The Eerste Nederlandse School in Boston (ENSiB) is a Dutch language and culture school formerly based in Watertown, MA. Starting this fall, the school began hosting its classes at the British International School of Boston.
“I think it’s a great school with outstanding facilities,” ENSiB coordinator Inge Bakker said of the British International School of Boston. “I think there will be a better connection with Dutch and Belgian families here, and will hopefully make it easier to reach out to those Dutch and Belgian families who attend (BISB). I think the move gives us more opportunities.”
The move is a timely one for the British International School of Boston. The school, formerly known as the British School of Boston, changed its name this summer to reflect and embrace its international learning community. Hosting classes by ENSiB, administrators said, is another step toward the same goal.
The Eerste Nederlandse School was founded in 2009 by a group of Dutch parents who realized that their children would lose their Dutch language skills rapidly unless they had lessons offered in a structured manner. ENSiB is affiliated and accredited by the Stichting Nederlands Onderwijs in het Buitenland, an organization appointed by the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, to stimulate, support and advise Dutch educational institutions abroad.
ENSiB provides classes for students ages 4-12 on Wednesdays from 4-6 p.m. and on Sundays from 1-4 p.m. Some ENSiB students are children of Dutch ex-pats who need to maintain their language skills for a future return to the Dutch school system, Bakker said, while many others have Dutch family members and simply want to stay in touch with the language and culture.
Bakker said she’s hopeful the move to the British International School of Boston will help ENSiB reach even more students in the Boston area.
“I foresee some growth,” she said. “We now offer two different days for classes, so parents have some choice. With the new location and the choice of Sunday or Wednesday classes, I think growth is possible.”
British International School of Boston administrators are also hopeful about the partnership between the two schools. The ability to offer Dutch classes to students within the school building, said BISB Admissions and Marketing Director Lisa van Horne, is a strong addition to the school’s international learning environment.
"Having a Dutch language and culture program here at the British International School of Boston is a service to the BISB community of families and the greater community, as well as an opportunity for us to support an effort to keep native languages alive,” she said. “BISB believes strongly in the value of developing world languages in young people, so we offer French and Spanish to our students from a very young age. The ENSiB program is yet another way to help that happen.”