Summer 2013
Sustainable Community

Prep For Life

Guidance Programs Help Students Thrive

Flintridge Prep has a well-structured web of relationships, programs and moments, both formal and informal, that help students grow into the kind of engaged, thoughtful, self-aware people who become full participants in life.

It starts very early. Applicants and their parents are introduced to the school at an admissions interview with faculty or staff members. In January and February, the tables around the school are dotted with 6th and 8th graders in deep conversation, or sharing jokes, with teachers. This gives students a chance to judge their “fit” at a campus that values mentoring, leadership, athletics, arts and participation as highly as academic achievement.

Before they come to campus in the fall, Prep’s new 7th and 9th graders meet in small groups with their peer counselor, a senior who will be their guide all year, able to answer questions about the campus, how to balance homework and activities or how to ask somebody to Homecoming.

Prep for Life

The peer counseling program is part of Prep’s Human Development program. Under the direction of Michael Roffina, faculty advising, peer mentoring and outdoor education programs weave themselves throughout grade levels. Complemented by grade-level meetings, grade-level dean support and counseling, all these components mesh, supporting major academic and developmental transitions, increasing students’ responsibility and self-reflection while, at the same time, providing opportunities for students to be involved in their own growth and that of their peers. It all culminates in the college counseling program, where students are led to think deeply about themselves and life after high school.

The end result is graduates who know who they are, where they are going and why.

Prep simultaneously encourages student independence and offers tremendous support, a balance of guidance and empowerment. Nationally recognized in 2008 by the Council for Spiritual and Ethical Education for excellence in ethical education, Prep’s guidance programs have continued to evolve. In 2011, the school instituted 9th grade advising. This year, every junior attended a one-day internship sponsored by alumni and parents as part of PrepExchange. Class trips evolve, class deans create new programs to help a class unite, and students routinely reach out to classmates, teachers and coaches.

The end results are graduates who know who they are, where they are going and why. They are confident and accomplished, ready for their next adventure in learning, thriving and growing. They are prepared for life, and they remain connected to Prep for life.

by Mel Malmberg