Placing a priority on student well-being is integral to how we form young men at St. Michael’s College School.
While academic success is important and a contributing factor to student wellness, overall well-being is about much more than assignments, assessments, and exams.
The strength and stability of a student’s social and emotional life is also vital. So too is his physical health and spiritual life.
Together, these components can often serve as a predictor of academic, co-curricular and overall student success.
Aligned with the Basilian Fathers teaching model of forming the whole person — well-being at SMCS is rooted in the development of a boy’s mind, body and spirit as he learns and grows.
Designed for students and their families, our Student Wellness office features a broad range of support services to help ensure a successful and meaningful school experience for each boy, both inside and outside the classroom. It also exists to support families.
Parents can access several Wellness services directly. Additional resources as well as events, webinars and information sessions are offered to parents on a regular and ongoing basis by the school. These are available to all current parents as a means of further strengthening their son’s high school journey and supporting his development through adolescence and into young adulthood.
Wellness for the body comes in the form of physical fitness activities and various courses offered across every grade level. These are supplemented by more than 50 athletic teams and intramural sports offerings for every taste and level of experience.
Spiritual well-being at SMCS occurs in many ways for all students, whatever their religious denomination. Observances and rituals marked in the Catholic faith are celebrated throughout the academic year.Students also participate in daily and weekly prayers and reflections. A dedicated Spiritual Co-ordinator leads the organization of faith-based activities and also serves as a familiar and friendly face of support, when needed.
A full-time Student Wellness Officer is on staff at St. Michael’s College School to facilitate interactions with students and families, while serving as a key resource with specialized experience and expertise to support the overall well-being of every boy.
As part of an integrated nexus of support services, the Student Wellness Officer at SMCS works in close collaboration with members of the Student Affairs department, including guidance counsellors and learning enrichment strategists, as well as with classroom teachers, administrators, other departments and in-house professionals with varying specialties and levels of expertise.
Employing a holistic approach, Wellness and Student Affairs staff work together in an integrated manner to answer student questions, address concerns and support each boy with social-emotional learning tools.
Wellness staff support students in areas including: relationship skills, understanding emotions, self-management, social awareness, dealing with changes, coping with adversity, etc. Together, these contribute to building the foundation of a young man’s life in high school and beyond.
In working alongside each student, educational staff and families, the Student Wellness Officer supports a student’s high school journey so that each boy has the tools to develop his potential.
The Student Wellness Officer strives to meet each student where they are in their high school journey and in their lives, then provide a level of guidance and reassurance to help them problem-solve and move forward, successfully. Whether individually or in collaboration with other departments, the Student Wellness Office provides a breadth of services across a broad spectrum:
- Social and emotional support individually and in groups
- Crisis and safety planning
- Referral services
- Consultation with community resources and outside professional
- Classroom programmes
- Facilitative teaching
The Student Wellness Office is located in the Main Office of St. Michael’s College School.
Confidential appointments can be made with the Student Wellness Officer by phone, email or Edsby.
ParenTalks is a series of conversations designed for parents of current St. Michael's College School students.
Held several times throughout the academic year, each ParenTalks event features invited guest experts addressing a relevant and timely topic through the lens of evidenced-based research.
The goal is to share knowledge, strategies and support with parents while their son navigates high school and moves through the formative teenage years.
In addition to the featured expert, the format for each ParenTalks presentation includes a moderator and a panel of guests to further discuss the theme and its relevance to the growth and development of an adolescent boy. Every panel discussion also features a family doctor who brings continuity and the benefit of a medical perspective to the focus topic.
During each ParenTalks event, parents and other audience members have the opportunity to ask questions directly of the featured guests and panelists on hand. Parent questions can also be submitted ahead of each ParenTalks session.In organizing these ongoing conversations on topics of significance to parents, the objective is to continue to strengthen the relationship and dialogue between a student's school and home life, while providing key insight from subject matter experts.
ParenTalks themes are discerned following discussions across multiple departments using a blend of feedback received by Student Affairs, Guidance Counsellors and Learning Strategists in their interactions with students and parents, newsworthy or notable topics affecting teenagers today and through evidenced-based research findings in topics around adolescent development.
Topics covered in previous ParenTalks events have included: resilience, overcoming adversity, wellness, learning styles, screen-time, organization and time management, discussing difficult topics, bullying and bystander behaviour, online learning, substance use, and fostering healthy sleep habits.
ParenTalks is a collaborative initiative led by the Student Affairs Department and Community Engagement & Learning programme.
The series debuted in May 2019.