On The Point blog from Rock Point School

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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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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Helping Teens Transition After Therapeutic Programs

Wilderness and therapeutic programs can be a significant resource for some teens and families. These programs provide a safe and structured environment where young people can work through a crisis point, address behaviors that are harmful, and gain emotional and social skills that will allow them to flourish. Because many of these programs are designed for short term treatment, families and educational consultants can be left searching for the right “next place” for their teenagers.

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Nurturing Grit and Resilience for Better Learning

If you’ve been paying attention to the educational landscape in the past few years, you’ve probably heard the terms “Social and Emotional Learning,” “Grit,” “Resilience,” “Life Skills,” or “Soft Skills” being thrown around. While it is clear that these skills are extremely important to our young people and can be a large factor in determining success, it can be difficult to sort out which specific skills fall into these categories and how to teach them. At Rock Point School, we refer to teaching these skills as educating the “whole person.”

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Tips for Nurturing a Healthy Teenage Brain


When I tell people I’m the Head of a high school, I often get the response “Wow! It must be hard working with teenagers.As a culture, we tend to be intimidated by adolescents based on some common misperceptions and stereotypes in the media. Let's explore some of the reasons why adolescents can seem intimidating plus tips for nurturing healthy teenage (and adult) brains.

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Therapeutic Boarding School, Traditional or In Between?

The other day, a visitor to Rock Point School noticed the many dogs we have in the building. He asked, “Are these all therapy dogs?” I paused before answering with a grin, “Therapy with a small t …” While our dogs are not certified therapy animals, they serve an informal therapeutic purpose for our students. This is just one example of how a school, particularly a small residential boarding school, can provide therapeutic supports without being a “big T” Therapeutic school.

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