Founded in 2007, the Stratford Peer Mentoring Program ultimately aims to build better relationships between upper and underclassmen and to nurture a more positive school culture. Seniors and juniors mentor incoming freshmen in order to help them better adjust to the academic, procedural, and social demands of the Upper School. Specifically, the mentors will look to facilitate the process of increased student self-esteem and confidence, encourage academic achievement, and promote positive school, peer, and family connectedness. In addition, the program aims to provide upper class students with opportunities to learn and demonstrate leadership skills and to make them feel more like active stakeholders in the Stratford community. Mentors will endeavor to exhibit Stratford Academy's highest values at all times and will provide positive role models for younger students.
In the spring of each year, a limited number of rising juniors and seniors are selected through a three-part process in which students nominate themselves to work as mentors. Faculty members may also nominate students who they believe will be positive role models and will work well with our ninth grade students as they adjust to the demands of Upper School. Students may also nominate themselves to work as mentors. Finally, the mentor selection committee, composed of the program directors, teachers, and administrators, meets to decide who will be chosen.
Mentors prepare during the summer to welcome the rising ninth graders on their first day and to accompany them through Freshmen Orientation Week. Mentors have regular meetings with their freshmen throughout the first semester, building relationships and assisting in the transition to Upper School.