Important COVID-19 Updates

In response to the outbreak of COVID-19 in our world we have moved to online learning for the month of April. It is an anxious time for our world, but we are guided by the One who tells us not to be anxious for anything and so we press on.

You can find all relevant updates on the situation below.

List of 6 items.

  • 3/30 - Updated FAQs

    How will classes meet for the month of April?
    Classes will continue to meet virtually. Course times will continue between 8:00 am - 11:55 am EDT on Monday - Friday. Teachers will continue to assign normal homework amounts plus additional classwork as needed to prepare students for their final assessments and for their coursework next year. A small number of predominantly hands-on classes may be modified or canceled.
     
    Please note that holidays for Good Friday (April 10) and the Monday after Easter (April 13) will continue as planned.

    Will classes have the same grading system?
    At this time, we are committed to continuing with our normal grading scale for the rest of the year. Teachers have been instructed to be gracious and understanding of the various situations in which our students find themselves. Students experiencing hardships due to their location, health, or family circumstances are encouraged to reach out to their Division Heads, Mr. Kris Ryan or Mrs. Tonja Detwiler, for assistance and, where appropriate, accommodations. 

    Will graduation requirements be adjusted at all?
    Graduation requirements will remain the same with the exception of students who needed a canceled hands-on class to meet a graduation requirement. Those students should appeal to the Academic Dean, Dr. Sean Riley, for a graduation requirement waiver.

    Can I come to the dorm to pick up any belongings?
    New York state has mandated school closures through Wednesday, April 15 and the US Government has extended guidelines for social distancing until April 30. Due to these mandates, we will not be allowing students to return back to campus to retrieve belongings before April 30. If you have any pressing needs, please reach out to your dorm parents so that they can work with you on any potential solutions.

    What will we do for Commencement?
    The Stony Brook School is committed to arranging an in-person celebration for the Class of 2020. While it is our hope that the circumstances will allow our Saturday, May 23 plans to continue, we are also exploring potential options in case they are needed. We will keep the community informed as decisions are finalized. Regardless of when we hold commencement, a graduation date of May 23 will be issued for all diplomas and transcripts.

    Is a refund available for housing and food expenses for Boarders?
    The school’s leadership team continues to carefully assess the options to offer a partial refund for food and possibly housing. This is not a “one size fits all” process and so we are evaluating multiple options while also considering how to be fiscally responsible to the needs of the school in what is an extraordinary time for all schools around the world. We will share next steps on this process by the end of April. We appreciate your patience.

    How will this impact athletic requirements?
    Students that were on a Stony Brook team roster or who were given approval for an alternate sport as of Friday, March 13 will receive a PE credit for the spring season.
     
  • 3/30 - Update: Remainder of 19-20 School Year

    Dear Parents and Students,
     
    Last week was quite a week – as Charles Dickens once said, "It was the best of times and the worst of times". First the best. The Stony Brook School shows up in Newsday with a write up about its outstanding Ethics Bowl team’s championship victory. That was followed by Stony Brook teachers and students (via Zoom no less) collaborating and developing the technology necessary to build face shields faster and better for doctors and nurses in our region fighting the disease. And to top it all off, our Seniors had a record-breaking year in college acceptances. First choices and early decisions abounded and 24% of our Seniors gained admittance to Ivy Plus Schools. Folks, that puts us in the top 5% of high schools across the country- truly remarkable accomplishments by an extraordinary School and an extraordinary class- perhaps our best of all time. Indeed, it was the best of times last week.
     
    But it has also been the worst of times, as we have seen COVID-19 continue to spread in our region and the Governor of New York extend New York State school closures past our anticipated re-opening date. With human eyes, it appears that the prospect of our ability to reconvene this year in person is dim. However, at The Stony Brook School we walk by faith and not by sight and therefore we hold out hope for a chance to be meaningfully reunited on this campus this School year. Our faith is full of stories of the impossible becoming possible. While we do not know His mind on this particular situation, we leave room for Him to work. I believe the next two weeks will tell us a great deal about our future and so I ask that we continue our best efforts towards making our online learning together as meaningful as possible for the time being. This means Students, showing up and doing your very best, honoring your teachers and following through with your work. 

    Our President has extended social distancing requirements in the United States until April 30th; therefore, it seems imprudent to commit to re-opening on any date before that time.  We will reevaluate our status in mid-April with the understanding that we will be responsive to any further government mandates or aforementioned miracles. We will post definitive guidance about the remainder of our year as soon as it becomes clear to us.   
     
    Seniors, as I mentioned in a previous communication, planning the events that celebrate your career and accomplishments at The Stony Brook School is our utmost priority. We will be inviting those seniors (and their parents) who want to participate in scenario planning for the shape and timing of our end of the year events to connect with the faculty and staff committee currently assigned to this work. Seniors please look for this communication from us.   
     
    Finally, I know that many questions remain. We have posted a FAQ section on this webpage that will attempt to answer questions to the best of our ability with the understanding that every day brings new information. Please stay in close contact as we continue to walk this journey together.  We have the gift of our community which I have come to realize more and more in the past few weeks, is no small gift. As you process the news of a further delay, please remember that suffering produces perseverance and perseverance develops character and character brings hope and hope does not disappoint (Romans 5:3-5).
     
     
    Best regards,

    Joshua Crane
    Head of School
  • 3/27 - SBS Designs Face Shields for SBU

    In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and shortage of materials hospitals are facing, a group of high school students and faculty at SBS have come up with a solution that can be produced in the STEM Lab and, soon, across the country—protective face shields at a fraction of the originally expected time and cost.

    Stony Brook University Hospital recently reached out to the surrounding community to secure usage of 3D printers to produce face shields. The hospital, whose design would take approximately three and a half hours per shield, sought to commision 5,000 shields per usable printer. When SBS was alerted of this, STEM faculty Stan Winston and Jeremy Donovan thought they could come up with a much more efficient solution with the help of their highly-skilled students.

    In a little over 24 hours, Mr. Winston had presented the idea to his classes—in virtual classrooms since the outbreak of the pandemic—and a prototype was made. After three major roadblocks were overcome by the students,  a final solution was found. In lieu of a time-intensive 3D print, a face shield constructed with the STEM Lab’s laser cutter could be made in just 35 seconds. With the new design and process, about 100 can be made each hour at a cost of under 50 cents each, and the school will be producing at least 5,000 of them for SBU Hospital.

    Students instrumental in coming up with this solution were Stony Brook School sophomores Cole Spier and Tiger Winston, and junior Ethan Magnuson.

    “Our students are committed to serving the world with their character and leadership,”  said Stan Winston, Director of STEM Education at SBS. “With their years of problem-solving experience in our STEM courses, along with a huge community effort, we have reached a great solution to a pressing issue facing our country today.”

    Stony Brook University Hospital has accepted the school’s design and proposal with gratitude. Stony Brook University will be releasing the design for widespread usage to help stop the spread of this global pandemic.
     
    We are so proud of our community's outstanding work and their dedication to truly being the hands and feet of Jesus.

    Watch the design process here
     
    Read More
  • 3/19 - Update for Alumni & Friends of SBS

    Dear Friends of The Stony Brook School,
     
    I have received many encouraging emails of well-wishes and inquiries regarding The Stony Brook School during the COVID-19 pandemic that has gripped our world. With a global population at our School, we have been dealing with issues of COVID-19 since late January.  I am happy to report that our campus is currently virus free and we have taken the step to close campus until April 14th.  Students who are unable to get home are remaining under our care on campus. It is an anxious time for our world, but we are guided by the One who tells us not to be anxious for anything (Philippians 4:5-7) and so we press on.

    We have moved our classes online as a way to continue The Stony Brook School experience, even as we are away from each other.  You would be very proud of the way our teachers have responded to this challenge. They are using a video conferencing technology called Zoom which enables students from across the world to connect in and continue their classes.  We are grateful for the technology that allows us to continue in this way and for the dedication of our teachers to embrace this challenge. The good news is that we had already prioritized online learning this year and, while these aren’t the circumstances we planned to use it in, we are grateful for our readiness and trust that our immersive experience will now pay dividends well into the future.

    In addition, this is a moment for The Stony Brook School’s mission to shine.  From what we know so far about the virus, the risk of physical danger to teenagers is low and for that we are very grateful. The virus presents a remarkable opportunity for our students to love their neighbors (particularly the vulnerable in their midst) as themselves and to put others’ needs above their own as they learn to take precautions that will ensure others’ safety. The Brooker ethics of self-sacrifice, love, and care are exactly what the world needs to face this challenge and our students are being taught to rise to the occasion.

    Lastly, I want to invite you to face this challenge fearlessly with us. Your School is standing strong in the midst of a great trial, guided by our faith and trust in the Rock upon whom this School was built.  You can really help us. In Acts 11:27-30 a prophet accurately predicts a great famine to come to the land. What do the disciples do in the face of that challenge? “The disciples, each according to his ability, decided to provide help…This they did, sending their gift to the elders.”  While we don’t yet know what the scope of the financial impact will be to The Stony Brook School, we know it will be significant if we aren’t able to meet our goals this year. Please allow Stony Brook to continue its work this year and in so doing, provide stability and order to many students and their families during this turbulent time.  We will write this chapter in The Stony Brook School’s history together and it will end well. Beauty will come from ashes and Easter Sunday will eclipse Good Friday. Our faith tells us so.
    Best regards,

    Joshua Crane
    Head of School
  • 3/18 - Message to Students

    Dear Students,

    By now you have heard and digested the news that we are going to be moving to online learning for the next two weeks.  Stony Brook is a special community that is built on faith, good relationships, hard work and perseverance. We are going to need all four to get through the next two weeks and beyond.  

    I am going to ask you to do a couple of things that I think are really important to give ourselves the best chance to come back together in person as a whole community.  The first is, if you are a day student or a boarder leaving campus, please take really good care of yourself. By this I mean, get the sleep you need, eat healthy food, wash your hands and be wise about where you go.  While studies seem to show that the Coronavirus does not have a dangerous impact on young people, you don’t want this virus—not for yourself, not for your friends and not for your family. Do everything you can to protect your health which is a gift.  And by protecting your own, you will protect others.  

    For those remaining on this campus.  We want to do everything we can to keep this campus virus free for as long as we can.  Those of you staying on campus will face restrictions regarding day leaves and other outside of campus travel for this season.  We will all have a responsibility to keep our home safe and you will need to do your part and take it seriously. 

    The second thing I would say is work hard to stay in touch with each other – care for each other even at a distance. Check in with each other, encourage one another, you have the tools to do so. I know that you hear adults all the time tell you to get off social media—here is me telling you to stay on it in order to keep up with each other and care for each other.

    The last thing I would say to you is this isn’t Spring Break. You have already had that, so please don’t treat this time like it is.  We are going to work hard to create the best online format possible for the time that you are away to continue your learning. Work hard just as you do here.  The internet is a great tool and the fact that we can continue class while not physically present with each other is a modern miracle that I would never have dreamed of at your age.  However, you can also waste your life on it. If you are jazzed about these two weeks because you think this is a chance to play more League of Legends, please rethink your definition of the good life.  Use the time to focus on a subject you really like: go deep in it, read; if you are an athlete maintain your skills, if you are a musician keep practicing. While a lot of the world is on pause right now Brookers advance. Stay sharp and be ready to get back in the game.

    As I have heard students in the hall today, I have heard them say things like, the School will be closed for the rest of the year.  You haven’t heard that from me. Nothing is inevitable here. At the heart of our faith are two events which we will celebrate in a month’s time.  On Good Friday Jesus Christ was crucified on a cross. For his followers it was the worst day imaginable – everything they hoped for was lost but then on the third day by God’s mighty power, He rose again restoring their hope and then some.   While we are currently experiencing disappointments and loss and there may be more to come, we are not giving up hope. We don’t know what the rest of the year holds and I know that is a lot for you to bear right now but don’t give up hope. I am not – we will do everything we can to see to it that we will be restored here together as soon as possible.  Each one of you is dear to us. We love you and whether you are on campus or away from campus we pray for you and long to be reunited altogether. You are not alone even if it will feel that way sometimes in the coming weeks.

    Best Regards,
    Joshua Crane 
  • 3/11 - COVID-19 Update for Families

    Dear Stony Brook Families,

    We have been evaluating the situation as it relates to COVID-19 and our community’s health and I wanted to share with you The Stony Brook School’s plan of action. We have been very fortunate to date not to have had any incidents of CoronaVirus on our campus and that remains so. I attribute this to prayer, the sacrificial actions of our community members and the hygienic practices that we have put into place. However, we also have been fortunate to not have had the Coronavirus here in Suffolk County. That all changed this week when the first case of the virus was reported and Schools and universities have been responding with different measures in order to keep their students as safe as possible. I want to share with you our approach for the next two and half weeks.

    Starting Tuesday March 17 all of our classes will be moving online. Since we remain a healthy campus we will finish the next two days of this week as normal in order to ensure an orderly transition into our new arrangement. Monday March 16th will be a faculty inservice day as our faculty continues their preparations to teach online- it will be a day off from School for students. We will plan to return to operations as normal on Monday March 30th assuming that conditions allow us to do so. During this time all athletic practices and competitions will be postponed.

    We realize that this decision puts undue hardship on many families, particularly our international families. Those international students without family or guardians in the US can request to stay on our campus for these two weeks where we will be fully staffed and will maintain the quality of care you have come to expect from The Stony Brook School. Those who leave campus and travel to a CDC designated level 1,2 or 3 country or come into direct contact with a confirmed Coronavirus case should be prepared to spend 14 days outside of their designated areas of risk or exposure before returning to campus.

    We are not prepared to close our campus for the remainder of the semester as some other institutions are doing. We believe the vital relationships between students and faculty that are at the heart of a Stony Brook education are worth persevering through this time of trial. I believe that we will realize even more just how special our community is now that we are forced to be away from it. However, we trust that our teachers’ expertise, skill and the relationships they hold with your children will come through in the online format. The good news is we have made online learning a priority this year and have been undergoing training in order to be as effective as possible. We look forward to putting into use what we have been practicing and will be sharing our approach in the next few days.

    Lastly, I invite you to join me in prayer as I pray for all medical personnel treating the virus, for wise policies from our government and for continued good hygienic decisions to be made by our community so that we might all resume our normal operations on March 30th. We will be establishing a COVID-19 Website where we will be posting all relevant information and invite you to check there for updates. We remain joyful in the hope that we will one day see order restored; we remain patient as we deal with the challenges and we are steadfast in prayer as we look to our God for protection and clarity for the way forward. May God bless your family and may God continue to bless The Stony Brook School.

    Best regards,

    Joshua Crane
    Head of School 
     

Video Updates from Joshua Crane, Head of School

The Stony Brook School

1 Chapman Parkway, Stony Brook, NY 11790 | 631-751-1800
A Christian, co-ed, college preparatory boarding and day school for 7-12th grade students