INSIGHT: Student Well-Being at EPS
By Paul Hagen, Director of Student Well-Being
One of the things that first attracted me to Eastside Prep eleven years ago was the school’s commitment to student well-being. It was obvious from the first moment I stepped onto campus that there was a culture of kindness and an environment that promotes student well-being here. That dedication and the culture we have created around that commitment is what keeps me coming back each year.
This year, as I step into a new role as Director of Student Well-Being, I am excited by the continued commitment we have made to keep EPS a safe, inviting environment for all our students to learn and thrive in. Well-being is multifaceted; it encompasses physical and mental wellness, social connectedness, and emotional safety. As such, it requires a multifaceted approach. There isn’t one program or initiative that can bring “well-being” to a school, nor is there one office or team that will ensure all students are happy and healthy. Instead, well-being only comes when the whole school community—students, teachers, staff, and families—join together to build a supportive culture that values each member and that promotes the well-being of all.
Eastside Prep’s commitment to student well-being includes programs like our advisory, Peer Mentors, wellness class, Fall Overnights, and social/emotional curriculum. It also includes resources to support student well-being such as school counselors and our first-ever school nurse. But most important to student well-being are the genuine connections EPS promotes. When students feel part of the larger community—connected to peers, teachers, and staff—they thrive. We work hard to build an environment that promotes this type of connection and we strive to ensure that every student feels well-connected to those around them. This kind of connection ensures that each student is seen and known for who they are. It means that students can feel supported as they try new things, express themselves, and learn together.
We hope that your students have returned from their Fall Overnight experiences feeling better connected to their peers, advisors, and teachers, and excited for what this school year holds!