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The Beekman School's Reopening Plan

Authored by The Beekman School

Please find the reopening plan for The Beekman School and related community policies and guidelines.  Please note that these plans and policies are subject to change.   read more

Topics: COVID-19

Beekman’s Unique and Successful Response to COVID-19: A Personal Account

Authored by Vanilla Macias-Rodriguez, science teacher

On Friday, March 13th, we left Beekman for a two-week Spring Break vacation.  I told my students good-bye, be safe, and make good choices.  I made sure my room was tidy and the computer and SMARTBoard were turned off.  I watered my plants and rushed out the door to catch my flight home to San Antonio, Texas.  We had heard whisperings of a virus that was going to be a big problem.  In the last week of school, our administration trained us on Zoom and we made sure all students could log on and knew how to use the platform.  The students, of course, had great virtual backgrounds going within seconds of logging on.  Wherever we traveled, we were encouraged to take everything we would need to teach just in case things went sideways.  While we were prepared for the shelter-in-place order and knew we might not come back to school in two weeks time, none of us could have fathomed that we would not be returning to the Beekman brownstone this year. We had plans!  Prom, graduation, Art Shows,...read more

Topics: Vanilla Macias-Rodriguez, COVID-19

Personalized Virtual Learning Through the COVID-19 Quarantine

Authored by The Beekman School

As traditional high schools shift to virtual learning, the transition can leave students scrambling to manage. Large class sizes, limited support, generalized assignments, and heavy workloads can result in students struggling with school.  The Beekman School has responded to the challenge of COVID-19 by transitioning our students entirely into remote online learning. Our commitment to personalized, quality education and small classes continues with this transition. Students who are enrolled at Beekman can maintain their tailored courses of study and work toward their academic goals.  Our school has always offered students flexible, customized plans for learning. This flexible approach has allowed us to make optimal use of our remote learning resources. Class participants benefit from our student-focused classes and our ongoing commitment to provide personalized learning during COVID-19 social distancing. If your child is struggling to succeed in their “new normal” virtual classroom,...read more

Topics: personalized learning, virtual learning, remote learning, distance learning

Online Tutoring Through the COVID-19 Quarantine

Authored by The Beekman School

Despite current COVID-19 educational challenges, students still need to complete their current high school courses and continue preparing for their academic futures. This is why online tutoring is a valuable resource for high school students who are attending virtual classes and studying at home.  The abrupt shift into virtual learning and the limited resources of some schools have left many students in need of educational support. Parents are also being asked to find time to guide their students in the virtual learning format. Online tutoring services can step in, helping students manage the transition to the online classroom. Tutors can work to reinforce what students have previously learned while also building and extending their knowledge. Experienced Virtual Tutors for Educational Challenges  The Tutoring School is prepared to provide students and parents the level of support they need in challenging times. Our tutors are experienced in providing meaningful virtual learning. They...read more

Topics: online tutoring, tutoring, Tutoring School

How We’re Responding to COVID-19 at Beekman

Authored by The Beekman School

For Beekman's Reopening Plan and related guidelines, click here. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has necessitated changes in the way we conduct day-to-day business for The Beekman School and The Tutoring School. For the health and safety of our students, teachers, and staff, we are offering two options for learning this fall. Students can choose to attend class in a hybrid model of both in-person and virtual learning throughout the week, or they can opt for fully remote, synchronous online learning. We offer both options so that our students and their families can choose the route that would make them most comfortable. While our mode of delivering instruction has changed, our methods and mission have not. The bedrock of The Beekman School’s educational philosophy has always been a focus on individualization and flexibility. While COVID-19 rapidly changed the educational landscape this past school year, forcing some schools to limit or end direct instruction all together, The Beekman...read more

Topics:

Thinking About a Post Grad Year? Here's What You Should Consider

Authored by Krista Sergi, College Guidance Counselor

Gap year, PG year, post-graduate year – whether you have heard one or all of these terms, they represent the increasingly common practice of taking the year between high school graduation and the beginning of college to hone specific skills, increase academic preparedness, or try out career options through internships and other application-based opportunities.  Whenever I bring up the idea of a post-graduate year, I often hear these concerns from parents: I’m worried about taking a year off and what that will do to my child’s motivation for college. My child didn’t really love high school, so taking a break might make her decide she doesn’t want to go to college at all. Will this look bad to the colleges? And these concerns from students: If I stay here for my gap year, will people think I’m repeating? Won’t colleges think it’s bad that I wasn’t ready for college this year? What if, after the PG year, I still don’t know what I want to do? As a student of adolescent...read more

Topics: post-grad year, college, college prep, Krista Sergi

How Schools Can Accommodate Different Learning Styles

Authored by George Higgins, Headmaster

Any seasoned educator will tell you that teachers face many different learning styles in the classroom.  Students vary widely, even when the classrooms are small.  Accommodating different learning styles is a challenge all schools face, but there are adjustments that can be made to help. The Impact of Small Class Sizes on Different Learning Styles Class size is a major factor.  The more students a teacher has to work with, the more varied the types of learning styles are and the more that teacher is stretched trying to manage them all.  Our school caps its class size at 10 students and most classes average seven students.  This allows a teacher to get to know each student’s needs well and individualize as much as possible.  If the class sizes is 28 to 30 students, this is nearly impossible. Classroom teachers know that they can vary the way in which they teach a lesson.  While some students learn better by hearing the information, others learn better by seeing it.  A combination of...read more

Topics: individualized learning, personalized learning, George Higgins

Teaching The Perennial Philosophy in High School

Authored by Cavin Thuring, Technology Teacher

This upcoming spring semester, I’ll be teaching a course here at The Beekman School called the Perennial Philosophy. The basic theme of this high school philosophy course is to get at the underlying similarities between the world’s faiths. Traditionally, the attempt is to look strictly at history of esoteric and exoteric beliefs and practices. This semester, I’m going to incorporate how these beliefs have worked for and against the rise of the scientific method and the present debates of scientists and philosophers on the modern anthropic models of the fine-tuned universe: matter and consciousness.    Teaching - and Understanding - Philosophy vs. Science   Neil Degrasse Tyson quipped in his television series, Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, “Some would say: we are the universe looking back at itself.” While more objectivist scientists balk at a statement like this (see Stephen Hawking backpedaling from his statement by stating he is an atheist), my goal as a high school philosophy...read more

Topics: Cavin Thuring, philosophy, god, religion, Cosmos

Teaching History with Graphic Novels

Authored by Ian Rusten, History Teacher

Graphic novels are a powerful and often underused learning tool. As a history teacher at a small independent school, I recognize that every student learns in different ways.  Many students are visual learners for whom a picture is worth a thousand words, making the use of graphic novels in the classroom highly effective.  There are several wonderful historical graphic novels that can effectively engage students in historical studies. Graphic Novels for High School They Called Us Enemy is a graphic memoir in which the Japanese-American actor George Takei (best known for his role of Sulu on the original Star Trek) recalls his turbulent childhood at an American detention camp during World War II. The book is especially relevant today as we grapple with difficult questions about immigration and the rights of minorities in our current political climate. The March Trilogy is a graphic novel by U.S. Congressman John Lewis (with help from Andrew Aydin and artist Nate Powell) about his...read more

Topics: Ian Rusten, graphic novel, history

Creative Writing for Analysis

Authored by Michelle Koza, English Teacher

How can a teacher trick her students into doing literary analysis? I know I am not the first teacher in history to be disappointed by my students’ analytical writing. There is something about writing an analytical essay that just makes their eyes glaze over. I have come to the conclusion that the reason students don’t know how to look into a piece of literature is because they haven’t thought about what it’s like to be on the inside looking out. And what better way to solve this issue than by putting them in charge of their own creative pieces?   How to Teach Analytical Writing through Creative Writing Now this is not to say that we should pass out a creative writing assignment and see you next week. Just like we do with our analytical writing, teachers should be ready to support students’ understanding, but with a slightly different perspective. We answer lots of prompts in class, directed to help students think about particular issues in writing, such as the development of a voice...read more

Topics: Michelle Koza, creative writing, analysis, writing

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We are welcoming students to class this fall either via a hybrid in-person/online learning model in NYC or via fully remote, synchronous online classes. 

Learn more about our re-opening plan and response to COVID-19 >