Support Programs

Castle Program

As result of work as a staff analyzing our own data that reflects national achievement gap trends, NHS developed the Castle Program to work towards the goal of our courses at each level reflecting the overall population of the school. Because all members of our school community--faculty, staff, students, and families--believe that all students can achieve at high levels, the Castle Program is an attempt to address the implicit biases that may be at play in level recommendations and course selection. While the initial stage of the Castle Program will focus on increasing the representation of African American and Hispanic students in Honors, Accelerated, and AP courses, we hope future cohorts will include other underrepresented groups.

College Bound

College Bound is a program providing additional resources and support to Black and Latino students and families who are members of the Needham High School Community as they navigate the post secondary process. Educators, community volunteers, and high school staff are eager to work with students and families to assist with the college research and application process. The school counselor is the student's primary resource for college planning; College Bound is designed to provide additional support in an affinity group/peer setting.

Community Volunteer Program

The Community Volunteer Program recruits, screens, and places adults volunteers throughout the school system. Currently at NHS, Community Volunteers staff the Math Resource Room and work with ELL students. Future recruits will provide college counseling, SAT prep, and help with FAFSA forms.

Homework Club

Homework Club offers students an opportunity to complete work after school in a structured, productively social environment. Help with organization, task initiation, time management, and self-advocacy is available for students who have fallen behind. Homework Club can also just be a nice place to study with friends. Students can drop in, and teachers, students, and parents are encouraged to send an email to Mr. Swanger to discuss how best to meet student needs. Homework Club meets twice a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2:45 - 4:15 in Mr. Swanger's room.

Math Help Room

The Math Help Room is staffed by community volunteers. All of the volunteers have a background in a math related field. Students are invited to drop in during the school day to get help with mathematics. The schedule for math help is offered Monday through Friday. The daily schedule does vary with each day, however the schedule for the math help room is posted on line, in each mathematics classroom, in the grade level office, in guidance and via the News From the Hill.

Mentoring Club

The club's main objective is to ease the transition for incoming freshman that is more personalized than the "Senior Mentors" program that all incoming freshman participate in. An upperclassman (junior or senior) will be paired with a freshman, mainly matched based on interests, but also based on needs. The club will meet once a month after school for about an hour. After that the meetings are up to the mentor and the mentee. It is an opportunity to gain support/insight/advice from an upperclassmen as you transition to the high school and try to navigate new demands.

National Honor Society Tutors

National Honors Society provides 1:1 peer tutoring in all subject areas. To be eligible the student needs to be receiving a grade of C- or lower in the subject s/he needs support. To request tutoring students (or their parent) should see the student's School Counselor and provide contact information. Their name will be added to the request list and will be directly contacted by the NHS tutor to arrange an meeting.

Needham Steps Up

Mentoring program for income eligible Needham Residents. Five students allowed per grade with high school staff mentors. Students/Mentors meet at least 1x per week individually and 1x per month as a full group.

Science Help Room

The Science Help Room is staffed by community volunteers. All of the volunteers have a background in a science related field. Students are invited to drop in during the school day to get help with science. The schedule for science help is offered Monday through Friday, although the schedule varies with each day.


The SEAL is a group of like minded students advocating for and seeking social change at Needham High School and in the the district abroad. We provide an outlet for marginalized students and community members to discuss issues and experiences. Through activities, advocacy, leadership and events we will help the district reach its goal of becoming increasingly culturally proficient. We currently meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays before school


The LA2 Tenacity Challenge is an annual academic scholarship competition for teams of Latino and African-American students from urban and suburban high schools across Massachusetts. Recommended team size is 6 (may not be larger than 6) students allowing for several members of each team to "specialize" in an area of the challenge preparation. There are events in Art, ELA, History, and Math/Science During the extended period of preparation, students build academic capacity, strengthen intellectual risk-taking and develop enduring peer and faculty relationships.

Writing Center

The Writing Center is a peer tutoring service available after school every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday in Room 719. Writing Center tutors are juniors and seniors who are skilled writers trained to help their peers with writing assignments for any subject (English essays, history papers, lab reports, etc). Students do not need to sign up ahead of time for help; the Writing Center operates on a first come, first served basis.

Scheduled Peer Tutors

The peer tutoring program offers an amazing opportunity for students to work with other students and to help them make the most of their high to school career. Peer tutors offer support to students on a weekly basis in Skills. Peer tutors may help review math, read aloud with a student, help edit rough drafts, review for tests and quizzes, help with organizing. Some benefits of peer tutoring for students include higher academic achievement, improved relationships with peers, improved personal and social development as well as increased motivation. In turn, the teacher benefits from this model of instruction by an increased opportunity to individualize instruction, increased facilitation of inclusion/mainstreaming, and opportunities to reduce inappropriate behaviors (Topping, 2008).

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