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Changes to the SAT: What Does It Mean?

Authored by Maren Holmen, Academic Liaison

If you’re reading this blog, you have probably already heard about the College Board’s changes to the SAT.  For those of you who aren’t familiar with the changes, here’s a summary:  Starting in Spring 2016, the SAT will go back to the 1600-point format.  They’re getting rid of vocabulary words that are largely out of use and hard-to-understand math questions, the essay is becoming optional, and the overall focus of the exam will be on decoding the presented information, not in rote memorization.  In addition, students won’t be penalized for guessing and there will be questions tied in more closely to science and social studies. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had stressed-out students (and parents) ask me about “the best way” to prepare for the SAT.  They ask about the difference between the various test prep services and our own SAT tutoring; they ask about our approach and our statistics; and they ask for honest advice about what all this testing means for college admissions....read more

Topics: test prep, SAT prep, SAT, Maren Holmen

Were You Swept Out During Spring Cleaning?

Authored by George Higgins, Headmaster

I love springtime.  Having successfully shoveled my way through yet another winter at Beekman, I look forward to the budding trees outside of my office window and the sunlight that fills our garden. With the appearance of spring, however, I know to expect something more than the return of longer, warmer days.  I’m also going to witness a yearly event that leaves numerous parents and students of schools throughout the region stunned.  After spending most of the academic year looking forward to June and summer vacation, you are informed that your prep school is asking you to withdraw, and they are not inviting you to return in September! Panicked, parents and students contact me desperately trying to salvage their academic year and save their summer vacation plans.  Luckily, Beekman provides the solution. The Beekman School, established in 1925, has been the answer to a countless array of educational needs that arise throughout the school year.  Review our website to discover the...read more

Topics: private school, rolling admissions, personalized learning, transfer, George Higgins

Teaching 3D Production Graphics to High School Students

Authored by Cavin Thuring, Technology teacher

There is an ancient eastern truth that if you put six blind men around an elephant and have them describe it, you will get six different, partial descriptions.  Take six students and sit them around an elephant and have them draw, paint, illustrate, or photograph it (either traditionally or on a computer) and you will get six different perspectives of that elephant.  But give those six students a 3D program and you will get six models that contain all sides of the elephant.  That elephant model may not be the same from student to student, but all the models will be, by and large, full attempts at recreating the whole animal. If a man who can see walks around the elephant, not only does he get to see the whole elephant, but also how it fits in the world. This experience expands his mind.  So, too, with the student who has modeled that elephant in 3D.  The student objectively studies and understands the elephant as it truly is, in a complete way that he never would have had he just made...read more

Topics: computer, 3D, electives, teaching, Cavin Thuring

A School That Reflects its Community

Authored by George Higgins, Headmaster

New York City is a multi-cultural metropolis.  Shouldn’t your child’s school be too?  The Beekman School, nestled in a charming Eastside townhouse, is an entire global community in one building. The Beekman School attracts students from many different countries, eager to experience a new culture and, in some cases, improve their English skills.  Because of the excellence of our English language education and our proximity to the United Nations, our school is a clear choice. Imagine an exciting history discussion in a class with different perspectives from around the world.   Picture an English class, filled with vastly different cultural experiences, analyzing the importance and impact of literature.  Everyone shares and everyone is enriched, even the teachers! New York can be an overwhelming, intimidating city, but there is an oasis with a warm and welcoming embrace.  It is a place where students have come to learn since 1925.  The Beekman School, located in the heart of midtown...read more

Topics: private school, New York City private schools, community, diversity, transfer, George Higgins

"You Say You Want a Revolution?" History by the Beatles

Authored by Ian Rusten, History teacher

A generation of Americans remembers where they were when John F. Kennedy was shot, when Neil Armstrong walked on the moon and the first time they saw John, Paul, George, and Ringo on TV.  Fifty years ago this month the Beatles appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show and, overnight, a social revolution began. A history class might only study the first two events and skip the third—what a loss! Social history is often overlooked, but it is just as important.  History is about cause and effect. If we really want to understand historical events, we have to look beyond the political and economic history of an era and also focus on the social and cultural movements of that era. We must understand the mores, customs, and people of the generation.  The rise of the Beatles provides insight into the rise of the anti-war movement, the flower power movement, and Woodstock.  These events, like most in history, didn’t happen in a vacuum.  The appearance of the Beatles on Ed Sullivan on February 9, 1964...read more

Topics: history, Beatles, social revolution, Ian Rusten

School Problem? Problem Solved: Beekman!

Authored by George Higgins, Headmaster

I speak with a lot of people: on the phone, in interviews, and around town.  They’ve heard bits and pieces about our unique program and want to get the story “straight from the horse’s mouth.”  Given our rolling admissions policy, our philosophy of “interview today start tomorrow,” and our focus on student-centered learning, I am frequently asked a number of questions about our student body. One that I often hear is, “Don’t some of the kids there have problems?”  My answer is always the same: “Absolutely not!”  There are students here who have a particular need that their previous school was unable to accommodate.  Is that a problem?  It might be for others, but not for Beekman.  We’re the most flexible, most individualized, and most accommodating private high school in NYC. Beekman has been creating personalized academic programs for students with a variety of requests for over 85 years.  Our college prep courses successfully prepare our students in an environment that is...read more

Topics: private school, New York City private schools, personalized learning, transfer, George Higgins

Love and Mathematics

Authored by Charlie Sitler, Math teacher

Ah!  It’s Valentine’s Day, and a young man’s fancy turns to…mathematics? Not really.  But mathematics, or at least the language of mathematics, can be useful in discussing helpful advice to promote love in your life.  In fact, I encourage you to consider matters of affection stated in terms familiar to any calculus or precalculus student. (And you thought you wouldn’t use calculus in “real life”!) First, however, I want to discuss an idea attributed to Michelangelo that I have always cherished: In describing his methods as a sculptor, Michelangelo said his practice was to simply take his block of marble and remove the extraneous material, thus revealing the beautiful work of art that, although initially obscure, was always there. In a similar manner, a true vision of our significant other can be obscured by thoughts and expectations about how he or she should be, or needs to be…especially in our love’s relationship to us.  Not only does such a viewpoint engender resentment when the...read more

Topics: valentines day, mathematics, infinity, Charlie Sitler

Beekman: Not Just Better - Distinctive!

Authored by George Higgins, Headmaster

Virtually no other school in the New York City metro area provides the myriad of educational solutions that we provide.  Between The Beekman School and The Tutoring School (a program within Beekman), we can create an academic schedule that supports most students who are college-bound.  Whether you want to start your day late, finish your day early, study Swahili or increase your course load to graduate early, The Beekman School can tailor a program that fits your unique requirements. Each day, students from as far away as Westchester, New Jersey, and Long Island come to Beekman to earn credits toward their high school diploma.  We are open year-round, offer two summer sessions, and also offer an after-school program for students who want to remain enrolled in their current school.  Credit earned at The Beekman School is universally transferrable.  Short-term visitors have even enrolled for intensive English language classes during their holidays! For over 90 years, Beekman has been...read more

Topics: private school, New York City private schools, individualized learning, transfer, George Higgins

You Know What the United States is Missing? An Adjective

Authored by Anastasia Georgoulis, History teacher

Those of us who watched the Super Bowl (or tuned in just for the highly-anticipated commercials) probably saw the Chrysler ad featuring Bob Dylan. If you were able to rebound quickly enough from the idea of the master of folk music hawking a car – despite previous instances of “selling out” – you heard his opening question: “What’s more American than America?” My high school history teacher would reprimand us every time we referred to this country as America. Apparently it was reflective of an imperial past and connoted an unquestionable hubris. After all, the U.S. is but one country in the two vast continents home to all Americans. Now I’m the history teacher explaining to students how referring to the U.S. as America won’t earn them friends in Canada, Mexico, or South American countries. BUT, if you take the question “What’s more American than America?” and attempt to make it more politically correct, you will find yourself in the midst of an incomplete task. Go ahead, fill in the...read more

Topics: Bob Dylan, Super Bowl, America, U.S. History, teaching, Anastasia Georgoulis

Beekman: The Best Value for Your Education Buck!

Authored by George Higgins, Headmaster

Choosing a private school is a complicated task.  School websites are a great resource in aiding that choice by pointing out a school’s attractive features such as location, curriculum, and class size.  However, skillfully-crafted messages can also be misleading.   Parents encounter well-spun descriptions of programs and professionally-captured photos.  But what is often a major concern to parents is tuition.  It’s also important to learn just how small those “small classes” are and how many hours students really need to spend with a tutor/teacher to adequately cover a course’s syllabus when it’s not part of a fixed class schedule. Let’s consider the popular topic of small class size.  If you’re coming from a public school (which are frequently overcrowded), 15 or 20 students in a class sounds small.  At Beekman, the average class size is 7.  That difference may not seem great, but a student in a class of 7 gets twice the individual attention from the teacher than in a class of 15. If...read more

Topics: private school tuition, small classes, choosing the right school, George Higgins

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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. 

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