News & Events

COVID-19 Updates

Most Recent Update

August 25, 2020

Dear Members of The Benjamin School Community,

I hope you and your loved ones are in good health and spirits through what has been the most unique start to a school year in my many years as an independent school leader. I was heartened to see the energy, excitement, and TBS spirit of our youngest Buccaneers on opening day. 

With guidance from our medical directors and the latest COVID-19 numbers from The Department Of Health, we feel confident in our ability to safely open our Middle School and Upper School campuses to on-campus learners beginning August 31. Those students enrolled in the Remote Learning option will have the opportunity to continue learning virtually.

Of the metrics considered in this opening are the daily positivity rate and the first-time cases percentage. While we are still guided by extreme caution, we feel that these newest metrics, coupled with our enhanced mitigation measures and small class sizes, suggest that we can reopen safely.

The success of our opening is communal. As our students would say, this is a group project, and we are dependent on everyone in our community to adhere to physical distancing and mitigation measures, both at school and at home, to maintain a healthy campus. 

Despite our best efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19, there will potentially be periods of school closure after our campuses open. We will continue to share updates as we are constantly refining our guidelines based on the latest research.

As a reminder from my previous correspondence:

The School will work with the Department Of Health and Medical Directors to undertake an assessment through contact tracing to determine any potential exposure that would warrant a grade-level or campus-wide closure. There may be other scenarios in which the administration believes that a pivot to remote learning is essential for the health and safety of our community. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continue to refine their guidelines which will impact our response to known and potential exposure within our campus community. 

I want to express my enduring gratitude to you and your family for your commitment to Benjamin. I am looking forward to seeing many of your children on August 31. For those choosing to remain Remote Learners, I am only a Zoom call away.

Sincerely,
David C. Faus

face covering update

August 28, 2020

Dear Parents,

The School’s Re-Entry Team continues to monitor new information and guidelines with regard to our health policies. The latest scientific evidence questions the efficacy of both neck gaiters and masks with exhalation valves or vents in providing the best practices for mitigating the spread of COVID-19. In an effort to be as protective as possible, these types of face coverings will not be acceptable on campus beginning September 4, 2020. The most current literature suggests that the most effective protection is provided by surgical or cloth face masks with no valve or vent.

We are mindful of the hardships these changes may create for families, but ultimately we must do everything we can to keep our community as safe as possible.

Thank you for understanding the necessity of this policy change. A copy of our complete policy is listed below.
 
Sincerely,
David C. Faus
Head of School

Face Coverings:

Early Childhood Students (WOW and Pre-Kindergarten)
Until further notice, students in WOW and Pre-Kindergarten will be required to wear face coverings at drop-off, pick-up, and any other transition time. When students are seated in their classrooms, a face covering will be encouraged, but not required, if students are physically distant from each other and not working with others in a group. However, the CDC recommends children above the age of two wear face masks at all times while in public settings. When participating in outdoor activities such as recess and Physical Education, if students remain physically distant from each other, face coverings will not be required. Face coverings must be school appropriate and should be worn in accordance with CDC guidelines. 
 
Students in Grades K-12 
Until further notice, students in Grades K-12 will be required to wear face coverings at drop-off, pick-up, during transition time, and while inside the classroom. When participating in outdoor activities such as recess and Physical Education, if students remain physically distant from each other, face coverings will not be required. Face coverings must be school appropriate and should be worn in accordance with CDC guidelines.
 
Faculty and Staff
Until further notice, all faculty and staff will be required to wear face coverings at drop-off, pick-up, during transition time, and while inside the classroom. When participating in outdoor activities such as recess and Physical Education, if faculty can maintain physical distance, face coverings will not be required. 
 
Face Covering Types
Effective September 4, 2020
Cloth or surgical face masks without a valve or vent are the only facial coverings allowed to be worn at school. If a face shield is worn, it must be worn in conjunction with a face mask and may not be worn alone. Neck gaiters and masks with valves or vents are not approved for use on campus. Images or graphics on face coverings must be school appropriate and should not include political statements.


athletics

Upper School

It is with great excitement that we announce our plan to return to fall sports! On August 14, the FHSAA Board made the decision to push forward with an August 24 start date for fall sports in the state of Florida. As a school, our highest priority is getting our students back on campus for the school day. We believe that in the best interest of our students, coaches, and school community, we plan to open our cross country, football, swimming, and volleyball seasons on Monday, August 31. This date coincides with the campus opening of the Upper School.  

Due to the nature of social distancing in the sport of golf, our boys and girls golf teams will begin their seasons on Wednesday, August 26. All sports require a 2 week acclimatization period before the regular-season competition can begin. Golf will return to competition the week of September 7, and all other sports will start their regular season competition the week of September 14. The FHSAA also announced a deadline of September 18 to inform the FHSAA of a school's intention to participate in the fall state series, giving each community some flexibility in their fall schedules due to circumstances surrounding COVID-19. The FHSAA will also waive the minimum game requirement to qualify for the postseason, due to the pandemic. 

Our fall athletes will continue with their conditioning program over this week in preparation for the regular season. As we make the transition from conditioning to practices, we will have many safety measures in place to keep our students safe, and we ask that our student-athletes do their part in adhering to these protocols. Our teams and coaches will work within the guidelines and policies provided by the FHSAA and NFHS (National Federation of State High School Association). We are unsure at this time as to whether we will be able to allow spectators at games and events. This decision will be dictated by both state and local guidelines regarding mass gatherings and considerations that are unique to our school community and facilities. 

The Benjamin School is committed to continuing to provide the very best school experience to our families. We understand that part of that commitment is offering a variety of activities in addition to the regular school day. We believe that athletics plays a vital role in the development of our students, and we are thankful to have the opportunity to provide an athletic experience for our students during this difficult time. 

Middle School

As we get closer to reopening with students here at school, I want to update you regarding Middle School Athletics.  First, please always check BucLines - our weekly eblast - for the most current information regarding athletic schedules and events.  BucLines is updated every Friday and includes information about athletic sign ups for students, practices, and game schedules.  Just click the “Athletics” tab on the right-hand side of the BucLines page to see this information.  

Next, our plans for the fall season:  All fall sports (football, volleyball and tennis) will be INTRAMURAL. When students return to campus next Monday, August 31, they will be able to sign-up for these teams if they wish to participate. The first practices will start on September 8 and will run from 3:30 - 5:00 p.m. Monday - Thursday.  If a student is playing varsity cross country or swimming, their practices will start on Wednesday, August 26th.  Please note: a student must be in attendance at school on-campus for him/her to be eligible to play on any team at Benjamin. 

Please also note that in order to participate, students must have an up-to-date physical and consent form on file with the school.  If we do not have these forms, the student will not be allowed to participate.  Students will be required to wear masks during practice, but they will be allowed to remove the masks for physical activity.  Students must bring their own water bottles (labeled with their name) for workouts. 
 
If you have any questions, e-mail Middle School Director of Athletics Toby Harbeck.

GO BUCS !!

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