Dear Bentley Community,
As we enter the final weeks of a truly remarkable school year by any measure, we can all take justifiable pride in the smooth and deliberate transition Bentley as a school, and each of us as individuals, has made to remote teaching and learning. Teachers, students, parents, and families continue to face this sudden switch with determination. Out of necessity, each of us wears multiple hats during these pandemic days as we continue to navigate and grow through challenges.
As a school community, we have many things on our Bentley gratitude list. First and foremost, we have a team of true professionals in our remote classrooms, in our administration, and on our staff. Without this team, Bentley could never have pivoted so effectively in less than a week’s time to Remote Schoolhouse. Secondly, we have a strong, fully engaged community of families and friends who continue to support Bentley’s mission and PROMISE through difficult times. Finally, thanks to the work of the Board of Trustees in preserving, directing, and enhancing Bentley’s resources, our school continues to operate as a model of sustainability where the main focus of school resources is in the classroom.
Now we face our next major challenge as we consider best practices for moving forward in the coming weeks, months, and next several years.
Whether school will take place on campus or remotely next fall remains an unanswerable question at this juncture. As we learned when we pivoted in March, preparation is powerful. That said, we are preparing for the possibility of opening the new school year remotely. We are also planning for what the return to campus would look like. We are considering the possibility of staggered attendance on campus. We are preparing in the event that we open on campus and then need to switch to Remote Schoolhouse as necessary throughout the year. We are exploring hybrid models, rethinking how we use campus spaces, and investigating best practices for sanitizing. In short, we are considering and training for all possibilities in order to be able to make the best decision for our school community when the time comes, assessing risks and rewards carefully and appropriately.
With the steady leadership of Academic Dean and Director of Remote Schoolhouse, Nick Pukstas, a plan for school wide faculty professional development has been mapped out and will be implemented over the summer months in partnership with One Schoolhouse. All faculty members will participate in this important summer work. In considering the model for school wide professional development, our aim was to achieve a unified approach to the challenges and opportunities of remote teaching and learning while recognizing that developmental needs and pure mechanics require different attention for each of the school’s three Divisions. As a K-12 school, we have the obligation, along with the opportunity, to offer a program that builds on itself year over year, meeting the needs of our youngest and our most senior learners. Working closely together, we will continue to be powerfully prepared to tackle this next important chapter in Bentley’s long and distinguished history.
Funding for this extensive effort comes from the Centennial Annual Fund. Solicitations are continuing as we stretch to reach the school’s $1M goal and to make up lost revenue from the Centennial Gala cancellation. It is more important than ever for Bentley to reach its fundraising goals by the end of the fiscal year on June 30th.
Again, we are living through unprecedented times. As generations before us paved the way for the educational experience Bentley offers today, we must each do our part supporting our teachers and this hundred year old educational institution in moving forward to new heights of excellence. Thank you for the part you play in Bentley’s success.
Wishing you well,