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A College-Prep, Independent Day
School for Grades 8-12

Mentoring and SUPPORT

Studies show that when students develop positive relationships with adults outside the home 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 sports, music groups, in the classroom, on the stage, in clubs, 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:


PATH is an advisory discussion group usually made up of 8-10 students in multiple grade levels. Each PATH group has an advisor, or Sherpa, who acts as discussion facilitator each cycle on D days. 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, grit, empathy – that will help them navigate their future.

Pathways - College Counseling Courses

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.  For more information about our College Counseling program, click here.

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 Head of School, the Academic Dean, and the Dean of Students, as needed, to address concerns. The Class Deans lead the weekly Wednesday meetings (see below).

Academic Dean - Academic Success & Course Planning

Sean Raymond has a broad knowledge of teaching and learning at York, as well as overall educational theory and practice. He oversees class scheduling and graduation requirements, and can guide students and parents in many aspects of school life. Students must receive approval from the Academic Dean before finalizing course requests in the spring. Mr. Raymond also works with our faculty on our educational program, including curriculum development, professional growth, and new opportunities for student focused learning. He can be reached by phone at x108 or by email at sean@york.org.

Dean of Students

Joyce Sherry has extensive experience with counseling in an academic setting. She works closely with the Class Deans and the Academic Dean to encourage the best possible personal experience for each student. Parents and students are encouraged to communicate with the Dean of Students regarding any area of concern, including social integration at school, significant events at home, learning differences, and emotional difficulties. The Dean of Students maintains a list of psychological and psycho-educational consultants to recommend should parents or students desire more trained or specialized support. Mrs. Sherry can be reached by phone at x138 or by email at jsherry@york.org.

Academic Support and Tutoring

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 two to three times a week or during another time slot when teachers are available (before or after school or during a free period). The Mathematics and Science Departments offer peer tutoring on Wednesdays as well. Parents who would like to engage private tutors should consult with the class teacher or with the Academic Dean for recommendations or advice.

To further support students’ academic achievement and school-life balance, our Academic Coach 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


Oftentimes, teachers identify students in their classes who may benefit from this individualized attention.  The Academic Coach works closely with educators to keep apprised of each student’s status in their coursework.  Sessions with students can occur during study periods and before or after school. Coaching is targeted to each individual’s strengths and areas for improvement, as well as to their social-emotional needs.  All in all, 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.

York faculty have compiled excellent resources, available at this link: learning.yrk.link, providing strategies for how to approach learning, effectively prepare for and take assessments, and cope with and reduce stress.

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.

Wednesday Meetings

Throughout the school year, the teachers from each grade level meet at lunch on Wednesdays to discuss the students in a given grade level (rotating between 8th grade one week, 9th grade the next, etc.). Led by the Class Dean, the teachers monitor the academic and social development of all students in the grade and share strategies to help students be successful. Wednesday Meetings also help us make sure students are making friends and connecting with 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.

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 Academic Coach, Director of College Counseling, Dean of Students and Academic Dean, 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. For more information, please contact the Admission Office or the Academic Coach.
York School
Find Us 9501 York Road Monterey, California 93940

York School is committed to equal opportunity in educational programs, employment and campus life. The School does not discriminate on the basis of age, ancestry, color, disability, gender, marital status, national origin, parental status, race, religion, sexual orientation, or veteran status in any access to and treatment in School programs and activities.

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