Walker Beacon School Student Resources
Every student is scheduled for weekly individual therapy and clinicians are available as needed throughout the day. Clinical services at the Walker Beacon School have a strength-based, trauma informed, collaborative problem-solving approach with an emphasis on emotional regulation with each student developing their inner resources through particular coping strategies and understanding how to manage their emotions.
Major clinical models are Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Dialectical Behavior Therapy. Emphasis is on the development of effective coping skills to help manage difficult emotions, understand how one thinks and how this affects how one feels, decrease interfering behaviors, expanding positive feeling choices, and developing areas of strength to build self esteem.
All students also participate in weekly clinical groups designed to address specific interests as well as areas of growth. Samples of groups include:
- Challenges Group: Designed for students who prefer doing in addition to talking; this group focuses on cooperation, teamwork, communication, and building trust.
- GLBTQ Support Group: An opportunity for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth to discuss issues that impact them in a small supportive setting.
- Young Women’s Group: Sharing perspectives and concerns about family, friendships, identity, dating, jobs, school, or other topics can be easier for some in a small group of females.
- Identity Group: For those interested in talking about what makes us who we are. Explore how personality types, philosophy of life, interests, values and familial culture contribute to who we are and how we understand others.
- "It’s Complicated” Group: Relationships are an important part of our world and this group focuses on the ups and downs that come with forming and maintaning healthy connections.
- Young Men’s Group: Provides young men the opportunity to talk with and learn from each other about unique challenges of transitioning into adulthood.
- 1:1 appointments
- Goal-setting and transition planning
- College search and application process
- Job search and application process
- Assessment of student readiness for transition
- Essay outlining
- Mock interviews
- Guidance Curriculum
- Career Planning & Readiness
- Personality Profiles and Interest Inventories
- Career Assessments
- Resume Development
- Common App Completion Sessions
- Post-High School Planning Night
- This event is open to all Walker Beacon parents
- Addresses the transition planning process and the Guidance Department’s role in it.
- Topics include: standardized testing, dispelling the "community college myth", four year colleges, dual enrollment, gap year programs, accessing services at the college-level, financial aid, obtaining a GED, entering the work force, community resources (i.e.: Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC) and Department of Mental Health (DMH).
- Transition Month:
- Throughout the month of October, 30+ schools and post-high school programs visit Walker Beacon during study periods to provide students with “mini” college fairs in a familiar setting.
- 3-4 programs visit per study period, giving students the opportunity to get face-time with admissions counselors and program representatives.
- Senior Seminar:
- Two-Day program in which college-bound seniors learn about the changes to expect in college, such as increased workload, more unstructured time, increased independence, and higher academic expectations.
- Students are provided with campus resource information available to them (i.e.: Health Services, Academic Support, Residential Life, Disability Services).
- “Take 5”: Students are encouraged to utilize individual coping strategies in and outside the classroom to help regain attention and focus and reduce anxiety. Fidget toys, music, journaling, drawing, a cup of tea, or a few minutes of fresh air can be helpful.
- Daily Activity Period: A 40 minute, mid-morning activity period promotes physical fitness, socialization, stress and anxiety reduction. Students can choose from a variety of activities including Yoga and meditation, Court Games, Camp Games, and walking.
- Wellness Room: Directly across from our Health Office, this quiet comfortable sanctuary provides a space to relax, practice mindfulness or deep breathing, rest or enjoy sensory activities including aromatherapy.
- Lighthouse Room: Our library is an inviting, cozy space that is available for students who need a supportive place outside the classroom to regroup, practice coping strategies, or focus on academic in a stress-free setting.
Walker Beacon offers a variety of student clubs and activities during non-academic times. These activities allow students a chance to explore and expand interests, develop relationships and promote community within and beyond the Walker Beacon School. Examples of Clubs include:
- Community Service Club
- Literary Arts Magazine
- Theatre Club
- DJ Club
- Gardening Club
- Gay Straight Alliance
- Gamer’s Club
- Art Club
- Music Jam Sessions
AFTER SCHOOL OUTINGS
Once a month, staff arrange and chaperone a student recreational activity on a Friday afternoon. Examples include canoe and kayak trips, snow tubing, skating, rock climbing, bowling, and seeing a movie.
At the end of a student’s junior year, they begin weekly meetings with their guidance counselor and continue this throughout the final year of school. Younger students also participate in Guidance Curriculum throughout the year and access the guidance department regularly to schedule appointments and begin planning.