Middle School Health Days

Led and conceived by Emmanuelle Burk (Middle School Division Head) -- and after a year of planning and collaboration between Jennifer Cappalonga (Middle School Student Support), Stéphane Cohen (Middle School Counselor), Anne Prouty (IB MYP Coordinator), and Coach Ron Thomas -- we held our first set of Middle School Health Days this week (another will follow in March)!


Students engaged in rotational workshops designed specifically for middle schoolers to promote mental, emotional, and physical health and well being. 


6th Grade Workshops

  • “Taking Care of Your Precious Brain and Preventing Concussions”: OHSU’s Think First Program hosted a Zoom presentation on the brain, concussions, and how to keep yourself safe. Each student also built a clay model of the brain to illustrate it's different parts and functions.

  • Nutrition: Trisha Rossi (Lower School teacher) led a discussion about healthy fuel for your body, the importance of sleep, and overall education on proper nutrition.

  • Medications: FAIS Nurse Amanda (on her last day) talked about over-the-counter and prescription medications (differences, how to read labels, directions for use, and warnings), as well as information about the Poison Hotline for those who babysit or have younger siblings..

  • Stress and Mindfulness: Stéphane Cohen led a discussion on how to recognize when you’re stressed, things that can be stressful in life for middle schoolers, as well as tools and exercises to manage ourselves in stressful situations.


7th Grade Workshops

  • Medications: Similar to the 6th grade workshop, Stéphane Cohen discussed proper use and the differences between over-the-counter and prescription medicines

  • Hygiene: Middle School teacher Brittni Carmichael covered a wide range of health topics -- from oral hygiene and skin care to sleep hygiene for teens

  • Executive Functioning Skills: Jennifer Cappalonga led a presentation to help students understand how the brain works, as well as examples of executive functioning skills -- from organization and time-management to metacognition and self control.

  • Substance Abuse: Volunteers for America came to speak about understanding substances and abuse of substances -- joined by two FAIS alumni who trained with VOA over the summer: Natali Fornari ‘21 and Lucy Rush ‘21.


8th Grade Workshops

  • Community Projects: Students were given two hours to work on these capstone group projects for the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme, which they’ll present later this year

  • Suicide Awareness: Oregon Youth Line came to share about their free teen-to-teen crisis support and help line (with adult and agency support), resources available, and how to get help. 

  • What is a Bystander?: Volunteers for America came to share videos and role playing exercises on direct and indirect ways you can help or intervene if you witness peer pressure, bullying, or something unsafe happening between people. In addition to the two previously mentioned FAIS alumni, they were joined by current 8th graders Macleay and Scarlett, who also trained with VOA over the summer.


To our staff, visiting partners, alumni, and students: Thank you for your participation in this important new initiative!