Wellness

Our all-girls Middle and High School endeavors to develop mature, young women, capable of making and acting upon responsible choices, which enrich their own lives and contribute to the lives of others.

Our student support team includes a number of faculty and staff including, the division head, deans, director of student support, director and associate director of college counseling, a part-time consulting psychologist, homeroom teachers, advisers and senior peer leaders (for grades 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9). These team members lead a number of formal and informal supportive services/programs, including classes, academic advisement, emotional support services, and disciplinary reviews.

Student Programming

Academic support and advisement is provided to all grades throughout the year and includes the following themes:

  • Anxiety
  • Body Image
  • Bullying
  • Depression
  • Divorce, Death, Moving
  • Eating Disorders
  • Grief/Loss
  • Relationships
  • Relaxation Exercises
  • Stress
  • Suicide/Suicide Prevention
  • Wellness Living

Workshops

December 7, 2020: Oak Knoll hosts panel discussion, “Disordered Eating: It’s About More Than Food.”

  • February 2020: Dennis Corcoran and Donna O’Connor present: “Coping with Sudden Loss and Subsequent Grief from a Spiritual and Clinical Perspective.”
  • February 2020: Oak Knoll Parents’ Association hosts a viewing of SCREENAGERS, the first feature documentary to explore the impact of screen technology on kids and offer parents and families proven solutions that work.
  • January 2020: Alumna presents on eating disorder to the Upper School
  • November 2019: Oak Knoll hosts a schoolwide “Wellness Week”
  • October 2019: For the Good of the Kids III: What’s Going on With Our Kids? With Sgt. Ryan Peters of the Summit PD and Donna O’Connor and Lee Ann O’Leary, clinically licensed social workers. Topics: anxiety and depression, alcohol, marijuana and vaping, social media and healthy communication.
  • April 2019: Oak Knoll School and Atlantic Health System host “Eating Disorders and Young Children: What Pediatricians, Educators and Parents Need to Know to Support Children in Their Care”
  • April 2019: For the Good of the Kids II: Get the 411 on 420 with Ron Gaetano, our national consultant in the field of alcoholism and substance abuse
  • January 2019: Oak Knoll Parents’ Association hosts Karen Fortunati, author of “The Weight of Zero,” who also has lunch with Upper School students
  • January 2019: For the Good of the Kids I: What can we do as parents to help our kids navigate the teen years with Ron Gaetano, our national consultant in the field of alcoholism and substance abuse
  • December 2018: Dr. Lonnie Sarnell, a Millburn-based clinical and sport psychologist, speaks to athletes about stress management, sports anxiety, coping measures and goal setting as part of the Athletics L.E.A.D. Program
  • September 2018: Upper School holds conversation on National Suicide Prevention Week presentation and sends parents resources from The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Remembering TJ organization and Grief Speaks.
  • September 2018: Lower School launches new social and emotional curriculum based on the Formative Five Success Skills
  • September 2018: 9th, 11th grade Health Classes address suicide prevention
  • April 2018: Adriana Dunn and Laura Palmer, speak to parents on the topic of “Understanding Anxiety: How to Help Children and Adolescents Cope More Effectively with Stress.”
  • November 2017: The Parents’ Association hosts Sgt. Tom Rich of the Summit Police Department for: “How to Remain Safe when We are ‘Always Connected’”
  • October 2017: The Parents’ Association hosts Michele Borba, author of “Unselfie”
  • October 2017: Oak Knoll sends letter home to parents about student death at Kent Place. Provides Grief Speaks resources
  • May 2017: A current student presents on eating disorder to the Upper School
  • May 2017: Jen Landis discusses the Netflix series, “13 Reasons Why,” and provided parents with resources at the school and beyond
  • May 2016: Oak Knoll sends letter home to parents about student death at Morristown-Beard. Provides Grief Speaks resources
  • January 2016: Upper School holds Remembering TJ Assembly on teen wellness in the face of anxiety and depression. This topic is addressed through the sharing of a family’s experience with their own son’s struggle and eventual suicide.
  • January 2016: Jennifer Osborne from Sciarrillo Law speaks to Upper School students about digital citizenship, cyberbullying, each person’s digital footprint and the importance of the philosophy of “respect for persons,” a cornerstone of Oak Knoll Upper School Community Guide. Ms. Osborne discussed various aspects of awareness regarding social media and how students can protect themselves and make wise and thoughtful choices. This assembly follows up on a presentation made earlier this year by our very own student council leaders. The student council ran a poster contest among the advisory groups to raise awareness about the importance of proper use of social media. The designs of the posters center on the power of social media and the importance of being compassionate citizens in the digital world.

Suggested Resources

  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
    24 hours a day – 7 days a week
    800-273-TALK (8255) Crisis Text Line: Text CONNECT to 741741
  • New Jersey Hopeline
    1-855-NJ-Hopeline (654-6735)
    New Jersey’s 24/7 Peer Support & Suicide Prevention Hotline
  • www.griefspeaks.com

Blogs:

Books:

  • What Made Maddy Run
  • The Weight of Zero
  • Speak
  • Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul

Media:

Contact

Norma Delepine
Director of Student Support
norma.delepine@oakknoll.org

Dr. Jennifer Butler-Sweeney
Psychologist
jennifersweeney9@gmail.com

Dr. Melissa Maskery
Athletic Trainer
melissa.maskery@oakknoll.org

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