Extracurricular activities allow students to pursue personal interests or explore new areas. Students with common interests are encouraged to form new clubs. Groups meet during lunch or an activity period. Additional meetings take place when needed. Recent clubs offered include the following: GSA, Quiz Bowl, Model United Nations, Cribbage and Card Games, Acoustic Music, Digital Fabrication, Documentary Film, Doodle Art, Knitting, “Make Cool Videos”, TED Talk Discussion Group, Warm-Up America, Sports Appreciation, Robotics Team, Science Club, Diversity Club, Community Service Club, Stock Market Club, and Politics of the Election.
The Brimmer Upper School Judicial Board—comprised of students, administrators, and faculty members—is committed to strengthening our community by developing and maintaining a tone of decency and sense of responsibility in our daily interactions.
The Judicial Board seeks to promote honesty, ethical behavior, equity, and equality in the School community. It strives to be impartial, to uphold the rules and values of the School, to maintain confidentiality, and to respect an individual’s right to a fair disciplinary process.
Brimmer prides itself on its diverse student body, which includes students of varying races, ethnicities, family structures, personal identities, religions, neighborhoods, and countries of origin. Student friendships and support networks span across this diversity, and those bonds enrich our community.
In an effort to support our students, promote our core values, and respond to the world around us, Brimmer maintains a range of student diversity clubs and affinity groups that meet weekly. These include: African American and/or Latino affinity group; GSA Club (Gender and Sexuality for All); Student Diversity Leadership Club; and Middle School Diversity Lunch Group. Topics discussed in those groups range from celebrations of identity to history lessons to politics and current events to microaggressions. The make-up and existence of these groups may change year to year as we respond to the needs of our community.
Brimmer is committed to educating and empowering all of its community members to be leaders in social justice. Throughout each academic year, we hold internal events that celebrate culture and difference. We also bring in speakers and hold workshops for our students and faculty on a range of topics addressing diversity and inclusion. These programs are meant to give each participant the tools to be meaningful contributors to Brimmer and to the larger world around them.
Brimmer students help to develop internal diversity programming at the Lower, Middle, and Upper School levels but are also active in the opportunities that are offered to them off campus. Our students attend the NAIS Student Diversity Leadership Conference (part of the NAIS People of Color Conference) each year as well as AISNE Students of Color Conferences for Middle and Upper School students. These conferences address topics of race but also cover in-depth issues surrounding socioeconomic differences, gender identity, and sexual orientation, among other things. Students also participate in smaller, more local programs when opportunities arise.
Community service initiatives are designed to help students develop a fuller understanding of their ability to make a difference in the world. To this end, Upper School students are required to complete 40 hours of individual community service in the setting of their choice by the time they enter senior year.
These placements should ideally contain elements of social service that represent the maximum use of a student’s social capital. In addition, community service in the Upper School is conducted through several additional avenues. First, each class (freshmen, sophomores, etc.) are expected to design and initiate one community service project each year. These projects may include fundraising and/or service and may be conducting in an on-going schedule or may be singular events. Second, throughout the school year, students, parents, and/or faculty initiate and engage in school-wide community service and fundraising to benefit local and global organizations in response to on-going and immediate service needs. Finally, students have frequent opportunities to engage in in-school service helping out at school events, working as aides in a Lower School classroom, providing support at athletic events, etc. They may also develop a service initiative to be organized and pursued during the Activities period that meets bi-monthly.
Upper School students participate in wellness programs geared to support their social, emotional, and physical well-being. As a School, we know there is much more to a student’s life than just academics.
We strive to develop students who will go on to be successful in the world and educate them in areas that will allow them to be prepared to make informed decisions when faced with challenging situations. Each grade has week-long workshops in either the area of sex education or stress management and substance use and abuse. When possible we try to offer a parent workshop as well.
Upper School students spend two days at the beginning of each academic year at an outdoor camp. This overnight trip allows Upper School students and faculty to get to know each other, to learn how to work together effectively, and to have some fun.
The School trips provide an excellent introduction to the school year. The programming for camp is designed by student leaders with the support of the Dean of Students and Upper School Head. The camp experience is a tradition at Brimmer and May and is designed to facilitate community building. (In years when religious or other holidays fall during the annual camp trip, alternate programming may be scheduled.) The Upper School goes to Camp Wingate-Kirkland on Cape Cod, where students will spend time bicycling, kayaking, swimming, exploring the beach, playing field games, paddle boarding, etc. All Upper School students are required to attend camp.
Outdoor Education trips are offered during the fall, winter, and spring seasons. Trips may focus on hiking, backpacking, rock climbing, fishing, skiing, snowshoeing, camping, or other outdoor activities.
Students learn practical skills in camp-craft and outdoor living, outdoor cooking and menu preparation, emergency wilderness first aid, minimum-impact camping, and environmental preservation. There is also an emphasis on developing leadership skills, communication, trust, and cooperation. Enrollment is limited to 15 students and to one season of participation unless space allows.
BRIMMER 69 Middlesex Road Chestnut Hill, MA 02467 617-566-7462