Archive for November, 2011

Regional Conferences

Written by Lila Jorge. Posted in Administration, Elementary School, ES Principal

Every November the European Council of International Schools (ECIS) and the Mediterranean Association of International Schools (MAIS) host their annual conferences. As a member school of both of these organizations, BFIS always makes it a priority to take full advantage of these professional development opportunities.

In addition to sending members of our faculty to attend workshops related to pedagogy, we also take great pride in having our very own teachers present to colleagues within the region. This year our faculty members shared ideas and insights on topics ranging from professional learning communities, slam poetry and social media within the school context.

Our aim is to continue to be at the forefront of teaching and learning, which requires an openness to new ideas beyond our immediate context alongside the willingness to openly share what our current practices entail. Time and again, I am impressed and inspired by the depth of knowledge and expertise within our faculty and every year our presence within the European community of international schools grows stronger.

The PTA is Giving Thanks!

Written by PTA. Posted in Articles, PTA

Nice Work, BFIS!  You really pulled together to throw an AMAZING Halloween Party!

Sure, the weather was tricky, but working with everyone was a real treat for the PTA.

Thank you to the wonderful volunteers who offered to help decorate–even when their times were changed, rescheduled and canceled.  Thank you to everyone who showed up to decorate–we couldn’t have hung all those cobwebs without you!

Thanks also to the amazing parents who volunteered to work at the event–selling food, selling tickets, running games, managing the bar and grill–we couldn’t have done it without you!

Thank you to the Middle and High School students who gave up an evening to help make this night a success–our elementary kids had a blast playing games and getting scared in the Haunted House.  Even more recognition goes to the members of the High School Student Council–who planned costumes and learned lines weeks ahead of time.

Thank you to the teachers who trustingly gave us access to their classrooms–giving up an afternoon of their prep-time so we could set up for the party.  We hope we successfully removed the skeletons, spiders and candy from your floors!

Thanks especially to the art department–who created dozens of terrifying tombstones and some delightfully spooky murals.  More importantly, they cleared out their entire classroom a day ahead of time–so we could have the inside space to run nine carnival games!

Thank you to the administration for being flexible and agreeable as the weather turned threatening and annoying.  Developing Plan “I”  (Inside) took some creative thinking and sacrifice from everyone.

Thank you to the custodial staff, who worked side-by-side the PTA all Friday, solving last-minute logistical problems.

Thank you to the Technology Department, who moved computers out of classrooms and made sure that our spooky music was piped throughout the school.

Thank you to the security staff, who stood outside in the pouring rain making sure that we could park safely and enjoy a secure event.

Thank you to the cleaning staff, who worked diligently during the party–and who also spent six hours the next day cleaning floors, desks, walls, bathrooms and more.

Thanks to the parents, who moved through the evening with smiles on their faces, despite the weather, warmth and crowds.

Finally, thanks to the kids of BFIS, whose enjoyment of the party made it all worthwhile!


Dinner with Michael Thompson

Written by Lila Jorge. Posted in Administration, Elementary School, ES Principal

As part of our professional development for faculty and commitment to learning alongside our parent community, we had the great fortune of having Dr. Michael Thompson visit BFIS last week. During the course of a few days, he hosted workshops for teachers and guided conversations with parents around topics related to child psychology and the healthy development of children.

For me, the highlight of the visit was being able to have dinner with Dr. Thompson shortly after he arrived in Barcelona. It was during our informal gathering that I began to grasp the depth of his knowledge and experiences, as well as some of his overarching beliefs. One particular idea that mirrored my own philosophy of child development was his absolute adherence to the idea adults should not pave paths without resistance for children as doing so robs them of opportunities to learn and grow. Therefore, the challenge is making sure that our desire for children to have positive experiences does not come at the expense of also allowing them to face difficulties and hardships, which are essential in developing the skills and capacity to successfully persevere and navigate life beyond childhood.

I would strongly recommend families in our community to take a closer look at the work of Dr. Thompson. He has written an extensive number of books, many of which focus on the unique aspects in the development of boys. In a time when hysteria seems to rule the headlines, Dr. Thompson is a voice of calm reassurance and poignant insights that helps provide perspective on childhood experiences and their relation to lifelong development.

Successful Round of Conferences

Written by Lila Jorge. Posted in Administration, Elementary School, ES Principal

We would like to thank our parents for making the first round of elementary conferences a huge success. Knowing the importance of having teachers and parents work together, we deeply value these opportunities share observations and perspectives on each child’s growth and development. The conferences allow the faculty to have a more complete picture and better understanding of every child, which in turn enables us to work more effectively toward meeting individual goals.

We recognize that the schedules of working parents are full and we appreciate the time and energy spent helping support an ongoing partnership between school and home. There is much to come in the year ahead and we are excited to continue the journey together.