Minutes of 7th Grade Wellness Dialogue – September 17, 2014

Submitted by Alice Kenniff

A group of ten seventh grade parents and one eleventh grade parent attended the 7th Grade Wellness Dialogue led by Alison Ferst, Clinical Psychologist, Consultant member of the Hunter Counseling Department on September 17th.  Also hosting the meeting were Lee Weinberg, 7th Grade Counselor, and Emanuela Calderon, 7th Grade teacher of Health/Physical Education. Ms. Ferst, Ms. Weinberg and Ms. Calderon spoke of 7th Grade being an adjustment year for many students, who are adapting to a new school, an open environment, and body changes at the same time.

Parents shared concerns about their child’s first month of school, with some reporting tears, lost sleep and heavy backpacks as students take on more homework. Others said their child didn’t have much homework, or often said there wasn’t any.

Ms. Ferst described the Wellness Dialogue as an opportunity for parents to share information with counselors who in turn share their professional perspectives and knowledge of the curriculum to provide help “navigating the waters” of 7th Grade. 

Ms. Calderon said that Hunter teachers, staff and counselors see the need to give students additional support during the 7th Grade year. She asked parents to keep in touch with faculty, whatever the challenge, because teachers are available for intervention before a small problem grows.

Ms. Weinberg indicated that she plans to meet individually with each 7th Grader over the course of the year.  She described her role as helping students to develop themselves personally, academically and socially, but also to advocate to faculty if she is hearing of something that students need.

Contact information for Ms. Ferst, Ms. Weinberg and Ms. Calderon is available in the Hunter Faculty and Staff Directory.