Habits of a Scholar

Introduction In 2014/15, Basalt Middle School rolled out a revised set of core values based on the Roaring Fork School District's visioning process. The acronym that defines our Habits of a Scholar is "ExPECT." Expect stands for core values in Executive Skills, Perseverance, Enthusiasm, Compassion, and Teamwork. Additionally Basalt Middle School emphasizes Growth Mindset and Academic Responsibility.

Habits matter for a lifetime! A tenet of growth mindset thinking is that we have control over what we excel at and what we don’t.  If you spend enough time attempting to learn something, eventually you can learn it.  Want to learn to play the guitar?  Practice, take lessons, and practice some more. Through hard work, smart strategies, and dedication over time, instead of strumming discord you’ll be strumming music.  But does the same growth mindset belief apply to character education?  The research indicates a resounding yes.  Education writer Jessica Lahey notes that “schools that teach character education report higher academic performance, improved attendance, reduced violence, fewer disciplinary issues, reduction in substance abuse, and less vandalism. … Students who attend character education schools report feeling safer because they know their fellow students value respect, responsibility, compassion and hard work.” Character clearly can be developed within a school culture for the benefit of an entire school community and a lifetime.

How We Incorporate Habits / ExPECT into our Day

Introduction: Executive Skills, Perseverance, Enthusiasm, Compassion, and Teamwork, form the acronym ExPECT and are reinforced at BMS throughout the school year in the following ways:

The Crew Advisory Period: We devote 30 minutes, four times a week, to an advisory period called CREW. Crew focuses on four main areas:

  • Positive Culture & Relationships:
  • Academic Advisement:
  • Character Development
  • Adventure

Our Habits of a Scholar character skills are cultivated through this time to develop a strong sense of community, belonging, and academic responsibility. Learn more about Crew here.

Report Cards: Grades at BMS are based on Standards rather than percentages or letters so that students can focus on learning. Our quarterly report card indicates your child’s progress on ExPECT character skills as well.  A student’s progress is assessed using the following criteria: Leading (4), Meeting (3), Developing (2), and Beginning (1).  Habits skills, as well as grades, are updated online halfway through each quarter so that parents can see how their child is doing. We always encourage families to connect with teachers for more information. See the Academics link to the right for more information on grading.

The Planner: Every BMS student receives a planner specifically designed for BMS to promote executive skills.  We coach and encourage student planner use throughout the school day to teach time management and organization.  On pages 4-5 of the planner you will find an exemplar of what a great planner looks like.  Please review this page with your child and compare your child’s planner use to the exemplar to help us reinforce these strategies at home.

Schoology Weekly Reports: An important measure of perseverance is overcoming challenges to bring work to completion.  At BMS, we track each child’s progress by communicating weekly to students and parents on whether a student is up to date on their work or has missed some learning opportunities.  Parents receive a weekly email notifying them of their child’s status. With this communication, we hope parents play a role by encouraging students to complete assignments on time.

Growth Mindset: When students and teachers possess the belief that intelligence can be developed, they are exhibiting a "Growth Mindset."  We improve, learn, and achieve excellence through hard work and effort.  Challenges are stepping-stones to improvement not roadblocks to avoid.  Approaching work with this mindset encourages our school community to focus on continuous improvement regardless of where we begin on the learning spectrum.  At BMS it is not about how smart we are.  It is about how hard we work and what strategies we apply to get better. Growth Mindset is also the lens through which we teach our Habits of a Scholar ExPECT program. Learn more about Growth Mindset here.

Social-Emotional Programming: BMS offers several programs dedicated to improving social-emotional intelligence in students. You can read more about these offering here.