The Bears' Den: Back-to-School Issue | 8.25.23 A semi-monthly newsletter designed to keep our Berkshire community connected and engaged.

Back to School

We can't wait to welcome our Bears back to Berkshire! Below you'll find some information to help you with any last-minute details. See you on campus soon!

Our Head of School Mr. Mulder is excited to welcome everyone back under the Mountain.

Arrival Dates to Campus

Thursday, August 31: New International Students, Trailblazers, and Orientation Leaders

10:00 am – 12:00 pm, Geier Library

Saturday, September 2: New Domestic Students, Green & Gray Leaders, Green Key Leaders

9:00 – 11:00 am, Berkshire Hall

Sunday, September 3: Returning Students

12:00 – 2:00 pm, Berkshire Hall

Tuesday, September 5: First Trimester Begins

Note: International students must bring a passport and I-20 to registration. According to immigration law, non-U.S. passport holders are required to present a passport, visa, and I-20 for registration.

Meet the Form Deans

Form deans are in consistent contact with fellow faculty members and are responsible for helping chart students' academic progress through Berkshire.

Academic questions? Connect with the Form Deans:

Mr. Perkins: cperkins@berkshireschool.org

Mr. Speer: jspeer@berkshireschool.org

Ms. Barnhardt: kbarnhardt@berkshireschool.org

Mr. McCabe: mmccabe@berkshireschool.org

A Message from Brooke Depelteau, Dean of Academics

At Berkshire School, our Core Values are central to who we are as an institution and who we are as individuals. The introduction to our Honor Code explains, "Honor and integrity sit at the heart of the Berkshire community and are the basis of student life at Berkshire. Students understand that they are at all times to act honestly in all aspects of life at Berkshire, and the Honor Code places in their hands the responsibility for honorable conduct as a way of life."

Last year saw the Berkshire community re-center itself on the importance of academic integrity, and we leaned into our Core Values and our Honor Code. We embraced this mission, and we worked together, in partnership with our Berkshire families, to highlight and celebrate the importance of integrity. Certainly, the increased ease of access to artificial intelligence (AI) has been a talking point in our community, and we remain grounded in the language of our Honor Code and our belief that each of our Bears is responsible for doing their own work. Using text generated by AI and passing it off as one's own work is a violation of our Honor Code.

At Berkshire we honor and respect original thought and original work. We encourage all students to push through challenges and learn the skills necessary to read analytically and write clearly. To this end, we are committed to honest scholarship, and our Honor Code is a touchstone that supports our students in being their best selves.

Check out the New Bears' Blog, created by our student leaders for new Bears! Click “Summer Updates” in the upper right corner to see posts relating to weekend activities, dorm life, food, and other aspects of life under the Mountain.

Class of 2024 Prefects

The below faculty members serve as house heads. They’ll lead a group of fellow dorm faculty and adjuncts assigned to each dorm.

Day Student Contact

Amber West

Amber West serves as Berkshire’s Day Student Coordinator. She will be in regular touch with communication specific to day student families and will help students navigate life on campus.

Connect with Ms. West: awest@berkshireschool.org

All students were assigned English class-specific titles that were chosen to support the work done within the core curriculum throughout the year. Knowledge of the form-specific reads will be assessed early in the trimester.

Students in AP courses and some advanced sections have supplemental reading assignments as well. See below link for a complete list.

Berkshire's Dress Code

Berkshire School’s guidelines for the dress code are designed to help students present themselves in a way that aligns with the School’s community standards and values while also allowing for individual expression and comfort. Click the button below for the School's dress and appearance expectations.

Back-to-School Shopping

A Retro style Thermo Mug is yours, free, with any purchase over $25!

Looking for back-to-school supplies and Bear wear? Visit the Berkshire School Store! Shop online or in person during registration.

Save shipping fees by picking up your order at the Bookstore during registration weekend.

Use Promo Code: PICKUP

Bookstore Hours During Registration:

August 31st: 9 am – 3 pm

September 1st: 9 am - 3 pm

September 2nd: 8 am – 2 pm

September 3rd: 10 am – 4 pm

Saturday, September 9th

Bears, we are excited to welcome you back and kick off our weekend fun with a Green and Gray–sponsored Neon Dance! Bring those bright colors, glow-in-the-dark flair, and bright energy.

New Pro Vita Director

Patrick Donovan

Patrick Donovan is thrilled to be stepping into the role of Pro Vita Director. Mr. Donovan teaches Environmental Science, serves as head coach of Varsity Alpine Skiing, a dorm parent in de Windt, and an advisor.

Pro Vita Winter Session is built on the foundation of curiosity, creativity, collaboration, and authentic learning, to give students the opportunity to explore the larger world around them and to embrace the School motto: Pro Vita Non Pro Schola Discimus, "Learning—not just for school but for life.” Pro Vita offers more than 50 courses, local and regional trips, several site-based excursions, and various guest speakers, encouraging students to uncover new talents and discover lifelong pursuits.

Mr. Donovan welcomes students, alumni, parents, and friends of Berkshire School to reach out if they are interested in teaching a class or sharing a passion, expertise, or talent during the Pro Vita Winter Session.

2024 Pro Vita Trips

The Island School, The Bahamas

New York, New York

Dog Sledding, Minnesota

Adirondack Rock and River, New York

Learning Beyond Berkshire: Summer Trips

Coming Next Summer!

Berkshire is excited to offer two trips following the close of the 2023–24 school year, providing students the opportunity to explore the larger world around them and to embrace the School motto: Pro Vita Non Pro Schola Discimus, "Learning—not just for school but for life." These trips are led by faculty and designed to enrich the student experience by preparing them to be global citizens.

Reconciliation and Sustainability in Ireland and Northern Ireland

June 6-12, 2024

Ghana & the Making of the Modern World

June 15-25, 2024

Stay Connected!

Berkshire has launched a new Athletics Instagram and Threads account! Follow us for athletic photos, videos, scores, and highlights today!

Save the Date!

FALL PHOTO DAY is scheduled for OCTOBER 10. Photographers from Highpoint Pictures will join us on campus to capture photos of ALL students! No pre-ordering is required! Parents or guardians will receive email proofs prior to purchasing.

Introducing our New Director of Parent Engagement

Shannon Tyree Brown

Shannon Tyree Brown joined us this summer as Berkshire’s new Director of Parent Engagement.

After a successful business career, Shannon is excited to shift gears professionally and transition to the independent school world. The parent of two girls (Addie and Cassidy), Shannon served as the Parents Association President at Indian Mountain School in Lakeville, CT, for the past three years. During her tenure, Shannon created connections between families, students, and the school during the complicated pandemic years and was known by all as a creative and effective community builder and partner. She cares deeply about schools, children, and education and is often described by colleagues and fellow parents as a “born connecter.”

She looks forward to meeting you and your child(ren) on campus this fall. Please feel free to reach out to her at styreebrown@berkshireschool.org.

Fall Family Weekend

October 13–14, 2023

Berkshire looks forward to having families join us for Fall Family Weekend, a time filled with opportunities to experience life under the Mountain!

More information and registration to follow soon.

Coming Soon: The Campus Loop with Jeff Depelteau

We’re excited to launch our new video series to showcase the people, places, and programs at Berkshire. Join host Jeff Depelteau as he interviews faculty, staff, and students while taking a stroll on our campus loop!