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Beekman’s Core Capabilities Can Help Your Child

Authored By: 
George Higgins, Headmaster

There are many choices in schools and knowing which one is the best fit for a student can be daunting.  What happens when you’re weeks or months into a new school year and you can already see the writing on the wall - you’ve enrolled in a school that isn’t working out as planned?  Transfer!

How? The first thing to do is make a list of why the current school isn’t appropriate.  This could be everything from the physical structure to the student body or the classroom environment.

This list that you have just created is going to help you identify a school that should better support your learning needs.  Now, start your Internet search using key words to help narrow your results.  Then, make a list of schools that offer the most accommodations specific to your interests.

Some of the factors that might be important to you are:

  • Up to double-time on all tests/quizzes
  • Listen to audio recordings of books
  • Hear instructions orally
  • Access to peer note-taker
  • Use of an electronic device to take a picture of the SmartBoard content
  • The option to reduce the number of courses taken any semester
  • A late start or an early finish to the school day
  • Part-time schedules
  • Class sizes averaging 6 students and capped at 10
  • Experienced teachers sensitive to the various ways that students learn
  • Teacher-supervised study halls throughout the day
  • Direct access to teachers during free periods and study halls
  • Homework assignments posted daily on the school’s website
  • Direct parent/teacher contact with a 24-hour turn-around time
  • Use of a computer in the classroom for note-taking and homework assignment
  • Use of a computer to type responses on tests/quizzes 
  • 2nd language exempt with proper documentation
  • One-to-one classes
  • Off-site in-person and face-to-face online instruction
  • Private homework tutors
  • Flexibility to transition between Beekman and Tutoring School classes during the school year
  • Mastery-based courses that progress at the student’s pace
  • Courses can begin or end year-round
  • Have a designated teacher
  • Special accommodations testing site for SAT, ACT, and AP exams;
  • Testing orally or with the assistance of a scribe
  • Remedial instruction on various topics (not for credit)
  • Modified curriculum

 Once you have identified schools that are capable of supporting a large number of your specific needs, the next step is to contact each school and arrange for a visit during the school day.  It is important to see a school in action, when the students and teachers are there, to best gauge how you feel about a school.

Remember, there is no perfect school.  Be willing to compromise and establish where you feel you are willing to make the biggest compromises.  Then, enroll and keep in touch with the teachers and administration to make sure that the transfer is moving forward smoothly.