Barrie Prep: Student Life
To support students’ social and intellectual growth from Grades 6-12, we offer the yearly Middle School Life and Upper School Life courses. In Middle School, fostering positive relationships with peers, recognition of learning preferences, executive function support, as does sexual education and drug and alcohol awareness thread through the program. In Upper School, the course focuses more on developing student voice and overall educational
support, with explorations ranging from using personality inventories to support teamwork and collaboration skills to experiencing e-learning platforms. These courses meet for less time per week than a core academic course, and are taught by Teachers, Deans, the Learning Specialist and the Director of Student and Family Services.
Community Time is an important part of our program and deeply reflects our values as a school. We believe it was important to have a time when students could either meet as a whole group (e.g. Assembly) or in smaller, non-academic groups (class meetings, advisory, student and faculty-run clubs/committees, and a block designated for
flexible use such as Extended Study Week prep.) Community Time is organized by our Middle and Upper School Deans. The meetings include:
- Advisory: Deans plan curriculum and run program, supervise the Advisors (2 CT blocks per cycle)
- Assembly: Barrie Prep meets to share appreciations, announcements, to celebrate cultural events (e.g. Black History Month performance by the Dance class, Chinese New Year celebration by English as a Foreign Language class) and share important community information. Assemblies may be divided into Grades 6-8 and 9-12. Once per month we run Forum, which is an open, moderated time when students can bring up concerns to the community. (1 CT block per cycle)
- Clubs/Committees: Student- and faculty-run clubs that students sign up for by trimester or by year. (1 CT block per cycle)
- Class Meetings: Student government representatives run class meetings to share information, solicit feedback and make decisions affecting the class. This also facilitates the pre-work for the monthly Forum Assembly (above). (1 CT block per cycle)
- Flex Time: Used to house “extra” pieces of our program: ESW Prep, Alumni speakers, etc. (1 CT block per cycle)
- Office Hours: Teachers are available to answer student questions.
To offer time in the day for students to receive extra help, collaborate on projects, or explore another area of interest, we offer Resource and Enrichment periods. These are unstructured periods of time in which teachers are on hand to provide students assistance. Middle School students receive one 60 minute block per six day cycle, and Upper School students receive four 45 minute blocks per six day cycle.
Barrie Prep requires 100 hours for community service and 75 hours for internships to graduate. Community service hours are accrued in grades 9-10 and internship hours in grades 11-12. These experiences are facilitated by the Service Learning Coordinator and the Director of College Counseling, who work with students primarily through Upper School Life courses. The Community Service requirement is expected to transition naturally from the Middle School service learning block that occurs once per cycle.
Another program that maximizes learning by taking students off of campus is our yearly
Fall Retreat. Over the past several years, Barrie Prep has worked with Calleva, an outdoor education organization, to begin our year with experiential learning programs that support our themes, values, and mission. Working in conjunction with Calleva, faculty can develop programs that allow students the opportunity to explore and experience various outdoor activities, such as rock climbing, rafting, caving, and hiking. In close collaboration with the administration, Calleva helps ensure these activities and adventures are not just bonding experiences for students, but also vehicles for beginning each year with a grounding of Barrie’s mission and values.