BHS Monthly Newsletter --- Vol. 22 No. 3 --- 17 December 2018

FROM THE PRINCIPAL


Many thanks for the wonderful years spent among you all. I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2019. May this coming year bring joy, happiness, and blessings to you and your family, and peace to our troubled world.

BHS PRINCIPAL


We thank retiring Principal Dr Walid El Khoury for 17 years of service, hard work, and dedication. Under his leadership the school has made progress in raising academic standards, introducing new teaching methodologies, creating opportunities for students to practice leadership, and promoting community service. The school also saw major improvements in the physical facilities and infrastructure. We look forward to a smooth transition as Dr Khoury hands over the school to the new Principal, David Gray, who will be taking up his appointment on 8 January 2019. Born in Scotland, David Gray graduated in 1977 with a BA in English from the University of Bristol, where he also did his Postgraduate Certificate in Education. He taught at several schools in Greece and the UK and has nearly 26 years of experience as Headmaster and Principal of leading independent schools in the UK.  We look forward to welcoming David Gray and his wife, Marie-Helene, to BHS.

LEBAM WORLD CHRISTMAS MUSIC


You are warmly invited to an orchestra concert at BHS in Khoury Hall on Saturday, 5 January 2019 at 8pm. The LeBAM orchestra will be playing world Christmas music to celebrate the season. They are giving the same concert at several other locations, and we are honoured to host them at our school. Entrance is free.

PROPERTY IMPROVEMENTS


A play/sports area has been created in the basement of the Rizkallah Building Extension. The area has court line markings for basketball, volleyball, and badminton.

HOLIDAYS


- The Christmas break begins on Friday, 21 December at 12:30 pm for the Lower School and after the Santa Fun Run for the Upper School. The buses will leave at 1:00 pm.
- During the Christmas period, the offices will be closed on: Monday, 24 December, Tuesday, 25 December (Christmas Day), Monday, 31 December, Tuesday, 1 January (New Year’s Day), and Sunday, 6 January (Armenian Orthodox Christmas).
- Following the Christmas break, classes will resume on Tuesday, 8 January. Boarders are expected back on Monday, 7 January at 4:00 pm.

INSURANCE/BHS ID CARDS


Parents should by now have received the student accident insurance/BHS ID cards which were distributed in October. Please check that you have received your child/ren’s card/s. Any unclaimed cards are now at the Sick Bay, where they are available for collection.

EMERGENCY PROCEDURES


- If a sudden decision is made to close the school, we will send an SMS message to the contact person in each family (as specified by each family in the most recent Family Data Update returned). If school is closed before the end of the school day, parents will be informed one hour before the bus departure.
- All information will also be posted on the school Web site: www.bhs.edu.lb. To view the latest Web site updates, please remember to refresh your browser by clicking the Refresh or Reload button on the toolbar (whilst on-line). Parents who need further information should contact either Reception or the appropriate section office.
- Please assume that we are open, unless you are otherwise informed by a reliable source.

STAFF DEVELOPMENT


- Three BHS IB Examiners for May 2019: In November 2018, Lara El Feghali was appointed as an IB Biology Examiner for May 2019. This was very exciting news since BHS has had only one cohort of students taking IB official exams so far. In December 2018, two other teachers were also appointed as examiners: Jina Abou Merhi for Economics and Christina Nakhle for Information Technology Global Society (ITGS). This confirms that BHS teachers have again proven to be qualified for international educational endeavours. So congratulations, Lara, Jina, and Christina, and bravo BHS staff.

- Mini Workshop on Constructing Performance Tasks: On 18 November, staff in the Departments of English, French, Arabic, PE, Art, and Mathematics received training on constructing Performance Tasks (PT) given by Vice Principal/DoS George Rizkallah. Some of the comments of the teachers were: PT introduces students to a new way of thinking, PT help students understand how learning can be applied in real life, it is another way of applying differentiated learning. All in all, teachers are embarking on creative approaches to teaching and learning, and this is one of many activities that is happening at BHS.  

- Training Workshop: ICT Manager Youssef Abi-Haidar attended a workshop on 6 December 2018 at the Lancaster Eden Bay Hotel on CNS & CISCO Education. It revolved around the latest CISCO innovations and collaborations, advanced malware protection, CISCO Umbrella, and Meraki WIFI.

SCHOOL FEES


Invoices for the second instalment of tuition and bus fees were issued, together with the Term 1 report cards, to the eldest BHS student in each family. Parents are kindly asked to pay the fees by 5 January. Those who have unpaid balances are urged to settle them without delay. If you have any difficulties, please contact the Bursar.

PARENTS’ ASSOCIATION NEWS


- The BHS Parents' Association organized a Sports and Games Day on 1 December. Families enjoyed participating in various games. Thank you to Rabih Aouad, Ziad Saade, Fahd Chemaly, and all PA members who made this day successful. At the end, the kids were surprised with the appearance of Santa Claus who distributed Christmas gifts.
- The PA also organized the annual Christmas Brunch on 6 December at Grand Hills Luxury Collection Hotel & Spa where the spirit of happiness, love, and joy was spread. Thank you to students Gabrielle Ghanime and Tia Najjar who sang Christmas songs, also to our old scholar singer and composer Nabil Khoury for his lovely performance, and to the special oriental band. We celebrated Christmas time by cutting a Christmas cake. Let me take this opportunity to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

 

SCOUTS NEWS


With the start of the new scouting year 2018-2019, Brummana One Group Leaders and members are as excited as ever, with new goals and a very long bucket list. We have new leaders’ appointments, new members and so many events lined up during the whole of December. Our theme for this year is “Pave the Way”, so tune in to our social media platforms: Facebook www.facebook.com/BR1GROUP and Instagram www.instagram.com/brummana1group  to see how we do things the “BR1 Way”. Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy 2019!
 
UPPER SCHOOL NEWS

SECONDARY SECTION


- The Upper School Christmas Concert will take place on Wednesday, 19 December 2018 at 6:00pm in Khoury Hall. We hope to see you all there to celebrate the festive season together.
- As is traditional at BHS every Christmas season, we have a Food, Clothes, and Toys Drive, for the less privileged in the community. Food items should preferably be non-perishable such as: canned food, rice, sugar, pasta etc. Kindly send your items no later than Monday, 17 December 2018 to allow us time to sort and distribute the items.  Your contribution is highly appreciated.
- Term 1 report cards were distributed on 4 December 2018 to all Secondary students. Honour roll certificates were distributed on the same day.
- Exam 1 for Grades 10-11-12 IP and IB2 students took place between 4 and 7 December 2018. On 11 December 2018, those students received their exam 1 report cards.
- A special meeting for parents of students who are having difficulties in Secondary 3 SE was held with their teachers on 5 December 2018. Parents and teachers agreed on a plan of action for the coming months until the official exams.
- The term 1 parent-teacher meeting took place on 12 December 2018.
- The French Department, in collaboration with the “Institut Francais”, organized a special assembly to distribute the DELF B1 and B2 certificates to Upper School students. The assembly also featured a tribute to the Principal Dr El Khoury for all his efforts to reinforce French at BHS.
Meeting With Journalist Ghassan Saud- Independence Day was celebrated in the Secondary Section with two main activities. On 19 November, all Secondary 3 LP students participated in a qualifying writing activity as part of an inter-schools competition organized by Bank Audi to celebrate the 75th Independence Day. As a result of the first round, 3 students were selected: Michel Sadek, Youssef Al Sharif, and Andrea Atallah. These students will compete in the next round in February, with students from other schools. Congrats to all 3 students. On 29 November, a special assembly to celebrate Independence Day was held. The assembly featured Journalist and civic activist Ghassan Saud as guest speaker. Mr Saud held a very interactive talk with students, in which he explained how much change students can induce on a civic level if they have the will. Students were very enthusiastic and interacted positively with the guest, advancing many original ideas.
- Founders’ Day was celebrated on 30 November. Students were in full formal attire as is the custom at BHS. Class photos were taken on that day. Then a special assembly was held featuring the Principal Dr El Khoury as the speaker this year. Dr El Khoury brainstormed interactively with Secondary students about the future and the major changes that can be expected on educational and professional fronts. A cake was then cut by the Principal, the Vice-Principal, Heads of Sections, and the Head Prefect, as well as the President of the Student Council representing the student body.
- NDU Orientation for all seniors took place on 23 November 2018.
- The Beach Clean-up organized by the “I Serve” and Marine Clubs which was to take place on Saturday, 8 December 2018 was postponed until further notice due to adverse weather conditions. An SMS was sent to parents to advise them.
- On 26 November, students in Grades 10-12 IP were given a letter from the Cambridge International Examinations Officer which explained the deadlines and costs of IGCSE exams and reminded students that they must take at least 5 IGCSE exams before they can graduate. Attached to the letter was a form for students to select subjects, with approval by teachers and parents, which should have been returned to the Secondary Supervisor by 7 December. Please do not hesitate to contact the Cambridge International Examinations Officer, Jessica Lainie Fahed, on Jessica.fahed@bhs.edu.lb if you have any queries.
- From all of us in the Secondary Section, we wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Have a relaxing and peaceful vacation.
Founder's Day with Dr. El Khoury

INTERMEDIATE SECTION


- Assembly: 8 Nov.A group of 9 students gave a presentation on “Tolerance”. They included specific examples of how the students can show tolerance of one another. 27 Nov. – Part 1 of a presentation on the “Dangers of Social Media”. Students watched two short movies which emphasized that hours on social media can lead to poor sleep, anxiety, and depression. The films also depicted the life of a teenager who basically had no social life due to his severe addiction to the Internet.  18 Dec. – Part 2 of the “Dangers of Social Media/Gaming/Mobiles” was presented by the Intermediate Section Counsellor, Petra Abi Khalil. She stressed the negative effects of this form of technology on students’ health, studies, and social life.
- Advisory: 12 to 14 Nov.Mini group sessions were held with students struggling academically. More was done on “the 30 steps to improving your grades”.  3 - 5 Dec. Proper Eating Habits, Importance of Exercising, and Getting Enough Sleep. Students were cautioned that ignoring these daily proper life styles could lead to low school performance, anxiety, and depression. 10 – 12 Dec. This was a wrap up session before the Christmas holiday to remind students about the importance of sharing food with those less fortunate than us, to be kind and respectful to all those around us, and to use the holiday wisely by allowing for revision time before the Mid-Year Examinations. 
- Exam 1 for Brevet students took place from 12 till 16 November. The results of these examinations will be studied thoroughly to determine which students may need reinforcement for the official examinations in May.
Independence Day Parade- Independence Day Parade – 21 Nov: In the days leading to this event, students were given a brief history of how Lebanon gained its independence. This was followed by a parade of students waving the Lebanese flag. They marched out the Elementary Gate onto the main road and back onto campus via the Main Gate. Students then lined up in silence for the Lebanese national anthem and a few words from Principal Dr El Khoury.
- Founders’ Day: On 30 Nov., in a special assembly commemorating this event, teacher Nelly Rabbath, told students a few stories of the days when she was a student at BHS. This was followed by a black and white picture show displaying photos of students and staff through the years with some pictures dating back to the 1900’s.
- Yearbook Pictures: For Founders’ Day, students were dressed formally and, as we do every year, their yearbook pictures were taken.
- Distribution of Report Cards took place on 4 Dec. Along with the report card, a letter was sent inviting all Parents to the Parent Teacher Meetings on 12 Dec. The official report card is yellow and those who received a white report card were required to have their parents sign so that they can receive the official yellow.
- Honour Roll certificates will be distributed in a special assembly on 18 Dec. Congratulations to all the recipients.  
- Parent Teacher Meetings were held on 12 December after school. All teachers were available for a 4 to 5 minute chat with the parents.
- Medical Check-ups – Every student in the Intermediate Section was checked by the School Doctor, Dr. Mireille Zalzal Batrouni, between 28 Nov. and 5 Dec.
- St Berbara: to mark this day a few students handmade masks and sang the traditional St Berbara song in front of the MTB building.
- Drama Classes: Drama Teacher Rana Slim’s Grade 8 and 9 students, will be helping create a festive spirit with short Christmas skits in Dobbing Hall on Thursday, 20 Dec.
- Food Donations: Thank you to all the parents who sent food donations with their children for the Food Drive. We will pack these food items and send them to an organization that helps needy families in the area.
- Upcoming Dates: 21 Dec. at 1:00, all students will head home for the Christmas holiday after the Santa Fun which will take place at 11:45 on the same day. Classes will resume at 7:45am on 8 Jan. 2019.
- Points for Parents: *Students struggling in certain subjects should take advantage of the holiday time off to revise and refresh their memory on the work done since September. This will help them on their return in January, as they will have only 4 weeks till the Mid-Year examinations. *Parents are encouraged to maintain contact with their child’s teachers in subjects in which the child is struggling. This communication can be carried out bi-weekly via the emails available on the school website. www.bhs.edu.lb
- The Intermediate Section family would like to wish all a warm and peaceful Christmas holiday. 

P.E. Department News


The Annual Santa Fun Run will take place on Friday, 21 December at 11:45am starting at the Main Gate. Prizes for the first three places, as well as for best costume, will be awarded. Bring a Santa cap/costume and come run or walk with us.
 
 
LOWER SCHOOL NEWS

LOWER SCHOOL TRAFFIC


- To ease traffic congestion in the mornings, we have introduced new traffic flow procedures for the drop-off of Upper and Lower Elementary students. After entering the Elementary Drive, please drive all the way down to the Lower Elementary building (even if you have a child/ren in the Upper Elementary), make a U-turn, and stop at the drop-off zone. A member of staff will take your child/ren to the main door of the Upper Elementary and/or Lower Elementary building. Please do not leave your car, but proceed directly out of the Elementary Drive without stopping. Thank you for your cooperation in implementing and respecting these procedures, which are for everyone’s benefit, and we hope that you will experience a decrease in waiting time in the mornings.
- When entering the Lower School campus by car, please remember to display the car entry card on the windscreen of your car in the afternoons. This card was issued to help ease traffic congestion, and the colour of the card defines the area for pick-up:
  • Green - Basketball Court or Elementary Drive
  • Pink - Basketball Court
  • Blue -     Elementary Drive
  • Yellow - Basketball Court
If you have lost your card, kindly pass by the Secretary in the Lower School Section (Infant, Lower Elementary, or Upper Elementary) of your eldest child to collect and sign for another. Please note that cards from last year are no longer valid. The security guards have been asked to prevent entry for vehicles before the allocated time or without an appropriate card. Please respect the guards’ instructions - they are for the safety and convenience of all.
- Please note that you may find it more convenient to arrive later to pick up your child/ren, since there is considerably less traffic in the Basketball Court by 3:20 pm (2:45 pm on Wednesdays) and in the Elementary Drive by 3:25 pm (2:50 pm on Wednesdays).

 

ELEMENTARY SECTION


- During the past month, our students were engaged in learning about the world around them. In the LE, Gr. 3A shared interesting bits of information about India. Gr. 2C students’ choice was Spain. In the UE, Mrs. Youssra’s class informed us that we can now eat our water bottles as one way to save the planet and ourselves from more trash. We encourage everyone to buy the edible water bottle, please.
- Our country’s Independence Day was celebrated in the most patriotic way. Our students marched through the main street of Brummana and joined their high school peers to sing the national anthem and pledge their respect to our flag. The students then attended assemblies prepared, by teachers Nadia Wannous in the LE and Nancy Abou Rjeili in the UE, around this historic event. We extend our thanks to both teachers and to PE teacher Jessy Sawaya for the disciplined performance of the students.
- Founders’ Day was celebrated this year with pride, as we were honoured to host Dr Walid El Khoury, the School Principal for the past 17 years. We are, however, saddened by the fact that Dr. El Khoury is about to retire soon. We pay tribute to his contribution to the school and wish him the best of everything.
- St. Berbara was also noted with the wheat that was shared with all Elementary students and the end of day party in Dobbing Hall. We thank the animator, Joyce Shrabieh, who generated some fun during the event.
- Student Ellia Tchamitchian (Grade 6 LP) won the National Taekwondo Championship for her age and weight category, leading her club, the Anwar Club - School of Taekwondo, to raise the first place cup among all the other Lebanese Taekwondo clubs. On 2 December 2018, she participated in the ceremony organized by the Lebanese Taekwondo Federation at Hotel Le Royal to distribute awards/trophies for the Lebanese Taekwondo League winners. Congratulations, Ellia.
- Last, but not least, our students, your children are practicing to present a wonderful Christmas Show to start the Christmas celebrations. May you all be blessed now and throughout the coming year! Merry Christmas.

 
LE Independence Day Play          UE Founder's Day Assembly with Dr. El Khoury

INFANT SECTION


- Infant Section students celebrated Independence Day on 20 November in their own child friendly environment. Students paraded on campus and sang the national anthem. After this, they enjoyed eating 'Markouk' labneh sandwiches with cucumbers and tomatoes. Students familiarized themselves with the colours of the Lebanese flag and its meaning (the cedar tree represents peace, immortality and tolerance; the red stripes symbolize martyrdom and self-sacrifice; and the white represents the snow-capped peaks of Lebanon's mountains).  
- KG II students read and acted out “Peanut Butter and Jelly”, and then the students prepared their own peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.  After learning letter “Tt”, the students enjoyed having a tea party with biscuits in class.
- On 3 December, Infant Section students came to school disguised in their beautiful and imaginative costumes. They watched a puppet show performed by Mrs. Zeina Okdi, Mrs. Mary Ashkar, Mrs. Maya Harfouch, and Miss Cherine Ghaoui. The teachers creatively told the story of Saint Barbara.
- For those of you who are interested, a class photo was taken along with an individual picture for each child. 
- KG I, KG II, and KG III have been busy this month working on their special Christmas family gifts, which you will see before they go for the vacation.
- It has been a very busy time of the year where students rehearsed for their Christmas Show songs and dances which were performed on 14 December. Very special thanks to the teachers for the hard work and commitment that made this show possible.
- Each day, KG III students learn more and more words and gain confidence.  Much progress has been made in their writing skills. They have written letters to Santa and continued writing in their journals.  Home practice is very beneficial!  Have your child write out Christmas lists, simple notes, or thank you notes for those gifts from relatives. 
-On 18 December, Infant Section students will go and watch the play “Louna” at Athenee Jounieh.
- The Infant Section staff would like to wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Enjoy the festive season safely and we look forward to seeing you all in 2019!

Independence Day            Christmas Show

STAFF NEWS


Congratulations to Upper School Arabic teacher Elie Hanna on the birth of a baby boy, Raphael, on Friday, 30 November 2018.
 

OLD SCHOLARS’ ASSOCIATION NEWS


On Friday, 12 October 2018, more than 20 old scholars participated in the OSA's Backgammon Night held at the OSA House in Brummana. The old scholars enjoyed drinks, snacks, and most importantly, a fun and friendly competition among childhood friends. The winner of the night was Mr. Salim Shallah who received a trophy for his mastery of the game. The OSA would like to thank all our old scholars and friends for their continued support of our activities and events, and we promise to continue to offer a wide variety of activities to cater for different preferences and interests: from Tango dance lessons, to board game nights such as Backgammon and Scrabble, to our exciting Round Table discussions which cover different topics every month. 
 

THANK YOU TO...


- Gr. 4B student Tala Kabbani and an anonymous donor for donating books to the Lower Elementary Library.
- Quaker friend of the school Pam Willson, Gr. 6C student Nicolas Tabbah, and an anonymous donor for donating books to the Upper Elementary Library.
- Gr.  9LP and Gr. 7LP students Christelle and Anthony El Hajj for donating books to the Elementary Libraries.
- Old scholar Hani Said 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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