News & Events - BHS Newsletter Vol 19 No 1 - 15 October 2015

We are pleased to start the 142nd academic year at BHS with many students from different nationalities and diverse backgrounds. BHS remains an attractive institution to those who seek quality education and strong values for their children. Welcome to all our students, and to all our new and returning staff members. We look forward to a peaceful and productive academic year with a disciplined student body dedicated to service and academic excellence.

We warmly welcome the following new staff who join us this academic year:
Upper School:Ralph Chikhany (Maths), Dr Lucy Bajjani Ghor (Social Studies, History), Lisette El Hage (English/HoD, Gender Studies), Layla El Khoury (Computer US & UE), Nathalie Khoury (French substitute), Jihad Lichaa El Khoury (Philosophy), Omar Moujaes (Drama, Film Studies, Art), and Jules Youssef (Secondary Supervisor & Community Services Officer).
Lower School: Juliana Eid (Counsellor).
Sandy Abou Khalifeh (EFL), Maria Diab (Teaching Assistant), Joelle Salhab (2B Homeroom), Nadia Wannous (Social Studies & French), and Helena Williams (1C Homeroom).
: L'Emir Ziad Abi El Lamah (Property Manager) and Abdou Trad (Services Manager).
Boarding: Elias Atallah (Boarding Assistant).

Congratulations to the following staff who take on additional responsibilities: Chadi Nakhle as Head of Secondary Section; Georges Rizkallah as International Baccalaureate Diploma (IBDP) Programme Co-ordinator; Jina Abou Merhy as Careers Guidance Officer; and Rita Bu Jawdeh as Teaching Assistant.

- ICT Manager Youssef Abi-Haidar attended the “CIS and HP: Storage that Scales to your Ambition” workshop on 12 May.
- ICT Manager Youssef Abi-Haidar participated in a series of workshops organized by CIS & HP on 1 July which covered various topics in the multifunction printers’ field.

- 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 will be 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 do not receive an email.

Each Upper School student will be notified of his/her user name and password to access assignments and fact sheets online.

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.

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

- Work is in progress to create additional parking for around 55 cars in the vicinity of the Lower School. It is expected to be ready in November 2015. Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience caused whilst the work continues.
- Two new generators were bought. Also eighteen new computers were purchased.
- The installation of a Server Room in the basement of the Administration Building was completed.

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 Brummana Sports Club (BSC), in collaboration with the Municipality of Brummana, organized the 75th local Cedar Cup Tennis Tournament in which more than 300 players of various ages and nationalities participated. The final matches were covered live on LBC. A ceremony was held on the last day of the tournament to announce the winners of each category and distribute the cups and gifts. BSC also organised basketball coaching in the Basketball Court. The team participated in several basketball tournaments and achieved impressive results, winning the fourth division Lebanese Basketball Championship.

- The BHS Camp during the period 5 July to 21 August. We had 990 day campers (the highest number for 15 years) and 49 boarders.

- BHS Summer Educational Programme from 9 July - 19 August. The programme was attended by 94 students (16 BHS, 23 SAT, 55 Summer Camp). Six students of the total received private tutoring lessons. Courses offered were: Arabic, English, Maths, Physics, Chemistry and SAT.

- The BHS OSA 24th International Convention on 24-25 July.

- On 19-25 August, and for the 14th consecutive year, the Al-Jana ARCPA group held a residential workshop at BHS entitled Janana Summer Encounter. It was attended by around 120 community workers, cultural activists, NGO representatives, animators, and librarians from the Arab world and beyond. BHS old scholar Moa'taz El-Dajani (1973) is Founder & General Coordinator of Al-Jana.

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.

- 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.

- The 24th International Convention took place on 24 & 25 July 2015. The Gala Dinner this year was held at Al Bustan Hotel in Beit Mery, where the 50th graduation anniversary of graduation for the classes of ’64 and ’65 was also commemorated. The General Assembly on Day 2 featured a variety of old and young scholars. Our main younger speaker was Joline Chakhtoura ’04, in addition to younger graduates Michael Patrick Azar ’14 and Joe Halabi ‘14, who spoke of their achievements to date and thanked BHS for helping them be prepared for the world. The convention ended with our famous street party, which included shows, live entertainment, and a fireworks display. We look forward to next year’s convention which will be special since it will mark the 25th Silver Jubilee of the OSA. Mark it in your calendars now!

- Another remarkable event was the Brummana One Scouts and Old Scholars Association’s “Back to the Campfire 2015” weekend, which was held for the first time ever on 29 & 30 August at BHS Fleisseh and Amphitheatre areas, and which was fully sponsored by the OSA. The weekend gathered together former Old Scholar scouts as well as current BHS and OS scouts in one scouting spirit under the leadership of Chief Roy Younes ’10 (BR1 Group Leader) and Chief Jane Abi Farah ’11 (BR1 Assistant Group Leader). Together, participants built a mast, put up tents, prepared dinner, lit the campfire, performed sketches, competed in scouts cheers, and shared their scouting memories. The Big Game on Day 2 prepared by Chief Jane was a hit. It was exhilarating to see the young generation running around the BHS courts with their fellow teammates of the OS scouts, looking for clues and taking on the challenges set. The day ended with a BBQ, bringing the camp down, and announcing the winners of the Big Game. The event, which might well become an annual gathering, raised money for the scouts, allowing them to buy much needed scouting materials and equipment.
The Parents' Association wishes you all a year full of peace and success. We began our school year by helping parents during the Book Sale to carry the books using the trolleys that we provided. Our first event of the year will be the Coffee Morning on 16 October at Printania Palace Hotel in Brummana at 10:30am. The purpose of this event is to welcome new parents. School Counsellors will be giving a presentation. Note that this event will be free of charge. We hope that we'll be seeing everyone there.

- On behalf of Brummana One Group we would like to welcome back all our members to school! We hope this year turns out to be successful for everyone. During the summer, our group achieved many successful events including:
• The Annual Summer Camp which took place in Hasbaya El Metn from 24 June until 29 June.
• The first annual biking event in Brummana under the title "A Tour in Brummana" having more than 85 participants from 23 different towns on 9 August.
• The first annual OSA/BR1 camp under the title "Back to the Campfire" which gathered many former scouts in Brummana High School - Fleisseh area for one night on 29-30 August.
- Thank you to everyone who helped us progress along the summer, a special thanks goes to Brummana High School, Brummana Municipality and the Old Scholar's Association.
- If you would like to join the BR1 family then feel free to meet us in the school's basketball court every Saturday from 3:00pm till 5:00pm.
- Feel free to check all our photos and news on our Facebook page "Brummana One Group".


- The year started with many activities in the Secondary Section, on both the academic and extra-curricular levels.

- Earlier this summer, several students, along with their advisor Mayssa Haidar participated in LAU's Global Outreach and Development Leadership conference in New York, where they had a chance to expand their skills in diplomacy and resolution writing and visited key sites in NYC. The conference, which included a list of speakers from renowned universities and institutions, was a truly remarkable event. We would also like to congratulate Enzo El Adem, who won a trip to New York, sponsored by LAU, to attend this conference after being one of the six delegates chosen by the university to represent it from among 900 others nationwide. Student who attended the conference were: Enzo El Adm, Adrian Sami Jaber, Edwin Abboud Blanco, Roupina Maalouf, Layla Mouakket, Zakarie Christian Bedoyan, and Zain Nasri.

- The Make-up procedures for seniors have changed this year to better serve our students. Make-up exams for seniors will take place on Saturdays in order to avoid missing classes for that purpose.  For grades 10 and 11 LP and IP, the usual procedures continue to apply. A letter to parents was sent explaining the make-up procedures for this year.

- Over many Saturdays, Secondary 3 LP students will attend extra sessions as regular classes and exam periods. This is mainly to reinforce and better prepare our students taking official exams. A letter to parents was sent for that purpose, detailing the Saturdays schedule from now till the Christmas break.

- Progress reports will be distributed on 20 October for new students, students promoted on probation, and all Sec. 3 LP students.

- The Secondary assembly has been moved from Tuesdays to Thursdays mainly due to the fact that most PE classes are taking place on Tuesdays which makes it difficult for our students to wear PE clothes and formal wear.
- University orientation sessions have started for Grades 11 and 12. AUB orientation took place on 08 October, 2015. LAU is scheduled for Tuesday, 13 October; NDU is scheduled for Tuesday, 20 October; and UOB for Tuesday, 27 October.

- The College Counsellor, Michelle Akra, has been working with seniors on their college applications and recommendation letters since 21 September. She is available on Campus many days per week, and will remain so till the end of the application period.

- The traditional Back to School Night for Grade 10 LP and IP took place on 22 September, 2015. Teachers gave a quick overview of their curricula to parents in a school day-like setting.

- A SAT reinforcement class has been offered to Grade 11 and 12 students both IP and LP. The sessions are taking place on Wednesday afternoons and Saturday mornings.

- A SAT trial exam was also offered for Grade 11 and 12 LP and IP students on Saturday, 3 October. The purpose of course was to further train our students 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 Club Fair took place on 18 September, 2015. More than 30 clubs and committees were featured by our students. Students signed-up for their preferred club(s) and since then have been attending those club gatherings every activity period on Mondays and sometimes after school hours.

- The Christmas Choir has also been formed and began its rehearsals under the direction of the new Secondary Section Supervisor, Jules Youssef. Mr. Youssef holds a Bachelor in Theology and is a professional musician playing the Piano and the violin. He has led many choirs in other schools and parishes.

- Enzo El Adem (Sec. 3 GS) initiated a recycling campaign at BHS guided by the Head of the Social Studies Department, Zeina Misk, and fully backed by the Principal and the BHS community. Mr. El Adem gave a first presentation during the teachers’ in-service on 7 September, 2015. He also addressed his peers in the Secondary Section assembly many times. The recycling effort is thriving thanks to this initiative, and further plans of action for waste reduction are being put forward.

- Principal Dr. El Khoury appointed the Prefects in the Secondary Section after reviewing their letters of intent. A special ceremony was held during assembly on 6 October 2015, where the 22 Prefects took the oath in front of the Principal and received their Prefect pins. The Prefects for this year are:
Head Prefects
: Laura Aouad (Sec. 3 LS) and Anthony Eid (Grade 12 IP).
Deputy-Head Prefects:
Anthony Ashkar and Marwan Fattouh (Sec. 3 SE).
Senior Prefects:
Serena Semaan and Jad El Haddad (Sec. 3 SE), Lia Jureidini, Joseph El Helou, and Ralph Maatouk (Grade 12 IP).
Junior Prefects:
Nour Chebly and Sasha El Saidi (Sec. 2 S), Maysa Abou Khalil and Jana Zeinoun (Sec. 2 SE), Mohammad Baydoun, Lynn Hayek, Joseph Price, and Abdelkhalek Al Mallah (11 IP).
Classroom Prefects: 
Rania Shalhoub and Alex El Adem (Sec. 1 LP), Dana Yared, Roupina Maalouf, and George Aswad (Grade 10 IP).

- The Prom Committee for this year was also appointed: the Head of the committee being Hadi Dika (Sec. 3 SE), Deputy-Heads: Anna Batrouny and Louana Kaloustian (Grade 12 IP) and the treasurer is Magalie Eid (Sec. 3 SE).

- The elections of the Student Council for grades 9 through 12 are set to take place on Friday, 16 October. Students running for office are already campaigning. Seniors running for the presidency of the Council will each deliver a speech on Thursday, 15 October.

- International Day 2015 is scheduled for Thursday, 22 October. Students have already started preparing their countries’ representations. As of the beginning of next week, they will start visiting embassies for that purpose. An organization committee of students, headed by Talar Boghossian (Grade 12 IP), has been formed to coordinate all the efforts.

- Welcome to our 220 students, and especially a very warm welcome to the 21 new students who have joined the BHS Family for the first time, for the new academic year of 2015-16. We hope that the new Grade 7 students will quickly adjust and feel comfortable in their new environment in the Upper School.

- The Intermediate Family this year is buzzing with excitement of two new projects. The first being the sorting of waste for the recycling project and second is the new Junior Prefects System for this year  which is in full motion thanks to the energetic efforts of teacher Mayssaa Haidar. Also thanks to teacher Eliane Bitar Francis and Supervisor Charbel El-Bacha who have put in their efforts to ensure the success of these two projects. 

- Orientations were held in early September before the official opening of the school. Many parents attended with their children and were given guidelines and instructions for the year.

- Assemblies
September 17
- Head of Section, Rima M Habib, welcomed all the students and teachers and wished everyone a good year.
September 22
– IT Teacher Christina Assili and ICT Manager Youssef Abi-Haidar gave a PowerPoint presentation to all students regarding the use of the new MOODLE programme. All students have been issued their username/passwords to allow them access to the MOODLE program from home. With this new program, students will be able to access their homework and classwork assignments and contact their teachers and classmates directly regarding any academic queries
September 29
- Teacher Mayssaa Haidar explained the organization of the new Junior Prefect Committee and their duties. We are very proud of this new committee which is doing a wonderful job of ensuring the smooth flow of activity within the Intermediate building.
October 6
- a study of how you are affected both physically and emotionally when you offer kindness to others was read to the students. This was followed by a short story based on a true story of a woman who had shown kindness to a young boy and was rewarded with a multitude of kindness from that same boy many years later in her time of great need.

- Advisers: The advisers for this year are as follows:
Grade 7: Eliane Bitar Francis, Diala Habib, Tania Saab, and Nelly Rabbath.
Grade 8: Layla El Khoury, Lucy Ghor, Nayla Matta, and Randa Hassan.
Grade 9:
Jamile Tayah, Mayssaa Haidar, Aline Alam, and Ralph Chikhany. 
Please contact your child’s adviser during their office hour or email them whenever you have any concerns.

- Advisory:
September 18
- Advisers of Grade 7 and 8 met with their advisory groups to discuss guidelines regarding every day rules and expectations.
October 9 -
Advisory groups read the Integrity Booklet which included ethical issues such as not cheating or lying, or plagiarizing.

- Counselling: Our counsellor, Zoya Smirnov, held special meetings with all the new students and will be meeting with all the Grade 7 students to ensure that our students are adjusting emotionally, socially and academically. Parents may contact her on ext. 216 on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.

- Upcoming Dates: Oct 20 – Mid-Term Progress reports will be distributed to all new students, Grade 7 students, all students on academic and conduct probation from last year, and the Brevet classes.

- Teachers Office Hours and Email Address Sheet will be sent to parents in the coming week. Please use this information to maintain contact with your child’s teachers especially in the subjects in which your child is struggling.

- Points for Parents: For those of you, who were unable to attend the orientations that were held for the parents of the new students and Grade 7 students, please do not hesitate to call Head of Intermediate Section, Rima M Habib, regarding any concerns, queries or suggestions. Your child’s well-being is of utmost importance to us.  Tel. 04 – 960430/1/2/3 or 04 862533/2 ext. 421 or 424.

P.E. Department
The Annual Walkathon will take place on Saturday, 31 October 2015 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.


- As always, there was a lively start to the new year, with the hustle and bustle of students flocking to BHS from all over the world to begin a new energetic journey which will hopefully prove to be fruitful and successful.

- Teachers, old and new, were ready and happy to put the school year on track ensuring that all students have what they need to begin their classes. The school rules were explicitly discussed and displayed to guide all activities in and out of the classrooms.   

- Our first and second assemblies were presented by the Head of Section, Shatha Abu Khalil, who introduced the children to the rules and regulations of the school in accordance with the Quaker values and school ethos. 

- During the Lower and the Upper Elementary assemblies, Counsellor Juliana Eid discussed the value of the month: responsibility. Both sections will focus on this value in circle time and advisory until the end of October. Please encourage your children to be responsible at home. Together, we can create wholesome individuals.

- Last year’s Grade 3 wrote and sent letters to children in a school in England. Now, as Grade 4 students, they were very excited to receive replies telling them a bit about life in the UK. This activity will continue to encourage writing skills and hopefully every child can enjoy having a pen pal.

- Recycling also continues to be encouraged in our buildings. All the students are saving the plastic bottles and used papers which are donated to the Ecoute Centre for recycling. Please be encouraged to do the same at home.

- The Infant Section is quickly becoming a little community. The children 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' 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. 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 children 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 making a small book about “me at school”.

- KG II:  Students enjoyed making a house made of shapes using matches.  They found it refreshing to walk around school exploring the changes of autumn.  KG II students also enjoyed doing “piquage” of a sun, after learning about the colour yellow and the circle.

- KG III:  students enjoyed going for a walk around the school and gathered autumn leaves.  Then, they pasted the leaves on an autumn tree that they had painted before. Moreover, KG III students enjoyed decorating their names, using colourful crayons to enhance the theme “Back to school”.

- Reminders: Make sure that your children are on time in the morning. It is healthier socially and emotionally if they join in and enjoy the programme at the same time as the others. We really appreciate your help with this!

  • Jewellery, flip-flops, crocs, and Birkenstock are not permitted at school.
  • Earrings are not allowed.
  • Nail polish is not allowed.
  • Kindly send a healthy snack with your child.  Please note that chocolate, chips, and nuts will be sent back unopened.

The Sick Bay continuously updates all student health records to ensure that your child receives optimal health care at school and in case of an emergency. Health forms are updated every two years, so not all classes will receive health forms to be filled out. It is particularly important to complete the section on immunizations by giving the dates or a photocopy of your child’s immunization card. The updated health form does not need to be signed by a doctor, but should be returned in a sealed envelope to the class advisor. It is also important to report any chronic illness such as asthma, allergies or intake of medications. A “Medication Permission” form should be filled in by parents for any medicine that needs to be administered during school hours. The form is available on the school website. Once filled, it is given to the administrative assistant for your child’s section or given directly to the school nurse. All health forms are expected to be returned to the school no later than 29 October 2015. All information is strictly confidential and is kept in the student’s health file in the Sick Bay. The health of your child is our main concern.

- Congratulations to:

  • Accounts Office Cashier Maya Bitar who gave birth to a baby boy, named Jayden, on 18 June 2015
  • Lower Elementary Homeroom teacher Elma Jabbour, who married Charbel Zgheib in July
  • Lower Elementary Secretary Christine Labaky, who was married to Steven Gerges in August
  • KG II Homeroom teacher Sabine Rehayem who was married to Mario Mansour over the summer
  • Elementary Supervisor Joe Said who was married to Phipphawan Khachanya in September.

JOAN HARVEY: It is with sadness that we have to inform you that Joan Harvey (née Wilcockson) died peacefully at Maple Dene Care Home in Birmingham on 12 September 2015 at the age of 92 after a long, challenging and eventful life committed to peace and togetherness. She taught English at BHS around 1978-81 and was married to the late Cyril Harvey, who was BHS Principal from 1977-1981. A memorial meeting to celebrate Joan’s life will be held on Saturday, 31 October 2015 at 12 noon at High Flatts Quaker Meeting House in West Yorkshire. We express our sincere condolences and deepest sympathy to her family.

The Newsletter will be published once a month. 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:

BHS Newsletter

29 January 2016

17 December 2015

26 November 2015

15 October 2015

11 June 2015

14 May 2015

18 March 2015

26 February 2015