Lower School Wellness

A vital component of a "moral, happy, productive" life — Durham Academy's goal for each student — is physical, social-emotional and mental wellness.

Physical Wellness

Each day, Durham Academy Lower Schoolers participate in physical education class, where the focus is on developing habits that lead to a lifetime of good health. PE teachers lead students through units on nutrition, detailing the components that are present in healthy meals and explaining why those components are important for fueling healthy bodies.

PE teachers expose students to a wide variety of sports and games as a means of developing a lifelong love of movement and physical fitness. In addition to PE class, time is set aside for free play during recess each day.

Social-Emotional Wellness

The Responsive Classroom approach is at the core of social-emotional wellness efforts for students in grades 1 through 4. This evidence-based approach to teaching focuses on engaging academics, positive community, effective management and developmental awareness.

The Lower School guidance counselor addresses topics such as building strong friendships, problem-solving strategies and empathy.

Each year, fourth-graders are asked to complete a survey on their experience in the Lower School; these results are used to maintain and/or improve the school culture by establishing a community of belonging and support.

Mental Wellness

Each year in physical education class, teachers devote a unit to yoga, during which students learn about the physical benefits and mental benefits of the practice.

The Lower School guidance counselor works with students to develop stress-reduction strategies.

Health Care Professionals

Teachers are at the heart of wellness efforts, and to enhance care for students and bolster our medical policies and procedures, DA also relies on multiple health professionals.

The Preschool/Lower School Infirmary is managed by Kim Allison, who is available to care for sick students, as well as to administer medication to students who require it on a routine basis.

Licensed Nurse Practitioner Sarah Chaires is DA’s medical consultant. Parents may occasionally hear from Chaires regarding health alerts and advice.

Dr. Walker Robinson serves as DA’s collaborating physician, supervising sports medicine education programming and schoolwide health care policies and protocols.