barrett Van Zandt

Academic Language Therapist

Emotional Wellness

ESD incorporates a variety of emotional wellness programming into the curriculum.

We are fortunate to have licensed psychologists and counselors on staff and available to our students, parents, and faculty/staff. The primary responsibility of our counselors is to provide emotional and social guidance and support for the school community in an effort to promote an exceptional environment for learning, social responsibility, and childhood development.

Developmental differences among students help to define the roles and responsibilities of counselors at each division level, but the primary responsibilities of the school counselor include (1) provision of direct, short-term counseling services, (2) consultation with administration and faculty, (3) wellness education for students, faculty/staff, and parents, (4) serving as chairperson of the ABC (Addressing Behaviors of Concern) team, a multi-disciplinary team whose efforts focus on assisting and supporting students with specific challenges, and (5) serving as a liaison amongst the school, students, parents, and outside professionals in order to help each student achieve his or her full potential at ESD. 

Emotional Wellness and Learning Support Team

Maricela Aquino LMSW

Maricela Aquino LMSW

Middle School Emotional Wellness Counselor
Melissa Crosby

Melissa Crosby

Academic Language Therapist
The Rev. Amy Heller

The Rev. Amy Heller

Senior Chaplain, Chaplain: Beginners - Fifth Grade
Hilary  Hodgson Ph.D.

Hilary Hodgson Ph.D.

Upper School Learning Support Counselor
Cara Holmes Ph.D.

Cara Holmes Ph.D.

Lower School Counselor/Learning Specialist, EWLS Team Coordinator
Ashlyn Hudson LPC

Ashlyn Hudson LPC

Upper School Learning Support Counselor and Field Hockey Program Director, Ninth and Tenth Grade Advisor
Adam Jones

Adam Jones

Middle School Learning Specialist and Crew Program Director, Sixth Grade Advisor
The Rev. Tim Kennedy

The Rev. Tim Kennedy

Chaplain, Middle and Upper School Chaplain, Middle School Religion Teacher
Amanda Sherman LPC

Amanda Sherman LPC

Middle School Emotional Wellness Counselor
Merredith Stuelpe LCSW-S

Merredith Stuelpe LCSW-S

Upper School Emotional Wellness Counselor
Barrett Van Zandt

Barrett Van Zandt

Academic Language Therapist

Learning Support

Support by a Team of Professionals: Learning Specialists, Psychologists, and Certified Language Therapists

To develop the unique potential in each student, we provide support services to address the individual learning needs of students to help them successfully meet the demands of the school’s rigorous curriculum. A team of professionals (e.g., learning specialists, psychologists, and certified academic language therapists) works with students, teachers, parents, administrators, and outside professionals to identify and address the specific learning needs of each student. Each division has a designated Learning Specialist who works to enable students to reach their full potential and participate as fully as possible in the intellectual opportunities of the school community as they strive to become independent learners.

Any student experiencing academic difficulty is eligible to receive support, consultation, screening, and referral services.  Students with diagnosed learning disorders, in particular, are encouraged to seek services and may qualify for specific academic accommodations. These students will have a formal written plan on file outlining eligible accommodations; this plan is implemented and monitored by the Learning Specialist for each division. As an academically rigorous, college preparatory school, the School has determined which accommodations best fit the academic mission of the School. Please see the Guidelines for Psychoeducational Assessment for information regarding specific accommodations as well as the documentation requirements for consideration of such accommodations.  

Emotional Wellness and Learning Support Team

Maricela Aquino LMSW

Maricela Aquino LMSW

Middle School Emotional Wellness Counselor
Melissa Crosby

Melissa Crosby

Academic Language Therapist
The Rev. Amy Heller

The Rev. Amy Heller

Senior Chaplain, Chaplain: Beginners - Fifth Grade
Hilary  Hodgson Ph.D.

Hilary Hodgson Ph.D.

Upper School Learning Support Counselor
Cara Holmes Ph.D.

Cara Holmes Ph.D.

Lower School Counselor/Learning Specialist, EWLS Team Coordinator
Ashlyn Hudson LPC

Ashlyn Hudson LPC

Upper School Learning Support Counselor and Field Hockey Program Director, Ninth and Tenth Grade Advisor
Adam Jones

Adam Jones

Middle School Learning Specialist and Crew Program Director, Sixth Grade Advisor
The Rev. Tim Kennedy

The Rev. Tim Kennedy

Chaplain, Middle and Upper School Chaplain, Middle School Religion Teacher
Amanda Sherman LPC

Amanda Sherman LPC

Middle School Emotional Wellness Counselor
Merredith Stuelpe LCSW-S

Merredith Stuelpe LCSW-S

Upper School Emotional Wellness Counselor
Barrett Van Zandt

Barrett Van Zandt

Academic Language Therapist

Climate of Care

ESD intentionally creates a climate of care through:

  • Our advisory program
  • School-based chaplains and counselors
  • Daily Chapel
  • Special Programming Days
    • Counselors or invited speakers address topics including stress reduction, relaxation/mindfulness, and anxiety 
  • Service to others and outdoor education as integral components of an ESD education
  • Balanced nature of our curriculum so that students can pursue athletics and/or the arts alongside rigorous academics

Discover the Ways ESD Reduces Stress and Anxiety for Our Students

Upper School

  • Later start time for classes, 8:45 a.m.
  • Rotating schedule
  • FLEX time and various clubs (e.g., meditation club, spirit club, etc.) 
  • Test calendar to limit the number of major exams in a given timeframe
  • Finals scheduled before winter break
  • Greater emphasis on project-based learning
  • Time allowed for off-campus mental health care (or medical leave of absence)

Lower School

  • Responsive Classroom time (class meetings)
  • Mindfulness practice through the Mind Up curriculum in Kindergarten and third grade 
  • Yoga units in PE

Emotional Wellness and Learning Support Team

Maricela Aquino LMSW

Maricela Aquino LMSW

Middle School Emotional Wellness Counselor
Melissa Crosby

Melissa Crosby

Academic Language Therapist
The Rev. Amy Heller

The Rev. Amy Heller

Senior Chaplain, Chaplain: Beginners - Fifth Grade
Hilary  Hodgson Ph.D.

Hilary Hodgson Ph.D.

Upper School Learning Support Counselor
Cara Holmes Ph.D.

Cara Holmes Ph.D.

Lower School Counselor/Learning Specialist, EWLS Team Coordinator
Ashlyn Hudson LPC

Ashlyn Hudson LPC

Upper School Learning Support Counselor and Field Hockey Program Director, Ninth and Tenth Grade Advisor
Adam Jones

Adam Jones

Middle School Learning Specialist and Crew Program Director, Sixth Grade Advisor
The Rev. Tim Kennedy

The Rev. Tim Kennedy

Chaplain, Middle and Upper School Chaplain, Middle School Religion Teacher
Amanda Sherman LPC

Amanda Sherman LPC

Middle School Emotional Wellness Counselor
Merredith Stuelpe LCSW-S

Merredith Stuelpe LCSW-S

Upper School Emotional Wellness Counselor
Barrett Van Zandt

Barrett Van Zandt

Academic Language Therapist

Nurse's Station

We believe all students should be healthy, safe, and ready to learn all day, every day.  We are fortunate to have two professional registered nurses on staff who are available to our students, faculty, staff, and visitors throughout the school day to optimize health, safety and learning.

ESD's nursing staff strives to: 

  • Implement a comprehensive program of health services for our campus in an empathetic, supportive, and confidential manner.
  • Provide health services to students, faculty, staff, and visitors.
  • Promote health education and preventive health practices for students.

Click Here to Login to the Magnus Health Portal

Magnus Health is the provider of our secure web-based electronic medical record system and your child’s health records will be initiated online. This information is HIPPA and FERPA protected and is unique to each student.

Nursing FAQs

When should I keep my child home from school with cold or flu symptoms?

If your child is exhibiting flu symptoms, keep him or her home from school. If your child has a cold, the decision to keep him or her home may depend on the severity of symptoms. Keep your child home if he or she has a fever of 100 ̊ or higher.

Attendance awards are a thing of the past; we sincerely want your child to get the rest and recovery they need when they are ill. If your child returns to school with a lingering cough or nasal congestion, send him/her with tissues and advise him/her to drink extra fluids.

If my child does have the flu or a bad cold, how long should I keep him/her home from school?

Parents should keep their sick child home from school until they have been fever-free (temperature under 100 ̊) without the use of fever-reducing medication for 24 hours, to prevent spreading illness to others. Do NOT give any medicines containing ASPIRIN to your child. Ill children should be encouraged to drink plenty of clear fluids to keep from becoming dehydrated.

Should I call my doctor?

If a child experiences flu symptoms, parents should contact his/her pediatrician early.

  • Some children may benefit from an antiviral medication, which may be prescribed by a physician and may help lessen the symptoms and may reduce the risk of complications, allowing the children to return to school sooner than expected.
  • To be effective, antiviral medications must be taken within 48 hours after flu symptoms begin.

What should I do to help prevent the rest of the household from getting sick?

Teach and Practice Healthy Habits: Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. You may help prevent the flu from spreading at home by disinfecting frequently-touched surfaces, toys, and other commonly shared items.

Mind Your Manners: Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing and sneezing, and throw away used tissues. Teach children to cough in their sleeve.

What’s Mine Is Mine, What’s Yours Is Yours: Make sure that the family does not share drinks, water bottles, or used eating utensils.

Consider Seeing Your Doctor: If someone in your household has the flu, a prescription of an antiviral medication to other household members may actually prevent them from getting the flu. Studies show that some antiviral medications are up to 92% effective in preventing the flu when taken once daily for 7 days. Antiviral medications are especially important for those children and older adults who have chronic health conditions.

Meet Our Nurses

Marcia Biggs RN

Marcia Biggs RN

Email:
Carla Thomas RN

Carla Thomas RN

Email:

Nursing News