Principal’s Letter to Parents – January 2023
Wednesday, 18 January 2023
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I wish you all a very happy 2023 and hope that it will be a memorable year for all the right reasons. I wish you and your families health and prosperity and hope that we can together make this a joyful and successful year for your children and for the school.
This year marks the school’s 150th anniversary. It was in 1873 that Theophilus Waldmeier, a Swiss Quaker, founded the school providing education and learning on Mount Lebanon which continues to this day. Since then Brummana High School has produced leaders in all walks of life across the Middle East and beyond and has been known as a beacon of hope for parents seeking to give their children the best start in life possible. We aim to celebrate the year in many ways but in every way it will involve children engaged in educational endeavours directed at raising their awareness, interest, knowledge, confidence and purpose. It will be a year of hard work, but also one which seeks to demonstrate that sustained application, dedication and determination generate success, not only at school, but throughout life.
The year begins this weekend on Saturday when children from Primary 5 to Grade 12 demonstrate their insight, inventiveness, creativity, and originality at our Academic Fair which opens in the Khoury Hall at 10:00am. The Fair will also take place in the Dobbing Hall. There will be many marvellous projects on show and I hope that many of you will visit and see and hear what our young people can do when they really put their minds to it.
Events to Come
In the course of the year there will be the official opening of the school’s campus as a Botanical Garden which will be marked by the planting of a range of indigenous species; there will be an interschool football tournament; a sports day run by the Parents’ Association; a Gala Dinner and ball, and a Big Game, run for Primary and Intermediate students.
In addition, in May we shall celebrate the twinning of Brummana High School with Sidcot School in Somerset in the South of England with a school trip there. Our IB1 students will be following the IB with their counterparts in England. Here in Brummana we shall hold an International Model United Nations conference hosting a number of schools from the UK, Europe and the Middle East. With my next letter to you I shall publish a calendar of events so that you can see how the year’s events will unfold.
My trip to the USA and to the UK in October has now raised over 100,000USD and many new connections have been made. Awareness has grown both of the plight of Lebanon and of the important role Brummana High School plays in education in the country.
Since last June, when we launched the 2022 campaign for staff funds, over 250,000USD have been raised including funds raised in the USA and UK from my trip there. This has enabled the Governing Body, with the help of the Old Scholars Association, to substantially raise the monthly sum paid in ‘fresh’ dollars to staff for the rest of the academic year, and to point to a brighter outlook for the future. The school has much to be proud of and we aim to continue to provide a first class education for all the children who attend BHS. To do so we must acknowledge the fine work done by our staff and the importance of remunerating them properly. Thank you for your generous support.
Important Practical Matters
1- All students should arrive at school on time each day. A disrupted start to the day makes it difficult for everyone to settle to the day’s necessary routines. Please help us ensure your children’s punctuality.
2- The heating is switched on at 6:30 in the morning and in cold weather remains on until 10:30 and then again from 11:00am until 1:00pm. In general we keep the heating on longer in parts of the school where children are younger and less able to manage the cold. We do, however, have to economise, given the exorbitant cost of fuel and the fact that most of our costs are now in ‘fresh’ dollars. Children should be warmly dressed in the expectation of winter weather and not as if summer has arrived. I am all for optimism but there is a limit.
3- A polite reminder: we run many extra curricular activities and hope that children will participate in these. Once they commit they are expected to attend practices regularly. When selected to represent the school in a competition or tournament they are expected to prepare carefully and take part with pride. It is an honour to be chosen to represent the school.
We are committed to making 2023 a year to remember and one in which your children will thrive and flourish. If we work together such an aim, as it is every year, is eminently achievable . We bear a great responsibility since their future is in our hands. With your help, God willing, we shall prevail.