About Remote Schoolhouse
Online learning doesn't have to feel distant
The Bentley School celebrates three pillars - character, purpose, and community - that guide and support school life on campus. These tenents continue to provide structure, context, and inspiration for learning in the Remote Schoolhouse.
Strong interpersonal and community relationships are the heartbeat of our campus and academic programming. When it became clear that the school would have to suspend campus activity for an extended period of time because of COVID-19, our collective attention shifted to ensuring continuity of programming and a reimagination of school life. We have gained traction and momentum in these early days because of the determination and creativity of our dedicated faculty and the eager collaboration between school and home. This collective effort and continued focus have brought out the best of Bentley in our students and faculty.
Our central purpose remains the same, and our commitment to student growth continues online. After school closures triggered by PG&E’s shutdowns in October 2019, campus discussions began about virtual instruction and the enhanced use of various learning management systems (e.g. Canvas and SeeSaw) along with other tech tools. With the closure of campus on the horizon this spring, faculty from across our three school divisions pulled together to share aspirations for a remote program and discuss the logistics of pedagogy at a distance. Technology leaders shared best practices and offered support. We were fortunate to collect initial data and feedback from a soft start on March 13 and went live on March 16 with our first full day.
Care for our community and a productive path forward are top-of-mind for all of us. We recognized the potential risk to the comfort and rhythm of school life if we did not make space for gatherings and other casual interactions, no matter the physical distance. For example, morning meetings in the Lower School and advisory gatherings in the Middle and Upper School programs remind students and faculty to connect as people first before the obligation of an assignment. Study groups, extra help with teachers, and free periods mingle among scheduled tasks to provide variety and contact time to challenge boredom and isolation. Our efforts will evolve, but the needs and optimism of the community will serve as guides.
Arlene F. Hogan
Bentley Head of School
Director of Remote Learning
Dean of Teaching & Learning/Latin Teacher
Our recently launched Parents in Partnership Project was designed to strengthen the school/home relationship so we can function together as the most productive and helpful team possible for each and every student. This project provides a means of connection among Bentley's parents, all of whom are now engaged in ways they never anticipated as they support and coach their children in the online learning environment.
" We continue to be grateful to our Bentley parents and guardians for the outpouring of support we have received while navigating these new challenges. Their trust in our decision-making process along with an acknowledgment of our dedication to the welfare of the whole child - academically, socially, emotionally, physically - helps energize all of us as we move forward."
- Arlene F. Hogan, Bentley Head of School