The start of the new academic year is always a special time at the British International School of Washington. After the summer break, our students, teachers, and families return feeling rejuvenated and reenergized as we dive into studies for the fall term. This year, we had additional reasons to celebrate because we were able to welcome new families into the school for the Welcome Fair on Wednesday, August 18. This event gave everyone a chance to visit in a safe, physically distanced way in the plaza auditorium so parents and guardians could speak in person with various departments.
School support Representative Ana Arias available to discuss the bussing and transportation options, and School Nurse Kristen Ramsland took medical questions and shared health forms. Families also met School Counsellor Devon DeCataldo, who works on campus every day to offer students support. In addition, representatives from the Physical Education Department handed out PE kits to correspond with the students' house assignments, and representatives from the Admissions Department shared goodie bags.
What's more, volunteers from BISW's outstanding Parents Association joined in on the fun and hosted a used uniform sale. Many families were eager to check out the sale to find great deals on uniforms while they waited for the items they purchased through our Uniform Guide and from our Spirit Wear Store.
Throughout the day, the primary school teachers and Head of Primary Katie Benson had conferences with the families to discuss the curriculum and the syllabus for the fall term. Similarly, the secondary school teachers met with their students in the afternoon. At the same time, Head of Secondary Nick Lee had a physically distanced conference with the parents and guardians to discuss expectations for the new school year. After last year, when the British International School of Washington could not have visitors during the school day, it was a delight to welcome parents and guardians into the school for their appointment times.
Thursday, August 19, marked our first day of school for the 2021–2022 academic year. Students arrived feeling excited for the first days of learning, and our staff worked hard to help students overcome any butterflies about meeting new friends and teachers. Over the next school days, the primary school students enjoyed the Entry Points of their International Primary Curriculum (IPC) units. Meanwhile, secondary students got to know their classes, and they also discussed opportunities for involvement with the student council and subject ambassador programme.
Then, on Tuesday, August 24, teachers from each primary school year group hosted virtual meetings after school hours to share additional details about the classes. These events were an excellent way for families who did not attend the Welcome Fair to find out more information, and they also included other updates about the classes and schedules.
We look forward to an exciting 2021–2022 school year full of experiences that promote ambition, courage, integrity, openness, and respect within our community. Go lions!