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A Shift to Hybrid and Remote Learning

 

Responsive communication is one of the most important factors that defines success in our new learning environment (hybrid or fully online), and at Beekman we use a number of tools that help us stay connected. Throughout our remote learning period, we have used Zoom meetings for class instruction, advisory meetings, and faculty gatherings. We use email, an online message board called Thinkwave, and a text-based app called Remind to communicate important notices with parents and students.

Online education is not new to Beekman, but to support our community with the sudden transition to online learning, we knew we needed to give our teachers and students additional training. 

A New Learning Environment

The primary way we have achieved our goal of safely offering the best educational experiences in New York City is by changing our learning environment. Throughout the pandemic, we’ve been able to maintain our regular 8:45-3:50 schedule, but instead of holding classes only within our walls, we’ve transitioned to a more fluid hybrid or fully online environment.

As of the Fall semester, Beekman students now have two options for registering for classes: 

  • The hybrid learning model

     

    For students and families that want to continue in-person learning, we’ve created an A/B schedule that reduces the number of students in every classroom. Students in A-group classes can attend in-person classes on Mondays and Wednesdays, while students in B-groups can join in-person classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays. On Fridays, all students attend class virtually. 

     

  • Remote learning with fully online, synchronous classes

     

    Some families feel more comfortable with a completely virtual learning environment. To accommodate this need, we’ve created a remote learning option that lets students follow and participate in the regularly scheduled classes at Beekman from the comfort and safety of their home. Students on this plan use Zoom to connect with their peers and teachers in the classroom. If a student cannot log in to class on a particular day or has connectivity issues, we stay connected through Thinkwave, our online homework and gradebook platform. 

     

  • One-to-one tutoring is now online

     

    As always, students can elect to take small group classes through The Beekman School and one-to-one classes through The Tutoring School. In the past, we’ve offered one-to-one tutoring at a student’s home, but this is no longer an option. To protect our students and staff—and meet the safety regulations set by local, state, and federal agencies—one-to-one classes now meet virtually. Learn more about The Tutoring School.

     

College Prep and Learning Support

The pandemic has brought a shift away from standardized testing, with SAT and ACT no longer being required for many college applicants. While test scores are important, at Beekman we believe that being “college-ready” is much more than having high test scores. Our experienced college placement counselor is here to help students develop the non-academic skills they need to succeed in college and beyond, including effective communication, collaboration, self-advocacy and more. Learn more about our college prep placement program.

We continue to support students with learning difficulties via one-to-one online sessions with a learning specialist and by enabling digital tools like digital homework submission and Zoom functionalities that support learning difficulties. 

A Different Way to Connect Remotely

Student and Advisory meetings

To make sure everyone feels included, we’ve moved all student clubs and advisory meetings to our online-only Fridays. By doing this, all of our students can have the same experience during these communal meetings and nobody is excluded. Our Friday meetings eliminate the gap between the students who come to class virtually and those who come in physically, which helps make Beekman an even stronger community. 

Extracurricular Activities

We’ve also added additional extracurricular activities to help connect and support our students, colleagues, and families. We’ve previously had activities like Story Time with Goats and Meditation that our students could join, and we plan to continue with Game Nights. We even have Spirit Week planned so students can still have '80s Day, Crazy Hat Day, Pajama Day, and more. 

What We’ve Noticed

When Beekman closed for Spring Break last year, none of us expected that the changes would be so dramatic. With thoughtful planning and a bit of foresight though, we adapted rather quickly. Overall, we found our students continued to be present and engaged in our new remote learning settings, regardless of the reshuffling of school life. Beekman students still feel like they are part of a bigger community that cares about them and supports their learning in every way.

“[My daughter]’s online school experience has been truly wonderful. All of [her] teachers have been very supportive and the transition has been seamless. Class each day has given [her] consistency, support, and intellectual stimulation. It takes a village, and Beekman has been such an anchor for [my daughter] before, and now, during this very trying time. We are truly lucky to be part of the Beekman Community.” - Parent

Looking Forward

The Beekman School remains committed to our students, our teachers, and our mission to bring individualized learning opportunities to all. While there’s no way to predict what will happen in the coming months, we’ve built our school system in a way that ensures a seamless transition to fully remote learning if we must.

Of course, we understand that you may have some questions. If you would like to know more about Beekman’s COVID-19 precautions, please contact us today. We’re always happy to help.

We are welcoming students to class this fall via both in-person and online learning models in NYC.
Learn more about our response to COVID-19 >