The changes to 7th and 8th exam week will embrace Marlborough’s core values
The term “exam week” many bring shudders down Marlborough students’ spines, but not so much for the 7th and 8th graders. The 7th and 8th graders are experiencing many new changes to the exam week schedule, implemented by the 7th and 8th grade deans, which reinforce Marlborough’s core values of confidence, community, honor, and excellence by doing many activities.
Exam week next week December 17th-20th. 7th and 8th grade students are not going to be taking any exams unless they are in a higher level class for subjects such as math.
Regina Rosi-Mitchell, Assistant Director of the Middle and Upper School and Dean of Student Life, is in charge of the many changes in the middle school, including exam week.
“We’re looking at how to create more of these learning opportunities for students to pursue things they are interested in that aren’t limited to an academic class,” Rosi-Mitchell said.
One of the goals Rosi–Mitchell is trying to work towards is integrating Marlborough values starting in 7th grade.
“It starts in the 7th grade and is woven throughout the middle school experience as well as the upper school experience,” she said.
The middle school team, consisting of each of the middle school grade deans, as well as other middle school teachers l and has been split up into multiple subcommittees. The Middle School Experience Committee is leading up the changes to the middle school schedule. Nicole Collier, Dean of 7th Grade and science instructor, is one of the leaders in the change to exam week. She said, “We’re looking at how to create more of these learning opportunities for students to pursue things they are interested in that aren’t limited to an academic class.”
To begin the week, on December 17th, the students will be looking at Marlborough’s value of confidence. This day is being used to help the students believe that they can succeed and that through preparation they will develop confidence. On this day the 7th and 8th graders will be preparing to take the PSAT from 8:30am to 11:15am. The PSAT prep and the actual taking of the PSAT is the only part of the exam week that will be carried over from the previous year. The goal is to see what parts of the test students can do well on and which parts they can improve on.
The second day, Tuesday December 18th, the students will be traveling to a museum from 8:30am-2:00pm. The four choices are The Broad, the Japanese American History Museum, the California Science Center, and the Museum of Natural History. The goal of this trip is to reinforce community. Students will be able to interact in a setting outside of school and see what Los Angeles has to offer. Khanichi Charles Ph.D., Science Instructor and 8th Grade Dean, also planned exam week. She said she thinks it will be good for the students to be able to go to these museums, that they may have gone to as children in elementary school, and look through these places with their new levels of knowledge. Charles also said that this trip is good to “allow time and space to foster community between 7th and 8th grade and also engage in what we have to offer locally.”
The third day, December 19th, will be the winter retreat which is focused on the Marlborough value of Honor. This retreat, previously a morning activity called “kindness retreat,” will include the same value of kindness, but also will have students explore topics like self-compassion, empathy, integrity, responsibility, and forgiveness in this day-long retreat taking place at Marlborough from 8:30am-2:00pm. Students are welcomed and encouraged to bring an adult of their choice. The morning will be conducted by Morgan Duggan, the Middle School psychologist. From 8:30am-12:00pm, with a break in between for brunch. They will review short clips, engage in discussions, and share short stories. Students create a safe space to embrace diversity wisdom and encourage inclusivity. The afternoon from 12:00pm-2:00pm will be conducted by Christine Burke, Yoga Instructor, which is an afternoon of mindfulness and yoga/meditation. Burke said other activities must be kept secret for the purposes of the activity.
Finally the last day, December 20th, students will be taking the PSAT where students will explore excellence. The value of excellence at Marlborough is not getting a perfect score, but is having the confidence and to elevate your thinking to perform at your personal best. After the PSAT is completed, students can go and enjoy Winter Fest with their friends and celebrate the end of the semester.