High school can be an amazing time in a boy’s life. The gradual increase in freedom, coupled with growing responsibilities and new experiences can be transformative- especially if you have a solid team of adults around you, to help you to reflect on your choices in life, and guide you to make responsible choices decisions.
Much like their approach with Lower School and Middle School students, Boys’ Latin (BL) takes a holistic approach to educating their students, and is intentional with their curriculum, to focus on not only the academic achievement of their students but the social and emotional lives of their boys.
While the School believes deeply in the importance of academic excellence and achievement, the social and emotional development of boys is a critical component of a Boys’ Latin education.
Brian Mitchell, Head of BL’s Upper School explained that the school strives to make the entire community inclusive. “We want our boys to understand themselves as learners and to have both the strong academic skills, along with social and emotional intelligence,” said Mr. Mitchell. “We teach empathy, and create capacity for our students to act with integrity and respect, not only while they’re here, but for the rest of their lives. In the end, if our boys are able to do all of these things, they’re going to be better people, be better prepared to engage with others, and help make a difference in the world.”
Boys’ Latin is a private, independent school, which allows for flexibility in curricular planning, to to meet the needs of each student – from our high flyers to those who need extra support. “There are so many amazing things that we can do with our small class sizes. The close-knit nature of the school helps to create a place where we know every student personally, and the flexibility of our program, paired a strong academic framework, gives us the freedom to critically look at our practices to create the best experiences for our students,” explained Mr. Mitchell.
Faculty at BL create intentional experiences for their upper school students each year, through their freshman advisory sessions and sophomore seminar program — where topics such as leadership skills and defining masculinity are freely discussed and discerned. Students in 11th and 12th grades participate in reflective retreats that provide a safe place for students to self-evaluate, make connections with peers, and plan for life beyond high school. Outreach efforts, such as the One Laker | One Love Club which works closely with the One Love Foundation help students to understand the importance of healthy relationships, and give them an outlet to connect with peers. Faculty members take a critical look at their programs each year, to evaluate and ensure that what they’re providing is effective and in the best interest of every student. Creating and maintaining curricular and extra-curricular experiences for students that focus on their academic, social and emotional needs is of the utmost importance.
Director of Counseling, Megan Kenney, works closely with the students at BL, offering support and guidance as they navigate their high school years. Megan has been at Boys’ Latin for six years, having worked in independent schools for over 10 years, she has a background in clinical social work with a focus in children, adolescents and families. In addition, Megan has three boys of her own and understands the significance of a values-based education.
“Our boys are really comfortable being vulnerable,” she shared. “I know that sounds silly and unbelievable, but we create a space for them to take that mask off and are able to talk about fears, worries and challenges. Those are the guys that go out into the world and make a difference. We’re just here to support them and guide them on their journey.”
Through an advisory program and a Sophomore Seminar class, greater community issues are addressed and discussed, helping students see things from a global standpoint. This is a time for students to consider the world around them, how it impacts them, and how they can be advocates for change. Students are able to check in with advisors, such as Mrs. Kenney, when stuck on an issue, or gain advice and support when times get tough.
It is evident that community is the core of a Boys’ Latin education. The faculty, staff and students at BL strive to live the school’s motto, Esse Quam Videri (“To Be Rather Than To Seem”), every day and act with integrity, courage and compassion. When you find a school, where boys that excel in academics, the arts, athletics, and outreach can all come together for a greater purpose – – where everyone has a seat at the table – – you know you have discovered something special.
This article is sponsored by The Boys’ Latin School of Maryland as part of our Cool School Partners series. Read more about Boys’ Latin in our Independent Schools Directory or call them at10-377-5192, ext. 1137. Photos provided by Boys’ Latin.