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Shaping the

future Annual Review 2011-2012

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1


Character Community Curriculum

The Mission of BFIS The Mission of the Benjamin Franklin International School is to embody the values of international education by creating a diverse environment that embraces multiple perspectives, broadmindedness and multilingualism. BFIS provides a rich foundation in the liberal arts and sciences, as well as exposure to adults who are dedicated to meaningfully connecting teaching and learning to the world. In the partnership of learning between children and teachers, community is lived through experiences that foster personal responsibility, cooperation, imaginative thinking, problem solving, decision making, care and respect. We view education as an opportunity for children to learn how to live fully and become global citizens, able to build a more humane world. 2

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INDEX A/ Letter from the PRESIDENT OF THE FOUNDATION BOARD B/ Letter from the Head of School

01

Celebrating milestones

A/ INVESTING IN EXCELLENCE ∙∙ Becoming an IBO World School ∙∙ A rich foundation in the Sciences and the Arts ∙∙ Taking action around the world ∙∙ An individualized experience B/ WORLD-CLASS FACULTY AND SCHOOL-HOME PARTNERSHIP ∙∙ Investing in teaching and learning ∙∙ Insights from parents ∙∙ New faculty and faculty update C/ A CAMPUS FOR THE FUTURE D/ EXCEEDING OUR GOALS ∙∙ Growing smart ∙∙ Raising the bar

02

Celebrating our International Community

A/ Global citizens B/ Collaborative spirit

03

Securing Financial Stability

A/ Financial highlights and review B/ Managing the BFIS 2011-2012 Annual Fund

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3


Letter from the PRESIDENT OF THE FOUNDATION BOARD Dianna O´Doherty

“We have provided for a more differentiated and individualized curriculum and will continue moving in this direction”

MEMBERS OF THE FOUNDATION BOARD

Dear BFIS Community, The Annual Review is a publication meant to capture our school’s Mission, review the milestones we have achieved together as a community, preview the plans for the coming year, and, most importantly, celebrate our students. It is my privilege to once again introduce it to you. BFIS is an exceptional school, characterized by the recognition that learning is a highly individualized process and that what, and how, our children learn should prepare them for their world. Ours is a wonderfully diverse and inclusive international community, where we strive to build and grow our connectedness, while welcoming over 100 new students most every year. The belief

that parents must play an integral role in their children’s education fosters our strong school-parent partnership, and the knowledge that teachers are the heart of our school drives our efforts to attract and retain outstanding educators and administrators. The Board’s work is strategic in nature and intended to plan and prepare for the long-term success of the school and our students. The 2007 Strategic Plan guided much of this work in recent years, including the expansion and strengthening of our academic program and significant campus improvements. We have provided for a more differentiated and individualized curriculum and will continue moving in this direction. The IB Diploma Karen Cervantes Greggory Crouch Javier Curtichs Kamram Mohsenin

Boris Mulder Yvette Oliveau Gonzalo Rodés Susanna Soler

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/ Letter from the President of the Foundation Board


Program now gives our students an outstanding alternative to the U.S. and Spanish diploma programs, and we plan to continue to broaden and strengthen this program. Strategic additions and renovations to our facilities have provided for better teaching and learning spaces throughout our campus. Thanks to careful stewardship, BFIS continues to be in sound financial health. This year we embark on a new strategic planning exercise to set our course for the coming years. Some key areas are already being addressed in direct response to community feedback, including math and language acquisition. On math, we undertook a substantial differentiation of the program and engaged outside expertise to provide teacher training and develop our math program both holistically across the school and at the individual grade level. On language acquisition, a full review of our language acquisition program is being undertaken later this year with the objective of ensuring best practices, achieving deeper technology integration, and delivering a stronger, more effective program overall.

I would like to personally thank those of you who provided your important feedback which helped shape and define many recent initiatives through our Parent Surveys and also those who so generously contributed to last year’s Annual Fund which raised over 170,000 € to help support these initiatives. As BFIS has grown, both in terms of enrollment and the breadth and complexity of our program, several changes have been made to our organization to better support our needs. Last year, with Tom Northrup as Interim Head of School, we undertook an extensive search to identify the person to lead BFIS forward. We were delighted to welcome Bill Knauer as our new Head of School, an experienced educator and highly capable academic administrator who shares our vision and values. Bill assumes the reins of leadership at a very exciting time in our school’s history. Monica Chitnis continues to provide outstanding oversight in her role as Director of Finance and Operations, managing all operational areas of the school, and together with our talented faculty and staff, they constitute a

remarkable team, supporting our students on their journey. It’s been an honor to work for another year with the very dedicated members of the Foundation Board, and I want to thank you, the BFIS community, for your continued support of our school. I hope that this year’s Annual Review provides you with insights into another great year of progress at BFIS. Together we have built on the good work of our school’s founders and the many others who have come before us. We must continue striving to make BFIS a place for excellence in education. Warmly,

Letter from the President of the Foundation Board /

5


Letter from the Head of School Bill Knauer

“The reason we look back is so that we can then look forward, turning our thoughts and energy toward the endless possibilities of the future”

At first glance, it might seem unusual for a new Head of School to be writing about the Annual Review, for this publication is, by definition, a snapshot of the past, of a history that I had no hand in creating. While the Review is certainly an opportunity to look back in time, to examine and reflect on past events and milestones and celebrate the many successes of the last year, ultimately, the reason we look back is so that we can then look forward, turning our thoughts and energy toward the endless possibilities of the future. I am fortunate to have joined the BFIS community at a time when that future looks so promising. In the months since my arrival at BFIS, I have been impressed by the warmth, commitment, and collaboration of the entire community. From the talented and caring faculty and administration to the dedicated Board members and the supportive and generous PTA and parent body, everyone at the school works together to create the best possible experience for our students. And the result is obvious – a campus teeming with engaged, happy, curious, creative learners. The values of Character, Community,

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/ Letter from the Head of School

and Curriculum are at the core of all that happens here. 2011–2012 was a momentous time for the school as years of planning and preparation led to the successful launch of the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program at BFIS. Additionally, I want to acknowledge the efforts of Tom Northrup, whose vision helped to shape the future direction of the school. In his year as Interim Head of School, Tom focused on enhancing academic programs at BFIS through professional training for faculty that centered on differentiating instruction, math pedagogy, and learning support, and those areas will remain central to our mission in years ahead. It is my pleasure to present to you the 2011–2012 Annual Review, a glimpse into the school’s recent past. I hope you enjoy reading it and, as always, I welcome any comments and ideas you might have as we move forward as a community into the bright future of BFIS.


01

Celebrating milestones

A/ INVESTING IN EXCELLENCE ∙∙ Becoming an IBO World School ∙∙ A rich foundation in the Sciences and the Arts ∙∙ Taking action around the world ∙∙ An individualized experience B/ WORLD-CLASS FACULTY AND SCHOOL-HOME PARTNERSHIP ∙∙ Investing in teaching and learning ∙∙ Insights from parents ∙∙ New faculty and faculty update C/ A CAMPUS FOR THE FUTURE D/ EXCEEDING OUR GOALS ∙∙ Growing smart ∙∙ Raising the bar

Celebrating milestones /

7


Celebrating Milestones Investing in excellence Becoming an IBO World School

“IB STUDENTS ARE AT AN ADVANTAGE… IN THE U.S. GRADUATES ARE 21.4% MORE LIKELY TO BE ADMITTED INTO… THE COUNTRY’S MOST PRESTIGOUS UNIVERSITIES…” IBO Organization

In September of 2011 we launched the highly respected college preparatory International Baccalaureate Diploma Program (IBDP). BFIS has prepared for the introduction of the IBDP for some time, making adjustments to our High School curriculum, training teachers in IB methodologies, and helping students understand the program’s requirements and course offerings. We opened with a class of 28 students, 25 of whom became full diploma candidates. Course offerings include English A, Spanish A and B, French B, Math, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Economics, History, and Visual Arts.

Approximately 20 BFIS teachers have attended IB training all over the world, and several experienced IBDP teachers were added to our faculty. At our first IB night, held in the Spring, 10th grade parents and students attended an informational session geared towards explaining the philosophy of the IB, the learner profile, and course selection. Students were introduced, through a series of workshops, to the Extended Essay: an independent, self-directed piece of research, culminating in a 4,000-word paper.

“The program helps you TO become a better critical thinker and not just believe everything you are told”

“the Extended Essay allowed me TO learn how to use resources TO write a MEANINGFUL research paper”

BFIS Student

BFIS Student

8

/ Celebrating milestones


With the help of BFIS Librarian, David Cevoli, our IBDP students became acquainted with numerous online databases and how to leverage the multitude of resources already available on the internet. Students also better understood the components and skills needed for the Extended Essay by tapping into our library’s resources. Although Community Service is already a very important part of a BFIS education, it was further formalized through the CAS (Creativity, Action, Service) component of the diploma program. Students dedicated more than 4,000 hours in total to CAS, participating in many diverse activities: volunteering at a soup kitchen, running a marathon, visiting a retirement home, participating in Model United Nations, helping with the school musical, practicing martial arts, and exploring the introduction of a microfinance program.

“IB has INTRODUCED meaningful projects that are more part of STUDENTS’ everyday experience” IB CAS Coordinator Celebrating milestones /

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Celebrating Milestones Investing in excellence A rich foundation in the Sciences

MATH Club Since it was inaugurated, BFIS has participated in the International Schools Mathematics Teachers Foundation (ISMTF) program, a math competition among many of the best European schools. Six years ago, BFIS launched the Math Club as an after-school activity with the objective of developing our students’ math skills, preparing them for the math competition, and most importantly, teaching them to approach mathematics from the perspective of critical thinking and problem solving within a fun and collaborative team atmosphere.

At BFIS, student engagement in the sciences begins in the Elementary School and continues through to High School. Upon entry into Middle School, science courses are divided into units of study based on the main branches of science: biology, chemistry, physics, and earth/ space science. In each of these units, learning objectives focus on fundamental concepts and skills, with special emphasis placed on the investigative side of science. Students perform several laboratory experiments in each unit of study to re-enforce concepts, apply what they have learned to solve problems, and build a framework of skills needed to find the answers to their own questions. Throughout this laboratory program, students gain increasingly complex expertise in designing experiments, collecting and analyzing data, and drawing conclusions. This framework not only allows students to appreciate the fluid nature of our understanding of the world, but also provides them with the foundation of skills needed to be successful in the International Baccalaureate program. 10 / Celebrating milestones

Specialization in one or more of the sciences (Biology, Chemistry, Physics) begins in 11th grade with entry into the IB Program, where students select one (or two) of these courses to study in detail over their final two years of High School. These courses greatly increase the breadth and depth of students’ understanding of one specific branch of science, while at the same time placing even greater emphasis on investigative skills. Throughout their academic career at BFIS, students are regularly required to conduct larger independent investigations as part of a science fair program. In 5th, 7th, and 9th grades, students are given the opportunity to investigate a topic of interest to them and present their findings to a larger audience. In HS, students participate in an interdisciplinary investigation called the Group IV Project. Last year a number of 9th grade students carried out several interesting science projects, which included building a scooter with a new and unique steering mechanism and creating a functioning hydroelectric generator.

There has been significant improvement in our students’ performance since our first competition. Several times our students have been among the winning teams of the Sunday Chase, a mixed school team organized among all participants. In the Spring of 2012, BFIS sent two teams to this competition to join two hundred and seventy other students from across Europe. One of our teams ranked seventh out of a total of ninety teams, and one of our students, Junghwan (James) Jang, won the highly competitive overall individual contest. Needless to say, we are extremely proud of him and all our math participants!


Celebrating Milestones Investing in excellence A rich foundation in the Arts “We truly encourage our students to think for themselves, to think outside the box and TO take risks” A conversation with David Magaña Art Program Coordinator and Counselor How do you think BFIS is responding to the claim “A rich foundation in the Arts”? I like the word “rich” and I like the word “foundation.” I think this statement reflects the philosophy in our Art department. New BFIS students come into our program with different art levels, so the first thing I try to do is to assess every one of them to know their interests and capabilities, and provide them with a good base in art fundamentals. That is why I like the word foundation. They learn all the elements and principles of design and art concepts, and then we develop certain projects to implement them. Also my philosophy as an art teacher is to differentiate because not everybody is interested in the same type of art or has the same natural talent or ability. Some students like to work with a methodical or transitional mode, while others may need to get involved in more action painting or something more physical. I take that into account and try to give each student an opportunity to work on a project in their own way and make their own version of the learning objectives. I believe very strongly in encouraging students to think for themselves, to think outside of the box, and to take risks. We also try to take the students out of the classroom and visit different museums and interesting exhibitions around Barcelona, a

city so rich in art resources. I try to include local artists such us Joan Miró, Joan Brossa, Antoni Tàpies, and Picasso so that students can be aware of the local culture. What types of visual arts are developed at BFIS, and what do you see as the areas for further development? Painting was, is, and will always be a good start. Drawing is a good base for every type of art form. Working in a 2-dimensional format helps our students to develop the sense of perspective, the feeling of depth and spatial sense, which provides a solid base to further explore other types of art. We also work with what American artist Robert Rauschenberg called combined paintings, which entails attaching objects and applying textures to the canvas. Students learn how to use these techniques, but they also learn to tell a story, transmit a personal message, and personalize the project. Regarding areas of growth, the art curriculum is including 3-dimensional art work and the sculpture realm. Some students are moving now towards 3-dimensional conceptual art pieces, like the one shown in the background photo on this page, activating spaces and building creative and expressive installations. Thanks to the Campus Improvement Project, we now have a larger art room which allows us to increase our experiences with 3-dimensional and conceptual art. Also, we are entering this pioneering territory that is the IB Program, which offers the possibility of working in many different art mediums, and conceptual art fits very well into it. Our department of digital art, run by Roberto Baldizón until 2012, is also progressively capturing our students´ interest. We will also reinstate ceramics as part of the art curriculum since children tend to respond very well and very naturally to clay, either throwing it on the wheel or hand

building. For technical reasons and space limitations there has been a gap in that area for some time, but we have acquired a kiln that will be connected shortly, and it will allow us to bring ceramics back. What do you feel the art program brings to our students’ education as global citizens? First, it gives them the opportunity to communicate through a medium which is non-threatening, natural, and very pleasurable for them. It also provides our students with the opportunity to feel that they can be themselves as young artists and that they have the freedom to experiment, to take risks, and to think for themselves. It is very important for me to provide the students with the art experience that I had when I was a student. I had some very wonderful teachers, and when I was in the art room, I always felt like I was myself, and I want to provide that atmosphere and sense of security for them. If our children feel that they can be themselves and have that sense of confidence, they can do wonders. This is, therefore, an important part of what happens when people come into the art room. If they feel safe, if they feel they have guidance, they can make mistakes, rectify, and move forward. That also applies to other areas outside of the art room and to other aspects of our everyday life. When someone makes a mistake, they learn to adjust, put it aside, look at it from another perspective, and move on. We also have a lot of conversations about our students‘ everyday lives. Everyone gets involved. I think art is a natural support for our students. We do our best to educate our students as open-minded citizens on different types of art and ideas and on the importance of being tolerant, so if they do not like something, they can, at least, try to understand what is behind it and be able to express their own point of view. Celebrating milestones / 11

3-dimensional installation by Cristina Cabada,12th grade IB Visual Art student


Celebrating Milestones Investing in excellence Taking action around the world

“Habitat for Humanity taught me that the relationship we have with other members of our global community is a two-way street: we learn as much from others as they learn from us. We become global citizens when we become aware of this” BFIS Student

Habitat for Humanity (HfH) is an organization that believes everyone has the right to adequate shelter. The NGO is able to provide low-interest loans to the working poor through donations and volunteer labor. BFIS Teachers Bradley Bergey and Adam Rugnetta began a partnership between Habitat for Humanity and our school in 2008. They hoped to take advantage of student idealism to make a concrete difference in the world. In addition, they sought to challenge pre-conceived notions about different cultures and classes. The club was founded on the belief that working shoulder to shoulder with the less fortunate would help students develop tolerance and understanding. This approach initially tested not only the students’, but also their parents’, world view. Only seven students attended the first global village trip to the Kingdom of Jordan. That experience was so positive, however, that participation eventually doubled and even tripled 12 / Celebrating milestones

on subsequent trips to Senegal and Ghana. We have now participated in the construction of dozens of homes throughout the Arab and African world. Perhaps more importantly, we have promoted peace in an admittedly limited, but lasting way one small village at a time. Today the BFIS Habitat for Humanity tradition is stronger than ever. Parents and students alike fundraise to ensure that the club can continue to fulfill its mission. We strongly believe our members are the embodiment of global citizenship. We also recognize that this wonderful project is not just charity but a chance to better ourselves. If you are interested in supporting our BFIS Habitat for Humanity efforts, please write Imma Sanchez in the Business Office.


Celebrating Milestones Investing in excellence An individualized experience Differentiated Instruction is much more than simply teaching different content to different students. Rather, it is a philosophy of education that puts the individual student at the center of the learning process; supports the academic, social, and emotional needs of each child; and inspires students and enables them to reach their potential. Differentiation is an approach that builds on the strengths of each child and guides and supports them in addressing and overcoming their personal challenges. At BFIS differentiated instruction takes a variety of forms. In the Elementary School, each student is assessed at the beginning of the year to identify his or her current level of performance in a variety of areas, and that child’s educational program is built around the information gleaned from those diagnostic measures. Once teachers have a clear picture of a student’s developmental progress, they are able to provide targeted instruction to promote maximum growth. Our reading, writing, and math workshops provide opportunities for children to be led through guided and independent practice of various skills and concepts while teachers simultaneously conference with individual students to provide feedback on their learning. In this way, we seek to challenge students and also allow them to develop at their own rate, as we recognize that each child learns and grows in a unique way. The Middle School received particular attention this year in preparation to further differentiate instruction in 2012-2013. Moving from two to three sections per grade will allow for smaller class sizes and a richer and

more diverse learning environment. Changes to the schedule of the school day will continue to create opportunities for flexible grouping and mobility among classes. Furthermore, a close examination of the math curriculum is leading to lessons that better accommodate a range of abilities and enable all students to maximize their learning. The planned introduction of a Middle School Coordinator for 2012-2013 will also enable the Middle School to create a social and emotional environment that better meets the developmental needs of this unique age group and recognizes that students in these grades have specific educational characteristics and needs. In the High School, differentiation manifests itself at the classroom level through varied teaching approaches and the combination of whole group, small group, and individual instruction. Teachers examine their practices to focus on the quality of the work they assign rather than the quantity. The International Baccalaureate Program reinforces the value of various levels of teaching and learning by emphasizing the importance of leading students beyond simple meaning into the deeper levels of knowledge in the subjects they study. Finally, learning support specialists work with students and with classroom teachers to provide yet another level of differentiation. At BFIS, the ultimate goal is not only that students gain knowledge and develop their intellectual skills but also that they challenge themselves, reach their full potential, discover their passions, and enjoy themselves in the process. Celebrating milestones / 13


Celebrating Milestones WORLD CLASS FACULTY AND SCHOOL-HOME PARTNERSHIP Investing in teaching and learning One of the most inspiring qualities about the BFIS community is our ongoing commitment to learning at all levels. While it is common for schools to focus their efforts around student learning, one characteristic that sets BFIS apart from other institutions is our devotion to adult learning through the avenues of teacher professional development and parent education. BFIS believes that the professional development of its faculty is absolutely essential to student learning. By providing opportunities for our teachers to build their pedagogical knowledge and instructional repertoire, we become better equipped to meet the needs of our students on a daily basis. In order to support a diverse faculty charged with implementing a wide-ranging educational program, our professional development approach consists of three main components: In-House Workshops, Visiting Consultants, and External Professional Workshops and Opportunities. For our In-House Workshops, we make a concerted effort to use our faculty gatherings and professional development days for the specific purpose of improving our educational practices, ensuring knowledge is widely shared across our talented faculty. In addition to our internal efforts, we also invite outside educational consultants to provide targeted support for different aspects of our program based on school-wide

14 / Celebrating milestones

goals. Last year, we were fortunate to have visits from Dr. Monica Neagoy and Erma Anderson to support the development of our math program, Dr. Joyce Pickering and Ms. Nancy Coffman to provide their expertise to our learning support program, and Dr. Michael Thompson to reflect upon how to support holistic child development. Finally, we also support an array of opportunities for teachers to participate in professional workshops and learning opportunities around the world. These efforts are vital to our community because they allow our faculty to stay abreast of developments within the field and connect with other educators tackling similar challenges. In conjunction with our ongoing effort to develop our faculty, we believe in the importance of providing learning opportunities for parents as well. Because a strong partnership between parents and faculty is essential to supporting students, our goal is to create avenues for parents to develop indepth knowledge of our educational program, including overarching philosophies and even instructional strategies. By also working with parents in this way, the end result is that, as a community, we are able to establish common ideas and understandings about how to most effectively support our children. At BFIS, we truly believe that the school-home partnership is essential to helping our students thrive.


Celebrating Milestones WORLD CLASS FACULTY AND SCHOOL-HOME PARTNERSHIP Insights from parents

“Thank you to all parents who participated in the 2012 BFIS Parent Survey. While the average response rate this year was below that of last year, at 40%, we still believe the results are an important representation of parent opinions about our program� BFIS Foundation Board Below we present a summary of the results we received on three key questions, which we hope will provide a sense of the overall feedback from this parent group. Is your child happy at BFIS? Actual Total responses

Total school (by %)

Early Education (by %)

Elementary School (by %)

Middle School (by %)

High School (by %)

Yes, very happy

122

58%

86%

55%

60%

47%

Yes, mostly happy

75

36%

14%

41%

25%

47%

Mixed happy/unhappy

14

7%

0%

4%

15%

6%

No, mostly unhappy

0

0%

0%

0%

0%

0%

No, very unhappy Total

0

0%

0%

0%

0%

0%

211

100%

100%

100%

100%

100%

Do you feel like your child has made good progress academically this year?

Yes

Actual Total responses

Total school (by %)

Early Education (by %)

Elementary School (by %)

Middle School (by %)

High School (by %)

175

87%

97%

81%

81%

85%

No

27

13%

3%

19%

19%

15%

Total

202

100%

100%

100%

100%

100%

As you may recall, in our first survey from 2010-2011, parents identified a number of areas which they felt needed improvement, including Math, Spanish as an Additional Language, and Physical Education (PE). Recognizing that there is work to be done in each of these areas, we have taken the following steps to address these concerns. Thanks to our Annual Fund campaign, we were able to bring in the math expertise of international school consultant Monica Neagoy, to work closely with our math department teachers across all grade levels. Within our Spanish as Additional Language program, we added teaching resources to divide these classes into smaller groups and are seeking recommendations from an outside specialist on further improving this program. Finally, while our urban campus naturally constrains the potential for our PE program, we are investigating ways to enhance our PE offering, with a first step being a partnership with the nearby Can Caralleu facilities. Thank you all, again, for participating in our 2012 survey, and we hope you will continue to provide this important feedback so that we may, together, continuously improve BFIS.

Do you feel like your child has made good progress socially this year?

Yes

Actual Total responses

Total school (by %)

Early Education (by %)

Elementary School (by %)

Middle School (by %)

High School (by %)

183

90%

100%

89%

85%

91%

No

20

10%

0%

11%

15%

9%

Total

203

100%

100%

100%

100%

100% Celebrating milestones / 15


Celebrating Milestones WORLD CLASS FACULTY AND SCHOOL-HOME PARTNERSHIP New faculty

Tyler Andrews Nuria Araguás Ashley Birnbaum Laura Blair

Chrissy Bruce Jim Conner Katharine Ford Jennifer Gibbs

Julia Halverson Sharon Kemble Richard Littlewood John McLean

Matthew Monaghan Anna Pérez Nick Preston Monique Puig

Borja Reverter Sandra Romero Kyle Sala John Salach

Michelle Shemin Caroline Simpson Isabel Vives Alexandra Wells

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Celebrating Milestones WORLD CLASS FACULTY AND SCHOOL-HOME PARTNERSHIP Faculty update

88

U.S.

Spanish

Other nationalities

41%

33%

26%

36 29 23

Faculty

Full time teachers

Part time teachers

Average teaching experience

Masters Degree

80 9 years

72%

18%

U.S.

U.K.

Native Language 58%

10% Canada

8

English

55 %

39%

+

Spanish

3%

+

Other Celebrating milestones / 17


Celebrating Milestones A campus for the future After completing Phase I of our Campus Improvement Project (CIP) in 2011, which included extensive work to renovate and prepare the new MS/HS building and the creation of a new Library Commons space for our students and teachers, we embarked on Phase II of the CIP in the summer of 2012. This phase included the complete renovation of the third floor of the MSHS building, providing several new classrooms, offices, new bathrooms, an exterior staircase to provide safe access and egress, and the conversion of the ground-floor classrooms into simple science labs. Also as part of Phase II, our main Administration building was totally remodeled to provide a more accessible and inviting ground-floor Elementary School library, along with a quiet room for class or study for our ES students. The business office and faculty staff rooms were moved to the second floor and received a much needed upgrade. The Admissions and Community Relations offices were relocated to the ground-floor in order to better welcome prospective families and provide a more attractive main reception area for all members of our community. As the need to improve our facilities was a clear part of our 2007 Strategic Plan, we are extremely pleased that we have been able to expand our campus and significantly improve many of our teaching and learning spaces entirely from our accumulated reserves, without requiring external financing. BFIS remains largely debt free – a desirable position, to be sure, given the challenging economic environment we face.

18 / Celebrating milestones


we have been able to expand our campus and significantly improve many of our teaching and learning spaces entirely from our accumulated reserves, without requiring external financing During 2011, the Foundation Board retained the services of H2L2 Architects and Designers, a U.S.-based architectural firm with extensive experience in creating 21st Century learning environments at over 50 international schools worldwide, and Edetco Tecnics, a local construction management firm. While both firms have been critical to the success of both Phase I and Phase II of our Campus Improvement Project (CIP) as described above, their parternship with BFIS extends well beyond the renovation work of the last two summers. With their help, BFIS has developed a preliminary Facilities Master Plan which will both inform and form a critical part of our new strategic planning cycle over the coming year.

5%

+63% +10%

+48% (HS Annex)

Main Campus Fuster Building

4,754 sq.m.

1,175 sq. m.

SEPTEMBER 2010 5,929 sq.m.

(20% Usage)

Main Campus

4,754 sq.m.

MS/HS Campus

Main Campus

MS/HS Campus

4,037 sq.m.

4,754 sq.m.

4,683 sq.m.

SEPTEMBER 2011 8,791 sq.m.

Fuster Building

235 sq.m.

SEPTEMBER 2012 9,672 sq.m. Celebrating milestones / 19


Celebrating Milestones Exceeding our goals Growing smart

New Students

Total Enrollment

568 128 235 Applications

20 / Celebrating milestones

Enrollment Growth 5%

483

12%

568

8%

541

12%

11-12

10-11

09-10

08-09

397

446

2%

07-08

Overall, our enrollment challenge remains clear – each year we seek to replace 100 or so students in order to meet our budgetary goals and continue to provide a dynamic learning environment for all of our students. We do this while striving to preserve our enrollment mix among U.S. students, Spanish students, and students of other nationalities, that continues to define us.

389

Our recent growth has allowed us to make key improvements to our academic program, including the IB Diploma Program (IBDP), increase teaching resources across grade levels, and create additional and better facilities. Still, we remain mindful that having “grown smart,” we are now approaching our ideal school size. While we must continue to actively recruit new students, especially from the U.S., and HS candidates to ensure the ongoing success of our IB Program, our Elementary School is already at

capacity. In contrast, within Middle School, the recent move to three sections and the newly renovated MS/HS building have provided us with some increased flexibility on enrollment in the upper grades.

06-07

Enrollment at BFIS has continued to grow steadily - about 8% per year on average over the past five years – and we believe this is a strong testament to the quality of our teachers, our academic program, and our welcoming international community. Given the 20-25% annual turnover, typical of international schools like ours, we can be particularly proud of the number of new students and their families who joined our community in 2011-2012. With our student body representing over 40 nationalities and cultures, we are a truly diverse and unique extended family.


Celebrating Milestones Exceeding our goals Student update U.S.

166 29%

Spanish

Other nationalities

32%

39%

181

Student Demografics

P

Nationalities

S

%

221

%

Q

+

Early Childhood

Elementary

Middle

High

students

students

students

students

100 200 123 145

F% I% G% U% H% Y% /% X% Celebrating milestones / 21


On June 9th, 2012, thirty-one BFIS students donned their distinctive black gowns to be honored by their parents, teachers, administrators, Board of Trustees, and our commencement speaker, U.S. Consul General in Barcelona, Greggory Crouch. In a beautiful and touching outdoor ceremony, each graduating student spoke from the heart about what made their BFIS experience special and unique. Some spoke fondly of a particular BFIS teacher who made a difference to them while others acknowledged the lasting bonds of friendship they forged with their classmates. We are proud to report that of our graduating seniors, many received offers of acceptance from several prestigious colleges and universities in both hemispheres. Over 60% of our graduating students are pursuing English language programs, primarily in the United States and the United Kingdom, while the remainder chose higher education opportunities in other languages, including Spanish. Perhaps most impressive is that our graduates received over $320,000 in merit-based scholarships at U.S. universities, and about 45% of those applying to at least one U.S. university received a scholarship. In our ongoing commitment to raising the bar at BFIS, we celebrate the achievements of our 2012 graduating class; take pride in the role we have played in their academic, social, and emotional development; and wish them the best as they leave their BFIS family and continue their journey as lifelong learners. 22 / Celebrating milestones


Celebrating Milestones Exceeding our goals Raising the bar

COLLEGE AND UNIVERSITY Admissions Offers Class of 2012 U.S.

U.K.

American University, Washington D.C.

American Musical Theatre Academy of London, London

Bard University, New York Bennington College, Vermont Bentley University, Massachusetts Berklee College of Music, Massachusetts Boston University, Massachusetts Brigham Young University, Idaho Brigham Young University, Utah University of California, Berkeley University of California, San Diego University of California, Santa Barbara California Institute of the Arts, California California State Polytechnic University, California University of Connecticut, Connecticut Cornell University, New York Dartmouth College, New Hampshire Emory University, Georgia Florida Institute of Technology, Florida George Washington University, Washington D.C. Hampshire College, Massachusetts New York University Abu Dhabi, New York Northeastern University, Massachusetts Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, New York

Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge Central School of Speech and Drama, London City University, London David Game College, London Glasgow Academy of Musical Theatre, Glasgow Goldsmith’s College, London Leeds Metropolitan, West Yorkshire London School of Musical Theatre, London Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester Northumbria University, Newcastle. Oxford Brooks University, Oxford Regent’s American College London, London Richmond American International University of London, London Roehampton University, London Swansea University, Swansea University of Bath, Bath University College London, London University of Plymouth, Plymouth University of Warwick, Coventry University of Worcester, Worcester

Sarah Lawrence University, New York

Other Countries

University of Southern California, California

American University of Paris, France

Stetson University, Florida

Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, Spain

Temple University, Pennsylvania

Universitat de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain

Tufts University, Massachusetts

Universitat de Girona, Girona, Spain

Vancouver Film School, British Columbia

Universitat Internacional de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain

Vassar University, New York University of Vermont, Vermont University of Virginia, Virginia The College of William and Mary, Virginia

IQS Sarria, Barcelona, Spain EINA Escola de Disseny, Barcelona, Spain ESADE, Barcelona, Spain La Salle University, Barcelona, Spain University of Madrid, Madrid, Spain Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan Celebrating milestones / 23


24 / Celebrating our International Community


02

Celebrating our International Community

A/ Global citizens B/ Collaborative spirit

Celebrating our International Community / 25


Andorra Argentina Australia Brazil Bulgaria Canada China Colombia Czech Republic Finland France Germany Greece Holland Hungary Iceland India Iran Ireland Israel Italy Japan Korea Libya Lithuania Mexico Netherlands Norway Pakistan Poland Portugal Russia South Africa Spain Sweden Switzerland Turkey U.K. Ukraine U.S. Venezuela 26 / Celebrating our International Community

Celebrating our International Community Global Citizens At BFIS the diversity of our student body, faculty, and parent community—now comprised of over 40 nationalities and cultural heritages—is the very heart and soul of our school. For us, educating our students to be global citizens means much more than simply the integration of different nationalities and cultures on one campus. Rather, it means embracing our differences—of ideas and opinions, cultures, race, religion, and abilities.

At BFIS we embrace our diversity as a source of pride and strength


CELEBRATING OUR INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY Collaborative spirit The bfis Parent-Teacher Association

The BFIS Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) embodies the collaborative spirit and school-home partnership we so value as a school. Their support and involvement at both the administrative and social level is vital to our sense of community, diversity, and open communication.

Thanks to the success of these events, the PTA was able to make targeted financial contributions to the school, including the purchase of stage lightning for the Drama Department, a ceramic wheel for the Art Department, and significant donations to the Habitat for Humanity project and the Spanish Department.

During 2011-2012 the BFIS PTA focused on two primary areas: community building through social events and improving communication between the school’s administration and parent community.

In terms of improving communication between parents and the school’s administration, the PTA was proud to introduce and oversee several new channels to promote open dialogue. The first, our Room Parent Network, was revamped and expanded to ensure that parents were kept well informed of upcoming events and had a regular forum to meet with school administrators. The PTA also launched the PTA Concern Log to allow parents to report their concerns directly to the administration and receive responses from them. Finally, the PTA infopage (blog) was introduced as another medium through which parents are able to stay well informed about different aspects of BFIS life.

At the beginning of the school year, the PTA played a key role in helping to on-board our new families through an extraordinarily successful August BBQ, a wholeschool Welcome Coffee, and a three-day optional orientation workshop entitled “Making Barcelona Home.” In addition, they continued to sponsor many memorable events for the entire community during the year such as the Halloween Party, Holiday Concert and Craft Bazaar, ES Art and Talent show, International Food Fair, and St. Jordi Festival, among others.

We thank all the BFIS PTA volunteers for their boundless energy and tireless dedication to our school and its students. Celebrating our International Community / 27


CELEBRATING OUR INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY BFIS ALUMNI REUNION On Thanksgiving Day, NOVEMBER 24th 2011, we hosted a BFIS alumni reunion. It was really exciting HAVING alumni meet their teachers and their peers at their old school “BFIS was like a family. THE BEST TIME OF MY LIFE.” Cecilia Nordstrom, class of 1997

“Teachers’ dedication was what inspired me, especially Sam Abraham, Pilar and Mimi. BFIS is The Best School.” Luisa Karimighovanloo, class of 1987

“International environment. Open-mindedness. Different.” Vanessa Lasry, class of 1994

28 / Celebrating our International Community

“Growing up, BFIS was my family outside of home, a place to grow and express myself, to become who I am. It has helped me chase my dreams and stay true to myself. BFIS is Love, Inspiration and Fun.”

“The capability of understanding rather than memorizing, as well as the view of an international community. BFIS is FAN-TAS-TIC.” Leyla Nematollani, class of 1996

Vivian Zeldis, class of 2000

“Sense of Community. Friends for Life.” Viktor Nordstrom, cass of 1994

“I was educated in a real International School environment. Relationships with most of my teaches will be forever and ever. BFIS is Family, Friendship and Love.” Veronica Gross, class of 1996


03

Securing Financial Stability

A/ Financial highlights and review B/ Managing the BFIS 2011-2012 Annual Fund

Securing Financial Stability / 29


6,032 €

(In thousands)

5,819 €

Largely thanks to an increase in total enrollment from 541 in 2010-2011 to 568 in 2011-2012 and despite a tuition freeze, our operating revenues grew 3,7% this year to 6,032,022 €.

Operating Income 5,454 €

Securing Financial Stability Financial REVIEW

30 / Securing Financial Stability

*Financial results for 2011-2012 are unaudited.

11-12

10-11

(In thousands)

09-10

446 €

Capital Fund Income

11-12

448 €

10-11

09-10

456 €

Meanwhile, we welcomed 128 new students and their families into our community, and this generated 446,367 € in capital fund income for the year.


6,026 € 11-12

10-11

09-10

(In thousands)

*Financial results for 2011-2012 are shown pending the completion of our annual audit.

78% Academic-related expenses

5,338 €

1,055 €

Capital Fund Expenses 11-12

10-11

09-10 411 €

1,016 €

Within our capital fund budget, the creation of the new MS/ HS Library and several new spaces in the MS/HS building generated capital fund expenses of 1,054,588 €, giving rise to a capital fund deficit for the year of -608,221 €. The cost of many of the improvements made in the summer 2012 will be recognized in the 2012-2013 Capital Fund budget.

74% Academic-related expenses

Together, the combination of these program improvements and increased rental expense raised our operating expenses by 13% year-over-year, to a total of 6,026,475 €. Of this total, about 78% was spent on academicrelated expenses, including professional and academic administrator compensation, faculty development, and instructional expenses, up from 74% in 20102011. The remaining 22% were operational expenses, including operational team salaries and administrative, maintenance, building and grounds, security, and rent expenses. At year-end, BFIS generated a small operating surplus, before depreciation, of 5,547 €.

(In thousands)

5,041 €

Just as any institution makes investments in its future, our Foundation invested in the future of BFIS and its students during the 2011-2012 academic year. On the operational side, the launching of the IB Program required additional teaching staff, specialized program training, and other IB-related instructional expenses. In addition, our efforts to increase curriculum differentiation and create smaller class sizes throughout Middle and High School necessitated additional program resources in these grade levels. Finally, the securing of a long-term lease for the Middle and High School building from our neighbors, the Instituto Magdalena Aulina, significantly expanded and improved our spaces for teaching and learning.

Operating Expenses

68% Academic-related expenses

Securing Financial Stability Financial REVIEW

Securing Financial Stability / 31


32 / Securing Financial Stability

FOUNDATION OPERATIONS (before depreciation) and reserve drawdown -207 €

Both the Foundation Board and the school’s management team are committed to restoring our operating and capital fund budgets to surplus in order to ensure that our school remains in solid and sustainable financial health for many years to come.

PE 21 OPERATIONS

Running even a temporary budget deficit is never ideal. However, we are confident that these investments in our school were timely, carefully budgeted and evaluated, and will strengthen our program and help our students achieve their academic goals in the coming years.

-212 €

As a result the Foundation’s net operating result for 2011-2012, before depreciation, was a deficit of -206,712 €.

(In thousands)[(Net Result)

6€

While BFIS operations generated a small operating surplus for the year before depreciation, the costs associated with running the Projecte Educatiu 21 (PE21 Program) were also funded by our Foundation as part of the 2011 agreement to lease the MS/HS building. PE21 is an independent Spanish diploma program that ensures the continuing education of the former Casa Nostra students who were displaced by our lease agreement with the Instituto Magdalena Aulina. Sixteen students were enrolled in this program as of June 2012, and our Foundation’s commitment is to see these students through to their graduation or until they move to another school, whichever comes first. No additional students may be enrolled in the program. During 2011-2012, its first year as a school, PE21 generated an operating loss of 212,259 €.

Understanding the Benjamin Franklin Foundation 2011-2012 Operating Result and Impact on Reserves

BFIS OPERATIONS (before depreciation)

Securing Financial Stability Financial REVIEW


Securing Financial Stability Financial REVIEW

Foundation Accumulated Reserves (In thousands)

The annual deficits in the Foundation operating and capital fund budgets described above were funded by drawing down on the Foundation’s reserves. Following the extraordinary tuition increase in 2007-2008, we steadily built reserves in preparation for an investment in the right facilities opportunity to expand our campus footprint and provide adequate space in which to deliver our program. In April 2011, we secured the MS/HS building through a long-term lease agreement and, over the last two summers, have remodeled this building in phases. Due to these infrastructure investments and those made in our academic program, our reserves, which peaked at 1,619,000 € in 2010, are currently projected to be approximately 550,000 € as of June 2013.

Since 2011, we have put our reserves to work to improve our overall academic program and the teaching and learning spaces in which they are delivered.

1610

1619

1139

2013

2012

2011

2010

550 2009

2006

-64

586

2008

The extraordinary tuition raise in 2007-2008 resulted in strong reserve recovery.

824

-271

Securing Financial Stability / 33


Securing Financial Stability Managing the BFIS 2011-2012 Annual Fund Our school continues to benefit from the generous and loyal support of our donors. BFIS 2011-2012 Annual Fund raised a total of 174,343 €. It is thanks to the contributions of our donors— no matter the size of their gifts—that BFIS can develop initiatives not included in the school´s ordinary operating budget that enrich the academic life of our students and faculty. Thanks to your donations BFIS was able to fulfill three fundraising goals for 2011-2012: • Allow for more program enrichment, providing greater curriculum differentiation, learning support, and teacher training. • Improve technology, providing more digital resources and tech training. • Create a Health Emergency Fund to support our community by providing financial aid to families where serious illness or the death of a parent has compromised their ability to meet their financial obligations to the school.

34 / Securing Financial Stability


Annual Review Staff

Editors Monica Chitnis Bill Knauer Dianna O’Doherty Translators Débora Real Charo Rodríguez Contributors Shelley Burge Monica Chitnis Ana María Dianderas James Duval Laura Esteban Shellee Hendricks Bill Knauer David Magaña Travis McKeen Marjolijn Mac Conuladh Dana Niedzielska Laura Núnez Dianna O´Doherty Charo Rodríguez Adam Rugnetta Serena Washburn Layout & Design Charo Rodriguez Sacajugo.com

Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this report. We apologize in advance for any errors or omissions and encourage your comments and suggestions. Please contact Charo Rodriguez, Director of Community Relations & Communications, charor@bfischool.org. / 35


Contact Us Benjamin Franklin International School C. Martorell i Pe単a, 9 - 08017 Barcelona, Spain E-mail: info@bfischool.org Phone: +34 93 434 23 80 - Fax: +34 93 417 36 33 www.bfischool.org // www.facebook.com/BFIS.school

Accreditations & Memberships

36 / Securing Financial Stability


Annual Review 2011-2012