STOCKBRIDGE/LENOX, MA (10/08/2020) (readMedia)-- Berkshire Country Day School (BCD) reports a successful in-person first quarter for the 2020-2021 school year. Head of School Jenifer Fox says, "It's a daily effort keeping track of the data and performing all the protocols associated with being fulltime in-person during this pandemic. It's great that we are in person, because our campus is more alive than ever with students learning outdoors, on our trails, at the pond, and using nature as a classroom. This is how we are keeping kids both active and engaged during the pandemic."

BCD's wooded campus and large, modern classrooms provide safe environments for students and faculty. Dean of Academics Kate Skivington says "The BCD faculty and staff have successfully created outdoor learning spaces for every age level. With the use of tents, chairs, rolling whiteboards, and a variety of learning tools, our students are dressing for the weather and ready to learn in their non-traditional classroom setting." Additionally, many of BCD's faculty participated in a summer workshop with Flying Deer Nature Center. Skivington said the workshop "enhanced the faculty's approach to teaching in an outdoor setting," and directly supports the school as it continues to instill its students with a respect and awareness of sustainability.

Over the summer BCD took into consideration the need to provide their faculty with enhanced digital resources and training to teach from a distance if needed. Director of Middle School Programming Susan Benner said the training "increased our teacher's comfort level with remote learning. They learned some new skills and reviewed skills they already had used." The new tools and training are part of the recently created "Distance Learning Program" hybrid plan that could be activated should the county experience a spike in cases. "Older students can be taught through the Google Education Suite, allowing teachers to video conference with their students and younger students are brought to campus, but spread farther apart across the campus" said Benner.

The foresight to create this program has already proven to be an essential tool. The last week of September, when Great Barrington reported yellow on the color coded system issued by the state, "We took the opportunity to practice our Distance Learning Program and recalibrate around how seriously we are taking people's health," said Fox. The measures and training put in place supported what Fox called a "smooth transition" when the older students were welcomed back for in-person learning on Thursday, October 1.

Berkshire Country Day School is an independent school for preschool through eighth grade that exists to inspire the individual promise of every student, that each may become an exemplary citizen of the world. BCD opened new facilities in 2017 including the Kevin Hirt Library and Learning Commons, and the Kim and James Taylor Music / Performance Room, dramatically impacting the historic Stockbridge campus. The natural 27-acre campus also includes art studios, science building, full-sized gym, and learning commons. BCD's pedagogical program blends proven methods, emerging best practices and follows the Reggio Emilio approach for it's preschool program launched in 2017. Established in 1946, the school serves families in Berkshire and Columbia Counties and is located at 55 Interlaken Road, Stockbridge, MA. In 2019 it was voted the "Best Private School in the Berkshires'' by readers of The Berkshire Eagle for the third year in a row.