Lock Up the Phones!


This morning we published a post about smartphones in school.

Over at Newsday, education reporter John Hildebrand writes about the evening smart phone policy at The Stony Brook School on Long Island.  (Full disclosure, we lived in a dorm at The Stony Brook School from 1995-2000 where Joy was Assistant Dean of Students and Director of Residential Life.  I taught AP US History there during the 1999-2000 school year).

Here is a taste:

Separating teenagers from their cellphones — a difficult thing, as many parents can attest — is a weeknight reality at a prep-school campus on Long Island’s North Shore.  

On Monday through Thursday nights, student boarders at The Stony Brook School lock up their cellphones in special neoprene pouches during study hours from 7:45 to 9:45 p.m. The 96-year-old private academy also prohibits use of the phones during lunches, dinners and twice-a-week chapel services. 

The partial phone ban, which started with the opening of classes in late August, is designed to help students concentrate on work that includes rigorous college-level courses such as Advanced Placement Latin. 

Read the rest here.

Skyping With Tim Beirne’s AP US History Class at The Stony Brook School

The Stony Brook School

Earlier this week I spent about forty-five minutes with The Stony Brook School seniors enrolled in Tim Bierne’s Advanced Placement United States History class.  Tim assigned my Was America Founded as a Christian Nation? to the students for their summer reading this year and he thus thought it would be fun for me to get together with the students via Skype. The students had just completed writing a formal review essay of the book.

As some of you know, I taught this very class at The Stony Brook School back in 2002 when Joy was working as the school’s Dean of Students and I was writing my dissertation across the tracks at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. The Stony Brook School is an outstanding college preparatory academy.  When I describe it to folks unfamiliar with the world of boarding schools I often tell them that it is like a Christian version of the school in Robin Williams movie Dead Poet Society.

The students at The Stony Brook School have always been sharp and Tim’s AP students did not disappoint.  They peppered me with questions, both about the book’s content and the process of writing it.  Tim had them well-prepared.  When I asked him to give me a sense of what they had been studying, he told me that they had just finished reading and discussing Charles Beard’s famous economic interpretation of the Constitution.  Wow!  I didn’t learn about Beard until I graduate school.  How do I sign up for this class?

Tim is a former student of mine–a 2009 graduate of Messiah College.  I am very proud of the good work he is doing at The Stony Brook School. These kind of experiences are always very rewarding for me.

Thanks for the invitation Tim!

Stony Brook School Appoints New Headmaster

The Stony Brook School, a place where Joy and I lived and worked for six years in the 1990s, seems to be opening a new chapter in its storied history by appointing Joshua Crane as its next headmaster.  Congratulations to Mr. Crane and the Stony Brook School community.  Here is a taste of the formal announcement:

The Board of Trustees of The Stony Brook School is pleased to announce that Mr. Joshua Crane has been appointed as the next head of The Stony Brook School, effective July 1, 2013. In assuming the School’s leadership post, Mr. Crane will be the sixth head of school in the 91-year history of The Stony Brook School. 

The Stony Brook School Board of Trustees Chairman Sierd Tilma said, “The Board of Trustees was unanimous in accepting the recommendation of Mr. Crane by the Search Committee. I am delighted that he has accepted our offer to become the next head of school at Stony Brook. He has outstanding giftedness that will enable him to steward the twin pillars of our school: excellence in academics and faithfulness to the School’s historic mission.” 

Mr. Crane received his bachelor’s degree from Vanderbilt University in 1995 and a Master of Philosophy in European Romanticism from the University of Glasgow in 1996. More recently he earned his master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Covenant College in 2011. Since 2005 he has served as head of school at Central Christian School in St. Louis, Missouri, a Christian school founded in 1957 by Central Presbyterian Church. Joshua met his wife, Jennifer, after graduating from Vanderbilt University, and the two were married in 1998. Jennifer earned a degree in architecture from Princeton and owns and runs a commercial and residential interior design company. Jennifer and Joshua have four daughters. 

In accepting the position, Mr. Crane said, “It is with deep respect for its storied past and unbridled optimism about its exciting future that I accept Stony Brook’s offer to become its next head of school. It will be my great privilege to serve its students, faculty, staff, and alumni as we move together to new heights of mission effectiveness. Stony Brook is a school of world consequence, and the world needs a strong Stony Brook to demonstrate that the integration of faith and learning is just as relevant today as it was when Dr. Frank E. Gaebelein pioneered the School over 90 years ago. My family and I greatly look forward to joining the SBS community.”