Frequently Asked Questions
No deadlines have been changed for the current school year.
We understand that for many, these are hard times. We are happy to work with any family who is facing hardship. We simply ask that you communicate with us so that we can put a plan into place. Please, if necessary, communicate with Susan Carpenter in the business office if you have issues or questions about your payments. E-mail Susan.Carpenter@BenLippen.com. Thank you!
- What we are absolutely committed to is ensuring families are treated fairly and equitably and that we provide a fair policy that prorates for services outside of tuition such as athletic player packs, after-school care, transportation, trips, and other similar expenses.
- If we are required to close campus and transition to virtual learning for long-term quarantine, BLS is prepared to evaluate all situations individually. Unfortunately, we will not be making refunds for any items included in tuition. The business office will evaluate individually all items outside of tuition such as athletic player packs, after-school care, transportation, trips, and other similar expenses.
On-Campus and Virtual Options
- We are not bound by what other schools are doing. As an independent school, we are responsible to our Board of Trustees and seek to make our decisions based upon what is best for our particular community.
- We are far more flexible and able to pivot much more quickly than the school systems around us. As such, our decisions are and will continue to be made based upon what is best for the Ben Lippen community as a whole.
- With that said, we do maintain regular contact with the local county school systems and other independent schools in our area and share information and resources. Likewise, Mr. Fajardo is in weekly contact with a group of independent school heads across the country to discuss and learn from what their schools are doing to serve families.
We have constructed plans for physical distancing in multiple different scenarios. We have plans in place for chapel, transitions, the dining hall/lunchtime, and classroom scenarios for all classes and activities. This is a time-consuming and difficult task. As a team, we began the scenario planning process in April and have fully-developed plans for the following scenarios:
- Normal/back to school education
- Intermittent education (live/virtual/live/virtual)
- Fractional (percentage of the students on campus at a time, if required by authorities)
- Fully virtual all year, similar to spring
If we are required to return to at-home learning at some point during the 2021-22 school year, it is our hope that we will be able to work with local and state officials to keep our preschool open so that parents can continue to work.
Yes. We recognize that online instruction is not the best learning platform for preschool students who need hands-on skills development. Tuition will be evaluated at the point of withdrawal once all paperwork is completed. We also know that many working parents rely on our preschool for a top-tier education for their young children while at work.
Although our teachers did an excellent job providing engaging lessons and fun touchpoints for students, we understand that this only worked for some children due to the stay-at-home order. For some families, this was still not a feasible option. We will honor the choices our preschool families must make if school cannot be on campus.
These DHEC and CDC safety recommendations have been or will be implemented:
- Daily use of safe, electrostatic handheld sprayers on prepped surfaces which can be used to clean all public spaces
- HVAC/AC system cleaning and maintenance of filters in all facilities completed
- Use of EPA-approved, safe disinfectants only
- More hand sanitization stations purchased to double sanitization locations on campus
- Masks and gloves to be provided for use by all staff members, where and when appropriate if required
- Students may wear masks and some are available for purchase in the school online store
- Follow all CDC hygiene protocols and have them posted throughout campus
- Utilize multiple new computer equipment cleaning units
- Continue to comply with all OSHA regulations
- Review dining hall protocols and make any necessary safety adjustments
- Operations staff will continually clean the facilities, equipment, etc. throughout the day
- We will notify any individuals of whom we are aware who have been in close proximity for more than fifteen minutes and less than six feet apart.
- That student/teacher may not return to campus until he/she tests negative after a minimum 10 days have passed. Students living with that student will have the same requirements. If they are able, they can continue with classes utilizing the virtual option.
- If necessary, the space where the student spent extended periods of time (e.g., in his or her classroom) will be left vacant for 24 hours and then disinfected, following CDC guidelines for re-entry.
Protocols will be adapted or added as needed throughout the school year to provide safety to our community.
We ensure by attendance records that students meet the required seat hours, and our virtual instruction meets requirements for graduation. If we must return to a virtual situation, your child will earn the proper credits, provided you ensure his or her daily virtual class attendance.
If you have additional questions not answered here, please reach out to the administrative assistant for your child’s division:
- Lower School: MR Campus – Donna Branney, Donna.Branney@BenLippen.com
- Lower School: NE Campus – Bekah Wenning, Bekah.Wenning@BenLippen.com
- Lower School: SAR Campus – Gwen Cornwell, Gwen.Cornwell@BenLippen.com
- Middle School – Sara Bonner, Sara.Bonner@BenLippen.com
- High School – Gina Dickinson, Gina.Dickinson@BenLippen.com