Archive for April, 2012

An International Food Fair Captain Profile: Ludovica Laricchia Robbio (Maglione)

Written by PTA. Posted in Articles, frontpage, PTA

Welcome to our second Parent Profile to announce the annual BFIS International Food Fair, our very own, cultural food-fest meant to showcase all the wonderful cultural diversity here at BFIS!

In keeping with our desire to celebrate those parents who give unfailingly and unselfishly to the BFIS community, we are profiling some of the wonderful BFIS parents who make IFF the amazing event that it is! Without their generosity, time, energy, and creativity, the IFF would not be possible.

Our second parent profile is an interview with Ludovica Laricchia Robbio (Maglione), this year´s Country Captain for the Italian table. Ludovica is the busy mother of two children who go to BFIS, one in Nursery and one in Kindergarten (Ignazio and Gregorio). This is her third year involved with the International Food Fair. The first year, Ludovica participated by cooking. As Ludovica said, “the second year, I knew I had to do more, so I lead!”

We asked Ludovica what made her want to become more involved. She told us that it was all about “this energy, this committment I see in the eyes of the people, the women! It´s this happiness! I am a positive thinker and I value generosity, so I get inspired by the BFIS community to give further. You know with all the bad things that are happening around us, this is just a place of cooperation, support and engagement. I want to be a part of that!”

We also asked Ludovica what things inspired her when it comes time to plan and decorate the Italian table. She said that she would have the Italian flag, of course, with matching flowers and veggies: green, white and red, and pasta of various shapes and sizes to showcase. And then there will be mozzarella cheese, a must for any celebration of all that is Italian!

Ludovica also told us that this year she asked some public Italian Institutions in Spain and Italy to provide publicity, flyers and brochures about some of the most beautiful places to visit in Italy. “You know, the Turkish table had flyers last year and I thought, what a great and smart idea! So we´ll have flyers about Rome’s Colloseum, Pisa’s Leaning Tower, the Gulf of Naples and lots of other wonderful corners of my country, as well as a list of very, very exclusive travel agents I know who can introduce select clients to the most private Palazzi in Italy!”

In terms of food, “there will be a hot, oven-prepared, pasta dish, and parmessan cheese among other Italian surprises! Truly worth trying!”

Last year, 5 parents worked hard to prepare and showcase Italy. Ludovica said that this year, there will only be three, but she was just as excited to be a part of the fest and suggested that if any BFIS parent wanted to help with the Italian table and/or prepare some food, she would love for them to contact her through the PTA, and/or the Nursery and Kindergarten room parent.

We asked Ludovica if she had any advice for parents who might like to participate. This is what she told us:

  1. ” Just do it! Set up your national table and sink your taste buds into a delirium of flavors!!! Or if you´re not involved with a table, you can be of tremendous help at any table: with their setting up, their serving shifts, their cleaning, and socializing with the visitors!
  2. Support your kids by inviting people from Barcelona because it’s our PTA’s ONLY fund raiser!! Those lovely pancakes on Pancake Day, that amazing drum show at Carnival, the Holiday Concert, all these wonderful things for our children and parent community! The money to fund those great events come from from this one event, ONLY! So please purchase tickets, tickets, and more tickets!! It all goes to a great cause!
  3. Come and enjoy the amazing food and our childrens´ special performances! They put their hearts and souls into it!”

I think there´s no better way to end this interview then with Ludovica´s words, “You know my kids love IFF. It´s a great family affair!”

Thanks Ludovica!

If you would like to get involved with this year´s International Food Fest, just click on the link under VOLUNTEERS WANTED, in the upper left hand column of this post! See you there!

The PTA

Open PTA Meeting: April

Written by PTA. Posted in Meeting Notes, open pta, PTA

General Updates:

  • MS PE /Exercise: School is working with MS/HS PE teacher towards a written PE curriculum. This does not mean that all lesson plans will be written and shared with parents. School is also looking at ways to optimize opportunities for physical activity during the day that can be offered to the kids. Tournaments are being organized during recess in MHS.
  • Math Textbook Update: Why do we have Australian textbooks for Math? BFIS chose the current textbook with four criteria in mind: English language, adequate preparation for IB program in 11th grade, international nomenclature (metric, not American Standard), and available in Europe. There was not an appropriate American textbook fitting all three criteria.
  • SFL 2012-2013: International Students will have the opportunity to work on Spanish language skills using Rosetta Stone program on school computers. More information to follow.

 International Food Fair is Friday, May 18th

  • Why don’t we provide free bracelets to volunteers? Financially, we can’t afford to give free bracelets to the hundred plus people who volunteer at IFF. At the same time, trying to award limited number of bracelets to smaller tables was complicated by issues of uneven expenses, effort, and numbers of volunteers. Last year, after much open debate, the community voted to discontinue the policy of free bracelets for volunteers. Ultimately, each country must decide for themselves whether or not to participate.
  • Help for Small Countries: Small countries with limited volunteers may want to consider sharing a table with neighboring countries in the region or focusing on a single food or dish, rather than presenting a banquet.
  • GUEST WORKER program, in which we can provide volunteers for a shift, enabling countries with one or two volunteers to enjoy the fair for a time.
  • In collaboration with ES music teacher, IFF entertainment will showcase more international acts with link to country traditions. Please recruit your fellow citizen performers now!

 New IFF ideas for consideration by the PTA:

  •  Sign-in table for Last Minute Volunteers,
  • “International table” for those parents that want to bring in one dish, but are not affiliated with a country table. This table would still need a captain to work.
  • Better communication from PTA that this is not a PTA funded event, but parents are paying for food etc.
  • Increasing prices at bar as a substitute for free bracelets.
  • Reminding countries to bring a trashcan if they want—ease of cleaning up and school supplies are always limited!

New Discussion Items:

  • If you have a suggestion for outside speakers/authors/participants, please pass the name and description on to the PTA. PTA will send it on to appropriate department.
  • Children not allowed to play tag on the playground anymore. Can alternative way of playing tag be found? To be logged in the PCL.
  • If you would like to get more involved with BFIS, please consider helping out with the PTA Board. We are always in search of fresh perspectives and helpful, organized people!

Santos/Liaison Meeting: April

Written by PTA. Posted in Meeting Notes, middle/high, PTA

Administrative Updates:

  • PE Update: Mr. Salach has been seriously ill, but returned this week. He is working with administration to revise curriculum, grading rubric, and drills.
  • School is taking a look at diverse ways to support student study skills/organization skills for next school year.
  • In 2012-2013 school year, school will be launching the use of Rosetta Stone during one study hall per week in Grades 6-10. This is in reaction to international parent requests for more Spanish reinforcement. The fluency level of students will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
  • Summer building projects are still being developed.
  • Math: Monica Neagoy will continue working with teachers and staff. There will be three different math levels beginning in 6th grade.
  • Math Textbook: School adopted a new series a few years ago, in preparation for the adoption of the IB program. There were unable to find an American textbook series that adequately prepared for IB and used appropriate international nomenclature.
  • Basketball tournament will take place week Wed., May 2–Friday, May 4.
  • Bullying: Zero tolerance policy in place. School works with students to distinguish between minor and major problems, and to identify cyber-bullying. Students need to come to the school administrators immediately so that they can handle the problem.

 Open Discussion Items:

  • 8th Grade Graduation: Friday, June 8th: Ceremony on campus, followed by wine, pica-pica. All students will present a poem, there will be one student speaker. Rain plan is being developed.
  • 8th Grade Trip to Mallorca, Late May/Early June: General permission slips have been sent home in the advisory folders so that school can plan for number. Not all students are eligible to go, although school is trying to help students re-earn the privilege. School will clarify how much money the 8th Graders need to raise via bake sales etc.

Santos/Liaison Meeting: March

Written by PTA. Posted in Meeting Notes, middle/high, PTA

MS/HS Liaison Meeting: March 22, 2012

Issues Raised by Mr. Santos:

  • Thursday, March 29th General Strike (including transportation). School is planning to organize carpools for teachers. Will not be a normal day, because will be a high absentee rate for teachers and students. Ultimately, it up to the individual families about how to get to school.

Open Issues raised by MS/HS

  • PE/Exercise Movement—how can we maximize student physical activity. PE? Written scope and sequence exists, online curriculum is under construction. There continues to be a concern over class teaching of skills, drills, scrimmage. School wants to optimize play areas for MS/HS, by making balls available and making play areas available. This can be difficult, since the patios are shared with elementary PE classes. Timing of PE program and patios is under discussion for next year. A basketball tournament is in the works for the spring.
  • How has the 11/12th grade IB program affected 9/10th grades? IB Preparation in 9/10th grade has been happening for three years, curriculum and faculty have been laying the groundwork.
  • Are group projects being used effectively? There are many group projects, which put a logistic burden on families. At the same time, there can be an unfair distribution of effort between strong/weak students.
  • Major Test and Assessment Calendar: Teachers should be reminded about this!

Feliç Sant Jordi a tothom!

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

There is something uniquely beautiful about the way we celebrate Sant Jordi at BFIS.   While the culminating fiesta is the highlight for the entire community, the immense amount of learning preceding the event is an equally significant part of the experience.

In our classrooms, we always strive to have children develop a strong sense of self and tap into the qualities that make each child unique.  However, we also value the importance of coming together as a community to work toward common goals and in many ways our Sant Jordi celebration provides exactly this opportunity.

In the weeks leading up to the celebration, the children work extremely hard to learning their routines.  They show support of one another by helping peers remember different dance steps and practice exhibiting patience as others need more time to memorize the movements.  Most importantly, they have the chance to work together and contribute to the success of the overall performance.

There is perhaps no better combination than allowing for children to deepen their appreciation of culture and simultaneously learn life lessons.  With that in mind, feliç Sant Jordi a tothom!

Reflections from Poonam Pamnani

Written by Kili Lay. Posted in Elementary School, Kili Lay

Notes from the ECIS conference held on 16-18th March in Athens.

Dr Gunilla Dahlberg spoke on The Changing Landscape in Early Childhood Education. It is a highly profiled area and has brought interest among economists, psychologists and educator. The child is seen as the site for change, instead of searching the given identities and locating problem on child. A pedagogy of welcoming and hospitality built on listening and comprehension. A willingness to experiment and to explore creative processes and production. A collective experimentation with the potential already there. A pedagogy that is open to the unknown and the unexpected, start with meaning, listening to students express naturally. Children are all the time creating connections between different subject areas. Start with listening, to challenge ideas. Put productive questions and materials.

Acquisition of 1st language is the most complex skill