The Peer Leadership Program trains selected seniors to work with small groups of freshmen to aid their transition to high school and to develop a sense of community among our diverse student body.

Throughout the year, Peer Leaders, working in male/female co-leader pairs, plan and facilitate groups of ninth graders in two formats: small, informal discussions and Project Adventure activities. The purposes of the discussion group sessions are to help the freshmen adjust to the new environment of the high school and to focus on typical adolescent issues. In the Project Adventure sessions, they lead their freshmen through a sequence of group problems and group and individual physical challenges, on both low elements and on a high ropes course. Through Project Adventure, the seniors help freshmen to develop their group problem-solving skills and increase their sense of personal confidence, as well as encouraging mutual support within the group.

The Peer Leadership Program is a popular and highly selective program. Only 68 senior leaders are chosen each year from a field of over 300 applicants. The criteria for selection include:

-sensitivity toward and concern for others

-demonstration of personal leadership qualities

-ability to communicate effectively with others

-dependability in fulfilling personal and scholastic responsibilities

-commitment to share one’s time and energy in the service of others

The training of the senior leaders begins with an intensive three-day retreat and continues through the year in a 5 credit, skills-oriented training course. This course provides instruction and activity-based learning in group dynamics, communication skills, and effective leadership techniques.