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High Hopes & Great Expectations for 2016-17

 

Brooklyn Friends School begins its 149th academic year with a solid record of achievement by students, faculty, trustees, alumni, and parents. Enrollment for 2016-2017 is 909 students from Family Center through Upper School, with 150 new families joining the school across all divisions.

BFS students began their academic year with exciting scholastic, arts, athletics, STEAM, and service programs in place and with significant facility improvements made throughout the 375 Pearl Street school building.

The first day of school - reunited and it feels so good!

The first day of school – reunited and it feels so good!

Head of School Dr. Larry Weiss described the renovations in his start-of-school letter to families. “This summer ‘s construction priorities have shifted their focus from the Upper School, now housed in our successfully completed Lawrence Street building, to the facilities in Pearl Street.”

In the Middle School, there are now  two new  classrooms, a new Science Room, Chorus Room and new offices for Middle School Deans and Learning Specialists. In the Preschool and Lower School, there is a re-located and refurbished Preschool Threes (Blue) room; a re-located and refurbished Lower School Music Room (now on the third floor); and a re-located and refurbished Lower School Science Room (now on the second floor.)

Dr. Weiss also reported on the first stage of a two year process (to be completed next summer) that is moving the Lower School Library into the main library space on the third floor. “Completion of the full-scale Lower School/Middle School Library renovation project next summer will mark the culmination of an 8-year building-wide renovation of Pearl Street,” he said.

With a change in facilities also come changes in the school day and academic program. Both Middle and Upper Schools now have an end time of 3:30pm. In Upper School, the science sequence of study begins with biology in 9th grade. In the 6th grade, English and History will be taught as separate subjects by separate teachers, a departure from the Humanities program still in place in 5th grade. These changes were carefully considered in the best interests of the students and BFS’s teaching and learning community.

Another change that corresponds to the school’s growing enrollment and expansion is the appointment of three career educations to positions as Assistant Heads: Nitya York as Assistant Head of Middle School for Academics; Paul Beekmeyer as Assistant Head of Upper School for Academics; and Alexandra Davis as Assistant Head of Upper School for Student Life. (See separate article)

Next week: Meet the new BFS Faculty and Staff starting in 2016-17.