New groups to support students

Starting this fall, the Student Services Department is scheduled to launch 10 pilot student support groups.

According to Eric Etherton, assistant principal for student services, the groups aim to provide specific types of support for students. The groups are meant to address the type of concerns the department has noticed in one-on-one meetings with students.

The groups include Asian American/Pacific Islander, Executive Functioning Support, Grief, Post Hospitalization Support, Resilience Builder and Test Taking Strategies groups. There are also four Social/Emotional Support groups to help students with the transition back to in-person school, depression and anxiety, low self-esteem and general life stress.

According to school psychologist Seth Roseman, he hopes students will be willing to open up in these groups.

“The purpose of the group is sort of to create an environment where somebody feels safe in sharing and talking,” Roseman said.

Staff members have been assigned to lead the groups. Social studies teacher Sarah Ilie along with three other staff members were chosen to facilitate the Asian American/Pacific Islander Group.

Ilie long anticipated the creation of an Asian American/Pacific Islander group and intends for this group to allow students to feel comfortable sharing their life experiences with one another, Ilie said.

“The idea is to provide a safe and supportive environment and services for students that might need a safe and supportive environment,” said Ilie. “For an [Asian American/Pacific Islander] student, it could be they just need a place where they feel like they could talk about what it means to be an Asian American.”

According to Etherton, the Student Services Department has talked about offering groups over the last few years.

“We tried to identify what type of groups we felt might be the most beneficial for students,” Etherton said.

The groups meet during the school day during rotating blocks, such as on Green 1 the first week, Green 2 the second week and so on.

“We wouldn’t want them to miss the same class weekly, so we’re trying to balance instructional time versus the benefit of participating in a group,” Etherton said.

According to Roseman, he encourages students to be open-minded about these groups.

“Sometimes there’s a benefit in knowing that you’re not alone,” Roseman said.