The health block begins in ninth grade and presents basic information that students need in order to move consciously and safely through the adolescent years. The adolescent of 2008 is faced with insurmountable seductions and attractions that create pressure and require thoughtful navigating. Learning to make smart decisions can literally be lifesaving. This block continues in the tenth grade and culminates in the twelfth grade with the Senior Seminar/Life Skills class. The eleventh grade does not have a formal health block or class; however, many of the eleventh‐grade students become peer educators and continue to meet weekly to discuss health and social issues.
The Student Mentor, Dr. Karen Apana, is a guide who listens and assists students in learning to make healthy choices that unfold their innate and full potential. Dr. Apana is a resource for helping students to develop self-esteem and to recognize beliefs and behavior patterns that prevent them from being successful. She meets with students individually and in small groups, facilitates meetings with parents, students, and faculty, and is available for appointments Monday through Thursday.
Peer education provides a vehicle for students to connect with each other in a student-to-student form with safety, compassion, and confidentiality. 11th or 12th Grade students may apply to become peer educators by: 1) writing a statement of purpose, and 2) having an interview with Dr. Apana, who sponsors the Peer Educators. Peer educators receive training in listening and conversation skills and instruction about the health education curriculum regarding drugs, alcohol, and sexual activity. They also attend conferences to develop their peer education skills. Peer educators meet regularly throughout the year under the guidance of Dr. Apana and receive community service when appropriate.