Philosophy The goal of the AES wellness program is to prepare young people to make responsible decisions about their health and welfare. Emphasis is broad in the sense that one aspect of wellness, for instance, substance use, is not emphasized over another.
Curriculum The core program for wellness is found in the Health and Physical Education curriculum which extends from kindergarten through grade 12. In high school, students are required to take three semesters of physical education, including one full year in grade 9 plus health for a semester in grade 10. In addition, Ninth Grade Seminar covers various wellness topics.
External Consultants On an annual basis, the school brings in consultants with either expertise in overall wellness or in a specific area such as tobacco, alcohol and drugs or restitution, to name two examples. In both 2008 and 2009, Dr. Sue Porter was on campus for two weeks working with parents, students, and faculty. She worked closely with the physical education and health department to strengthen and integrate the wellness curriculum andwith counselors on strategies for developing a comprehensive wellness program for the school. She also gave several evening presentations to parents and their students during evening sessions. In addition, during the school year a local therapist gave a series of parent workshops on "Improving Communication with your Teenager." More recently, Sarah Jackson, MSW shared her extensive experience working with clients regarding substance abuse issues. Her presentation was titled, "Teens, Drugs and Alcohol: What 21st Centruy Parents Should Know".
In House Presentations and Events High School counselors give a number of evening presentations throughout the year on topics ranging from Transitions to Stress. Parent coffees are held on a monthly basis and the Parent School Association hosts grade level parent gatherings.
Counseling Students with wellness concerns may see or be referred to the school psychologist and/or counselors. Weekly Student Support Team (SST) meetings are held to discuss students at risk academically, emotionally, or behaviorally. The school's role in working with families is limited and an important option is to refer families to services outside of AES.
Surveys On a voluntary basis every other year high school students participate in a comprehensive survey to assess student behavior and attitudes in a wide variety of related wellness areas. The results of the most recent survey from January 2012 will soon be available on our website. Preliminary results indicate use of alcohol, other drugs, and tobacco have declined since the previous survey administration in 2010. In addition to the survey, the high school PE and Health department conducts a yearly survey about student's participation in physical activity, with the results helping to inform decisions about PE classes and extracurricular programs. A Student Satisfaction Survey is given to the student body annually.
Orientation To assist students new to the school transition smoothly into AES, the counseling department hosts a series of events. A new student orientation is held on the day before school begins in the fall and for the second semester. A luncheon is held several weeks after the start of school to assess student well-being and acclimation. Students moving from grade 8 to grade 9 at AES partake in several activities aimed at making the move from middle to high school a smooth and stress-free event. Special orientations are held for parents of new students and parents of grade 8 to 9 students during the course of the year, as well.
Co-curricular Activities After school presents students with a myriad of sports choices by seasons, including basketball, volleyball, swimming, tennis, soccer, track and field, and badminton. Students have the choice of joining more than a dozen clubs that meet either during lunch or after school throughout the school year. After school opportunities also include participation in art, music, theater and community service. The fitness room is available for high school students to use after school.