Academics
Upper School

Upper School Remote Learning Program

Dear Upper School Parents and Students:

As we plan for the possibility of an online learning environment in response to the rapid spread of COVID-19, I want to update families and students as to where we are in this process. Following meetings among the school’s COVID-19 response team, the Upper School Administrative team, the Technology Team, and the Upper School department chairs, we have created the on-line learning framework detailed below to support our curriculum should we move to a Remote Learning Program. 

Learning Platforms
The school has purchased a Zoom subscription for each Upper School classroom teacher. Zoom is an online platform that, following discussions and demos with the Tech Team of a number of alternatives, seems best-suited to our purpose. The control that Zoom can give to teachers and students as well as its clean interface are a very good match for what we are seeking to accomplish in our virtual program. The Zoom platform will be used for all classes; other platforms (Google Hangouts, Skype, etc.) may be used for extra-help sessions, college counseling meetings, or more collaborative 1:1 or small-group digital gatherings. For scheduled classes, however, Zoom is the designated platform.

Students will have free access to Zoom and will learn in school over the next several days how to log-in and participate in their class sessions. Students also have free access to Google Hangouts via their Benjamin email account.

Online Class Schedule
Please click here to see the Upper School’s weekly schedule, revised as of April 2, 2020

Please note, too, that the schedule is both in BucLinks and viewable in the Planner, so students will always be able to reference the correct period and class that they should be in.

Office Hours
As noted in the Planner and in the weekly schedule, each department has a designated after-school day each week when all members of the department are available for office hours immediately after the final class has dismissed.
Study Halls
Students will be able to use their Study Hall periods to do schoolwork or to take a screen-break. Attendance will not be taken for Study Halls. 

Classes and Attendance
Using the schedule detailed above, students will log-in and work with respective teachers during class periods. Teachers will post learning goals, readings, assignments, and activities to the class Topics Page on BucLinks, clearly labeled by date, time of class, and course name. The teacher will stay on-line over the entire class period during the allotted class times. Attendance will be taken by teachers in each class and reported in BucLinks. If students will not be able to attend class on a given day, we ask you to contact the school nurse by email only at: marybeth.donaldson@thebenjaminschool.org 

Note: Some of the Upper School classes, particularly in the Visual Arts, Performing Arts, Engineering, and Computer Science, may have less traditional assignments that are communicated via email or are assigned by the teacher prior to the students’ departure from school (with accompanying materials) and submitted upon a return to school. Phys Ed classes will not meet online. Mr. Kresser will share his fitness expectations with students prior to their departure and will resume classes upon our return to school. That said, we strongly encourage all students to create time each day for physical activity and athletic training. 

Student Supplies
Students will need their laptops (and will receive instruction in linking to the Zoom platform prior to any possible school closure) as well as their texts and standard school supplies. In addition, we highly recommend a headset and microphone to make hearing and speaking much clearer in a digital-learning realm. The headphones used by any student in World Languages will be perfect; if you are not taking a World Languages class, please click here to see the headset we recommend. If you cannot get one, you may be able to use Airpods, although they are less reliable in this learning environment.

In addition, we hope that students will set up a quiet, comfortable workspace that will limit, to as large an extent as possible, the interruptions that will invariably occur each day in a home environment.

Student Learning Protocols - See below in orange box.

Finally, as we all embark on this somewhat unprecedented course, let’s remember that, physically together or not, we remain a community of Buccaneers through thick and thin, on or off campus. There will no doubt be a number of challenges as we transition into a new mode of learning, but I am very optimistic that the silver lining in a difficult situation will be the addition of some important new tools to our academic skill sets. Let’s get started…

Go Bucs!

Fletcher Carr
Head of Upper School

Student Learning Protocols

We will ask students to follow the protocols listed below that we have set up for the Remote Learning Plan. Please bear in mind that this format is new to all of us and will have its own learning curve. The Upper School faculty is working hard at this time to set up effective digital classes. As we begin this process, there will be glitches all around; when these occur, take a deep breath and work through the issues. 
  • Before any on-line class begins, please remember that the Remote Learning Plan is guided at all times, just as at school, by our current Acceptable Use Policy (AUP), Handbook Policies, Honor Code, and standard Upper School classroom learning and behavioral expectations.
  • Please complete the account set-up and orientation process before leaving school.
  • Find a comfortable, distraction-free space in the house to work (most likely where you work at home when classes are in session). Sit in a seat that is on camera (ideally, a headshot more than a full-body pose), so that your instructor can see you.
  • Dress Code: TBS/college top (School polos, spirit wear, or teamwear, college sweat top).  
  • Be on time for class. Your teacher will do the standard class attendance/tardy reporting for School records.  
  • Attendance is expected. If for any reason you miss class, it is your responsibility to reach out to your teacher(s) to determine what was missed.
  • Please--if you create one-- keep your digital background/green screen appropriate.
  • Log into BucLinks for class, go to Topics, and navigate to Zoom to join the session.
  • Engage in class following the instructions given by the teacher.
  • Notify your teacher of any technical issues as soon as possible.  Your teacher will contact the Technology Help Desk for assistance. We will also share information re. the Zoom help desk.
  • Follow the teacher’s protocols for communication or ask questions. This will be accomplished through the chat window or having your microphone unmuted by your teacher.  
  • As always, be respectful to your teachers and classmates. Behavioral concerns will be addressed by the School.  
  • Understand that all class Sessions are recorded and microphones may be “live” at all times.
  • Your teacher will respond to questions during class time or at a later point in the school day.  
  • Follow your teacher’s directions to turn in classwork. Put forth your best effort, as these grades will “count.” 
  • Please do not leave class before the teacher closes the session.
  • Check your email regularly.

Online Class Schedule

Upper School Schedule--Revised Two-Day Rotation, effective April 2, 2020
Please refer to the Planner to see the official schedule. We will communicate any special changes as they occur.

A Period                                     8:30-9:10
E Period                                     8:30-9:10
A Per. Classwork/Conf Time       9:10-9:40                    
E Per. Classwork/Conf Time       9:10-9:40
Break (Assembly 1x per wk.)      9:45-10:05
Advisory                                      9:45-10:05
(via Zoom or Hangouts/Meet)
B Period                                    10:10-10:50
F Period                                    10:10-10:50
B Per Classwork/Conf Time      10:50-11:20
F Per Classwork/Conf               10:50-11:20
Lunch/Activities/Mtgs.               11:20-12:10           
Lunch/Activities/Mtgs.               11:20-12:10
C Period                                   12:10-12:50
G Period                                   12:10-12:50                                  
C Per Classwork/Conf Time      12:50-1:20             
G Per Classwork/Conf Time     12:50-1:20
D Period                                       1:30-2:10
Dept’l Office Hours                     1:25-2:20
(see Planner for specifics)
D Per Classwork/Conf Time        2:10-2:40
For Fac--Fac Mtgs./Prof Dvlpmnt.   2:30-3:15 (as needed)
Dept’l Hours (see Planner)          2:40-3:30

Note: Monday schedules starting on April 13 and continuing to the end of the closure will be as follows:
  • Assembly (you will receive an invitation to this event)--8:15-8:30
  • A period--8:35-9:15
  • B period--9:25-10:05
  • C period--10:15-10:55
  • D period-11:05-11:45
  • Lunch (11:45-12:30)
  • E period--12:30-1:10
  • F period--1:20-2:00
  • G period--2:10-2:50
A premier PK3 - Grade 12 independent, coeducational day school with campuses in North Palm Beach and Palm Beach Gardens. Since 1960, The Benjamin School has provided a challenging college preparatory education to a diverse student body in a structured, nurturing community environment.
 
After hours emergency contact:
Leslie Downs/Chief Operating Officer
Ph:  561.657.0075 or 561.747.0585