Andrea P. Heinze
Associate Head for Student Affairs
Established in 1926 in the town of North Andover, Brooks School provides a co-educational, college preparatory program for 350 students. Small classes allow students to work closely with teachers, fostering a relationship that is at the core of the warm, close-knit community.
Brooks School has been part of the Reach Community since 2021; Andrea P. Heinze - Associate Head of Student Affairs has being working side by side with our Director of Support and Training, Lindsey Stapleton; and our Director of Student Success, Nic Robichaud
In mid-November, Brooks School participated in their first Challenge Success Wellness Survey powered by REACH. Brooks prides itself on our community and our mission to “provide the most meaningful educational experience in our student’s lives” and we do this through our close connections between adults and students and students to students. Data from the Challenge Success Survey confirmed this strength with 91% of students reporting that they have an adult with whom they connect. We achieve these connections in several ways, most notably through our advisor system.
Every student is assigned a faculty advisor upon enrolling at Brooks. Advisors could be a student’s teacher, dorm parent, coach, or have no connection outside of the role as advisor. Each adult makes an effort to get to know the student through weekly advisor meetings, one on one check-ins, being the point of contact for others at the school and the student and their family, and builds relationships with each of their advisees.
Advisory groups may gather for dinner, lunch, and fun adventures outside of the weekly meeting time during the school day. Advisors can be seen cheering students on the sidelines, at theatrical performances, musical performances and the like, they are a student’s advocate and also the one who helps nurture and guide each student. After one’s first semester, a student has the option of changing their advisor. This change is encouraged if a student has made a stronger connection with a faculty member other than their assigned advisor. Empowering the student to initiate this change because they have built different, or more meaningful relationships with another adult is a strength of the system.
In addition to the advisor relationship, students and adults connect in so many ways at Brooks. Our size, beautiful campus and our engaged faculty help make student to adult connections easy. Often a student will say they have multiple advisors, or certainly have multiple adults with whom they are connected. Our faculty are coaches, dorm parents, theater directors, van drivers, etc. and many live on campus. This triple threat adult model positions our adults to know our students well and builds trust, connection and ultimately meaningful relationships.
We are excited by the feedback the Challenge Success survey provided and look forward to furthering our advisor program to ensure this strong connection between students and faculty.
Challenge Success partners with school communities to elevate student voice and implement research-based, equity-centered strategies that improve student well-being, belonging, and engagement.