Next week is an important one in the life of a BASIS Independent Brooklyn Middle School student. It's pre-comp time!
Pre-comprehensive exams (pre-comps), taken by grade 6 and above, are cumulative exams that cover what the students have learned up until the mid-year point of the school year.
The first time a BASIS Independent student takes a pre-comp can feel like a big transition to Middle School, but the guiding principle is that there is no such thing as a high-stakes exam if students are prepared. The past several weeks have been times of review and preparation with faculty in partnership with students.
Showing Support, BASIS Independent Brooklyn Style
It is a BASIS Independent Schools tradition to give students encouragement during the school days leading up to their first exam from faculty, Directors of Students Affairs, Deans, and our Head of School. We decided to take it a step further at BASIS Independent Brooklyn and enlist the cheery support of our primary school students to 'adopt' a middle schooler and write them a heartfelt note of encouragement.
Each student in grades 6–8 will receive a note written by a student in grades 1 or 2 before their first exam. These younger students are currently learning all about letter writing in class. Their teachers gave them minimal guidelines—only to write from their hearts.
What words would make you feel encouraged at a time when you really needed a little support?
Below are just a few of the many letters planned for next week:
Photo above: "Dear Ella, You got this. No matter what you go on and don't give up. When you have hard times just believe you can do it and don't wast(e) time. Believe it than (sic) be it."
In past years, the true delight came from how appreciative Middle School students were of their younger peers' actions, so much so that they shared with each other which buses they recognized the younger students from so they could be sure to thank them.
Photo above: Dean of Primary School Langenthal and Director of Student Affairs for Early Learning and Primary School Nguyen review just some of the many letters and signs collected this week.
Sometimes it's the little gestures that become the most important when building a school culture and community.
In the words of a particularly reassuring 1st grader, "You got this!"