Student Resources and Support
We care very deeply about the health and well-being of all members of our school community, and we recognize that the Middle School years, in particular, have their own set of challenges. In addition to a student's teachers and advisor, student and family support is offered through the staff and resources below.
Academic support in the Middle School is offered through the Center for Learning and Teaching (CLT). Jennie Sorensen, CLT staff member and Middle School Learning Specialist, supports students in their academic endeavors and helps them navigate the intellectual changes that are characteristic of the Middle School years. Jennie provides direct academic support to Middle School students both individually and in small groups, and teaches the Grade 6 Compass class, which is required of all students and focuses on developing strong academic habits. She holds a B.A. from St. Olaf College, an M.A.Ed. from Hamline University, and is an ADHD/Executive Functions Coach for adolescents.
For more information about academic tutoring, learning differences, or the work of the Center for Learning and Teaching, contact CLT Director Karen Rassmussen.
The Middle School Counselor, Sara Mairs, helps support the individual well-being of every student and the overall health of the Middle School community. Sara holds a B.A. in psychology from Amherst College and an M.A. in counseling psychology from the University of St. Thomas. She is a member of the American Psychological Association and the American Counseling Association and is a Minnesota State licensed psychologist. Sara is available to all Middle School students, individually or in groups, for discussion of their emotional well-being, social adjustment, academic motivation, conflict resolution, or any issue important to the student. She is committed to providing a safe, nonjudgmental setting where students can explore and engage their wonder, worries, joys, pain, wisdom, and humor, too! In addition to her counseling work, Sara co-teaches the Grade 6 and 7 Compass classes, and coordinates the grade 8 wellness seminars. Sara is also available to meet with Middle School parents about any questions or concerns they have for their child, and can help identify out-of-school resources as well.
diversity and identity development
Dr. Naomi Taylor, Director of Intercultural Life, serves as a resource for Middle School teachers and families on matters of positive racial identity development, gender and sexuality inclusivity, cultural and religious diversity, and socioeconomic diversity. Her work with Middle School students may include lessons taught through Compass classes on interracial dialogue, positive identity development, the use of language, and shared community values with regard to equity and inclusion. Dr. Taylor organizes Middle School assemblies on topics of diversity, professional development for Middle School faculty, and ongoing educational opportunities for Middle School families. Dr. Taylor oversees the range of affinity and student interest groups in the Middle School, which include MS Common Ground (i.e. students of color affinity group); MS Mishpacha (Jewish student affinity group); MS Black Male Affinity Group; MS Muslim Affinity Group; MS HerSpace (female empowerment affinity group); MS Neurodiversity Affinity Group for students who have neurological differences (such as autism, ADHD/ADD, dyslexia, anxiety, sensory processing disorder, etc.); MS Intercultural Club (a student interest group open to all students; and the MS Gender and Sexuality Alliance (a student interest group open to all students).
Our Middle School student health staff includes Bernette Finley-Drawe, a registered nurse (RN) provided by the St. Paul Public Schools to provide oversight for our student health program and records. Bernette splits her time between the Goodrich and Randolph Campuses, and is assisted in the Middle School by Monica Garrido Mejia, the full-time Randolph Campus Health Assistant. Monica assists Middle School students with routine health care procedures and acts as a liaison between the RN, student health and wellness faculty/staff members, and parents/guardians relating to health care issues and maintaining related health records.
Due to the increased health concerns during COVID-19, the Randolph Campus has two dedicated Health Offices, one of which is a dedicated space for students exhibiting symptoms of illness (the "symptomatic" Health Office) and the other for students with daily medical needs, such as medications (the "well student" Health Office). On the Randolph Campus, the symptomatic space is in the Huss Center (in the former dressing room space) and the well-student space is on the first floor of Old Main just west of the Schilling Center.