Berkshire School is committed to delivering the strongest online distance-learning model for all our students. During this unique time, as always, we are committed to delivering high-quality lessons that continue to challenge and engage our Berkshire students. Our program will continue to reflect our core values: as teachers, we are committed to a learning environment that engages curiosity, expects integrity, nurtures respect, fosters inclusion, encourages perseverance and teaches resilience.
The resources below are designed to help students and their families navigate questions about the spring semester.
- PICKING UP STUDENT BELONGINGS
- DISTANCE LEARNING
- INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS
- ADVISING PROGRAM
- COLLEGE COUNSELING
- KENEFICK CENTER FOR LEARNING
- GEIER LIBRARY
- WELLNESS & COUNSELING OFFICE
- STUDENT HEALTH SERVICE
What you will find below are questions we anticipate you having about your personal belongings on campus and when and how you will be able to pick them up, store items for the summer, or have them shipped somewhere. If you have specific questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to the Student Life Office, or to your advisor.
Because of the recent Stay At Home Advisory put into place in the state of Massachusetts, we will be further delayed in allowing you to come to campus. Because the advisory is active until May 4th, we do not have enough information to post dates for a return to campus to pack up your belongings. We will keep you informed of our plans as we move forward.
What should I do about coming to campus to pick up my things?
We are working on a plan, but based on the Stay At Home state order mentioned earlier, we can not invite you to campus at this time. We will, at some point, post days and times for coming to campus. I apologize that we aren’t yet able to provide this information at this time.
What if I have an essential item at school I must have now?
If you have something at school you must have to be successful in your online distance-learning experience, please contact your advisor. We will work to mail items such as a laptop, with shipping costs billed to each student account. Please understand that other than a computer, no other academic materials will be required for any of your classes at this time.
What if I can’t come on the posted dates?
For those unable to come to campus on the dates we establish, we would ask families to be patient while we keep a close eye on this situation. We would like to get all families to campus who can make it before the end of the school year. More details about additional dates to pack-up will be forthcoming, but the campus will remain CLOSED outside of posted dates.
What if I can’t come to campus?
We understand our International students and many students from the states will not be able to return to campus this school year. If you will not be able to return to campus, please contact Lisa Miller (Lmiller@berkshireschool.org) in the Student Life Office. We will provide information on packing, storing and/or shipping your personal belongings. You will first need to register with Dorm Room Movers if the school will be packing up your room. More information listed below.
Can I store packed items for the summer?
Yes. Berkshire School does not store student items for the summer, but we partner with Dorm Room Movers (DRM) who handle any summer storage or end of the year shipping. I will be sending another email with all of the information you need to register for storing and/or shipping of personal belongings. There will be boxes available on campus for those who have registered with DRM. All items to be handled by DRM will have to be boxed, or labeled in the case of furniture, numbered and left in the room. DRM will pick-up at a later date.
Will boxes be available when I come to campus?
No. Boxes are only available for students registered for summer shipping or storage with DRM.
What should day students do if they have items on campus?
Day Students will be offered a time to come to campus to pick up items, just like boarding students, once we establish those dates and times.
Berkshire School has moved to a distance-learning model for the balance of the academic year. Distance learning will begin on Thursday, April 2.
Following a revised version of our schedule (as seen on this page), students will participate in one synchronous, 60-minute class meeting weekly for each of their courses. For the synchronous class meeting, students will be able to connect with their peers and their teachers in real time. On the schedule you will see that these synchronous meetings happen two times each week for each class period: once early in the morning and once later in the day. Working with their teachers, students are expected to attend the synchronous class meetings that make the most sense for their time zones. As a School, we believe that our interactions with our students are the cornerstone of our community, and these face-to-face interactions are vital to supporting our students and helping them remain connected to each other.
It is our School expectation that students are visiting Veracross Monday through Friday and are checking for assignment postings for classes that are scheduled each day. Teachers will post all assignments for the upcoming week no later than 8:00 PM (EST) on Sunday. Additionally, students should check their school email on a daily basis.
In addition to our synchronous class meetings, teachers will be available in the mornings and in the evenings for extra help through Zoom; the schedule will be shared with students the week of March 30. Students should register for a Zoom account using their school email address (instructions here). Any student who has issues with Zoom or with internet access should contact Jason Epstein, Director of Technology, at firstname.lastname@example.org
We have elected to grade our classes as pass/fail for the fourth quarter. Teachers will continue to write student comments, and students will also receive effort marks at the end of the quarter. Additionally, we will provide mid-quarter progress reports. Our fourth quarter classes will end on Friday, May 15, and final report cards will be sent home soon after.
As international students, you may have specific needs related to studying in the U.S. and your visa status. Please reach out to Lissa McGovern at Lmcgovern@berkshireschool.org with questions you may have about your F-1 status. In addition, general information related to changes in regulations can be found at the Study in the States page provided by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Passport and Visa Expiration Dates
Please be sure to check your passport and F-1 visa expiration dates. If you need to renew your passport or visa, please be aware that you should expect to need additional time for processing, as offices will be busy. Make an appointment as early as possible. If you need documentation to support your visa application, please let us know what you need, so that we have ample time to prepare your documents.
Once you have made a deposit at your college or university, you can complete a request to transfer your I-20 from Berkshire School to your new institution. By May 1 (“Deposit Day”), graduating seniors will receive an email with the form Berkshire will need to complete this transfer. We will ask you for information about your specific school, and the transfer will be made after your completion of the semester. Your new school will post information about transferring your I-20 and will often have a form (online or document) that needs to be completed. If you need help with completing the form, please feel free to contact Ms. McGovern to arrange for a Zoom call.
The College Counseling Office is optimistic that the period of distance learning will provide some unique opportunities for families to get ahead in the college process.
Our strong preference is to communicate with families directly, as so many of the questions you have are specific to your circumstances and families.
Please contact the College Counseling Office (email) or by calling (413) 229-1257.
The Kenefick Center for Learning (KCL) will continue to provide academic support as well as help with the transition to distance learning. Once Berkshire’s distance-learning schedule is published, tutors will begin to plan individual KCL sessions with each student. The tutors will also continue to connect with the classroom teachers, advisors, and form deans.
If you have an questions, please contact Director of Kenefick Center For Learning Dory Driscoll at email@example.com or by calling 413-229-1295.
The Geier Library is providing distance-learning resources, online research help, along with ebooks, videos, audio, newspapers, journals, magazines, and more. To access this information, please visit our online library resource page.
For questions or assistance, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
In hopes of offering support during a difficult time, the Wellness & Counseling Office will continue to provide resources to Berkshire students and their families.
During the spring semester, we plan to provide interactive online resources—everything from articles on teen mental health and development, to links and videos on self-care including mindfulness and yoga.
We will also provide online support through video-chat peer groups around stress management, self care, and social connection/peer relationships. These will be opportunities for continued bonding with peers as well as skill-building.
Counselors Tess Adams and Cynthia LaPier will be available for supportive check-ins and consultation during this transitional time. We do ask that parents please sign the consent form (attached below) should you want your child to be able to consult with a counselor over online video conference. Please email the completed form back to email@example.com.
If you believe your child could benefit from ongoing therapy or is in need of more immediate psychiatric evaluation or support please reach out to the Wellness & Counseling Office as needed for help in connecting with providers or emergency mental services in your area. With your child off campus, we do want to make sure that they have any mental health supports they may need in place at home, and it is important that their mental health provider does have in-person accessibility and is local to your area.
If your child does work with Dr. Miller through the Wellness & Counseling Office, please feel free to reach out to Dr. Miller directly with any questions related to continuity of care, or be in touch with Tess Adams.
WELLNESS RESOURCES DURING COVID-19
The Student Health Service is currently closed but will be checking phone messages and emails on a daily basis.
If your child's medication was filled at the Salisbury Pharmacy, these medications were mailed to your home the week of March 15. If your child's medication was filled by your local pharmacy, those medications will be available to pick up when you come to campus to pack up your child's belongings.
During this unprecedented time, it is important that we all remember to:
- Practice "physical distancing." While it may be tempting to get together with friends at home, please refrain from doing so and instead interact and socialize online. Physical distancing is not only a way to keep ourselves healthy, it is an important method of helping to keep others healthy.
- Monitor our health and remain alert for symptoms of fever, cough, or difficulty breathing. Check your temperature if you feel feverish or develop a cough or difficulty breathing. If you do develop any of these symptoms, please call and discuss these concerns with your primary care provider’s office.
We hope, by all of us working together as a community, we can make a difference in mitigating the spread of COVID-19.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the Student Health Service at firstname.lastname@example.org or 413-229-1275.
Strength and conditioning coach/fitness expert Thomas Regan, Class of 2008, will be providing daily workouts for all students and faculty via an online platform for the remainder of the school year. Click on the link below and stay tuned for additional content from our Afternoon Program directors and the Berkshire community.