From the Head of School
I am writing you from my home office on December 31, five hours before midnight. Although you will not be receiving this hardcopy mailing until after our return to school, I have you in my thoughts on this New Year’s Eve. With fireworks already thumping in the background before 7:00 p.m., the spirit of celebration regarding school year 2012-2013 springs forth from my keyboard. My excitement over our many successes so far this academic year catapults this message your way. I know you will find the news of our accomplishments over the past four months of school to be as outstanding as I do.
Reports of our Advanced Placement Examination scores place TBS among the very highest ranking schools not only in Florida, but compared with all schools across the nation! Extensive research has identified our AP program as extraordinary. At Benjamin, every student who enrolls in one of these highly rigorous, college-level courses is compelled by school policy to sit for the AP Examination. In that way, colleges are assured that our statistics are not skewed by the selection of only the most gifted students in an AP course encouraged to sit for the exam. This past year, 183 students took 465 exams. With 100% of the students enrolled in AP courses taking the national test, 92% of the exams fell into the 3, 4, or 5 range. Of those tests, 67% were graded at the 4 or 5 level, the top two possible scores. This is truly a distinctive achievement, one that has been stretching higher and higher each year at TBS. With over 30,000 secondary schools in the United States, we have thought it most prudent to research most specifically our successes compared with the most prestigious schools in the state of Florida. I am very proud to provide you the results of that research linked HERE.
Early college acceptances this year have exceeded in number and reputation even the tremendous standing our school has enjoyed in the recent past. Among this year’s acceptances so far are University of Pennsylvania, Duke University, Cornell University, Harvard University, Georgetown University, Yale University, University of Richmond, University of Michigan, Vanderbilt University, New York University, Amherst College, Wake Forest University and Tulane University. Many of these institutions have already accepted more than one member of our Senior Class. Colleges with rolling admission policies have also been treating TBS extremely favorably, with many excellent schools already on our rapidly growing list of senior admits. Of special note is the overwhelming number of students in the Class of 2013 and 2014 who have been invited to commit athletically to the college of their choice. This number exceeds many times over that of any previous time in the history of our school. The link provided HERE will further invite you to explore the vast and exceptional opportunities afforded last year’s graduating class.
For the first time in the history of The Benjamin School, the Upper School student newspaper, The Pharcyde, has won top awards from the three national press associations. Mr. Ken Didsbury, long-standing faculty sponsor of the paper and Assistant Head for Academics, has dubbed this moment in the school’s legacy “The Triple Crown” of student journalism. Among the many specific awards conferred upon The Pharcyde by these associations are the following.
The National Scholastic Press Association—Gold Medal
The Columbia Scholastic Press Association—Gold Medal
American Scholastic Press Association—Best Private School Newspaper
Perhaps the beacon of accomplishment that captures all that The Benjamin School has become over its past 52 years of excellence in northern Palm Beach County is the inimitable honor of being selected by the Cum Laude Society as a chapter school. Several weeks ago we received the news that TBS has been identified after an assiduous review of programs and student achievements as one of the most exceptional independent schools in the nation. School leaders across the United States are well aware of the prestige this honor carries. As a result of this new status, the top tier of our students in their Junior or Senior Year will be admitted into the Cum Laude Society, the most honored academic award bestowed upon independent school students across the country. Please click HERE for the history, mission and affiliate schools of the Cum Laude Society. You will be very proud to recognize the caliber of schools with which we are now officially in partnership.
What a banner year for The Benjamin School…and we are only at the end of the first semester! It is our 15-year program, from 3-year-olds in WOW, through the singular Lower School academic engagement, the stellar Middle School preparation, and the outstanding Upper School experience that brings our students into their fullest potential. I boast with pride to deliver to your doorstep the tangible results of the fruits of our labor. With your committed partnership at home, our faculty succeed in creating a preparation for life that is without a doubt “Second to None.” Thank you for your trust in us to do the very best possible for your children.
A Happy and Healthy New Year to all of our families!
Robert S. Goldberg
Head of School