Nichols School is committed to ideals, behaviors and training that ensure a safe and healthy learning environment for our current and future students, families, faculty and staff. The school provides a safe, nurturing, and attentive environment where each student feels heard and protected.
Counselors and Social Emotional Health
Since 2013, the school has had a full-time, on-campus counselor tasked with helping students with any challenges they may face. We also have a counselor in our Middle School who teaches wellness classes.
The school has a five-teacher Core Group that offers resources on wellness and mental health and reports to the full-time counselor with any concerns.They are trained through the Stanley H. King Counseling Institute in early intervention around health and mental wellness. The Wellness Core Group offers a place for students to talk anonymously (or not, if they choose) about any health, wellness or substance abuse issues.
Advisory Program, Grade Level Support and Wellness Classes
All students are assigned to an advisory group that meets weekly; students meet with their class-level Dean twice a week; and the school has formal, mandatory wellness classes for grades five through nine. Wellness classes also cover relationship topics.
Nichols School faculty members are trained in their obligations as mandated reporters. Faculty members have been trained on campus by the Stanley H. King Counseling Institute and our Deans have attended Stanley H. King’s external training seminars. Our Deans meet on a regular basis (every seven days) and discuss any student issues. In recent years, the breadth of the topics discussed have widened substantially to include student safety and overall well-being. Deans’ offices are also physically located in the locker spaces and areas where students convene, so there is a consideration to make sure that a responsible adult is around and available.
Nichols has worked with the Teal Project, which educates on sexual assault awareness, for four years. It Happened to Alexa Foundation has spoken to our students frequently over the past decade. We frequently have Kids Escaping Drugs come to morning meetings and wellness classes to speak to students. Nichols worked with the One Love Foundation on dating and domestic violence, when it came to school to work with students in grades 9-12. Additionally, we offer parent education programs covering a wide range of topics.
Nichols Human Resources performs criminal background checks on employees and volunteers, and they also conduct thorough reference checks for new employees. Faculty and staff are reminded by Human Resources at the start of each school year of their obligations to maintain professional relationships with students, report any concerns regarding harassment or misconduct through appropriate school channels in addition to reporting directly to the state, and to always model integrity, responsibility and respect for all persons. We perform annual employee and volunteer training on reporting and boundaries.
Nichols School has a Safety Committee which monitors and plans for the safety of our students and campus. They meet regularly and are also in charge of all safety drills.
In January 2018, Nichols School released an independent report on past misconduct between former teachers and students. The school formally apologized to all its victims and admitted they did not receive the care and protection they should have. The school thanked graduates and individuals reporting for the courage to come forward about their experiences. No one working at Nichols today was accused of improper actions toward students. The most recent case in the report is more than a dozen years ago. The full report can be viewed here