Adolescent Development

We understand that adolescence is a period of exploration, and that the development of healthy decision-making and identity requires support in a variety of areas, including social, sexual and physical. Through a broad range of programs, we work with students to generate dialog in these areas, model respectful and healthy behavior, present the risks of dangerous behaviors, and encourage age-appropriate, thoughtful decisions.

Health education classes, assemblies and workshops provide ongoing core supports for all Exonians in areas important to teen development.

Core programming is supplemented by student-led activities and clubs, such as H4, a health club that facilitates conversation around important issues such as sexuality, and Diversity Council, which promotes inclusion and equity through inter-group dialogue and community-wide forums.

Developmental Programming at Exeter

Here are a few of the programs we offer:

All first year preps and lowers take a yearlong health education course. Seniors take a required seminar, Crossroads: Your Future, Your Health, which helps prepare them for college and beyond.

Recent assembly and workshop presenters have included: "Safety and Numbers: Exeter Social Norms that Prevent Violence," a program on bystander prevention of sexual violence led by Prevention Innovations Research Center; Peggy Orenstein, author of Girls & Sex and Cinderella Ate My Daughter; William Hirsch, co-producer of "Audrie and Daisy," a documentary about the aftermath of high school sexual assault; Alan Berkowitz, who presented an assembly titled "Creating a Safe and Welcoming Exeter Community for All"; Eric Barthold, founder of “Man Up and Open Up,” who focused on images of masculinity and ways to open them up to prevent sexual assault; and Cindy Pierce, author of Sexploitation: Helping Kids Develop Healthy Sexuality in a Porn-Driven World and Sex, College, and Social Media: A Commonsense Guide to Navigating the Hookup Culture. You can see some of these assemblies on-demand at Exeter Live.

Students can participate in skills-building sessions on time management and small group workshops on anxiety, healthy relationships and sleep management.

Phillips Church provides worship opportunities in five faiths and several non-traditional worship options. The church also supports thoughtful reflection and discussion through programs such as meditation, where students, faculty and staff gather weekly to share personal stories.

Peer support is provided through Student Listeners, a group of nearly 80 uppers and seniors trained by Exeter’s professional counseling staff to provide active listening and mentoring. Through presentations and exhibits, the Active Minds student club educates Exonians about physical and mental health issues including self-image and suicide.

Our active mind/body group has introduced mindfulness practices to many students and teachers, some of whom have incorporated these techniques into the classroom.

The Human Pursuit of Euphoria

An elective that investigates why people seek altered states. Learn more about our health courses.

Go to the page titled The Human Pursuit of Euphoria

150+

clubs, from Active Minds to Young Men’s Forum.

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