Archive for August, 2014

HS Wellness is changing!

Written by Paul Fulce. Posted in MS/HS Principal

In response to our students and their needs, we are changing our Wellness Class in Grades 9 and 10.  It will now be a lecture and seminar series covering a wide variety of topics from Academics to Community Service, to Physical/Social/Emotional Health.  We will have guest lecturers whenever possible and will be relying on our community to share their wealth of knowledge with our students.

Stay Tuned for the Semester 1 Seminar Topics, coming soon!

Welcome Back!

Written by Paul Fulce. Posted in MS/HS Principal

Dear BFIS Parents and Students,

Welcome to the 2014-2015 school year!  .  As I begin my second year here at BFIS as Middle and High School Principal, I would like to welcome all returning families and offer a special welcome to our new families.  Thanks to everyone for choosing to be part of the BFIS community and for giving us the opportunity to partner with you in the education of your children.  We are really looking forward to getting to know you this year.

The Middle and High School teams hope that you have thoroughly enjoyed your break.  As you have been traveling and spending time with family and friends, we have been here on campus preparing for your return.  Thanks to Jordi Alvarez and our Operations team, our campus has been busy with activity and improvements, many of which Mr. Knauer highlighted in his letter.

Additionally, Mr. Preston, our leadership team, and I have worked to make sure that we have the staff in place to best support our students’ learning.  Adding to last year’s strong academic team, Ms. Julie Ham returns from maternity leave as our Middle School Counselor, and we are joined in High School by Rebecca Chabrow, our new Counselor and College Counselor.  We have a few teachers joining our faculty as well this year, and their biographical information is available in the BFIS Weekly to which this message is linked.

Over the past months we have also worked to continue to improve our program, making numerous additions and adjustments based upon student, parent, and staff input.  Though we will be reviewing all of these with your students, there are a number of changes that we would like to make your aware of as you begin the 2014-15 school year.  Firstly, please note that Mr. Preston and I will be using two avenues of communication through which we will keep you informed of all school items, our BFIS Weekly email and the MS/HS Principal Blog.  Please check these sources regularly for updates.  Any links in this email will also be included there, should you have any trouble accessing them from this letter.

Our MS/HS Student Handbook has been updated and streamlined.  We encourage all families to read it together.  After reviewing it, students will need to return this Handbook Acknowledgement Form by Friday, September 5, 2014.  Parents, please pay particular attention to the attendance and absence policies (Sections 3.1 and 3.2) so that you can support your child(ren) in adhering to them.

Additionally, we have updated our PE Dress Code for students in Grades 6-10 (Section 2.15 of the Student Handbook). As PE will continue to be held at a local sports facility (Can Caralleu), a PE Permission Form must be signed and returned.

As we continue to grow our Advisory program, we ask that Middle School parents read, complete, and return this Off Campus Advisory Permission Form for activities that will happen occasionally during the school year.

We are also adding the option for our Middle School parents (grades 6-8) to have access to PowerSchool via the Parent Portal. This resource will allow you to support your student through assignment updates and regular emails sent directly to you by the Power School system.  In order to access this information, please complete our Parent Portal Sign Up and a username and login will be emailed to you by September 30.

Finally, we are happy to remind you that we will continue our long tradition of cultural trips in October, this year from the 8th-10th.  Grade-level-specific information will be distributed during the first week of school and posted to our blog.  So that you can plan accordingly, this year’s payment deadline will be September 19.

We are looking forward to an excellent school year filled with learning and student success.   If you have any questions before then, please contact us via email or through the main office.

See you on September 1!

Paul R Fulce-Ewing

Middle/High School Principal

Welcome Back to BFIS!

Written by Colin Boudreau. Posted in Administration, Head of School


Dear BFIS Families,

I hope that you have been enjoying the summer and that this message finds you rested and well.

In an effort to streamline the communication you receive from BFIS this year, we will rely almost entirely on the BFIS Weekly and on school blogs to share information with you, which is why my welcome back letter has arrived in this format. Please be sure to read the Weekly closely every Monday to stay informed regarding important information and upcoming deadlines and events.

The months of July and August have been busy at BFIS as the operations and academic teams have prepared for the new school year, and construction crews have been working to meet tight deadlines. The most obvious signs of the summer work are the significant improvements that have changed the face of the campus.

  • When you return on Monday, September 1 you will find a new, spacious athletic court where the Early Childhood modules used to stand. You won’t get the full effect of this new space since the surface can’t be painted until the concrete has had time to dry out thoroughly, but I think you will be struck by how open that area now feels.

  • Workers are putting the finishing touches on our new Early Childhood Center in the former home of the PE21 program, which will be an amazing self-contained space for our youngest students to thrive both indoors and out.

  • The top floor of the Main Building has been reconfigured and freshened up, creating a new, more spacious classroom and Elementary School teacher work spaces.

  • Finally, we have installed six temporary modules behind the MS/HS Building to house the MS/HS classrooms that were lost when the old modules were removed from the Main Campus. While obviously not the most attractive addition to our campus, these temporary spaces will allow us to provide our full academic program until a new building can be constructed on the Main Campus.

The admissions team has also been busy throughout the summer as interest in BFIS remains very strong. We are nearing full capacity as enrollment has reached an all-time high of 651, with waiting lists in all but two grade levels. Enrollment of both American and international students has been particularly strong this year, and we will start the academic year with more than 100 new families from at least 25 different countries.

I am pleased to share that the results from our International Baccalaureate (IB) program were excellent again this year. As the second cohort of BFIS IB students, the Class of 2014 achieved an impressive 97% pass rate, far exceeding the global average of approximately 80%, in one of the most rigorous academic diploma programs available to high school students. Furthermore, our students once again scored an average of 33 points, three points above the international average, and we had a student earn a final score of 43 points, an achievement that places him among the top students worldwide. Our graduates’ hard work at BFIS in a challenging academic program and success in the IB have gained them entry into top colleges and universities in the United States, United Kingdom, Spain, and elsewhere in Europe. We are proud of their achievements, wish them well, and look forward to the continued growth and success of our International Baccalaureate program.

Finally, our new members of faculty have all arrived in Barcelona and were on campus last week, going through orientation and preparing for the start of the year. The full faculty returned this morning and have already hit the ground running in preparation for your children’s return on Monday, September 1. For more detailed information about the start of year in each school division, please see the letters from Elementary School Principal, James Duval, and Middle and High School Principal, Paul Fulce.

I look forward to seeing you all next week and enjoy your last days of summer!

Best regards,

Bill Knauer

Head of School


Estimadas familias de BFIS,

Espero hayan disfrutando del verano y que en el momento de recibir este mensaje se encuentren bien y descansados.
En un esfuerzo por simplificar la comunicación que recibirán este año de BFIS, nuestros canales de comunicación se basarán
casi por completo en el Weekly de BFIS y en los blogs del colegio, y es por ello que mi carta de bienvenida a un nuevo año
escolar les llega precisamente en este formato. Por favor, asegúrese de leer nuestro Weekly todos los lunes con el fin de
mantenerse informado sobre temas importantes, próximos plazos y futuros eventos.
Los meses de julio y agosto han sido meses de mucho ajetreo. Nuestros equipos de operaciones y académicos se han estado
preparando para el nuevo año escolar y los equipos de construcción han estado trabajando para cumplir unos plazos
ajustados. Los signos más evidentes de las obras de este verano son las mejoras significativas que han cambiado la fachada
del colegio.
• Cuando regresen el lunes, día 1 de septiembre, se encontrarán con un nuevo y espacioso patio, deportivo, ubicado
donde estaban anteriormente los módulos de Educación Infantil. No podrán ver este nuevo espacio completamente
terminado, ya que la superficie no podrá pintarse hasta que el hormigón haya tenido tiempo de secarse a fondo, pero
creo que les impresionará el espacio tan abierto que ha quedado.
• Los constructores están dando los toques finales a nuestro nuevo centro de Educación Infantil en el antiguo edificio
que albergaba el programa PE21, y que ahora se ha transformado en un increíble espacio único para nuestros
alumnos más pequeños, en el que podrán prosperar tanto interiormente como exteriormente.
• La planta superior del edificio principal ha sido reconfigurada y optimizada con la creación de una nueva aula más
espaciosa y con nuevos espacios de trabajo para profesores de Primaria.
• Por último, hemos instalado seis módulos temporales detrás del edificio de Secundaria y Bachillerato para albergar las
aulas de Matemáticas que se retiraron con los viejos módulos del Campus Principal. Aunque, obviamente, no son la
adición más atractiva a nuestro campus, estos espacios temporales nos permitirán ofrecer nuestro programa
académico completo hasta que un nuevo edificio se pueda construir en el Campus Principal.
El equipo de admisiones también ha estado ocupado durante todo el verano, ya que la demanda de plazas sigue siendo
elevada. Nos acercamos a nuestra plena capacidad con un nivel de inscripciones que ha llegado a un máximo histórico de
651 alumnos y con listas de espera en todos los cursos excepto en dos. Las inscripciones de alumnos estadounidenses e
internacionales han sido particularmente numerosas este año e iniciaremos el año académico con más de 100 nuevas
familias de, al menos, 25 países diferentes.
Me complace compartir con todos ustedes los resultados de nuestro programa de Bachillerato Internacional (IB) los cuales
fueron, de nuevo, excelentes. Como segunda promoción de alumnos de IB de BFIS, la promoción de 2014 logró una
impresionante tasa de aprobados del 97%, muy por encima de la media mundial, que se sitúa en el 80% aproximadamente, y
que es uno de los programas académicos más rigurosos para alumnos de Bachillerato. Además, nuestros alumnos, una vez
más consiguieron un promedio de 33 puntos, tres puntos por encima de la media internacional, y de nuevo también, uno de
nuestros alumnos obtuvo una puntuación final de 43 puntos, un logro que le sitúa entre los mejores estudiantes de todo el
mundo. El arduo trabajo de nuestros alumnos en BFIS en un programa académico retador y el éxito obtenido en el IB, les ha
permitido entrar en las mejores universidades de los Estados Unidos, Reino Unido, España, y otros países de Europa.
Estamos orgullosos de sus logros, les deseo lo mejor y esperamos que nuestro programa de Bachillerato Internacional siga
creciendo y obteniendo el mismo éxito.
Por último quiero comentarles que los nuevos miembros del equipo docente han llegado ya a Barcelona y están en el colegio
desde la semana pasada, en sesiones de orientación y preparándose ya para el inicio del año escolar. El resto de profesores
llegaron este pasado lunes y ya están metidos de lleno en su trabajo con el fin de tenerlo todo preparado para el retorno de
sus hijos el lunes, 1 de septiembre. Para obtener información más detallada sobre el inicio del año en cada división del colegio,
por favor lea las cartas del director de la Escuela Primaria, James Duval y del director de Secundaria y Bachillerato, Paul
¡Espero verles a todos la próxima semana y disfruten de sus últimos días de verano!
Saludos cordiales,
Bill Knauer