The Educational and Counseling Services Department has played a large role in developing the new community pledge and implementing restorative justice practices this year as part of their larger mission to promote mental well-being within the student body.
This department is a team of professionals that works to uphold Marlborough’s core values. It includes Health and Wellness Instructor and Coordinator Nicole Beck, Director of ECS Marisa Crandall, Dean of Social and Emotional Learning Morgan Duggan, Health and Wellness Instructor Lisa Gaeta and the newest member, School Nurse and Campus Healthcare Provider Olivia Ceja.
The ECS Department has existed for the last five years through the encouragement and support of Head of School Dr. Priscilla Sands.
“The ECS Department was established to nurture the academic, social, and emotional wellbeing of students by providing direct student services such as counseling and psychoeducation, as well as indirect services like program development, consultation for parents and collaboration with educators,” Duggan said.
One of the focuses of the department is to improve students’ emotional and mental health.
“We have done teacher training about social and emotional learning to help build a safer space and inclusive environment,” Crandall said.
The creation of the new community pledge has been a project that the ECS Department has been particularly involved in this year. The process for making the new pledge began in the spring of 2020.
“Members of ECS worked over the summer to collaborate with many faculty and staff on the evolution of the community pledge,” Duggan said.
Student health and wellness was a major factor that was taken into consideration when crafting the community pledge.
“Part of cultivating a healthy and well community is providing opportunities for students to develop the knowledge, attitudes and skills required to act with dignity and respect in social interactions,” Duggan said. “Conflict and harm are inevitable experiences in social interactions within a community.”
The ECS team also aided in reviewing language that would guide practices that promote students’ ability to repair harm and restore relationships.
Many students believe that the new pledge has created a more positive learning environment that reflects Marlborough’s core values. Amelia ’23 reinforces this sentiment.
“I think the pledge does reflect Marlborough’s core values,” Amelia said. “Especially confidence and community, because it builds your trust in yourself and enables you to be more confident with your own work.”