Our students’ safety and security are our top priority. Below, you’ll find how we keep our students secure and safe, and how we make sure every member of our staff is there to care for, nurture, and encourage our students.
Attending a pre-high school program helps students prepare for the greater independence of high school, but since our rising 8th and 9th graders require a different level of supervision than do juniors and seniors in high school, we make sure we’ve created a safe, secure environment where students can feel supported and able to explore.
To create an atmosphere that allows learning to be both fun and meaningful, we know that our students (and their loved ones back home) need to feel that our campuses are safe, that our staff is observant and trained to respond, and that our procedures are in compliance with both the laws of the states in which we live and work, as well as the more subtle laws of common sense. Our first priority is our students — and their safety is paramount.
Bullying has become big news at all schools recently, but EXPLO has been responding vigorously to bullying for decades. While we have dismissed students who did not live up to our ideals of respect and care, more importantly, we have always worked hard to create the kind of communities where bullying would make no sense — whether on floors, in classrooms, on playing fields, or on the campus at large. Bullying has no place on an EXPLO campus.
Our students’ physical and emotional health is a priority. On the Wellesley Campus, a health center is staffed 24/7 with registered nurses, there exclusively to care for EXPLO students. All prescription and over-the-counter medications are distributed through the health center, following state law and common sense, which dictate that students should not self-medicate or keep medications in their rooms. Should the need arise, EXPLO has a consulting psychologist on-call 24/7, and the nationally-recognized Newton-Wellesley Hospital is accessible to students if necessary, as is a well-regarded pediatrics practice nearby. For any medical appointments or hospital visits, students are always accompanied by a member of our staff.
We believe you cannot supervise students well if you do not supervise the staff well. That is why we have an intensive staff training program. In addition, we support staff members via an extensive supervisory structure to give them professional development feedback and to hold them accountable. We are regularly told by former staff members that the professional development and supervision they received at EXPLO was the best of their professional lives.
While it may be time consuming and expensive to hire and train this level of staffing — and while none of this completely guarantees the safety of all students — it puts all of us in the best position to keep our students safe, and confident that they can let their minds and hearts soar and explore.
We deliberately keep our staff to student ratios quite low. At EXPLO at Wellesley, it’s 1-to-6.
This allows us to properly supervise residence halls, trips, and activities, and even have staff in town during open time. We do this to make sure our students are known, and more importantly, feel known.
According to leading research in the field, nothing is more essential to thriving in an educational setting.