A true learning community needs to do more than simply teach its students. It must support them as they navigate the complex waters of childhood and their teen years.
Our students benefit from an extensive support network at school. School counselors, learning specialists, advisors, and peer mentors help them traverse challenges both in and out of the classroom and guide them to make decisions about their future. The Office of Equity and Inclusion also supports students in their various identities to connect, be empowered, and experience success in our community. Brentwood helps its students find the kind of balance and equilibrium that will allow them to thrive academically, artistically, athletically, and socially, and to anticipate their future with a sense of confidence.
We devote care and attention to every Lower School student’s academic, physical, emotional, and social development through a team of professionals who work closely with classroom teachers to support student needs.
Our Learning Specialist serves as a resource to teachers and a liaison to a network of professionals outside of the school, including educational therapists, speech and language pathologists, and occupational therapists.
Our Lower School Nurses provide day-to-day health services to the Lower School student body. In coordination with our Director of Public Safety, the nurses also plan, coordinate, and implement the Lower School safety and disaster preparedness programs.
Our Lower School Counselor coordinates the Community of Caring program to promote and integrate the seven core values of trust, respect, responsibility, honesty, caring, diversity and community into the daily life of the Lower School community. Ms. Taylor also serves as a resource to students, parents, and faculty, helping work through specific student conflicts and/or developmental concerns.
The Middle School Advisory program allows students to develop connections with faculty members who are available to support students throughout their Middle School experience. The faculty advisor assists students with integrating into the Brentwood School community both academically and socially. The advisor monitors students’ academic success and helps them obtain academic support when necessary.
Advisory discussions address relevant issues for Middle School students. They explore topics of organization, study skills, peer pressure, ethical decision making, and self-advocacy. Brentwood's Core Values are a touchstone throughout these conversations.
Our Middle School Psychologist interacts with parents, students, and teachers regarding the social-emotional, and interpersonal needs of our students. We take a proactive approach to supporting our students and caring for their social well-being. We strive to get to know each student personally so we can provide them with needed support at any time.
The Learning Specialist serves as a resource to teachers and a liaison to a network of professionals outside of the school. Information about the learning processes of students assists the teachers to best help the different learners in our classrooms.
In the Upper School, students are assigned a Faculty Advisor who works closely with them throughout their Brentwood journey. Besides weekly small advisory group meetings, advisors and advisees also interact informally, having lunch together or sharing leisure time. Advisors often act as liaisons between parents/guardians and the school, working with the Upper School administrative team to facilitate conversation.
Academic advising and College Counseling
All Brentwood School students meet regularly with an academic advisor to select appropriately challenging courses and to ensure that all graduation requirements will be met. In the 10th Grade, students are officially assigned one of Brentwood’s five full-time college counselors. While keeping in mind each student’s personalized path to success, our college counselors help students identify and apply to colleges that fit their unique talents and aspirations. The counselors empower our students to achieve balance, to promote curiosity, and to encourage accountability of choices and ownership of learning
To that end, a variety of events help students and families navigate the process of choosing and applying to colleges, including Case Study Night and College Fair, a number of parent/guardian evenings, and essay-writing workshops. Approximately 100 college admissions deans and representatives visit Brentwood School each fall and winter.
The school sponsors two college trips for Brentwood School students. The sophomores take a two-day trip to California colleges and universities, including Stanford, UC Berkeley, and other institutions. Juniors take a spring break trip to the east coast, concentrating on Northeast and Mid-Atlantic colleges and universities.
Social and emotional Counseling
Professional counselors are available on campus for additional student and family support. When students face challenges at home or in school, they often need an accepting, nonjudgmental adult to help them process their feelings and get through these difficult times. School counselors provide listening skills and encouragement as students and families navigate through these high school years.
Our Learning Specialist discusses ways that teachers and families can support students academically. When students present with a documented learning profile, the Learning Specialist facilitates appropriate accommodations in school and with the College Board.