Barnard Elementary School

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Nest Lessons

Nests are comprised of every teacher leading a lesson with students from every grade.  Each Nest has students from kindergarten, 1st grade, 2nd grade, 3rd grade, 4th grade and 5th grade.  The same students stay in these Nest groups throughout their elementary education at Barnard.  The purpose of staying together as a group is to help students develop relationships with other students outside of their grades and develop relationships with other teachers.  The lessons covered in the Nests are about positive personal character traits such as honesty, kindness, teamwork, etc.
For the 2017 - 2018 school year

Consider Kindness at Barnard

Kindness is taking on a new look this year at Barnard. Character Education and Student Council committees have joined forces to bring student-led lessons of kindness to staff and students. The teaching and reinforcing of these messages serve to enhance classroom and school culture, with an eye toward pushing these seemingly simple, all-important words and actions into the community.


Blue Jay Way “nests” allow students from all grade levels to interact and grow together for students’’ duration at Barnard. Each year, new kindergarten students join a nest, and fifth grade students are given a bittersweet farewell. The nest remains intact throughout the years, to form familiarity and bond among students of all grade levels, as well as a connection to an adult staff member.


This year, Student Council students are taking the lead in creating lessons to cultivate the Blue Jay Way. Barnard has adopted a theme of “Kindness” for the year, with Student Council members responsible for choosing the theme name: Consider Kindness. Taught with intention and purpose, this theme will begin on a school-wide level, and will eventually branch out to reach the community by the close of the school year. Student Council representatives from grades three through five meet to create videos instructing their peers for the upcoming nest lesson. The videos are played and lead to discussion revolving around kindness, as well as an activity that reaches all corners of the school.


Students have considered kindness in the form of kind words and actions, while creating a chain of kindness for our first lesson. Each student wrote his or her own message on a paper strip, connecting those strips within the nests. The chains from each nest were then connected, creating a school-wide chain of kindness that wraps around the interior of the school. It is impossible to miss the message as students, staff, and visitors alike enter the doors of Barnard: Consider Kindness at Barnard.