Following the July 17 announcement by California Governor Gavin Newsom, Berkeley Hall is planning on Remote Learning to start the school year. Once LA County is removed from the California COVID-19 Monitoring List, we will have in-person, on campus learning for the remainder of the 2020-21 school year with all students on campus and a regular daily schedule barring any subsequent Stay at Home mandate.
This past spring as Berkeley Hall leapt into Remote Learning, it gave our community a chance to reflect on what makes a Berkeley Hall education so unique. Some people might point to our diverse, tightly-knit community of children, parents, and educators. Others, the high rate at which our 8th graders are accepted into their first choice high school (90%). Still others might cite the small class sizes and the fearless scholars and conscientious citizens who emerge as our graduates. All, however, absolutely fall in love with our 66-acre mountaintop campus.
Due to our large campus size combined with our small class size, we are in a unique situation in the greater Los Angeles area. Barring any new Safer At Home mandate, we can open our doors fully and safely for every child to be on campus for full-time instruction with no hybrid, week-on/week-off schedules and no compromise when it comes to choosing a day of the week or time of day for your child to be in school.
As you are well aware, the mandates change almost daily as health officials discover new information about the spread of the virus and the effectiveness of cleaning and other preventative measures.
Two points have consistently stood out in the data:
- Fresh-air circulation and spending time outside greatly reduce the probability of contracting the virus.
- The smaller the number of people in a single gathering, the better.
An anomaly in Los Angeles, Berkeley Hall sits on 66 mountain-top acres in the middle of the Santa Monica Mountains. Our outdoor spaces, including several playgrounds, amphitheater, large football and baseball fields, an outdoor pool, and tennis courts, along with small class sizes with a low student to teacher ratio, allow us all to be on campus and at the same time physically distanced, spread out in our oversized classrooms (many with loft space) on our expansive campus.
We've updated the classrooms with flexible, remote teaching capabilities which means that should we be required to close the campus again, we could switch to Remote Learning instantly. As a result, we can also offer our Berkeley Hall Virtual Schoolhouse, a robust, online-only program, for those families who may not feel comfortable sending their children back to school just yet.
I look forward to getting to know you, and to helping you find the right match for you and your family.
Dr. Lisle Staley
Head of School