BHS Monthly Newsletter --- Vol. 22 No. 1 --- 11 October 2018

FROM THE PRINCIPAL


BHS is pleased to welcome the 1,216 students from 46 different nationalities and varying backgrounds. BHS remains an attractive institution to many who seek quality education and good values for their children. Welcome to all our students, particularly the 194 newcomers, and to all our new and returning staff members. We look forward to a peaceful and productive academic year 2018-2019 with a disciplined student body dedicated to service and academic excellence.

BHS ANNUAL WALKATHON


The Annual Walkathon will take place on Saturday, 03 November 2018 at 9:00am. Registration begins at 8:00am at the Main Gate. Parents, friends, staff, and students are all encouraged to walk and have fun with us, and at the same time, support a noble cause. The funds raised by the Walkathon will go towards the financial aid programme and the St. Jude’s Children Cancer Centre of Lebanon. We hope to see many of you.

NEW STAFF


We warmly welcome the following new staff who join us this academic year: Elementary Section: Grace Sarkis (Maths maternity substitute for Mirvet Karam), Lynn Haddad (Teaching Assistant), Michelle Bado (Drama), Mireille Bou Samra (Teaching Assistant Arabic), and Sharon Chit (Teaching Assistant and maternity substitute for Homeroom teacher Eliane Dahdouh). Upper School: Ahmad Sibai (Maths), Ali Ahmad Samaha (Supervisor - Intermediate), Elie Alhelou (Social Studies, Philosophy, Psychology), Elie Hanna (Arabic), Petra Abi Khalil (Counsellor - Intermediate), Rana Aboul Hosn (Maths), and Sarah Hanna (Counsellor - Secondary).

STAFF DEVELOPMENT


The Head of Maths Department, Aline Alam, gave a workshop to all BHS teachers about Peace Education on 4 September 2018, during the In-Service Week. After visiting A-bombed schools in Hiroshima and Nagasaki and attending intensive conferences about peace in Japan, in her presentation Ms. Alam focused on raising awareness against nuclear weapons and exploring ways of implementing peace related activities at school across different disciplines and grades levels.

PROPERTY IMPROVEMENTS


- The Primary Building windows were removed and replaced with new aluminium double glazed windows with electrical shutters.
- The Akl Building student bathrooms were refurbished with new sanitary fittings and partitions.
- An outdoor signage project is nearing completion. External building signs and directional signs were erected on campus, and drone photos will be used to make a map at each entrance. The project will soon move into the next phase to install signs inside buildings.
- Safety railings were fixed on the Upper School campus, and work on the Lower School campus continues. 
- Firefighting equipment and eight hood fire detectors were installed in the kitchen, and work is in in progress to install fire detectors in the remaining areas of the Administration Building.
- Internet access for up to 500 persons was provided in Khoury Hall.

SWITCHBOARD


Please note that for incoming calls the switchboard automated attendant system message has changed. To reach a specific extension directly, it is now necessary to dial 19 or 29 before the 3-digit extension number. If you don’t know the specific extension you are dialling, the automated message will guide you to the office you wish to contact.

ONLINE PARENTS’ INFORMATION SYSTEM


- Parents can access report cards, tuition fee statements, and pocket money statements (if applicable) online. The user name and password from the previous year is still valid. For lost passwords, please contact the Chief Accountant, Sami Geara, on ext. 272 for assistance.
- Parents of all new students were notified of their user name and password by email using the email address of the nominated contact supplied on registration. Please contact the Registrar, Betty Ajhar, on ext. 249 if you did not receive an email.

INSURANCE/ID CARDS


All BHS students are insured 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, should they have an accident in Lebanon and require any subsequent medical treatment. Letters explaining the insurance policy, the procedures for distribution of insurance cards (which are also school ID cards), and listing the hospitals included were sent home with each Upper School student (Lower School will follow soon). The list of hospitals covered is also posted on the BHS website. In case of an accident, the insurance card should be presented at the emergency room of any hospital included in the policy together with the student’s Identity Card.

LOWER SCHOOL TRAFFIC


Thank you for your understanding and patience concerning the traffic congestion on the Lower School campus. To ease the congestion in the afternoon, access to the Basketball Court and the Elementary Drive will be based on the sections where your children are. A car entry card will be provided for each family with children in the Lower School, except for those using the School Bus.

SUPERVISION BEFORE SCHOOL


Please be reminded that the school cannot be responsible for the supervision of students before 7:15 am in the morning.

SUMMER CAMPUS USE


The summer at BHS was busy as usual. Our school has great facilities and we are glad to share them with so many people. Over the summer months we hosted the following events:
- The tennis facilities were used by Brummana Sports Club, who organised the Brummana Tennis Tournament in collaboration with the Old Scholars Association and under the supervision of the Lebanese Tennis Federation.
- The BHS Summer Camp during the period 4 July to 21 August hosted 1,257 day campers and 34 boarders.
- The BHS OSA 27th International Convention was held on 6-7 July.
- There was a 6-week BHS Summer Educational Programme, from 9 July - 17 August.
- For the 17th consecutive year the Al-Jana ARCPA group held a residential workshop at BHS entitled Janana Summer Encounter. Around 133 community workers, cultural activists, NGO representatives, animators, and librarians from the Arab world and beyond, came together from 25 August to 1 September. The Janana Summer Encounter is a major regional forum for exchange and development of skills in the field of psychosocial support for marginalized children and children at risk. BHS old scholar Moa'taz El-Dajani (1973) is Founder & General Coordinator of Al-Jana.

SCHOOL & BUS FEES


The deadline for the 1st instalment of tuition fees and the bus registration fee was 1 September. Parents who have not yet paid should do so immediately. Please contact the Bursar if you envisage any further delay.

BUS TRANSPORTATION 


- Please be reminded that written parental permission is required if a bus registered student who comes to school in the morning is not using the bus on the homeward journey. This includes Upper School students who stay for after school activities.
- Also, written parental permission is required if a bus registered student wants to return by a different bus.

PARENTS’ ASSOCIATION NEWS


- The BHS Parents’ Association is organizing a family get together day at school on Saturday, 13 October 2018 at BHS in the Basketball Court from 10:30am till 1:30pm. The programme will include a Saj, beverages, and a variety of games. Those who wish can participate in a guided tour around the school. We hope you can join us.
- We also participated in the round table organized by the Old Scholars’ Association on 24 September where we discussed: "How Parents Can Help to Stop Bullying". Our thanks go to the Chairman of Board, Hani Aboul Jabine, and his board members, our Principal Dr Walid El Khoury, Heads of Sections, the Old Scholars’ Association, and our lovely parents.

SCOUTS NEWS


- BR1 Group has had a very eventful summer, full of activities and successful achievements. The Mountain District (MD) ended the 2017-2018 Scouting Year by holding the Mount Cup which was hosted by BR1 on the Brummana High School campus on Saturday, 22 September 2018. Members and Leaders from 5 different MD Groups competed against each other and enjoyed a great day of fun and bonding. The day ended with the distribution of the yearly awards, and BR1 Group won a total of 12 prizes, in addition to having won Third Place – Campsite Category B at the LSA Annual Rally in September 2018.
- Our new scouting year 2018-2019 has just begun! We are open to recruiting new members who wish to join the BR1 Family (Ages 6 -18) and learn what scouting is all about. Weekly meetings are held every Saturday from 3:00 – 5:00pm in the BHS Basketball Court.
- We wish all our members and leaders a splendid academic year!
 
UPPER SCHOOL NEWS

SECONDARY SECTION


- Over the summer, two of our students, Michel Sadek and Natalie Ashkar participated in the TSL (Trust for Sustainable Living) Essay and Debate Competition among a large and diverse group of students in the Seychelles. Students debated possible plans to save the oceans and how they can achieve the United Nation’s 14th Sustainable Development Goal by 2030. Natalie won the Best Individual Debater Award, the Best Group Award, and the Essay Finalist Award; whereas Michel won the Judge’s Commendation Award and the Essay Finalist Award, all of which allowed them to share their ideas with NGO leaders and on national television.
- In the first assembly of the year, Principal Dr. El Khoury welcomed Secondary students, both returning and newcomers. The Principal then shared a video about the changing values of humanity and debated the content with the students.
- New students and Grade 10 students selected their adviser for the coming three years, as is the system in the Secondary Section, in order to establish a bond between adviser and advisee for a more fruitful cooperation. Students have already met their advisers as a group and will meet individually whenever the need arises.
 - The College Counsellor, Michelle Akra, has already started working with seniors on their college applications and recommendation letters since 13 September. She is available on campus many days per week and will remain so till the end of the application period.
- On 17 September, during Activity Period, Secondary students watched “The Modern Times” by Charlie Chaplin, as part of an SST interdisciplinary project.
 - University Orientation Sessions have started for Grades 11 and 12. The AUB orientation will take place on Monday, 15 October 2018. LAU is scheduled for Thursday, 18 October, UOB for Tuesday, 23 October, and NDU for Thursday, 25 October.
- The Vice-Principal Georges Rizkallah gave a special presentation to all Secondary students about SAT strategies and techniques as well as the exemption policy in the Secondary Section.
- An SAT reinforcement course has been offered to all Grade 11 and 12 students. The sessions will take place on Monday and Friday afternoons from 3:30pm to 5:45pm. A letter has been sent to parents giving details of the course.
- An SAT trial exam for all Grade 11 and 12 students will take place on Saturday, 27 October. The purpose of the exam is to train our students further for the official SAT exams. Another SAT trial exam might be given later on during the year if there is a need.
- On the extra-curricular level, the traditional Upper School Clubs Fair took place on Friday, 05 October 2018. More than 25 clubs and committees were featured by our students. Students signed-up for their preferred club(s) and will be taking part in those club gatherings every activity period on Mondays and sometimes after school hours. All clubs met for the first time on Monday, 8 October, during the Activity Period.
- On Friday, 5 October, the Executive Board of BHSMUN 2018-2019 held a mock conference for Intermediate and Secondary students in order to place them in their respective simulation programmes. Students and trainers animatedly discussed topics such as terrorism in Afghanistan and protection of refugees globally. Now our delegates are ready to participate in conferences at LAU, NDU and other high schools. A fruitful year is ahead for our team!
- The Principal Dr. El Khoury appointed the Prefects in the Secondary Section, after reviewing their letters of intent. The Prefects for this year are: Head Prefect: Stephanie Ashkar (Grade IB2). Deputy Head Prefects: Tarek Yared and Jennifer Bu Jawdeh (Sec. 3LP). Senior Prefects: Gabrielle Ghanimeh, Rita Abou Samra, Angela Kortbawi, Elias El Haddad (Sec. 3LP), Amar Ducic, Christian Mhawej, Joseph Shalala (Grade 12IP), Talia Mattar (IB2). Junior Prefects: Priscilla Kafrouny, Karen Abi Zeid Daou (Sec. 2LP) Tia Najjar, Jad El Hajj, Anthony Gerges, Samar Jemal, Tina Maria Kasparian, Samar Sabra (11IP and IB1). Classroom Prefects:  Samir Bu Jawdeh, Lynn Ghanimeh, Franchesco Jarjoura, Luciana Nehme, Betty Razzouk (Sec. 1LP), Friedrick Al-Aswad, Natalie Ashkar, Celine Chartouni, Teddy Nakad Sarkis (Grade 10IP). Congratulations to the appointed prefects.
- Students in Grades 10LP and IP already started their Community Service adventure guided by the Community Service Coordinator and Secondary Supervisor, Georges Semaan. Students of these grades were divided into 3 groups. Each Wednesday, one group visits Deir Al Rahme Elderly Home accompanied by teacher Najib Bou Mansour, another group is visits Al Amal Institute for people with special needs accompanied by Mr. Semaan, and a third group is forming the Christmas Choir. The Choir, under the direction of Conductor Cheryl Khairallah, will be performing for the Christmas Concert at BHS in addition to visiting many centres, such as orphanages, and elderly homes etc. to bring the Christmas spirit to those who need it most.
- IB1 and IB2 students will be visiting a centre every Wednesday, as part of their CAS requirement. The visits will start on Wednesday, 17 October.
- Events coming up are: - International Day celebrations on Friday, 26 October - The yearly Walkathon on Saturday, 3 November - The elections of the Student Council (BSHC) on Monday, 5 November.

INTERMEDIATE SECTION


- Starting the year: The first day of school for grade 9LP and 9IP students was 6 September with a total of 72 students in that section. Grades 7 and 8 (LP and IP) began their school year on 17 September with 81 students in grade 7 and 70 students in grade 8.
- Assembly: 27 Sept - Topics for that day: “Morals and integrity we need to live by” and “Bullying will not be tolerated at all”. 4 Oct.  – Students watched a short film on gratitude and how being grateful makes us happier beings.
- Advisory: Intermediate students have been divided into small groups and each group was assigned an adviser for the year. In the week of 1 to 3 Oct., the advisers held a group session to meet their advisees and to ensure that their school time is flowing smoothly. In the week of 8 to 11 Oct., advisers started working on study skills with their advisory groups.
- MUN: Last year’s MUN members gave a presentation to encourage students to join the club. Their aim was to encourage as many intermediate students to join as possible this year.
- Moodle Presentation: On 1 Oct., teacher Charbel El Bitar gave a presentation to all the Intermediate students explaining how to use Moodle; an online learning system.
- ID Photos for all students were taken on 26 October. The pictures are for the school ID and insurance cards which will be issued in the coming weeks.
- Clubs Fair was held on 5 October. Students roamed amongst the many stands displaying different clubs. Each student signed up for one club which they will be attending during the Monday Activity Periods. 
- Teacher Contacts: Until the teachers’ Office Hours sheet comes out, you may find all teachers’ emails on the school website. Please do maintain contact with your child’s subject teachers especially in the subjects your child is struggling in.
- Student Achievements: On 2-7 July 2018, Carl Sadek from Grade 8LP participated in the “Trust for Sustainable Living International School Debate” at Beau Vallon (Seychelles) where debates and discussions were held on managing the seas, oceans, and marine resources.
- Congratulations to Grade 9LP student Karly Harfouche who won first place in her age group category at the Beirut Open Taekwondo Championship (21-22-23 September). This championship is considered one of the qualifying rounds for the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympic Games.
- Upcoming Dates: On Thursday, 18 Oct., the “Back to School Night” will be taking place for parents of grades 7 and 8 (from 5-6:30pm). Also on 18 Oct. an IB orientation will take place for parents of Grades 9 and 10 at 6:30pm. Mid-Term Progress Reports will be distributed to the students on 26 Oct.
- Points for Parents: The school dress code requires simplicity and decency. Students should choose clothes which adhere to this rule. The school reserves the right to ask students to change if their dress or appearance is deemed inappropriate.
LOWER SCHOOL NEWS

ELEMENTARY SECTION


- Welcome back to all our students and a warm welcome to the new students and teachers who have joined our family at Brummana High School. We hope you had a restful summer holiday and that you are now eager to dive into this new academic year.
- Our students and their teachers have spent the past couple of weeks getting to know each other and settling into the daily routine. We are now ready to focus on learning and to enjoy the many fun activities and events planned for this year. We hope that parents and teachers can work together and help each child achieve his/her best, both academically and socially.
- Back- on- track is the best way to describe our academic launch this year. We were very happy to receive our young minds accepting a challenge to excel all year round. Head of Section, Shatha Abou Khalil, made sure all students in the Elementary Section remember the school rules and regulations. She also planted the school ethos in every child by reminding them of the Quaker values by which we, as a school body, live.
- The Clubs and Events Coordinator, Rola Issa, highlighted a few pointers that can help all students in their study skills. She encouraged students to form new healthy habits which include a wealth of reading and creating simple timetables to aid their learning processes at home and at school. We pray for a smooth year ahead for all. 

INFANT SECTION


- The Infant Section is quickly becoming a little community. The students are establishing friendships, settling into the routine, and they truly seem to be enjoying themselves. These first few days have been spent learning routines and expectations. New friendships have already begun. Thanks to the teachers for their help in making this transition a smooth one.
- To all our new families, we hope that you and your children enjoy your time with us. We look forward to creating some wonderful memories with you and your child. All the teachers are here to answer your questions and to help you in any way that we can. We aim to make your child’s experience a positive one. For all returning families, we look forward to another great year with you and your children.
- Infant students were introduced to the word "respect". They brainstormed ways to show friends respect like including everyone in playtime games and sharing materials at school.
- KG I:  The students are settling into the class routine and rules.  They are learning what it means to come to school and the different things we do here.  They are working on the booklet ‘About Me’.  They have done their handprints and will paint the first initial of their name.   
- KG II:  The students enjoyed making a robot made of cardboard.  A walk around the school was refreshing to explore the changes of autumn.  KG II students also enjoyed doing piquage for shapes and their names on pencil cardboards.  They also discussed the weather changes.
- KG III:  students enjoyed going for a walk around the school and gathered autumn leaves while discussing the season.
- At the request of parents, we will provide an optional breakfast for KG 2 and KG 3 students (KG 1 students already have breakfast) from 19 October. A letter explaining the details was sent to KG 2-3 parents.

FROM THE MEDICAL DEPARTMENT


  • A student who is unwell is better kept at home. A student with temperature above 38°C should be kept at home until the temperature has been normal for 24 hours.
  • Please do not send Panadol/Tylenol with a student. Any student who needs Panadol/Tylenol at regular intervals should not be sent to school.
  • With the onset of colder unpredictable weather, students are advised to come to school appropriately dressed and with jackets/coats.
  • For those who haven’t returned the completed Health Forms, please do so ASAP, if you have misplaced the form, additional ones can be obtained from the Sick Bay.
  • Dr. Mireille Zalzal Batrouni is available in the Sick Bay on Wednesdays and Fridays, 8:00-11:00am.

STAFF NEWS


Congratulations to…
  • Elementary Librarian Jennifer Kassir who gave birth to a baby boy, Charbel, on 30 August 2018.
  • Lower Elementary Homeroom teacher Eliane Dahdouh who gave birth to a baby boy, Edward, on 30 August.

OLD SCHOLARS’ ASSOCIATION NEWS


On 6 and 7 July 2018, the Old Scholars’ Association held its 26th International Convention in Brummana which kicked off with the annual dinner held on 6 June at Afrah ballroom at the Grand Hills Hotel and was attended by around 200 old scholars from all around the world. The dinner combined great food and wonderful entertainment as well as a special commemoration for the Class of 1968 who were celebrating their 50th Graduation Anniversary. Day two - 7 July - started off with the traditional saj-mankoushi breakfast outside the BHS Meeting House, followed by Brummana One Group’s official opening ceremony. The 27th International Convention’s General Assembly commenced shortly after with updates on OSA by President Nazih Khattar ’66, followed by the financial report presented by OSA Treasurer, Emily Salem ’82. Our Keynote Speaker this year was Nicolas Saade ‘68, Member of the Board on BLOM BANK SAL, BLOMINVEST BANK SAL, BLOM DEVELOPMENT BANK SAL, and BLOM BANK QATAR LLC, and Head of the Board Audit Committee of the 4 mentioned banks as well as other board committees. After his speech, Mr. Saade was presented with an award of participation from the OSA. The assembly ended with the much awaited traditional group photo outside the Meeting House. Later at night, the famous Street Party started and people enjoyed great entertainment, live bands, shows, food stalls, artisanal products, and many more activities all through the night. The night ended with a spectacular fireworks show that lit up Brummana’s skies making it the perfect finale for another memorable OSA International Convention. The OSA would like to thank all those who made this annual event successful and memorable yet again and we look forward to seeing everyone again next year, so book your calendars for the 28th International Convention on 5-6-July, 2019. We can’t wait to see you next year!
 

OLD SCHOLAR’S ACHIEVEMENTS


We are proud of old scholar Hala Alyan (class of 2004) whose debut novel, Salt Houses, won the Dayton Literary Peace Prize for 2018. This prestigious literary award recognises the power of the written word to promote peace. Salt Houses explores a Palestinian family caught between present and past, between displacement and home. After graduating from BHS, Hala completed a doctorate in clinical psychology and currently works at New York University.

THANK YOU TO...


- Gr. 9IP student Malek Khoudair for donating books to the Elementary Libraries.
- Gr. 4B student Yasha Saad and Gr. 3C student John Achkar for donating books to the Lower Elementary Library.
- An anonymous donor for donating 7,500,000LL to the Financial Aid Programme.
- Upper Elementary Secretary Vivian Aswad for donating  books to the Thomas Little Memorial Library.

 
The Newsletter is published once a month during the academic year. If you would like to receive a free copy of the Newsletter by email, please send an email with “subscribe” in the subject line to: najat.wakim@bhs.edu.lb.
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