Student Support Services

As part of our school mission to educate the whole child, Head-Royce seeks to develop physically healthy and socially and emotionally aware students who understand themselves and others. Recognizing that the concept of “wellness” is part of a broader systemic thinking, we seek to instill in students an understanding of the many components of wellness that lead to happiness and healthy living.

We aim to help our students understand the benefits of healthy eating and physical fitness; the importance of self-awareness, self-acceptance and self-advocacy; and how to effectively navigate social dynamics and build effective communication skills.

Student Support Services comprises a collaborative team of Learning Specialists and Counselors who foster the development of academic, behavioral, and social emotional well-being. Our school community is enriched by the diversity of thinkers and learners who add their talent to learning activities each day. Learning specialists and school counselors work together with the staff to provide a supportive learning environment, positive social skill development, and emotional balance.

Counseling Support

We have professionally trained counselors for each division on campus who are available to meet with students individually or in groups for short-term counseling. The counselors also conduct classroom lessons and observations, as well as collaborate with other student support professionals.

The role of our counselors as part of the Student Support Team:

  • Conduct classroom social-emotional lessons, character education curriculum support once a week and lead occasional small group work.
  • Consult with classroom and specialist teachers regarding socio-emotional questions for all students.
  • Classroom observation of students at the request of teachers, administrators and/or parents when questions arise about social/emotional challenges or learning differences.
  • One-on-one parent consultation when students are experiencing social and emotional challenges related to school and/or familial strain (i.e. illness, family transitions, loss, conflict).
  • Support the implementation and integration of social-emotional learning, self-regulation and conflict resolution curriculums.
  • Attend a variety of weekly or monthly meetings, including division meetings, specialist grade level meetings, Learning Support Team, curriculum and faculty meetings.
  • Conduct student check-ins and conflict resolution facilitation when there are specific emotional needs.
  • Convene family team meetings for students with identified learning/socio-emotional needs.
  • The counselor works closely with administrators, Learning Specialists, teachers, outside professionals and families. We believe that the collaborative team approach is appropriate to the developmental needs of our students.
  • Provide appropriate resources and referrals when outside support is needed.
  • Keep records, documentation and written communication.
  • Coordinate the Upper School health curriculum, including bringing in outside educators to teach specific social-emotional topics. (US counselor)
  • Teach Life Skills and leadership classes as well as facilitate lunch time groups for specific grades.

Learning Differences

At Head-Royce, our goal is for students to meet with academic success and to build confidence as active and engaged learners. Teachers and administrators work with families in an effort to foster a positive academic experience for all students from kindergarten through senior year. We recognize that students with diagnosed learning disabilities may need extra support in designated areas. While we expect all students to meet the school's academic standards, we strive to work with students with learning differences so that they have a fair and reasonable opportunity to develop a lifelong love for learning.

We have found that students with learning differences do well at Head-Royce if we can affirm our three pillar questions:

  • With reasonable and school-approved accommodations, is the student mastering the curriculum?
  • Is the relationship between the school and the family collaborative and effective?
  • Is the student’s self-esteem healthy and intact?

Head-Royce provides some support for students with learning differences by each of our part-time Learning Specialists but does not specialize in accommodating learning differences and is not equipped to handle the full range of learners. Our support services change slightly by division as developmentally and cognitively appropriate. In order to qualify for accommodations, an evaluation with a diagnosis must be submitted. For Upper School, documentation must satisfy the criteria established by the College Board, most standardized testing organizations (ACT, etc.) and most college application policies for students with disabilities. Please be sure to check in with the Learning Specialist for referrals for qualified evaluators. Please click here for more information and review the criteria for documentation of a learning difference.

Contact Student Support Services

Rosemary Durousseau
Lower School Counselor
(510)531-1300 x2285

Kristi Farnham Thompson
Lower School Learning Specialist
(510)531-1300 x2236

Suzy Klein
Middle School Counselor
(510)531-1300 x2335

Sabina Aurilio
Middle School Learning Specialist
(510)531-1300 x2431

Rachel Concannon
Upper School Counselor
(510)531-1300 x2212

Peytra Redfield
Upper School Learning Specialist
(510)531-1300 x2129

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