LIVING ON CAMPUS
For many of our residential students, this is the first time they have lived away from home for any length of time. Naturally, both the student and parents have a number of concerns. For the students, an integrated and comprehensive transition program helps them settle into the dorm. During the first two-week transition period into the dorm, parents are encouraged to call the residential director for updates on their child. The purpose is to allow students time to settle in and form relationships with their fellow students and the dorm faculty. Following the first two weeks, parents are then encouraged to contact their child once a week on a day that has been scheduled in advance.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION:
Contact Joy Delisle, Residential Director
(203) 622-9240 x. 630
Hardwick House, our dormitory complex, is a beautiful, historic building set up on a slight rise in the middle of the school’s buildings. It provides housing five days a week (Monday to Friday) for up to 33 residential students, who are supervised by two full-time staff members, and two full-time teachers. The complement of four residential faculty is supplemented every evening with on-campus faculty and first year teachers. This further ensures that the residential students are provided a consistent structure and expectations that transfer over from the day program to the dorm.
Holding true to the Eagle Hill mission, the residential program picks up when the day program ends.
Its focus is to provide a safe, nurturing environment that supports and encourages the students to view themselves as competent individuals with a strong sense of self.
The program is designed to work in tandem with the school's individualized approach to learning, so each child's development is specific to their own strengths and needs.
The residential program’s fundamental goal is to foster in our students a strong sense of independence, self-advocacy, and more responsible behavior traits. The development of independence is tied directly to the school’s overall mission of helping students successfully transition to other schools. To assist in that endeavor, the school has created a formal system of independence levels that are connected to each student’s increasing ability to manage interpersonal and behavioral expectations.
In addition, the residential faculty assists each student in establishing a set of individual personal goals and then works closely with them to help meet those targets. Each day includes, but is not limited to, lessons (formal and informal) in time management, self-advocacy, study skills, cooperative living, conflict resolution, table manners, team building, independent living skills, and leadership skills. The residential staff considers the creation of a home away from home to be one of their major priorities, in addition to the provision of an impressive list of daily activities.
The full time residential faculty assumes responsibility for the supervision, general advice and counseling, behavior, and moral and emotional support of the residential students.
In addition to these duties, they are also part of the school day afternoon program, whether proctoring a study hall or coaching a sport during the afternoon activities period. This provides the residential faculty with an opportunity to observe dorm and day students during the normal school day, and to create a stronger link with the dorm students from their school day to their dormitory program.
While there are variations in any day based on the activities within the entire school, structure and schedules are a necessary component in our residential program.
At 4 p.m., the residential staff and the first year teachers offer organized, structured activities after school. The activities end at 6 p.m. and dinner begins.
The dinner meal is an important part of a child's day, a time when they can share their triumphs or struggles, and receive advice or compliments from peers and trusted adults. The dorm team creates conversation, and ensures that each student is able to take a turn.
Dinner seamlessly turns into a one-hour supervised proctored study hall. The dorm team assists students who are struggling with homework, and communicates with teachers and advisors if a student has had difficulty that evening with a subject.
The rest of the evening is designed for students to spend time with peers in a less-structured environment; however, the dorm team is present to help students find something to do, converse with a peer, and ensure that everyone is ready for bed and prepared for the next day of school.
In a typical day, students are in bed by 9:30 p.m. and lights are out by 10 p.m. (although encouraged to go to bed earlier if they have had an especially tiring day). The full dorm team is on site until 11 p.m., at which time one team member remains on each of the dorm floors to assist students in the middle of the night.
In cooperation with the dorm team, each student is asked to personally select at least three goals to work on each year:
1) a goal the student is already achieving
2) a goal that’s a bit harder to achieve but the student is already working on it
3) a goal that is a bit more difficult and will push the student outside of his/her comfort zone.
A student’s independence is based on their performance in the dorm, and their achievement towards their goals. It is not the mastery of the goals that is required; however, the child must display a strategy that has been suggested to achieve the goal. With each increase in independence, a student earns more privileges. It is their goals, their actions, and their independence levels that show the dorm team and the parents that the students are making progress.
SICKNESS AND INJURY
During the day, our full-time school nurse attends to all sickness and injury. In the evenings, the dorm team manages all health incidents. If the illness is mild, the child will be helped by the dorm staff to feel more comfortable. In the event the incident is more severe, parents are called immediately, or as soon as the child is safely at Greenwich Hospital (.25 miles away).