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?
- Considerations for math placement for freshman students.
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.
St. Benedict’s has been incorporating technology in the classroom to prepare our students for their next level of education. The ownership of a Chromebook or laptop with a camera and microphone will be mandatory for the 2023-2024 academic year for grades 2-12 and postgraduates. Cell phones do not count as acceptable devices for class in all grades. Tablets are not permitted in the Elementary Division, grades K-6.
Students in grades K and 1 will not be required to bring in a device from home.
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.
Students in Grades 2 - 6 will be required to bring in their own Chromebook or laptop on some days, but not every day. While technology will be incorporated throughout the day in every academic subject through use of the classroom Promethean boards, we realize that during the first trimester (and perhaps longer) the Elementary Division students need to learn life skills (social/emotional, conversation, and peer and adult interaction). Some homework assignments may require students to use a device at home. Students and parents will be given advance notice for when Chromebooks/laptops are required to be brought into school for classwork.
Students 7 - 12 and postgraduates should bring their Chromebook or laptop to school daily. The Chromebook or laptop should be brought home to complete digital assignments.
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, are 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, 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. 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.
- Screen 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.13" - 14" has been the preferred screen size for most students.
- 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.
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.
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.
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
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: Susanne Mueller
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 email@example.com or call 973-792-5742.
1. Recommendations from the student's 8th grade math teacher
2. Performance on the SBP placement test, which is aligned to our curriculum
3. Previous math grades in 7th and 8th grade
4. Strengths or areas of need presented during summer phase math classes
Science placement for freshman students takes into account the student's science and math grades in 7th and 8th grade. Students with a record of A's in both math and science in those grades will be considered for placement into biology instead of earth science.
Middle school credits for math and science courses are not accepted as substitutes for high school level math and science classes.