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BCIS in Focus

BCIS In Focus - December 10, 2014

Dear Parents,

What did you think the format of last week’s Newsletter? Did more of you access it? Did it work on your mobile device? Communication with our parent body has been a concern since I joined BCIS in 2012. If you read recent educational research, something small, like the concept of feedback, is back on the front page of teaching practices. Meaningful, timely, thoughtful feedback between teachers and students, students and students, and parents and students makes a huge difference in the way students learn, reflect on their own work and become confident learners as they grow older. This is also true for adults and institutions, especially schools. Students learn the best when they are surrounded with supportive adults who are tuned in to what they are doing in their classrooms on a regular basis. I like one-on-one, in-person communication and last year focused on Teas with Bill, or Teas with Principals to stay in touch with the needs of our students and families. In the end, even with morning and evening teas we found that our families were too busy to take advantage of these meetings.



BCIS In Focus - November 26, 2014

Dear Parents,

Traditionally, this is a very special time of year in the United States. The period between the Thanksgiving holiday and the winter break is a time to reflect on our lives, focus on our families, and think about the many things for which we are thankful. This coming Thursday night, we will celebrate our third American Thanksgiving in China. Before eating our meal, we will take the time to reflect on the past 12 months, and we will each give thanks for our personal blessings. Andi and I are thankful for our health, the health of our children, the wonderful opportunity we have been given to live and work in Beijing, and the ability we have to share this amazing stretch of time with Reilly, our youngest daughter.

In the spirit of Thanksgiving we would like to take a moment to express our heartfelt gratitude to the families who have given all of us at BCIS the privilege to work with your sons and daughters. As a school we tend to send you many messages. In the recent past, you have received communications about air quality, calendar changes for APEC, upcoming music events, sports events, the advisory program, Principals’ letters and more. In the midst of this busy time of year, I thought it would be appropriate to also thank each of you for the care you demonstrate for your children on a daily basis.

The next few weeks are full of events in which we all get to celebrate our children’s success and talents. We have the Elementary School Concert and the Secondary School Winter Concerts, at which parents are not only treated to a great display of music talent at school, but also at which students can hone their performance skills and gain invaluable on-stage experience. This Saturday, from 11:00 to 15:00, BCIS works with the Migrant Children’s Foundation in presenting the 2014 Christmas Bazaar, where we are hoping the whole community will join us for a wonderful afternoon of festivities and performances from our students. These are great events where I hope to see you and your family taking part in the community that we call Beijing City International School.

Sincerely yours,

Bill O’Hearn
Head of School
Superintendent of YueCheng Education


BCIS In Focus - November 12, 2014

Dear Parents,

Last week we sent 70 faculty members to take part in IB workshops. They were part of the largest conference offering IB workshops in China, 1600 teachers were on the Western Academy of Beijing campus for three days.



BCIS In Focus - October 29, 2014

Dear Parents,

Friday, October 17, I removed my “hat” as Head of School, and for a few hours was the father of a BCIS senior. I spent the early morning visiting my daughter’s teachers with her in the chair next to me as we talked about her academic progress. In the second year of the Diploma Program she has the same teachers she had last year. Watching her talk to her teachers taught me a lot about the school. We use the word personalized to describe our approach to each student and the fact that these teachers had already spent a year with her became very clear. They know her as a learner, her strengths, her weaknesses, her interests, and when she needs them to encourage her to push herself. I was very proud of her in the way she interacted with them, listening carefully, making plans for the rest of the year based on the progress she had made by mid-October.


BCIS In Focus - October 15, 2014

Dear Parents,

I was fortunate enough this week to attend the opening of the Library at the new Early Childhood Center (ECC). The wonderful thing about a library is that it is a place for people of all ages to take time out of their busy lives to read because they enjoy reading. The skill of reading is the base of all learning. One learns how to read until about the age of nine. From then on, we read to learn.

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BCIS is accredited by the CIS (Council of International Schools) and WASC (Western Association of Schools and Colleges), which demonstrates that the school meets demanding international standards in all the areas of philosophy and objectives, curriculum, governance and management, staff, student support services, resources, and student and community life.Visit www.cois.org and www.acswasc.org for more information.

The International Baccalaureate® (IB) is a non-profit educational foundation, motivated by its mission, focused on the student. The three programmes for students aged 3 to 19 help develop the intellectual, personal, emotional and social skills to live, learn and work in a rapidly globalizing world. Founded in 1968, IBO currently works with 2,771 schools in 138 countries to develop and offer three challenging programmes to over 763,000 students aged 3 to 19 years.Visit www.ibo.org for more information.

We live by a spirit of inspiring others, achieving ones goals and creating a better world.

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