Grade Level Programs New Hampshire- Tilton School

Student Experience Block

What if learning went beyond the classroom? What if students had the resources to explore their passions? What does it mean to leave a legacy? 

At Tilton, we believe learning is a life-long endeavor. Our Student Exploration Block is an integrated class period focusing on three areas of exploration: Grade-Level Programming, Healthy Living, and Next Steps. These units are all age-appropriate skills that can fuel students’ exploration of bigger topics and prepare them to contribute to the world around them.

Grade Level Programming

9th grade students had another immersive day in the Student Experience Block, with several groups getting off campus and into the community. For students in Ms. Veilleux and Mr. Scala-Harbert’s Explorations group, this meant exploring the New Hampshire Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (NHSPCA). 

Explorations is a unit within the Grade Level Programming branch of the Student Experience Block, allows students and faculty to learn alongside each other in areas of interest beyond the traditional classroom. While Ms. Veilleux and Mr. Scala-Harbert choose to learn more about animal care with students, other Tilton faculty explore topics ranging from beekeeping to video editing to sustainable farming. 

Nine 9th grade students had the opportunity to see the daily operations of the NHSPCA, including how the organization runs and functions behind the scenes. Students were able to experience supply deliveries, temperament training, and what protocols the NHSPCA has to place animals in their forever homes.

“We had a really unique chance to experience how the NHSPCA supports surrounding organizations and towns,” Mrs. Veilleux explained. “Through partnerships and community outreach, the NHSPCA helps supply dog food to 35 nearby towns, and our students got to help complete a delivery for that initiative.”

As Explorations continues to the holiday break, students in the Veilleux/Harbert-Scala group will have the opportunity to learn about police K9 units, puppy desensitization, and more about the unseen lives of dogs.

Healthy Living

11th grade students in their Student Experience Block (SEB) traded in their desks for the dirt and spent a sunny afternoon across campus practicing their meditation skills. Spearheaded by Megan Killigrew as part of the Healthy Living branch of the SEB, students have been working on mindfulness practices, and ways to mitigate stress in their day-to-day lives.

While some students opted for the warm stone seats of the Alumni Amphitheatre, others made themselves comfortable under the shade of trees across the academic quad in order to best relax their body and mind. After a brief explanation of the meditation process from Killigrew, 11th graders took the next several minutes to quietly reflect, contemplate, and refocus their minds. 

At the end, the group debriefed on how the meditation process felt – both physically and mentally. Some noted that calming their body felt easier than calming a rampant mind, while others expressed their struggle with focusing on their breathing. In total, students walked away from this SEB  with a better understanding of their minds, mentality, and mental health through the meditative process.

Next Steps

There are a number of long-standing Tilton traditions that graduating students will experience in their final year on the Hill. The most-anticipated for many lies in the annual Senior Defense, a process where each senior will detail their future plans before a panel of Tilton faculty and community leaders. Whether life after the Hill is further education, an internship, or a trade school, students will have the opportunity to express their plans and what their future aspirations are as a developing leader in the professional world. 

This Wednesday, approximately 70 Tilton seniors dressed in their best business attire and met before faculty panelists, spanning from teachers to coaches to higher administrators. As the morning progressed, students practiced their speeches in hallways and  meticulously prepared before stepping into their designated “board rooms”, where Tilton community members awaited.