Wellness

Health and Wellness Promotion

Life at Conserve School is stimulating, rich, busy, and filled with boundless opportunity. Friends are no longer a phone call or text away, but living in the next room, and social opportunities abound. Classmates are not only friends, but passionate learners who challenge each other to experience new things, to develop their thinking, and to grow. Our 1,200-acre Lowenwood campus is a playground rich with opportunities to explore. Staff offer enticing opportunities to extend learning outside the classroom.

For students, the busy, stimulating life of Conserve School presents the challenge of independently managing their time and priorities, often for the first time, in a way that contributes to their health and wellness. Conserve School supports holistic wellness by promoting the following:

Healthy Eating

Dining staff carefully prepare nutritious meals, relying, as much as possible, on “from scratch” preparation of whole foods.

Adequate Rest

Because the days at Conserve are full of activity (classes are often active, and held outside), rest is critical. Curfews are enforced, and students turn in laptops on school nights, in an effort to protect time for adequate sleep. Students have few obligations on weekends, giving them the autonomy to manage their time in a way that meets their needs for rest and recovery.

Mental Health

Conserve School recognizes that a student's mental health is as important as their physical health. Most staff, including all instructors and administrators, receive certification in Youth Mental Health First Aid, as well as additional training in mental health awareness and support.

Conserve School also contracts for the services of a part-time school social worker, who supports staff in their work with students, offers wellness programs for students, and provides support for individual students. The school social worker is generally available one afternoon each week to host a wellness program, and one morning or afternoon, every other week, to meet with individual students desiring direct support. Through individual meetings, the school social worker can help students experiencing episodes of emotional stress, and suggest tools for maintaining emotional wellness. The school social worker, though, is unable to meet regularly (such as weekly) with students who are not emotionally stable, and in need of regular counseling and therapy. Prospective students should be mindful of this when considering the appropriateness of a Conserve School semester.

Study

Five evenings a week (Sunday through Thursday), students are provided a two-hour block of time that is protected for study. Students may study independently, may work with other students, or may work with the teachers who are available each night for study assistance.

Play

With few obligations on weekends, and free time after school, students have ample opportunity to explore campus, relax with friends, and participate in staff or student-led recreational activities (both on and off campus).

Reflection

Conserve School promotes the necessity of reflection in learning, and in the awareness of one’s gifts, needs, desires, and goals. Class assignments often promote reflection, sometimes through journaling or the creation and maintenance of an electronic portfolio. Students, as part of their science studies, regularly visit a self-selected spot on campus to practice careful observation and reflection over time, and they participate in a two-night solo camping experience that provides time for extended reflection.

Health Services

Conserve School’s Health Care Coordinator manages the school’s services for students in need of medical assessment and care, and most school staff are certified in Wilderness First Aid (a few hold a higher level of certification). Students who are ill or injured are assessed and provided care by staff members on duty, who determine if the student requires care at a local clinic or hospital. The Health Care Coordinator manages the distribution of prescribed and over-the-counter medication, which is securely stored in the school’s Health Center, in keeping with state law.