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Studies show that when students develop positive relationships with adults, the effect on the students’ social-emotional growth and academic progress can be profound. The feeling of being believed in and valued by someone, and, in turn, of trusting and appreciating a mentor’s steady influence, can be an affirming and transformative experience.
York works hard to foster this type of relationship in both structured and casual ways. We check to ensure every student is developing positive connections with one or more teachers. We provide students with opportunities to connect with classmates from different grade levels and family backgrounds in our classrooms, athletics, music ensembles, advisory, clubs, on the stage, and in student government. Many York students have stretched their comfort zones because someone, somewhere along the way, believed in them and encouraged them to try something new or rise to a challenge. Many students pay it forward, helping the cycle start again.

This type of relationship building is at the heart of York’s supportive and welcoming community.

Here are some of the many ways we intentionally create mentoring relationships on campus:

List of 7 items.

  • Director of Teaching and Learning

    Our Director of Teaching and Learning oversees much of our program, and can guide students and parents in many aspects of school life. Students meet with the Director of Teaching and Learning to understand their course options and before finalizing course requests each spring. The Director of Teaching and Learning also works with our faculty on our educational program, including curriculum development, professional growth, and new opportunities for student-focused learning.
  • Class Deans

    Each grade level has a Class Dean responsible for overseeing the academic and personal progress of the students in that grade – there are two Class Deans in the 9th grade because it is our largest entry point for new students. Class Deans are the first point of contact for many questions from parents. The Deans have extensive experience with the needs of students in their particular grade levels and are familiar with a variety of potential solutions for common issues that arise. They consult with classroom teachers, the Director of Teaching and Learning, the School Psychologist, and the Learning Specialist, as needed, to address concerns. The Class Deans lead weekly Grade Level Meetings (see below).
  • Path Advisory

    Path is an advisory group usually made up of 8-10 students in multiple grade levels. Each Path group has an advisor who acts as discussion facilitator once per cycle. Discussions focus on topics of character, social and emotional intelligence, and other subjects of the wider world. The purpose of the group meetings is to encourage students to think beyond the academic and beyond their individual experiences to foster a sense of purpose and greater meaning in their lives.

    Why is it called Path? In popular culture, many people think independent schools prepare a path for their students. At York, we’re focused on preparing our students for their paths by helping them develop the kind of non-cognitive life skills – resiliency, determination, empathy – that will help them navigate their future.
  • Tutorials

    Our teachers are committed to their students’ success. The School schedule is designed to help students connect with their teachers for additional support or challenge in their classes. Students are encouraged to meet with teachers during scheduled tutorials several times a week or during another time slot when teachers are available.

    To further support students’ academic achievement and school-life balance, our Learning Specialist works with students individually to offer strategies for organizing, prioritizing, and calendaring of their academic and extracurricular lives. One-on-one sessions may include:
    • visualizing academic goals and benchmarks
    • boosting note-taking skills
    • constructing and revising essays
    • mapping out study sessions before exams
    • advocating for learning accommodations
    • utilizing technology to assist reading, writing, and studying
    • rehearsing presentation
    • following up on progress
    • celebrating successes
    Both the Learning Specialist and our faculty help students adopt a growth mindset toward learning and time management by developing executive functioning skills and deepening self-confidence that directly benefits their academic and individual success. 

    Our alumni routinely report that learning how to seek assistance from their teachers at York helped prepare them to take full advantage of their professors’ office hours in college. They note that this is a skill their college classmates often lack and credit York with making this part of their transition to university life much easier.
  • Grade Level Meetings

    Throughout the school year, faculty from each grade level meet weekly to discuss the students in a given grade level. Led by the Class Dean, these meetings allow teachers to share the academic and social development of all students in the grade and strategies to help students be successful. These meetings also help the School make sure students are connecting with friends and adults on campus. Action steps include teachers meeting with students to offer assistance or reassurance, calls or emails to parents to discuss areas of concern, and other strategies suggested during the meeting.
  • Pathways - College Counseling

    Spanning the junior and senior years, Pathways provides focused instruction and support for students as they explore their post-secondary educational options. Students have the opportunity to support each other and to develop deeper relationships with faculty members during this process.  
  • Learning Differences

    York School is committed to enrolling a diverse student body. While we cannot fundamentally alter our curriculum, we are committed to assisting students with diagnosed learning differences. It is our goal that students will learn to advocate for themselves, to understand and be able to work with their particular learning needs, and to develop the tenacity, resilience, and positive attitude that will best serve them in the future. Therefore, we support the reasonable and fair accommodations that are recommended by qualified learning specialists such as educational psychologists. Our Student Support Team, consisting of the Learning Specialist, Director of College Counseling, Director of Teaching and Learning, and School Psychologist, works together in support of serving neurodiverse students. The Academic Coach tracks the implementation of accommodations and assists student development, as well as applies for accommodations from the College Board and ACT.

York School

9501 York Road
Monterey, CA 93940
Phone: 831-372-7338
We inspire and prepare a diverse community of creative, independent thinkers.
Since 1959, York School has created an exceptional college-prep experience for our youth: inspiring them to develop intellectual curiosity; challenging them to create and try new things; and preparing them to be passionate contributors in college and in life.