Dear Benjamin School Parents,
The sun is now setting on New Year’s Day 2017, and I am eagerly awaiting my reunion with faculty and staff on Tuesday, the 3rd. Approximately 200 adults will file into the Barker Performing Arts Center on our North Palm Beach campus to begin the second half of this school year with your children--our students. Since my time at Benjamin, I have always taken this moment on the ferris wheel ride to observe from the swinging bucket above where we have been and where we are headed as we make that annual descent toward May.
As I continue with my tradition of writing to all of you at this highest pitch of the academic year, it is my honor once again to wish each of you a very Healthy and Happy New Year. Thank you for your continued support and partnership as we move forward to provide your children with the best possible independent school experience we know how. Just emerging from a very exciting upsweep, a highly productive first half of school year 2016-2017, there is simply too much to report regarding how much our students have accomplished. As is true with any gripping ride, what remains in our memory are the highlights. So, the best I can do in a communication such as this is to relive with you some of the most memorable moments in program innovation as well as those that represent the competitive accomplishments of our students.
So far this academic year, the following colleges and universities have offered athletic commitments to six seniors, five juniors and two sophomores. These opportunities include baseball, men’s lacrosse, men’s golf, women’s lacrosse, volleyball, women’s soccer and women’s rowing. This number will grow during the school year and will represent, as always, among the most offers made across the country to a school our size.
|University of Florida
| Auburn University
Georgetown College (KY)
Vanderbilt University (2 students)
|University of North Carolina
University of Missouri
Also, many of our athletic teams so far this year excelled by winning district championships, advancing to or winning FHSAA regional tournaments, making appearances at state playoffs and winning medals, finishing state runner-up, being listed in the Palm Beach Post Top 10, and having individual athletes selected as All-American and Sun-Sentinel Players of the Year. We were proud to celebrate one of our coaches as the Sun-Sentinel Volleyball Coach of the Year!
Middle School athletics enjoyed similar successes at their levels of competition, including an undefeated football record, and stellar win/loss records in volleyball with the 7th/8th grade team finishing 2nd overall in the County conference.
Since the college admission season is still very much underway, please understand that many schools, such as the University of Florida
and the University of Miami
(for early action and regular admission), for example, are yet to announce their freshman acceptance list. The following are some among the many colleges and universities having already offered admission to members of our Senior Class. In parentheses you will see the number of multiple accepts, if applicable.
|The University of Alabama (20)
The American University of Paris
Arizona State University
The University of Arizona
Auburn University (10)
University of Central Florida (5)
College of Charleston
University of Colorado at Boulder
University of Denver
East Carolina University
Elon University (3)
FAU Honors College (2)
Florida A&M University
Florida Atlantic University (3)
Florida Gulf Coast University (3)
Florida State University (16)
Fordham University (3)
Furman University (2)
The University of Georgia (8)
High Point University (3)
Hobart and William Smith Colleges
Indiana University at Bloomington (16)
The University of Iowa
Johnson & Wales University (Miami)
Louisiana State University (5)
University of Louisville
|Loyola University, New Orleans
Marymount Manhattan College (2)
University of Miami
Michigan State University
University of Michigan (3)
University of Mississippi (7)
University of Missouri Columbia (2)
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
University of New Hampshire at Durham
University of North Florida (2)
Nova Southeastern University
Pace University, New York City
Palm Beach Atlantic University
Palm Beach State College, Palm Beach Gardens
Richmond The American Int’l. College in London
Savannah College of Art and Design
University of South Florida, Tampa
Southern Methodist University (3)
Stetson University (5)
The University of Tampa (5)
University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Texas Christian University
The New School
Tulane University (9)
University of West London
University of Vermont
Wake Forest University
Xavier University of Louisiana
George Washington University (just in)
I am very pleased to report that our language arts teachers in the Lower School received intensive training before the start-of-school in the Junior Great Books curriculum. This, in addition to the division’s Benjamin Language Arts Program, brings high-quality literature and student-centered discussion to the classroom, while providing a superb framework for practicing reading comprehension, critical thinking and writing. To better serve Lower School students with advanced math needs beyond the existing in-class enrichment program, special math classes are offered for the first time to qualified students in grades 3, 4 and 5. The Gold Star Learning Lab is now open all day, five days a week, since the addition of a full-time teacher for the Lab. This program provides both remediation and enrichment opportunities for students in the core skill areas beginning in PreK. The Lower School Dean of Students has added a curriculum of good citizenship to his responsibilities, visiting grades 2 through 5 this year to teach team-building and communication skills as well as to support the anti-bullying initiatives provided by the Student Services Department. The STEM vision continues to flourish in grade K through 5, with these same grades participating with 14 million students around the United States in the Hour of Code to celebrate Computer Science Education Week.
The Middle School continues its programming of relationship-building among peers, advocacy for others, and eliminating name-calling and exclusion. This division began the school year with technology training and general divisional protocol for parents, with technology boot camps for students and parents as well as grammar boot camps for new students--all in the tradition of transitioning 6th grade students and parents as well as all other new students and parents to the Middle School. In order to expand interests outside the classroom, 21 clubs are available to students in this division. Mr. Hagy and his faculty continue to strengthen their relationship with the Center for Creative Education--a multisensory approach to learning that includes the arts. An author and prominent speaker on the dangers of the cyber-footprint presented to all Middle School students and their parents, an ongoing effort by this division to educate on cyber-safety.
Our new Upper School Head, Mr. Fletcher Carr, has been at his new post since mid-June, demonstrating the highest levels of engagement with students, faculty, curriculum and policies. The Benjineers engineering club took #1 overall at the first invitational event of the year in Miami among 1,200 students participating. In a critique of six issues, CSPA (Columbia Scholastic Press Association) awarded the Pharcyde Upper School student newspaper the highest honor possible, CSPA Gold Medalist (all-Columbian Honors for the Essentials, Writing and Design).
As I intimated earlier on, our program stretches far and wide, not to be embraced in a single loop. However, I always appreciate the opportunity to have you join me in the broader view, in glancing back and forward, as we travel together through these invigorating times of your children’s education here at Benjamin. The ride of 2016-2017 is only half-over, and I look very much forward to exploring the rest of it with you as the horizon begins to land in front of us.
Thank you, as always, for your support in our many efforts to bring your children the thrill of a powerful educational experience.
My best to all of you in the New Year!
Robert S. Goldberg
Head of School