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SEL Courses

Social and emotional learning is the process through which students acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions. Our sequence of programs focuses initially on developing an awareness of self and then pushes students to consider others. Unlike many schools, Brewster builds time for this work into the class day. This program’s location in the academic day highlights how important we think this work is for our students' overall development as successful young adults.

9th Grade Curriculum

Owning Up

We are in our fifth year of teaching the Owning Up curriculum to our freshmen. Owning Up is a structured group program that covers topics in areas of friendships, self-image, cyber-bullying, boundaries, and more. The course includes a a 20-week module that focuses on RULER skills and the four anchors of the emotional literacy program.

Learn more about RULER through the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence.

10th Grade

Optimizing Your Intelligence

Optimizing Your Intelligence is a personal development class that is based on the idea that your intelligences are a specific set of skills that will help you learn and succeed now and in the future, and emotions are involved every step of the way.

Through interactive discussions, skill-building, analyzing information, self-assessments,reflective practices, and real-world applications, students learn to better navigate their lives at home, school, college, and the workplace.

11th Grade

Engage 2 Educate

In a rapidly changing world of people from all backgrounds, it is imperative that students have the skills necessary to coexist with different kinds of people and perspectives. Engage 2 Educate (E2E) offers an opportunity for juniors to engage in healthy and honest conversations about the many social issues that impact their identities and their place in the world, both at Brewster and beyond.

The class incorporates eight social identifiers of age, ability, race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic class into a variety of activities and workshops used as starting points for discussion.

12th Grade


As students stand on the precipice of college, this course is designed to prepare them for the next steps. Interactive seminars, college workshops, and electives that include a variety of options from finance to cooking enable students to start to explore facets of the next phase of their life. Other topics emphasized include further enhancement of RULER skills, college social decision making, resilience, and mental health.