Upper School Leadership, Ethics, and Development

The Philosophy

The Upper School LEAD program cultivates leadership, ethics and the development of health and well being. In grade-specific, small groups, students participate in active discussions, activities, and self reflections centered on the theme that everyone has the ability to lead. Students explore the many skills that define models of leadership and the many forms that leadership takes. Students are encouraged to find avenues to exhibit their inner leader. These lessons are designed to foster healthy decision-making as students gain increased independence in various areas of their lives. Topics and activities explored during LEAD include, but are not limited to Mindfulness/Yoga, Colors Personality Surveys, YouScience College Aptitude Program, healthy relationships and Pathways. All students are enrolled in the appropriate LEAD course automatically each year. These courses are graded pass/fail. Students successfully pass LEAD by understanding and engaging in class discussions and activities.

Leading with Ethics and Character

Open to: Grade 9

In their first immersion at Derryfield, students learn introductory information related to what makes an effective and trusted leader in the 21st century. Each student completes the True Colors and Gallup Strength Inventory surveys, and is introduced to the idea of his or herself as a leader in our community. They are able to connect these experiences to potential leadership opportunities throughout their Derryfield journey. This ties into a larger exploration into community and belonging. In addition, students learn the importance of ethical decision-making and building trust via collaboration and understanding multiple viewpoints.

Living a Happy and Healthy Life

Open to: Grade 10

Tenth grade students explore the brain-body-connection in an integrated unit on healthy lifestyle choices. This includes, but is not limited to, students taking away different coping strategies for managing stress, understanding peer to peer friendships and relationships, a re-exploration of ethical decision making, and how drugs, alcohol and peer pressure influence our ability to access the rational parts of our brain.

Building Connections

Open to: Grade 11

Eleventh grade students begin their LEAD journey with the College Counseling Office through an introduction to SCOIR, the platform that students will use to apply to college. Throughout the winter trimester, they meet with the College Office to discuss general topics about the college process such as college visits and building the college list. In addition, students update their Pathways and work with the Alumni Connections Team to build resumes and learn about internships.r Pathways and work with the Alumni Connections Team to build resumes and learn about internships.

Reflection and Writing

Open to: Grade 12

Seniors experience LEAD with the College Counseling Office in the fall trimester. The program supports students as they immerse themselves in the college process by providing time to reflect on who they have become, what is important to them, and how they can communicate their story to colleges. Twice per eight-day rotation, students meet with their LEAD instructor. During this time, they work both independently and with a writing coach to draft, conference on and revise various parts of their college applications including essays and personal statements. Students revisit LEAD in the Spring trimester prior to their ISP’s through a program called LEAD Launch. LEAD Launch is a speaker series in which students are exposed to a variety of topics related to life after Derryfield.