Academics
Upper School

Human Development

Human Development in the Upper School
The Human Development program is Viewpoint’s approach to integrating Social and Emotional skill development into the lives of our Upper School students. The program is two-part in that we offer Human Development courses and seminars for students in Grades Nine-Twelve. The courses include a year-long, required class for students in Grade Nine, and two Peer Mentoring Elective courses for students in Grades Ten-Twelve. There are also several Human Development Seminars scheduled throughout the school year, some for all upper school students and others that are grade specific. All US Human Development programming incorporates the five pillars of Social and Emotional Learning (Self-Awareness, Self-Management, Social Awareness, Relationship Skills, and Responsible Decision-Making). We strive to teach specific strategies to increase student’s social and emotional skills. We also, provide several opportunities for students to reflect on, and practice such skills, in relation to real life experiences and relationships.
 
Peer Mentoring Program
Students in Grades Ten-Twelve have the opportunity to enroll in our two Human Development elective courses.

The first course (which is a pre-requisite) is called Introduction to Counseling Communication. In this class students will learn specific communication and facilitation strategies. Students will explore key aspects of identity, and learn about concepts such as bias, privilege, discrimination, institutionalized oppression, etc. This class offers students the opportunity to hone in on their relational skills and gain a better understanding of who they are in relation to the world around them. This class will challenge students to practice in-depth reflection on their personal lives, the lives of others in our Viewpoint community, and the large world community.

The second elective is called, Peer Mentoring and can only be taken after completing the introductory course and with department approval. Students enrolled in Peer Mentoring will continue to develop their communication and facilitation skills while moving into the role of Co-Facilitator. Students that are enrolled in Peer Mentoring, will partner with a member of the Human Development Faculty to co-teach a Ninth Grade Human Development class. Viewpoint’s Peer Mentors are highly skilled in communication strategies, have developed high levels of culture competency, and are student leaders throughout the Viewpoint community.
 
Ninth Grade: The Ninth Grade Human Development course aims to teach skills that enable students to take active responsibility for their choices, relationships and goal setting.  Teachers and students work to foster self and social awareness and build sound decision-making skills. Additional to the class, the Human Development teachers are also the Ninth Grade Homeroom teachers. This additional daily contact with students allows for deeper relationships between students and their Human Development teacher, and a greater sense of community at a key transition time for students. The program serves as a foundation to be reinforced throughout a Viewpoint student’s Upper School education.

Tenth Grade:
 Students in the Tenth Grade participate in Upper School Human Development Seminars multiple times a year. These seminars are on a range of topics, such as: Drug Education, Safe Technology Use, Personal Values, Sexuality, and Inclusivity, etc. This time is designed to bring the Upper School together, and to inspire dialogue within the community. There are also times when there is a grade specific speaker or event that is targeted to the developmental needs of that age group. For example, in the tenth grade a Sex Education Seminar might focus on the use of contraceptives (within a range of sexual behaviors), and background information on Sexually Transmitted Diseases. We feel that it is important to keep in mind the needs of a specific age group and those of the larger community. Our programming aims to meet both needs throughout the school year.

Eleventh Grade: Students in eleventh grade participate in Upper School Human Development Seminars multiple times a year. These seminars are on a range of topics, such as: Drug Education, Safe Technology Use, Personal Values, Sexuality, and Inclusivity, etc. This time is designed to bring the Upper School together, and to inspire dialogue within the community. There are also times when there is a grade specific speaker or event that is targeted to the developmental needs of that age group. For example, in the eleventh grade a Sex Education Seminar might focus on how to have safe and healthy communication about sexual behavior, as well as a review of contraceptive options. We feel that it is important to keep in mind the needs of a specific age group and those of the larger community. Our programming aims to meet both needs throughout the school year.

Twelfth Grade: Students in twelfth grade participate in Upper School Human Development Seminars multiple times a year. These seminars are on a range of topics, such as: Drug Education, Safe Technology Use, Personal Values, Sexuality, and Inclusivity, etc. This time is designed to bring the Upper School together, and to inspire dialogue within the community. There are also times when there is a grade specific speaker or event that is targeted to the developmental needs of that age group. For example, in the twelfth grade Sex Education Seminar the focus might be on how to have safe and healthy communication about sexual behavior and strategies to be an “Up-stander” (an active bystander that intervenes in an unsafe situation). Twelfth grade students also participate in Senior Seminar(s) that focus on their transition out of High School and into the next stage of their lives.

contact

List of 1 members.

  • Mara Garcia 

    Upper School Counselor; Coordinator of Human Development
    818-591-6135
    Gonzaga University - MA
    University of Redlands - BA