Eudemonia (Greek word used by Aristotle to denote happiness, or ‘the worthwhile life') is a well-being program for third and fourth form students designed to educate students on how they might capitalize upon their human resources to make the most of their potential. Students learn about topics including empathy, managing conflict, resilience, and judgment.
Eudemonia consists of five strands, and every lesson, session, workshop or talk in some way contributes to one or more of these five aspects. They are grounded in the work of Dr. Martin Seligman (University of Pennsylvania) and based on his PERMA model: Positive Emotion, Engagement, Positive Relationships, Meaning, and Accomplishments/Achievement. Third and fourth form students attend Eudemonia classes, while fifth and sixth form students participate in smaller lecture workshops.
Flourishing at The Hill
Flourishing at School is a software solution for schools seeking to excel at whole school well-being. Students take part in an online survey that assesses the degree to which they have developed the “pillars” of good mental health: positive emotions, engagement (flow), positive relationships, meaningfulness, accomplishment, nutrition, exercise, and sleep.
The software platform gives each child access to easy-to-understand survey results, resources to improve their well-being literacy, activities to optimize quality of life, and a goal-setting feature to assist students in translating improved self-awareness to action. This tool is a tremendous value and benefit to individual students and to the School in terms of developing our understanding of the well-being of the whole Hill community.
These well-being lessons, alongside the formal academic curriculum, the extra-curricular activities, and pastoral care (dormitory and adviser system), aim to create the conditions for a thriving life here at The Hill School.
Each Hill School student is assigned a faculty adviser with whom he or she meets on a weekly basis during both small group meetings on Tuesday mornings and during adviser seated lunches on Fridays. Students also meet with their advisers one-on-one throughout the year and the group sits together for many of the School’s assemblies, visiting speakers, and special events held in the Center For The Arts. An adviser usually has a group of five to seven students each year and in most cases students remain with the same adviser throughout their time at The Hill.
While an adviser’s formal responsibilities include distributing grades, assisting with class selections, and making periodic reports to each advisee’s parents, the adviser’s primary role is to support and encourage the students in their charge and make a positive, genuine, impact in their lives -- while at The Hill and beyond. Many of the most meaningful connections between advisers and advisees are made through casual conversations, sharing snacks and laughs together, celebrating birthdays and achievements, participating in community service activities, enjoying an off-campus trip to the movies, or dinner in the adviser’s home.
The counseling program is an extension of the goals of a Hill education. As such, it seeks to be an integral part of the safety net specifically set in place to secure the emotional well-being that we know promotes the best learning in our students. Though Hill School students will often explore the concerns they may experience in social, academic, or personal areas of life with a range of faculty they may also do so with the School counselors in a drop-in manner. Although the School counselors do not engage in on-going therapeutic work with students, the Director of Counseling maintains a list of outside clinicians to which referrals are readily supported. With prevention and education as an overt guide, health and wellness messages and mindfulness strategies are the consistent goals of the counseling program.
Peer Counseling and Tutoring
Students may also choose to discuss their concerns with a peer counselor. Peer counselors serve as a means of support for students, while members of the Circle of Trust model behavior for a healthy, substance-free lifestyle. Peer tutoring is the academic arm of the Peer Counseling program specifically set in place to augment the myriad of academic support available to all Hill students. Students volunteer as fellows in writing, mathematics, world languages, and classics, offering peer tutoring and support to students needing help in those disciplines.
The Elliot Menkowitz, M.D. Wellness Center
The Wellness Center is a 12-bed facility that includes a treatment room and three exam rooms. Our health care team consists of a school physician, two nurse practitioners, registered nurses, medical assistant, school counselors and medical secretaries. Students are not permitted to visit the Wellness Center for non-emergency purposes during an academic class or obligation. A registered nurse is available on-call to address students’ health needs when the office is closed. Additionally, our medical providers are available to the Wellness Center nurses and students 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We have access to an extensive larger medical community with all medical specialties represented, as well as the use of the nearby Pottstown Hospital, should the need arise. A comprehensive description of our health policies, procedures and medical services is found in the Student Handbook. Read more about the Wellness Center.