On The Point blog
from Rock Point School

Being Seen and Feeling Safe

on November 6, 2023 By Abbey Baker | Open & Inclusive resilience
“When I came to Rock Point, I had a lot of social anxiety that I was pretty good at masking. I was really self-conscious, but I tried to act more confident. When we had our break during morning classes and other students would head to the kitchen for a snack or hang out in the lounge, I would head to the history classroom and read until our class started. Gus, our history teacher, was usually working there and didn’t say much, which was a relief to me. One day, I sat down and took out my book, and without looking up from his work, Gus said, ‘I see you.’ And I knew he did. It made me feel good to know that I didn’t have to talk about it but that he saw me and knew what I needed. I felt that way many times at Rock Point, and I carried that feeling into my work with young people and my parenting. Truly seeing other people is such a gift, and the fact that the adults at Rock Point made an effort to see me for who I was while I was there helped me to grow and feel safe.” - Sarah Carpenter, ‘08
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How to Create a Feeling of Belonging and Inclusion for Young People

on October 20, 2022 By Abbey Baker | Open & Inclusive
During adolescence, many students struggle to see their worth and value and have had experiences where they did not feel they belonged in school. It is a crucial time, as students grow into their full selves, for all young people to feel accepted for who they are. How can older adults help teens help each other to create a place where feeling a sense of inclusion and belonging is the norm? In our residential program and classrooms at Rock Point School, we work to provide opportunities for students to create the kind of community to which they want to belong. For many students, this is work they’ve always been a part of, regardless of where they go to school. For others, this is a new environment, and they are learning how to create an inclusive community for the first time. One of the primary goals of each school year at Rock Point is to create an environment where every student experiences a sense of belonging and inclusion.
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How to Use the Power of Language to Build an Inclusive Community

on September 10, 2020 By Ryan Weiland | Open & Inclusive life skills community
Language, who cares it is just words! “Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” Each school year, as we get to know each other, it becomes clear that we all have had unique experiences in the world. As individuals, we have built our beliefs and our understanding of the world around us. We have discovered that words have different connotations to different individuals. But we may not yet have learned about the power of language to tear down or build a welcoming and inclusive community.
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Doodling: Thinking, Learning, and Creativity

As classes are beginning, students everywhere are organizing their notebooks and binders and practicing note taking. At Rock Point School, we encourage students, when possible, to take notes by hand. Wondering why?
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Practicing Gratitude is Good for your Health

The other day I was helping a student prepare for our Thanksgiving service, when we started talking about what he was grateful for in his life. “I’m grateful I’m accepted for who I am here,” he said with a shrug. While he did not know it, his statement stayed with me all day. I am so grateful to work in a community of students who are inclusive and kind to one another, and I probably don’t tell them that enough. Our conversation reminded me of the importance of practicing gratitude in our daily lives, not just when the holiday rolls around.
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What's in a Pronoun: Language and Inclusivity

on February 22, 2017 By CJ Spirito | Open & Inclusive
In my work with high school students, the “pronoun question” comes up regularly. For some students, it is something they have never thought about before - some might even not remember what a pronoun is! For others, the pronoun you use when talking with them is something that matters deeply to them and signals either acceptance of their identity or rejection. Some students may still be struggling with their gender identity and not be certain how they want to be defined, and others may not fit neatly into the gender binary of the English language.
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Teens and Adoption: Identity, Inclusion, and Independence

In October, we hosted a discussion with local therapist and adoption specialist Benjamin Houchen on Adoption and Adolescents. We invited families in our community to join us to share insight and ask questions about how best to support teens who were adopted. While each family is unique, Houchen addressed the themes that emerge during adolescence and the particular significance they have for children who have been adopted.
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Seeing Beyond the Labels

on August 19, 2015 By CJ Spirito | Open & Inclusive
Our school has always been an open and affirming place for students with a wide diversity of identities and backgrounds. In our small, warm, welcoming community, students learn to appreciate themselves and each other as individuals, each bringing a unique perspective and a unique set of strengths and challenges. Each year, as we help students build a cohesive and meaningful community, we also teach them how to respect, include, and value a diverse group of fellow students, seeing beyond labels of race or culture, sexual orientation, thinking style, learning disability diagnosis, economic background, or anything else.
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