Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the policies and resources directly related to teaching and learning at The Hive.
- What is the Four-by-Four Block schedule?
- How does the ‘Bring Your Own Device’ policy work?
- How is technology incorporated into the classroom?
- What Advanced Placement courses are offered?
- What are the graduation requirements?
- How are academic questions or concerns handled?
What is the Four-by-Four Block schedule?
In the Four-by-Four Block schedule, all Prep Division students take four, 75-minute classes in the Fall Term, and then four different 75-minute classes in the Winter Term. The block schedule allows for deeper study within most, if not all disciplines. The block schedule also allows faculty to increase the range and scope of courses offered.
How does the ‘Bring Your Own Device’ policy work?
St. Benedict’s has been incorporating technology in the classroom to prepare our students for their next level of education. All assignments will be digitally based while we shift between remote and onsite classes. The ownership of a portable device with a camera and microphone will be mandatory for the 2022-2023 academic year for grades 3-12 and postgraduates. Students will be required to have their own personally owned device with a camera and microphone to attend class and complete assignments. Students K-2 should have a device at home that is able to connect to periodic online classes, but it does not need to be a device dedicated to that student. K-2 students will not be required to bring the devices to school. Cell phones with a camera and microphone can fill a gap temporarily if a student's device breaks and is in the process of being replaced but are not long-term solutions for attending class.
We discourage parents from going out and purchasing the newest, top of the line model laptop, device, or gadget for their sons and daughters, especially if this will be their first time being responsible for the daily care of a device. Google Chromebooks have met the needs and surpassed many expectations of our users. They are reasonably priced, have great battery life, portable, and perform well.
If you will be purchasing a new Chromebook, we recommend the models in the $275 - $400 price range. Models far above that price point have been overpowered. Devices under that price point have not performed well. When choosing a model to purchase, pay close attention to screen size and touch capability to make sure you are getting a device that meets your expectations.
If you already have a portable device at home, students can use them for SBP assignments. Current students access assignments on Chromebooks, iPads, Droid tablets, and Windows and Mac laptops. The device needs a camera, microphone, and Internet access through Wi-Fi. Google documents are a backbone of many assignments. Please verify your current device can view and edit Google documents. For example, Amazon Fire devices do not easily edit Google documents. This particular device would not be recommended for our assignments.
Things to keep in mind:
- Devices older than 5 years or newer devices with base model hardware may not perform well in the classroom video conferences. This will affect the student's ability to participate in class.
- If you will be purchasing a Windows based laptop, we recommend a Core i5 CPU or better and 8 GB of RAM or more.
- Battery life of the device: Students should be able to get through all of the day on a single full charge.
- Size: If the device is too big, it is less portable. If the device is too small, it is less efficient for the student to work on.
- Keyboard: Physical keyboards help many type more efficiently. There are wireless keyboards that can connect to tablets.
- Protection: A solid case can protect a device from bumps while in transit and from daily use.
- Start slow: Do not purchase every accessory and peripheral available for a device. Get only what is needed and expand as necessary.
- SBP will not maintain or fix issues on personal devices. SBP has secured a group rate for insurance for personally owned Chromebooks. This is optional. Claims will be handled by the parent and the insurance company. Click here for the application.
How is technology incorporated into the classroom?
St. Benedict’s students interact with technology on a daily basis, whether a class is being presented with a Promethean Board, assignments are digital in nature or just checking email for announcements. All classrooms have Internet access and all academic areas are wireless accessible. St. Benedict’s has an Academic Computing Center where classes can meet or students can complete assignments that require a computer.
St. Benedict’s email and documents are hosted by Google. This gives us access to Google's whole suite of products including Gmail, Google Drive, Blogger, Sites, Classroom, and Cloud Print. Current students have access to their files and email in school, at home, and on the road. This allows for education to continue anywhere on and off the property.
Students can also learn about technology outside of the traditional classroom. Students can learn how to digitally produce a yearbook and newspaper in school activities. We have had several intense courses during our Spring Phase where students can learn how to edit photos and videos. Students of various grade levels help shape technology policies from year to year as technology access, needs, and issues change.
Further details on accessing and using technology, can be found in the Students & Parents page.
What Advanced Placement courses are offered?
St. Benedict’s offers a program that’s better than Advanced Placement (AP) courses, the Early College Program. The structure of our academic year (final exams in April and the month of May devoted to Spring Phase) is not compatible with the AP program. Therefore, we established three partnerships with Seton Hall University, Rutgers-Newark and NJIT that provide a range of college level courses that students can take as early as sophomore (UDI) year. Colleges and universities have varying policies on accepting AP courses for college credit. When St. Benedict’s students successfully complete a course in the Early College Program, they receive a transcript with the college credit, that may be applied to the college or university they attend after St. Benedict’s.
What are the graduation requirements?
The following courses must be completed by a student at St. Benedict's Preparatory School in order to meet the requirements for graduation.
- Religion: Religion I through IV
- Social Studies: World History I & II, US History I & II
- Science: four courses, which must include Biology, Chemistry, and Physics
- English: English I through IV
- Mathematics: four courses, through a minimum of Algebra II
- World Languages: minimum two consecutive courses in the same language
- Physical Education: one course
- Fine Arts/Music: one course
- Spring Projects: one for each spring spent in school, including at least one year of a community service project
- First Term: one for each summer spent in school
How are academic questions or concerns handled?
Academic questions & concerns should go to the attention of individual teachers first, then Level Coordinators.
Elementary Division: Sr. Ann Marie Gass, O.S.B.
Middle Division: James Duffy
Boys Freshman Level: Jared Boone and Jon Marlow
Boys UD1 Level: David Rodriguez
Boys UD2 Level: Cavill Henrigues
Boys Senior Level: Didier Jean-Baptiste
Girls Division: Glenn Cassidy and Analisa Branco
Scheduling A Parent-Teacher Conference
Parents wishing to arrange a conference with one or more of your son or daughter’s teachers, please contact those teachers directly, via e-mail or voice mail, with your request. The faculty contact list can be used for this. If you would like to meet with several teachers at once, please e-mail them together; it is very helpful for an entire student’s academic support team to meet together with parents whenever possible. If you have any difficulty in contacting a teacher, please email Michelle Tuorto, Dean of Faculty, at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 973-792-5742.