Dear 2nd and 3rd grade Parents:
This morning we had the Overnight Trip Parent Information Session. For those of you who were unable to make it this morning, please use the link below to access the information. The permission slip along with the parent package regarding the overnight trip will be going out in the coming days, so please look out for them in your student’s backpacks.
This year, 2nd and 3rd grade students will be going to the Vila Rural de Cardona, in Cardona.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Makiko Maeyama (firstname.lastname@example.org) who will be coordinating the 2nd & 3rd grade Overnight Trip this year.
In the coming months, we will lay the groundwork to implement LightSail for our 5th Grade students beginning in 2016-2017. LightSail is an adaptive solution designed by educators to accelerate literacy development and foster a love of reading. This platform provides us with the opportunity to develop personalized libraries for students based on areas of interest, reading levels, and recommendations from friends and teachers. Additionally, the interface is both user-friendly and engaging as it provides feedback to students about progress, areas of focus, and individualized comments from teachers.
For teachers, one of the main benefits of LightSail is that teachers receive real-time data about student reading behavior, comprehension and growth. Moreover, data dashboards that display individual and class performance are easily accessible, which will give teachers useful information to target instruction to meet specific needs.
LightSail has was recently highlighted by Common Sense Graphite the quality of its educational product, while the company was mentioned in Forbes magazine article about “revolutionizing entrepreneurship.” As we continually look for ways to improve our program, we felt the implementation of LightSail would complement our pedagogical approach and leverage technology to provide a more differentiated experience for students.
While LightSail is present in approximately 700 schools across the United States, we are very excited to share that BFIS is the first school in Europe to introduce this platform for students. We look forward to sharing more news about this initiative as we embark on a limited pilot this spring in preparation for the coming year.
We are thrilled to share that our new building construction project remains right on schedule. In addition to the facades of the building, which are changing daily, there is an extensive amount of work being done on infrastructural elements, such as the preparation for cabling and ventilation. It is really incredible to see the space take shape and all of the blueprints finally come to life.
This week we have started to have some members of the faculty and staff conduct site visits to examine the space. While the vast majority of the design elements for the classrooms have been determined, we are now focusing our efforts on fine tuning the plans in situ to make sure the we create an ideal learning environment for students. A skeletal classroom has been set up on the primera planta in order for us to visualize the exact placement of the door, size and placement of the hallway window, and select specific colors for items such as window frames and ceiling panels.
Now, more than ever, we have a true idea of what lies in store for 2016-2017. We cannot wait for September when the building comes to life with the joy and excitement of children, parents, and faculty.
In the coming days, Barcelona will be the host city for one of the premier regional conferences for international educators. The European Council of International Schools (ECIS) is holding its annual conference beginning on Thursday and extending through the weekend.
At BFIS, our ongoing commitment to professional growth will once again come to the forefront as we will be hosting two of the conference workshops. It will be an incredible opportunity for us to extend open arms to international school peers and showcase the outstanding practices taking place in our school.
In particular, this Thursday will be a very exciting day for our Kindergarteners. One of the workshops at BFIS will be conducted by a renowned educator by the name of Stuart Stotts and part of his sessions will included working with Kindergarten classes. Here is a quote from his website:
“Stuart Stotts is an author, storyteller, educator, and songwriter. He’s sung with and performed for kids and families in schools, libraries, and community settings around the world since 1984. Stuart is a Kennedy Center teaching artist and a frequent presenter at educational events, keynoting conferences and leading workshops for early childhood and elementary school teachers, librarians, and social service professionals around the country.
His keynote presentations are funny, practical, engaging, and based in everyday practice and experience. Although the topics may vary, Stuart always emphasizes the importance of story, relationship, brain-based research, and on-going learning in striving for improvement and success.
Stuart offers school assemblies, family concerts and student writing workshops. Stuart gives over 200 concerts every year and has released several recordings. He’s also the author of six books for children.”
We are very much looking forward to this amazing learning experience for the kids and our faculty!
This morning we had the opportunity present our latest parent info session on the topic of language acquisition. It was excited to see a strong turnout of families representing many different grades and nationalities. We want say an extra special thank you to everyone who set aside the time to be with us this morning.
For individuals who were unable to attend, we have included a link to the presentation slides. Additionally, we have also embedded a video in this post that was created by a fellow international school. The video highlights the importance of supporting the continued development of the “mother tongue” for students who attend international schools where the primary language of instruction is not their first language.
As always, our goal at BFIS is to honor the unique qualities of every child and implement research-based instructional strategies to maximize every student’s potential. We hope you will find this information helpful and we look forward to continuing to support your children in their language journey!