How Bentley Remote Schoolhouse Works
With community at the heart of the teaching and learning at Bentley, we prize exchange and communication with our students first and foremost. Hearing student feedback to a lesson or sharing in a discussion that weaves together new ideas invigorates the core of our approach. We also believe that a balance of reflection, practice, and independent effort supports this demanding work. We do not expect students to be tied to screens and devices throughout the day in order to churn through assignments, nor should we. Different types of engagement and a range of audiences cycle throughout the day and over the course of the week, varying group work, team gatherings, and independent work.
We have adapted our daily schedules K-12 to continue a sense of routine students find reassuring and encouraging. Select activities and classes meet simultaneously over video/audio conferences, and the opportunity to connect face-to-face is a highlight for many. Teachers guide other tasks at a different tempo, bolstered by clear directions and open avenues to check in as work progresses.
How Teachers & Students Engage
In the Upper School, the academic program shifts between three essential modes for each of the three traditional meetings per week:
Planning Block (50 minutes) - teachers present a clear and detailed plan for the week ahead, often a flipped class or a screencast presentation
Synchronous Engagement (100 minutes) - coming together in a virtual meeting, the closest approximation to in-person classes; working together, sharing opinions and ideas, sustaining dialog
Asynchronous Work (60 minutes) - time for practice and deep learning, explore the facet of that week’s topic that draws your attention most
Each individual Upper School class may rotate these synchronous and asynchronous blocks based on instructional needs. For example:
In the Middle School, the daily schedule shifts in the remote model in several ways. Physical education time pivots to allow completion of individual activity logs. Advisory meetings of 30 minutes now meet twice per week to increase contact time and extend support. Longer blocks in the regular schedule shorten to 60 minutes, and elective time provides ample opportunity for one-on-one and group study support.
In the Lower School, the academic program varies depending on the grade but follows a specified routine for students and parents using a variety of online platforms.
For example, in Kindergarten, the daily schedule is as follows:
Morning Meeting on Seesaw
Reader’s Workshop: Record a Book Talk on Seesaw
Math: Place Value Worksheet on Seesaw
Recess: Cosmic Yoga on Seesaw
Writer’s Workshop: Nonfiction Writing Lesson 3 on Seesaw
Library with Ms. Taylor on Seesaw
Lunch at home
Independent Reading on RAZ Kids
(Your child should try to read for 20 minutes today, and then complete an activity on RAZ Kids.)
Science: Nature Walk on Seesaw
Closing Circle on Seesaw
*Optional: Share a Favorite Family Memory on SeesawLibrary: Read Aloud and Circle
"The creative implementation of the technological wonders that constitute the Remote Schoolhouse is going to enhance all of our instruction permanently. Online tools target all modalities of learning and engage the imagination in novel directions, and we will integrate these tools into our teaching once we return to campus."
- Dr. John Walker, Bentley Upper School Head