Summer Scholars Update

July 20, 2016

B.E.S.T. Summer Scholars Update

Our 25 newly enrolled middle and upper school B.E.S.T. students are more than halfway through their five week Summer Scholars transition program and have covered and experienced a great deal!

During week one, 15 current B.E.S.T. 9th graders joined their Summer Scholars peers for a day of transition workshops. Led by Marlo Thomas-McNeil, Director of Diversity at Roland Park Country School, the morning session allowed students to discuss the realities of their transition to Upper School, including: time management, academic help, extracurricular club opportunities and financial aid. Students also addressed issues related to prejudice, stereotypes and micro-aggressions, and identified strong communication strategies around all three. The afternoon session was led by the Assistant Director of College Counseling at RPCS, Megan Johnston, who facilitated an interactive workshop about the many opportunities that will be available to them and how their class selections, extracurricular activities, letters of recommendation and standardized test scores will impact their college choices.

At the end of week two, Summer Scholars participated in a fun-filled trip to Outward Bound that reinforced team building, pushing past personal limits, effective communication, taking on challenges, and leadership.

During week three, students began working to create Andy Warhol inspired self-portraits and spent an afternoon on a guided tour of the exhibits at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum.

The students still have plenty to look forward to! This week, they will spend a day at Camp Hippodrome learning about theatrical arts and next week, the students will showcase much of what they have learned at the Closing Ceremonies for Summer Scholars.


Upper School Summer Scholars students between classes


9th grade B.E.S.T. Students with Marlo Thomas-McNeil, Director of Diversity at Roland Park Country School; Megan Johnston, Assistant Director of College Counseling at Roland Park Country School; and Khalil Uqdah ’06, Director of Programs and Alumni Relations at B.E.S.T.


Summer Scholars students arrive at the
Baltimore Chesapeake Bay Outward Bound School


Happy Summer Scholars students conquer the Ropes Course


Summer Scholars Students outside of the Reginald F. Lewis Museum

B.E.S.T. Summer Scholars is an annual five week program hosted at Roland Park Country School that facilitates the successful academic and cultural transition for B.E.S.T. newly enrolled rising middle and upper school students from their current schools to their new independent schools.  Navigating a new school environment and adjusting to the social climate, as well as the increased academic rigor, has the potential to negatively impact a student’s academic performance and overall success in school. In addition to independent schools having high expectations for academic performance, they also have high expectations for student engagement, both civically and in their role as leaders.The Summer Scholars program, in its totality, is designed to support B.E.S.T. students through their academic and cultural transition.