Developed by the internationally recognized Princeton University Center for Leadership Training, our Peer Leadership Program helps 9th graders make a successful transition into the Upper School. Ten senior boys and ten senior girls receive training in Applied Psychology before meeting with small groups of 9th Grade students weekly. These sessions are designed to help the younger students feel welcomed into the Upper School and to foster fellowship and responsibility in the older students.
The student government system at Brentwood is active, vibrant, and highly valued by both students and the wider school community. Each grade is led by male and female co-presidents and senators, who work to coordinate student events, create an awareness of the needs and concerns of the overall Brentwood community, and ensure a high level of student morale. Over the years the student government has planned and implemented various events including dances, homecoming, coffee houses, and field day.
Service to the wider community is a key part of Brentwood life, and all students become actively involved in helping those in need. Middle and Upper School students have worked with a long list of outstanding non-profit organizations, including AIDS Project LA, American Cancer Society, American Red Cross, FAITH Organization, Friends of Animals, Head Start, Heal the Bay, Homeless Feedings, Jewish Home for the Aging, LA Department of Parks and Recreation, Neighborhood Youth Association, One Voice, Regis House, SOVA Food Pantry, Special Olympics, Teen Line, Veterans Administration, and Westside Special Olympics. Service learning projects address important needs in our local and global community and foster civic responsibility as students learn about tolerance, diversity, and social justice. The school has been recognized repeatedly for its commitment to the community. Most recently Brentwood was the only school to receive the Westside Shelter and Hunger Coalition’s Community Support Award for work with the Westside Transitional Village. Click here to read more about Service Learning in the Upper School.
The Teaching Assistant Program
Eight trained, responsible seniors are chosen to assist the 9th Grade human development teachers in the classroom as Teaching Assistant. TAs have taken human development and attend class with the students twice a week. They add a perspective and credibility and enhance the day-to-day enjoyment and empathy. They know the issues, social realities, and choices that students face at that age and in the school. They value what they took away from the class enough to come back to help teach it. They provide invaluable out-of-class resources for the questions and situations that inevitably come up in a student's life. TAs have accurate information, active listening and intervention skills, and have the opportunity to develop comfortable, personal relationships with the students in their class. The TAs find this responsibility personally enriching and educational. The best way to learn something is to teach it and the continued popularity of this program most likely stems from the fact that the TAs gain as much from their experience as they contribute. This is an independent study credit for the seniors. The seniors meet in a group with their human development teachers every other week and individually with the teacher they are assisting. The TAs are not counselors and will discuss any concerns that come up with the teacher.