- COVID VACCINATIONS
- HEALTH & SAFETY
- VAULT HOME TEST FOR MARCH
- SPRING RECESS
- ARRIVAL IN JANUARY
- CAMPUS LIFE
- DAY STUDENTS
- ACADEMIC LIFE
- VIRTUAL LEARNING
- STANDARDIZED TESTING
- ATHLETICS & AFTERNOON PROGRAMS
- CALENDAR & EVENTS
- ENROLLMENT AND TUITION
- WHOM TO CONTACT
What is the policy regarding leaving campus for vaccinations?
Berkshire supports all students with vaccination appointments. We will follow our return to campus protocols consistent with our medical-leave policy for off-campus appointments.
If a student leaves and returns to campus in the same day, no PCR test result will be required to return. Students will be added to our on-campus surveillance testing program following their leave. If an overnight stay is required to receive a vaccination, the student can return within 72 hours with their negative PCR test result. The student's return must be coordinated with Student Health Services. Students will be added to our on-campus surveillance testing program following their leave.
We expect that all COVID protocols (masks, social distancing, etc.) will be followed and contact with others will be limited to immediate family members. Upon your return, we ask that families provide vaccination documentation for your child's medical records.
Please contact Student Health Services at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions and to arrange for your return-to-campus plan.
What are some of the preventative measures/protocols that will be in place to help mitigate the risk of COVID-19 on campus?
Berkshire continues to follow the best guidance of state and local health care providers and agencies to ensure we meet or exceed any health recommendations or guidelines outlined by Massachusetts Department of Public Health. Second-semester measures/protocols include but are not limited to:
Students are asked to complete the REACH symptom survey daily for the 14 days prior to arrival on campus in January.
Students are required to bring a negative PCR COVID-19 test result to campus the day of arrival. A link to a student’s prepaid VAULT home COVID-19 test will be emailed to the parent or caretaker in late December.
The Vault home test can be ordered ahead but should be taken and mailed on the following timeline:
January 11th for a January 15th arrival to campus
January 12th for a January 16th arrival to campus
January 13th for a January 17th arrival to campus
Upon arrival, students will be retested on campus through the Broad Institute PCR test used on campus throughout the fall semester. Testing will take place at the Jackman L. Stewart Athletic Center East Rink before moving into their dorm. Students will then quarantine in their dorm rooms or at home (for day students) for 24 hours until the Broad COVID-19 test results are available. Meals will be delivered to the dormitories throughout the quarantine period.
As in the fall, we encourage students to bring 10-14 face coverings or masks from home. Berkshire face masks are currently available online at the Bookstore. The School will have backup disposable masks available for students who need them.
All students and employees will be expected to complete the daily REACH survey questions regarding COVID-19 symptoms. All students and employees will be expected to activate the TRACE app while on campus.
Hand sanitizer stations are set up throughout campus.
Visual cues and signage with directions indicate foot-traffic flow and minimize density.
Daily and deep-cleaning protocols continue throughout campus.
Social distancing (remaining six feet apart) and wearing a face mask is required.
Gatherings are limited by recommended health officials’ safety guidelines.
Air purifiers are installed in the buildings.
Will students need to quarantine and/or be tested before arriving on campus?
Yes, we require that all students follow CDC recommendations to quarantine at home or in one place, with limited contact beyond family, for 14 days prior to their arrival to campus in January. Students are required to be tested and provide a negative test result from within 4 days prior to arrival to campus. Once on campus, all students will be tested again and will quarantine for 24 hours until test results are available.
Families should count back 14 days from their arrival date to begin their respective quarantine, as follows:
For arrival on January 15th: self-quarantine starts on January 1st
For arrival on January 16th: self-quarantine starts on January 2nd
For arrival on January 17th: self-quarantine starts on January 3rd
Students residing outside of Massachusetts must complete a Massachusetts Travel Form prior to arrival.
How will the school reduce the risks associated with parents/guardians/caretakers accompanying students to campus?
We ask that parents/guardians/caretakers stay in their vehicle while on Berkshire's campus. Bathrooms will be available in the Jackman L. Stewart Athletic Center and are accessible through the back entrance of the facility.
Will all school employees (faculty and staff) be tested before the start of school?
Yes, all employees will be tested in January prior to student arrival and then retested on a regular schedule thereafter.
How will the school monitor students and employees' symptoms on a daily basis?
All our students and employees will utilize a secure digital app that will screen daily for COVID-19 symptoms and be monitored by our Student Health Service staff with support from the technology department.
What happens if a student tests positive for COVID-19?
Berkshire will not provide an on-campus isolation space for students who test positive for COVID-19 during the school year. Instead, we have added a mobile medical center and short-term isolation spaces to care for any student who tests positive before the student can be transitioned to the care of a parent, guardian, or domestic caretaker within 48 hours or sooner. Students needing to leave campus for any period of time will be able to continue their academic work in all classes via our virtual learning model.
Families who are not able to be at Berkshire within a 48-hour driving time (not air-travel) from time of contact will need to identify a domestic caretaker. This person will be responsible for the student's care and supervision in the event that their on-campus learning is interrupted for any period of time and before they can reconnect with the family.
What happens if a student is presenting COVID-19 symptoms?
Students who have been exposed to the virus or are symptomatic but who have tested negative will be required to quarantine for 14 days at home or in one place under the care of family or designated caretaker. Additional, on-site spaces for Student Health Service will be used for students who require quarantine and isolation for 48 hours while awaiting departure from campus.
Will counseling services still be available to students?
Yes, Berkshire’s Counseling Office has three full-time counselors that will be available to support the emotional and mental health, and well-being of our students. We are developing strategies for outreach as well as ongoing programming for all students, to deliver support that is both proactive and responsive to the needs of our students.
Are we required to wear a face covering or mask?
In accordance with current state mandates, we require all students and employees to wear face coverings or masks, with exceptions only for those students or employees for whom it is not safe to do so due to age, medical conditions, or other considerations. In cases in which face coverings or masks are not possible, social distancing of 6 feet is required. Face coverings or masks are required in all interior spaces on campus and, for boarding students, in their dorm outside of their individual rooms. This includes all academic classrooms, the Jackman L. Stewart Athletic Center, the Soffer Athletic Center, Rovensky Student Center, and Benson Commons, when not eating. Masks will also be required in all public outdoor spaces. Masks will be provided by the school, and students are encouraged to bring their own as well.
What kind of masks should we bring to school and how many?
As masks need to be washed frequently, students should plan to bring 10-14 washable masks to school. Masks should meet the following criteria:
- Face coverings should cover both your nose and mouth and should be well-fitted to minimize gaps around your nose and chin.
- Cloth face masks should have at least two layers (three layers when possible). Studies have shown a double-layer cloth face covering was significantly better at reducing the droplet spread caused by coughing and sneezing, as compared to a single-layer mask.
- Bandanas, neck gaiters or buffs, and masks with valves are not acceptable.
- Masks should not have messaging of any kind. Patterns and designs are fine.
How will students who need to go to the Student Health Service when they are healthy avoid exposures to illness?
If the student is coming for routine medication that is dispensed from Student Health, they now will be entering in a separate entrance. Any student needing to see the nurse for any reason will need to call and speak to the nurse first. The nurse will ask a few questions, then give next steps. The next step could be a visit to Student Health or it could be that the nurse comes to the dorm.
Is the flu vaccine required this year for students?
Yes, the flu vaccine is required for school children in Massachusetts. Visit mass.gov for more information. The flu shot was administered this fall on campus by Student Health. All students are required to be vaccinated before arriving at school in January.
What is the process and timing for students to take the free, at-home Vault test?
In our desire to maintain a COVID-19 free campus, all students (domestic and international, boarding and day), must arrive on campus with proof of a negative PCR test result. In order to make this as easy as possible, all students will receive a free, at-home COVID-19 test kit. A LINK TO ACCESS YOUR CHILD'S UNIQUE TEST KIT WILL BE SENT VIA EMAIL IN MARCH FROM OUR COVID-19 TESTING COORDINATOR AMBER WEST.
This is a saliva (versus nasal swab)-based PCR test managed by Vault Health. Please complete the steps to arrange for delivery of your test kit. All tests are taken 4 days prior to arrival on campus. You are also welcome to use an alternative testing service in your area or country or origin, as long as it is both reliable and timely.
|STEP 1: Click on the unique link that will be sent to only one of the student's parent/guardian via email in March from the COVID-19 Testing Coordinator Amber West to arrange delivery of your test kit from Vault Health. The Vault home test can be ordered ahead of time but should be taken and mailed on the timeline provided in Step 5 below.
STEP 2: Create a Vault Health account or log-in to an existing account.
STEP 3: Enter your information.
STEP 4: Complete your order.
You will receive an email confirmation upon completion.
STEP 5: Taking the test.
Students will take the test on either March 22nd or 23rd depending on their arrival date:
STEP 6: Returning the test on the same day.
Important note: Students should not travel to campus until they have received a negative test result.
REMINDER TO SELF-QUARANTINE
We want to reiterate the need for all students to quarantine at home (or in a single place) and limit their contact beyond family and essential trips outside of the home (medical appointments, etc.) for 10 days prior to arrival. Families should count back 10 days from their arrival date to begin their respective quarantine, as follows:
The Vault Health at-home test kit is separate from our routine on-campus testing program, which is a partnership with the Broad Institute. For more information about our routine on-campus testing program, please visit our Second-Semester Plan webpage here. Should you have any questions, please reach out by replying to this email or calling (413) 229-1165.
What is the schedule for Spring Recess?
March 5: Students may depart for Spring Recess after their last school commitment.
March 6: Spring Recess Begins (International students may elect to remain on campus.)
Note: Our buses will leave at 8:00 a.m. on Saturday, March 6. Students must load the bus at 7:45 a.m. (EST).
March 26-27: In-person learners must return to campus on the scheduled arrival/testing dates below. Students should arrive to campus for testing between 9 AM and 3 PM (EST). Families will sign up for an arrival time within that window via a sign-up form from the Student Life Office.
Friday, March 26:
Saturday, March 27:
- Day Students
March 29: First day of in-person classes
For any families wishing to celebrate Seder and the first days of Passover at home, please contact Lisa Miller in the Student Life Office at email@example.com to schedule a Monday, March 29 arrival.
IMPORTANT: If a student cannot return on the designated day, they must coordinate a same-day arrival with their roommate to avoid one student having to quarantine for an additional 36 hours.
Will the School provide students the free, at-home Vault test for their return in March?
Yes, Berkshire will continue to offer the free, at-home Vault test to all students for their return to campus in March. The Vault test should be taken within 4 days of arrival to campus. An email will be sent from our COVID-19 Testing Coordinator Amber West with a link to access your child's unique test kit in March.
Will Berkshire be providing transportation to campus in March?
No, the school will not be providing transportation to campus in March.
What should students and their parents/guardians/caretakers expect at drop-off?
Students and their parents/guardians/caretakers can expect the following upon arrival:
- Students are required to bring a negative COVID-19 test result to campus the day of arrival.
- Upon arrival, students will be retested on campus through the Broad Institute PCR test used at Berkshire throughout the school year. Testing will take place at the Jackman L. Stewart Athletic Center before students can move back into their dorm. Students will then quarantine in their dorm rooms or at home (for day students) for 24-36 hours until the Broad COVID-19 test results are available. Meals will be delivered to the dormitories throughout the quarantine period.
- We ask that parents/guardians/caretakers stay in their vehicles while on Berkshire's campus. Restrooms will be available in the Jackman L. Stewart Athletic Center and are accessible through the back entrance of the facility.
What is the timeline for Phases 1–5 upon return to campus in March?
Phase 1: Pre-Arrival & Quarantine (March 16–27)
- Quarantine Phase runs from March 16–26 OR March 17–27, depending on your scheduled return date.
- All students are required to quarantine at home, or in a single place, and limit their contact beyond family and essential trips outside the home (medical appointments, etc.) for 10 days prior to arrival.
Phase 2: Welcome to Campus & Testing (March 26–28)
- All students must arrive on campus with a negative COVID-19 PCR test.
- Upon arrival, students will be retested on campus through the Broad Institute PCR tested used at Berkshire throughout the school year.
- After students are tested, they will move into their dorm and quarantine until test results are returned.
- Day students will quarantine at home to await their test result. They can arrive on campus beginning on Monday, March 29, once cleared.
Phase 3: Transition to Quiet (Begins March 29)
- After the arrival testing is complete, we will enter the quiet phase through the second round of COVID-19 testing the week of April 4. Should we have positive tests in this second round of on-campus testing, we may stay in the quiet phase through the next round of testing.
Phase 4 & 5: Emerging & Emerging 2.0 (Contingent on Testing)
Will students receive a specific day and time to return in January?
Yes, students will arrive back to campus in January based on their dorm affiliation for testing. The arrival schedule to campus will start January 15.
IMPORTANT: Students returning for in-person learning must arrive only over the scheduled arrivals of January 15–17. We are not allowing any mid-winter returns in order to ensure our safest community and to allow our campus community to move together through each of our reopening phases. Any other second-semester returns will be after March Recess.
- Students returning to campus from virtual learning will be informed of their dorm assignment in December.
- Arrival times for testing will be determined by a sign-up form that will be sent to you in December when we have housing assignments for January completed.
- Students will have to arrive to campus for testing between 9 AM and 3 PM (EST) and only students will be allowed to enter the dorms. Parents and caretakers must remain in vehicles.
Friday, January 15:
Saturday, January 16:
- de Windt
Sunday, January 17:
International students may arrive on any of the three days.
Day students will be assigned and informed of their arrival day for testing before the end of the first semester.
Families will receive additional information about testing, quarantine, and the January arrival in the near future. Please be aware that all planning is subject to change based on health and travel protocols in mid-January.
Will Berkshire be providing transportation to campus in January?
No, the school will not be providing transportation to campus in January.
What should students and their parents/guardians/caretakers expect at drop-off?
Students and their parents/guardians/caretakers can expect the following upon arrival:
- Students are required to bring a negative COVID-19 test result to campus the day of arrival.
- Upon arrival, students will be retested on campus through the Broad Institute PCR test used on campus throughout the fall semester. Testing will take place at the Jackman L. Stewart Athletic Center COVID-19 before moving into their dorm. Students will then quarantine in their dorm rooms or at home for 24 hours until the Broad COVID-19 test results are available. Meals will be delivered to the dormitories throughout the quarantine period.
- We ask that parents/guardians/caretakers stay in their vehicle while on Berkshire's campus. Bathrooms will be available in the Jackman L. Stewart Athletic Center and are accessible through the back entrance of the facility.
- Each dorm will have helpers to assist students moving into their dorms so that parents/guardians/caretakers can remain in their vehicle.
Will there be any changes to dorm room occupancy?
Based on the Massachusetts DPH, we do not anticipate significant changes to our housing model. We have single and double rooms with furniture arranged to help divide the beds. There will be no bunking and one refrigerator per room.
Upon return in January, smaller groupings will be designated in each dorm by floor or wing. Students will be limited to moving about only their floor/wing and will be required to wear masks outside of their room. Signage for movement in and out of the dorms will direct foot-traffic flow.
Bathrooms will have occupancy limits, and students may be required to wait a few minutes before entering. In addition, community laundry rooms will have occupancy limits and there will be a sign-up process.
Will there be any changes to meals and dining on campus?
To ensure safety, self-service meals will be replaced with food that is served by staff from FLIK Dining Service. The seating, layout, and foot-traffic flow in Benson Commons will be modified to provide for necessary social distancing. In addition, satellite dining locations will allow students to enjoy “grab and go” meals and snacks. Hours for all dining locations will be slightly modified to allow for density control and cleaning between meals. All students will have a “family pod” for dining.
Will students be allowed to order from outside food-delivery services?
As we return in January, students will not be allowed to order from outside food-delivery services. This protocol will be modified based on the assessment of the health and safety of the community. Students are allowed one refrigerator for their dorm room. The School will also provide snacks in the morning and evening for students.
What is the protocol for parents/guardians or non-family members visiting campus?
We will intentionally limit visitors and travel to and from campus as we come back for the second semester. Weekends for all students will be closed for the second semester until health and safety protocols allow. Students will need to submit a petition to the Student Life Office to gain approval for any departures from campus. For family events such as weddings or funerals, students will be allowed to travel home but all returns to campus will follow the same protocols and testing requirements as our opening registrations. We understand the range of challenges that these protocols present for families, but we know that our safest, healthiest community requires these commitments.
Will students be allowed permission off-campus, which could include a day trip into town, to attend spiritual services, walk/run/bike ride, or going home for the weekend?
Students are encouraged to stay on campus January through the end of the school year. Should they have a family obligation away from campus, they will be able to petition through the Student Life Office for an overnight off-campus. Students will need to return to campus with a negative test result. If they are symptomatic, have been exposed to someone who is symptomatic or being tested for COVID-19, they will be required to quarantine at home for 14 days and attend classes remotely. Should they test positive, they will self-isolate for 14 days and attend classes remotely. We will not take students into town this winter and religious services should be accessed online.
What should we pack for returning to school?
Students should pack only the necessities—clothes and shoes, computer and tech needs, study lamp, shower caddy, book bag, masks and disinfecting supplies, bedding, and towels. In the event campus must close and not reopen during the school year, families will be responsible for the packing, shipping, and pick-up or storage of all personal items.
What happens to my belongings in storage if I did not return for the first semester?
Students who contracted with Door Room Movers (DRM) for the storage of personal items are responsible for extending the storage period with DRM if not returning in September. Items will be delivered to campus when the student returns to campus.
The school shares dorm and room information directly with DRM for those who are returning to campus.
Will there be any changes to the current drop-off and pick-up schedule for day students?
Day students’ drop-off and pick-up times will remain the same as last year; however, day students will be asked to use designated spaces upon arrival and during evening study hall.
Will day students be able to stay on campus after school?
Yes, day students will be able to stay on campus after school for dinner and evening study hall. This is an important part of the Berkshire experience. Students (boarding or day) will not be able to enter a dorm if they do not reside there. This means that day students will shower in assigned locker rooms.
Will day students be able to be on campus during the weekends?
Day students are most welcome for weekend activities of all kinds. However, day students will not be able to spend the night in the dormitories. Hopefully, as the year progresses, we will be able to open dorms up again for non-resident visits.
What access to spaces will day students have on campus?
Day students will have a newly renovated day student space in the Rovensky Student Center (de Windt Dining Room has been converted to a designated day student area), including access to and use of all public spaces on campus. Only those living in a particular dormitory will be permitted to enter that dorm. This means that boarding students can only enter their own dorm. We hope this changes as the year progresses.
How will the school support online and in-person classes in academic spaces on campus?
Students and faculty will be protected through a combination of social distancing, masks, new classroom layouts, and/or acrylic shields. Our in-person classes will be accessible through Zoom and portable HD camera and audio systems that record each session, allowing for a seamless academic experience for students on-campus and attending remotely. To allow for appropriate social distancing, several existing spaces on campus will be multi-purpose. Each class period (A-H) will meet three times each week to address the necessity of a third lunch period and the increased passing time between classes to accommodate sanitization requirements. If there are faculty who are unable to teach in-person, their classes may be held via Zoom.
Will students be able to elect to take their classes remotely? If so under what conditions?
Given the increasing travel restrictions as a result of the pandemic and the challenges these represent for a number of our families, Berkshire will allow a student to elect our virtual learning model until Spring Recess or for the entirety of the second semester at a discounted tuition. This model will follow the same daily/weekly academic schedule for classes on campus with the opportunity for students to join synchronous Zoom classes and to access recorded classes if time zone or other circumstances preclude their synchronous attendance. Opportunities to meet by advisory, Form, and with other groups on campus will all be available to students electing our virtual learning model. All our classrooms are equipped with HD video capture capabilities and omnidirectional microphones to seamlessly support this virtual learning model. Assessments in this model will be graded, and each student’s academic reports will be the same for in-person and virtual learning.
Should a family opt into virtual learning until Spring Recess or for the entirety of the second semester, Berkshire will provide a prorated refund for both boarding and day students. For more information on this option and the discounted tuition, families are encouraged to reach out to both Director of Admission Dana Anselmi at firstname.lastname@example.org and Chief Financial Officer Robert Boyd at email@example.com.
Please note: Families electing to choose virtual learning until Spring Recess or for the entirety of the second semester must share this decision via email to both Dana and Robert no later than November 9th.
Has the academic schedule for students been changed?
Classes will be held from Monday through Friday with For Life programming on some Friday evenings and Saturday mornings to help address the pace of our days and weeks. We moved each class period (A–H), which will meet three times a week to address the necessity of a third lunch period and the increased passing time between classes to accommodate sanitization requirements.
What will the dress code be for the academic day?
This year the dress code for the academic day will be Bear Wear! For details, please see the Student Handbook and Parent Information Guide.
- Collared shirts and blouses
- Tailored pants, khakis, Bermuda shorts, skirts, dresses
- Dress shoes, boat shoes, dress sandals, solid color lace-up shoes, loafers, boots
- No athletic shoes
Will the academic pace for students in virtual learning be the same as in-person classes?
Different from virtual learning in the spring, our fall semester virtual learning ushers in a full academic day. Students who are in virtual learning will work at the same pace as students who are receiving on-campus instruction. Teachers will maintain class websites through Berkshire’s Learning Management System where students will have access to all class materials. If students require additional time for the completion of work, they should contact their teachers directly for support. Teachers will be available to meet with students who are in virtual learning outside of class sessions for extra help.
How can students participate in classes that are in-person when they are online—is there a Zoom component to in-person classes?
Students who are in virtual learning have two options for viewing their classes:
1. If their time zone allows, students can participate in live classes through Zoom.
2. If students are unable to attend a class because of time zone limitations, they can watch a recording of the class. Recordings will be available for 96 hours following the class to ensure that students are not falling behind.
Once classes begin on campus, teachers may still teach a class virtually for all students if the nature of the lesson is supported by the virtual learning environment. Additionally, some faculty members may teach virtually for health reasons. Students who are not feeling well will be able to attend classes virtually, and faculty members who are not feeling well will be asked to teach virtually.
How will students in virtual learning access class recordings?
Teachers will share the links for class recordings with their classes. These links will be available in Veracross.
Will students in virtual learning receive grades?
Yes, all students, whether in virtual learning or receiving on-campus instruction, will receive grades. Teachers will post course guidelines and expectations on their class websites. Students will not be allowed to take classes pass/fail.
How will students in virtual spaces have access to collaborative components of classes including discussions and group work?
Teachers will make use of technological platforms to facilitate collaboration between all students in their classes. Students in virtual learning, for example, will regularly connect and interact with their teachers and classmates through live Zoom sessions. Teachers will design and reimagine lessons that intentionally include and welcome students who are in virtual learning. Berkshire will use a suite of educational technology in order to promote positive and productive interaction between students who are on campus and students who are in virtual learning.
Will the Berkshire School Honor Code apply to students who are learning in a virtual environment?
The Berkshire School Honor Code applies to all of our students, whether they are learning virtually or in-person. Students and their parents/guardians will be asked to sign the School’s Virtual Learning Policy, which asks them to acknowledge that the Berkshire School Honor Code applies to their work in the virtual learning environment. As always, any questions students have about assignment parameters should be addressed to their teachers.
How will students in virtual learning get their books?
Books will be shipped from the Berkshire School bookstore to all students who will be in virtual learning for the entire fall semester.
For students who are studying in locations that are not receiving mail from the United States, the School will work with the students to help them acquire the needed books.
Teachers will actively maintain class websites and, whenever possible, make class materials available in digital formats. All homework, assignments, and assessments will also be posted and available through the class website.
What materials do students need for virtual learning?
During virtual learning all students will need a laptop, as required when enrolling at Berkshire, and a reliable internet connection. Students are also encouraged to find a quiet space to work where they can focus and engage in their classes.
How will students get extra help while in virtual learning? Will teachers offer evening extra help hours?
Scheduled office hours will take place through Zoom on Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday from 9:00–9:35 AM EDT. For extra help outside of these times, students should reach out to their teachers directly to schedule a meeting time.
Teachers will offer assistance to students through methods that may include their Berkshire Zoom accounts, Berkshire email accounts, and Google Chat/Hangouts available through their Berkshire Google accounts.
What should students do if they have technical difficulties during virtual learning?
Students should reach out to the Berkshire School Technology Office for support at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How will science labs take place for students who are in virtual learning?
Science labs will be adapted to fit both virtual and in-person instruction with the safety of our students guiding all decisions. Individual accommodations will be made based on student access.
How will performing arts and visual arts classes take place for students who are in virtual learning?
Performing and visual arts classes will be adapted to fit both virtual and in-person instruction with the safety of our students guiding all decisions. Individual accommodations will be made based on student access.
How will the opening weeks in virtual learning impact the drop/add period?
The first two weeks of school will still be our drop/add period. During this time, students are encouraged to have conversations with their assigned teacher about whether or not a placement is appropriate. In cases that involve a level change, the teacher will be in communication with the department chair. Level changes, once approved by the department chair, will go to the form dean, who will help make the change official. Students wishing to make elective changes should speak to their form dean.
What are teachers doing to prepare for virtual learning instruction?
During the summer months, teachers completed both internal and external professional development that focused on best practices and pedagogy for teaching in virtual and blended learning environments. Teachers learned how to develop a virtual presence in classes in ways that will effectively support student learning. With a focus on course design and planning, active virtual engagement, and building predictable learning environments, teachers will craft virtual learning experiences that are highlighted by consistency and clarity. Additionally, teachers will introduce new educational technology tools to support student learning; these tools range from video discussion platforms to digital whiteboards and will be utilized to support the learning goals of classes. Teachers will build community and establish class norms during the opening weeks of school.
What will assessments look like in virtual learning?
Assessments will vary from class to class just as they do with in-person learning. In the virtual learning environment, students should expect more formative assessments, designed to inform the teacher and the student of understanding. Teachers will continue to use summative assessments to enable students to share their evidence of learning. Summative assessments may include, but are not limited to, papers, projects, portfolios, and tests. Students who are in virtual learning for the fall semester will complete the same assignments and assessments as those students who are on campus.
How can parents and guardians support their students in virtual learning?
As we enter into this partnership with our families, we encourage open communication and ask that you reach out to your child’s Form Dean or advisor with questions or concerns. Families can help their students navigate virtual learning by encouraging them to check Veracross daily, helping them develop and maintain a healthy daily routine, and helping create a distraction-free space to complete academic work.
If you have any question or concerns, please feel free to reach out to Dean of Academics Brooke Depelteau at email@example.com.
What is the Standardized Testing Schedule for Winter/Spring?
See the schedule below:
ACT→ At Berkshire School (private seating for the Berkshire community only)
Register here Use Berkshire School’s testing center code: 195110
The deadline to register is January 8th.
SAT→ This test occurs during spring break so students will need to register at a home testing site.
The deadline to register is February 12th.
April 13th - School Day Test (Tuesday)
SAT→ At Berkshire School (private seating for the Berkshire community only)
The SAT tests have been pre-ordered so you do NOT need to register.
ACT→ At Berkshire School (private seating for the Berkshire community only) Register here Use Berkshire School’s testing center code: 195110
The deadline to register is March 12th.
Practice ACT→ Full length practice for the Fourth Form. Students do NOT need to register for the Practice ACT.
AP Exams→ At Berkshire School and students have already registered through their AP classes.
SAT→ This test takes place during summer break so students need to register at a home testing site.
The deadline to register is May 6th.
ACT→ This test takes place during summer break so students need to register at a home testing site
The deadline to register is May 7th.
ACT→ This test takes place during summer break so students need to register at a home testing site.
The deadline to register is June 18th.
SAT→ This test takes place during summer break so students need to register at a home testing site
Where can Berkshire students find out more information about test preparation?
Please visit the College Counseling Blog for additional test preparation resources. These resources are all available online for interested students.
Will there be athletics and afternoon programming in the winter and spring for students?
The school will continue to offer our traditional extracurricular activities, as being part of a team is central to our experience here under the Mountain. These team-based experiences in athletics, music, art, and RKMP are central to our mission and to each student’s development, well-being, and connections to each other.
Given recent decisions among a number of our peer schools regarding interscholastic athletics, Berkshire's winter and spring interscholastic schedule has been suspended until the state’s health and safety protocols allow us to resume. However, we are confident that we will be able to provide a competitive and developmental experience for all, from the varsity athlete to the novice athlete. Additionally, we are fortunate to be able to provide world-class indoor and outdoor athletic facilities, including a new indoor turf installed in December, along with an on-campus video system to support the college recruiting process, and an embedded strength and conditioning program, all in a safe and controlled environment.
Will students be able to participate in their off-campus club games and practices?
As we return in January, we are still unable to allow students to travel from campus on weekends to pursue club sports beyond Berkshire given the health and safety concerns surrounding these competitions off campus, as well as the testing requirements/timelines to ensure each student’s safe return to campus. Instead, we expect to make full use of our practices, coaching, webstreaming, videography, and our athletic facilities as we did in the fall to support our scholar-athletes and the college/university recruitment for those aspiring to compete after Berkshire. NEPSAC’s decision to waive the out-of-season coaching rules for the coming school year will also allow our winter and spring varsity coaches to gather their teams for workouts and skill sessions during free time before or after dinner and on the weekends.
What are some new opportunities that have been provided to our student-athletes this year?
- BLAST: An all-girls strength and conditioning program, where our athletes have the opportunity to work with a coalition of coaches to collectively take their training to the next level—physically and mentally—as they set their sights on collegiate athletics.
- Out-of-season training opportunities, which will be extended into our winter and spring seasons.
- Intra-school sport scrimmages.
- Installed a NEW indoor turf in the East Rink of the Jackman L. Stewart Athletic Center over winter break.
Will there be any upcoming Zoom forums for families about returning back to campus in January?
The school will host a Zoom presentations for families on Wednesday, December 16 at 7:00 PM (EST) and Thursday, December 17 at 7:30 AM (EST). An email will be sent to all families with a link to register for either event. Both events will be recorded and available afterward on the student and parent portals.
Will families be able to come to campus in the winter or spring to watch the music, dance, and theater performances?
Our decision to host on-campus gatherings will be determined and limited by what the local and state health officials’ safety guidelines recommend. At this time, our performances in Allen Theater will be streamed live through our GameOn streaming service available on our website.
What are the financial implications if Massachusetts requires a move to virtual learning for all students?
Should state mandates require either a reduced student population on campus or a move to virtual learning for all students, Berkshire will provide a prorated refund for both boarding and day students for the required duration of any virtual learning model.
Some students began the year in virtual learning or have unique obstacles preventing an easy return to campus and Berkshire has planned for these families to receive a similar tuition credit. For any additional domestic students opting into virtual learning, Berkshire will not be able to provide the same discount. For questions regarding finances, please contact Robert Boyd at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Is it possible for a day student to switch to boarding status for the second semester?
At this time, our enrollment remains strong. With the majority of our students who studied virtually in the fall returning to campus for the second semester, we do not have the space in our dorms to consider any additional boarding students. If you have questions, please reach out to Dana Anselmi at danaanselmi@berkshireschool.
Please Note: Any second semester change from boarding to day student status must be finalized by Sunday, January 31. At this late stage in the school year, no tuition adjustment accompanies such a change. As of Monday, February 1, all students are expected to maintain their boarding/day status for the balance of the winter term through March 6. Families with questions should reach out to both the Student Life Office and Admission..
Whom should I contact?
COVID-19 & Arrival Requirements
Arrival Dates & Times
Jen Gaenzle Smith
III Form Academics
Athletics and Afternoon Programs
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion