• BFIS PTA 2011

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!

Santos/Liaison Meeting: Feb 2012

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

Mr. Santos Raised the Following Issues:

Dutch Language Lessons:

  • School is working on the possibility of starting an after-school tutoring program for NATIVE Dutch speakers on the grounds for interested students. Looking ahead, this might become an elective for NATIVE speakers. At this time, there are no plans to have Dutch as a second language offered.
  • Will the 10th Grade Foreign Exchange Program with Bard (New York, USA) run in the 2012-2013 School Year? This issue is under discussion in the upcoming weeks. While it is a wonderful experience for the high-achieving students, it presents curriculum and staffing challenges.
  • Are kids obsessively checking their PowerSchool grades? Teachers will take the Advisory period to educate kids about how/when the grades are entered, and how they will become more variable in the beginning of the semester with a small sampling.
  • Are There Sometimes Different Expectations by Different Teachers for the Same Subjects? Because multiple teachers teach the same subject, there will always be small differences between classes and teaching styles. All students however deserve the opportunity to succeed and the opportunity to reach the same ultimate essential skill set. School encourages teachers of same subjects to collaborate, to stay consistent in major assignments, in final assessments, and in curriculum. An exception is in Math, where we have multiple math groups due to ability grouping, so the final assessments will not be identical. Another exception is that Unit tests on different days may have a dramatically different structure, in order to discourage sharing of answers.

Parent Concerns:

  • Studies show a link between exercise and academics–Are we maximizing play space for our MS/HS kids? Scheduling complicates MS/HS use of fields and patios. Parents requested that the school organize more informal events like the MS Soccer tournament—great for school spirit! Basketball shoot-outs, soccer, etc. Mr. Marks and Mr. Preston are interested in this area.
  • PE Concerns: Students feel that they need more instruction and direction during PE lessons e.g. learning games rules, drills, etc….BFIS Administrators will follow up on this issue.
  • Are Cell Phones Used During Exams? They are not allowed during class or during exams. During class, a teacher has the right to confiscate cell phones and keep them until the end of the day. Exams–teachers ask them to turn them off and turn them in. If a child is caught using a phone during an exam, the consequences are severe.
  • Prom: Students want more of a traditional dance, less of a sit-down student banquet. Food (pica-pica) will be offered. Looking at Monte Carlo or 80’s Theme.