The seventh and eighth grades are filled with enormous intellectual, social, and moral growth. During these years, students are given increasing responsibility, the opportunity to make choices, and the chance to be leaders. BB&N provides many options for Middle School students to explore these issues through special programs.
A variety of school traditions mark the BB&N calendar at the Middle School—some old, some new, some part of the academic fabric of the school, others part of the social fabric. These traditions include:
Martin Luther King Jr. Breakfast – A schoolwide celebratory feast featuring guest speakers and artists.
Winterfest – The Middle School’s annual Winterfest concert ushers in the holiday season with a festive mix of chamber music, choral performances, jazz band romps, and whimsical theatrical interludes.
Pizza Lunch – On select Tuesday afternoons, Middle School students enjoy pizza for lunch. “Pizza Lunch” is organized by the Middle School Parents Association and is one of the highlights of the week!
The School is dedicated to excellence in its educational programs and in personal character development. Fundamental to such excellence is an inclusive curriculum, and a diverse community where members learn to live within and to appreciate and celebrate a rich variety of cultures. To that end, the Middle School’s curriculum, advisory program, and community activities offer opportunities throughout the year to celebrate and appreciate the differences within our community, and to reinforce a schoolwide commitment to multiculturalism and diversity.
At this age level, a thoughtful lens into diversity often serves as a springboard for students as they begin to branch out to establish an identity independent of family and friends. The Middle School curriculum works to invite and nourish reflection on that journey as well as provide concrete content, tools, and study skills along the way. Our students come from diverse backgrounds and we support and nurture their differences as well as work to prepare them for their future contributions to our increasingly diverse world. For details on these programs, refer to BB&N’s Diversity Program Guide (see right column for download).
These programs offer students an opportunity to engage in age-appropriate discussions with trusted adults and peers about various issues facing middle schoolers today. The goal is for students to learn responsibility for themselves and others, and to be productive, respectful, and thoughtful members of the BB&N community.
The seventh grade program covers a wide range of topics including study skills, group building, relationships, bullying, community service learning, internet safety, gender differences, and race. The program also asks students to engage in discussions about prejudice, stereotyping, and discrimination.
The eighth grade programs cover many of the same topics, although in a manner that fosters more independence to prepare students for the challenges of the Upper School. Specific activities include homeroom speeches in which students complete a five-minute autobiographical speech, and viewing and discussion of Not in Our Town, a video about discrimination in a small town and how the town responds, and Race: The Power of an Illusion, which challenges students to explore and challenge racial stereotypes and differences.
D-Squared is the Middle School’s diversity-themed student club, which meets once a week. Members join in discussions and activities that facilitate community and self-awareness through identifying and understanding differences (and similarities), and exploring multiple perspectives and points of view.
The BB&N Parents’ Association has also developed several organizations that are dedicated to furthering multicultural initiatives at the School. These include PNSC (Parent Network to Support Students of Color), CGSA (Community Gay Straight Alliance, and SAPA (South Asian Parents’ Alliance).
Regional/Outreach Opportunities for Students
These opportunities include AISNE Student of Color Conference (Upper and Middle School students) AISNE Diversity Conference (Upper and Middle School students), and BB&N Student Diversity Leadership Conference (Upper School students).
Each campus has a diversity committee made up of faculty, administrators, parents, and students. There is also a diversity committee on the Board of Trustee level made up of trustees, parents, administrators, and faculty.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Breakfast, Kwanzaa Dinner, Asian Cultural Evening, and the One School-One World celebration are a few examples of all-school events that provide enlightenment, education, cultural sharing, and social opportunities for all members of the BB&N community.