“Nashoba encouraged us to strive for our own personal best, even in the arenas of competition, be it academics, sports, or the arts—the achievement of personal best was always emphasized and celebrated, and this gave us the courage and determination to experiment.” — Student
Nashoba Brooks School builds student confidence around a core of personal excellence.
Nashoba Brooks defines excellence as the commitment to doing one’s personal best, while striving to go beyond it, achieving fuller mastery, and making meaningful contributions to the community. Personal excellence, defined in the philosophy statement of the school, is not limited to academics, athletics, and the arts. Personal excellence also relates to character, citizenship, and integrity. Class initiatives, as well as small group and individual student community initiatives, communicate the important role character plays both within the school and in the wider community we serve.
In measuring students’ personal excellence, we value the importance of teacher/parent observations. By observing a student’s excitement about school and his or her love of learning and self-motivation, excellence is assessed. Teachers and parents can use a variety of tools and guides to know more about a student’s personal excellence: teacher assessments (such as teacher-developed tests, rubrics, and portfolios), standardized tests, students’ self-evaluations, and national standards. Teachers assist students in setting goals and offer positive reinforcement.
In measuring students’ Nashoba Brooks School communicates excellence both within our school community and throughout the greater community. Conferences, reports, Friday letters, displays of student work, performances, portfolios, and student publications are ways the school communicates students’ excellence. Teachers best communicate to students about excellence “often, directly, on the spot.” Teachers also provide students and parents with rubrics, assessment models, curriculum guides, test scores, and comprehensive trimester progress reports.
Competition and Cooperation
In the classroom, as well as on the athletic field, Nashoba Brooks students learn to compete and to collaborate. Teachers work with the power of collaborative learning while using competitive strategies that are age-appropriate and educationally sound. In order to maximize the benefits that come from collaborative and competitive activities, teachers must coach their students. They provide meaningful, stimulating activities for them to practice these valuable life skills, and these experiences support Nashoba Brooks’ commitment to integrity, respect, caring, sharing, responsibility, fairness, and sportsmanship.
Individual recognition occurs naturally, informally, and in context. Children are given frequent opportunities to perform, demonstrate mastery, and share successes in many public performances in class and before the entire student body. Many of these performances are open to the whole community. In recognizing individual performance, the school promotes its stated mission to nurture the talents and character of each child; to foster each child’s personal excellence in academics, athletics, and the arts. At Nashoba Brooks, personal excellence, not the prize, is the ultimate goal.