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BCMS pilot program focuses on making positive connections

Posted: June 1, 2010

The Middle School Character Education Committee launched a pilot program this year designed to explore ways to help student build self-esteem, diversity awareness, communication abilities and other important skills through stronger connections with their peers and adults in the building.

For its initial phase, the “Advisory” program was open to all 7th grade students in Patroon 7-1. Participation was voluntary, and interested students spent 6 sessions getting to know each other through various team- and skill-building activities.

About – 94 students – or 95% proportionately of the seventh grade team, participated in Advisory. See the bottom of this page for a list of faculty members who participated, often volunteering their time.

students walk across a field   Students play capture the flag

Sessions were held during Home Base and after large group team activities such as career day. Funding was provided by the BCMS Parent Teacher Organization, Bethlehem Opportunities Unlimited and the Parents for Excellence group with grants that were written by the Mohawk House Leader Andy Baker.

Groups of 8-12 students met during the Advisory sessions over the past several months. Each session had a common theme, such as friendship and getting to know each other better; role-playing and creating skits about team work and cooperation, and promoting diversity awareness.

“BCMS is a large school, so we are always working to create stronger connections with each student,” said Middle School House Leader Dave Zadoorian, one of the program’s coordinators. “Research tells us that self-esteem is a major issue with students at this age, and that if we can help build that, and other important life and interpersonal skills, students will do better in Middle School and will be prepared for even more success down the road.”

The Character Education Committee is currently evaluating the pilot phase of the program and considering the best format to reach the project’s goals in the future. 

students eating lunch   Several students on a field


Advisory program 2009-2010 advisors

Linda Gellman
Steve Gigliello
Dave Coughlin
Jeff Mongue
Carole Bieber
Trish Henning
Kim Ferris
Carla Young
Andrew Baker
Dave Zadoorian
Sharee Roth