From the Head of School
I am writing today what I have come to consider my traditional New Year’s letter to parents, wishing all of you abundant health and happiness as we enter into another new beginning together. In schools, there are several of these--a new school year, a new quarter, a new semester, and of course, a new calendar year. We at Benjamin share with you a most valued treasure—your children. Children are advantaged if not always by a “do over,” at least with many opportunities to “do better.” Here at TBS, we take this notion on as a challenge for ourselves as well. It is our objective not only to sustain each new level of success, but to continue to climb beyond each one of them!
Our school has been receiving its very deserved local, regional and national acclaim now more than ever. I hope you have become aware of our outstanding college admission record, highly competitive Advanced Placement examination results, significant growth in the visual and performing arts at all levels, regional and state awards in all three divisions, extremely strong prowess on the athletic front, innovation in all subject areas, a character education program that distinguishes TBS from all others, and on and on. We have arrived on the national stage with our accomplishments comparing so favorably with those of the best independent schools in the country. We were honored this past school year with recognition by the Cum Laude Society as among the finest college preparatory programs across the United States.
By the end of School Year 2012-2013, twenty-one student/athletes in the senior class signed a commitment to play college athletics, an unrivaled number in the history of TBS. The most recent Student/Athlete Collegiate Commitment List of students currently in the Upper School boasts universities such as Bowdoin College, Stetson University, University of Florida, Columbia University, Northwestern University, Gettysburg College, Yale University, University of Maryland, Bucknell University, Stanford University, Fordham University, Princeton University, Union College, Manhattan College, University of New Hampshire, Washington University and University of Virginia. This is a remarkable early start!
Speaking of remarkable early starts, our college acceptance list is already outstanding with only half the school year underway. As you peruse this most impressive display of student achievement, please know that the University of Florida decisions are not made until after the writing of this letter. Some college acceptances as of December 31, 2013 are:
Boston College Fordham University
Bowdoin College Gettysburg College
Brown University University of Georgia
Bucknell University Indiana University at Bloomington
University of Central Florida University of Miami
College of Charleston New York University
University of Chicago Princeton University
University of Colorado at Boulder University of Rochester
Columbia University Rollins College
Culinary Institute of America Skidmore College
Florida State University Stanford University
Syracuse University Wake Forest University
Tulane University Washington University in St. Louis
Union College University of Wisconsin, Madison
Villanova University Yale University
With a record of 13-0, Girls Varsity Soccer was ranked #2 in Palm Beach Post Top Ten. Boys Varsity Soccer was ranked #7. Volleyball won Sun-Sentinel and Palm Beach Post Coach of the Year, 1st Team All-Area as well as Player of the Year. Varsity Football won Palm Beach County All-Star Game and Florida vs. Georgia All-Star Game as well as named Sun-Sentinel 1st Team All-Area. Girls Golf won Sun-Sentinel Coach of the Year, 1st Team All-Area as well as Palm Beach Post Girls Golfer of the Year. Boys Golf was named Sun-Sentinel 1st Team All-Area. Swimming was named 1st Team All-Area. This is success borne of commitment and loyalty to team and school!
Those of you who have come to know me personally, by public remarks behind the microphone or by the written word in hardcopy letters or electronic messages, are aware that my praise is effusive for the work being done at The Benjamin School on behalf of our students’ unique preparation for life. Unfortunately, an early January letter reflecting upon only one-half of one school year could never do justice to an enumeration of opportunities that provide the unique richness for your children at a school like ours. However incomplete this communication may be in that regard, or however ungratifying for me, this letter must eventually come to an end! In closing, please indulge me a final paragraph or two that without attention to chronology or category will shout from different quadrants of the school some more of our important achievements this year.
Advanced Placement examination scores of grades 3, 4 and 5 again far exceed those of state and national averages. An inquiry-based STEM (Science-Technology-Engineering-Math) program is being redefined at TBS as a Lower, Middle and Upper School curriculum that focuses on Sustainability-Tinkering-Engagement-Making, an integrated, project-based, problem-solving, 21st century skill-driven methodology designed by science leadership in the three divisions of the school. The Upper School computer science program is now home to a 3-dimensional photocopier that puts the future into the hands of our current students.
The Lower School curriculum now boasts a science laboratory where young students explore “by doing” in a hands-on experimental approach. Our Lower School faculty continue to write for professional journals and present innovative theories and methodologies at national subject area conferences. Our earliest grades through senior year classrooms now entertain a modified BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) technology program, and all teachers have been issued latest model iPads and are receiving extensive training for exciting 21st century skill-set instruction. The Middle School focuses regularly on the new world of the cyber-footprint and the caution necessary in defining yourself in the online community.
Welcome to 2014 at The Benjamin School! It is our extreme pleasure to partner with you, our parents, in your children’s preparation for a fascinating future very different from the world we currently know. Please accept my warmest wishes for the New Year. I look forward to seeing many of you very shortly as we all return to school.
Robert S. Goldberg
Head of School