Student Life

Health & Wellness

At The Brandeis School of San Francisco, we “make it matter” by providing students with information, support, and skills to care for their bodies, minds, and spirits today and always.

Our programs and partnerships are coordinated by our programmatic leadership team in conjunction with our lower school and middle school counselors.

Social, Emotional, and Spiritual Learning

Brandeis partners with the Institute for Social and Emotional Learning, and we have a multi-layered approach to the complex process of social and emotional learning. We use The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL)’s definition of social and emotional learning: the process through which children acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.

Seamlessly and throughout their day, our students build self-awareness, empathy, and the ability to enjoy group activities. In lower school, students start each day by participating in a morning meeting with their teachers and peers, learning to be heard and to hear others through activities such as role-playing and taking turns speaking and listening from the heart. Morning meeting is a vital component in building a classroom culture of kindness, integrity, inclusion, and safety.

In middle school, our students continue their social-emotional development through our Advisory Program, building a strong, personal relationship with a trusted mentor and small peer group through discussions about friendship, autonomy, personal responsibility, community service. Students also participate in off-campus programs tied to their social-emotional development; the outdoor education program curriculum teaches students leadership and team building skills and the importance of responsibility to their local community.

Mindfulness and Spiritual Practices

Mindful practices connect deeply with our core values of integrity, kindness, and service by inculcating gratitude, self-awareness, and compassion. Our faculty is engaged in special training to bring the practice of mindfulness more fully into our classrooms. These practices—incorporated into the daily middle school P.E. curriculum in the form of yoga and pilates, for example—help our students build healthy bodies and minds and learn skills such as breathing, stretching, and meditation to cope with stress and other challenging moments that inevitably come with life.

Life Skills

Interwoven into our social and emotional development is the learning and dialogue around issues students will start to think and hear about in early and later adolescence.

Some of our programs include:

List of 4 items.

  • Digital Citizenship Program

    Our program is centered on the changing role of technology in our students' lives. As a school partner of Common Sense Media, we begin the conversation with students, teachers, and parents on the subjects of work/play balance, privacy, and online behavior. We have also rolled out new modules for digital citizenship and online leadership as part of our lower and middle school curricula.

    In middle school, this digital citizenship program is on display with our one-to-one laptop program. Coupled with the introduction of this tool is the education for both students and parents about how to incorporate technology into their lives in a healthy and responsible way. 
  • Healthy Relationships

    Our partnership with Shalom Bayit—an organization that promotes healthy homes and families—is rooted in Jewish values as part of our Judaic studies curriculum. Students in middle school learn how to advocate for themselves in different types of relationships, learning and discussing healthy boundaries and responsibilities.

    In addition, we partner with Superstar Health to educate our 4th grade through 8th grade students about unique aspects of healthy relationships, and parent education programs are offered to help continue discussions at home.
  • Reproductive Education

    Our curriculum starts in the upper elementary grades, introducing students to the physical changes during puberty as well as to information about the basics of reproduction. In middle school, the program continues to educate our students in making healthy, safe, and informed sexual and reproductive choices later in life.
  • Drug and Alcohol Education

    Our middle school students learn about the physiological effect of drugs and alcohol consumption, including related issues such as addiction, peer pressure, and making healthy, safe choices.

    The 8th grade students work with Being Adept—a program focused on the value of good decision making—as they are introduced to interactive opportunities to imagine situations that might arise in high school. This program, as with many of our life skills programs, is also coupled with parent education to help support the learning happening at home as well as in the classroom.