I love the start of the school year! It is electric! Everyone starts with a fresh page and enthusiasm and optimism abounds in all members of the school as everyone dreams big dreams about all that they will learn and accomplish in the months ahead! Fresh starts and new beginnings are important to each of us. This school year represents a new beginning for every member of our community! Embrace it!

We have had a warm and dynamic start, with a New Student and Family Orientation and an exciting Opening Day filled with students and parents meeting their teachers, welcome coffees, community building activities, welcoming assemblies, PTA sign ups, and an ice cream celebration! The rest of this first week was committed to assisting students with settling into their classes, learning school routines and beginning the important work of learning. It has been a GREAT first week!

We opened our doors this year with 429 students from 42 countries with 89 of those students being new to BIFS! We welcome them and their families who have join our BIFS community from all corners of the world! BIFS is a warm and nurturing school that seeks to inspire each and every student to explore, discover and thrive in the global community to which we all belong! Our theme for this year is “Exceeding Expectations”! BIFS is an exciting school and we are eager for you to be active participants!

We also welcome 13 new experienced international teachers to BIFS! Our staff bring a wealth of experience and expertise to their craft at BIFS. Each of our teachers is a learner that is always seeking to explore new ways to improve their practice to positively impact each student’s learning.

I would like to highlight a few changes we have made for this coming school year and pass on some important updates:

Yesterday, we launched our new website! Our new website is mobile device friendly and will be the cornerstone of our new communication strategy that will include divisional blogs, social media connections, and links to all of our latest information updates. This new platform, along with these various tools, including a new BIFS App, will replace our old newsletter format. We hope that this new strategy will result in more timely and comprehensive communication for our families. Thank you, in advance, for your patience as we make this transition.

The PTA needs you! Parent involvement is a critical element of a BIFS education and I strongly encourage all parents to get connected and involved with our PTA! The PTA has a few positions open yet and they will be hosting a wide variety of activities and events throughout the year. Please contact our PTA President, Mrs. Rebecca Miller, at ptapresident@isbusan.org for more information.

The PE Uniform Shop Information about a PE Uniform Change. In the last 18 months, we have transitioned our PE Uniforms from an overseas vendor to a vendor in Seoul. In each of these situations, it has been difficult to anticipate the appropriate sizes needed and we have often found ourselves with insufficient quantities in some sizes and an over abundance in others.

We are pleased to have found a vendor in Busan who will fill orders directly. Students and parents will still come to the shop to select sizes and make their payment, thus placing an order for their PE Uniform. The PE Uniform Shop will notify parents or students when the order has arrived. Elementary orders will be delivered to homeroom teachers. Middle School and High School orders can be collected in the PE Uniform Shop.

Samples of the new uniform will be available in the PE Uniform Shop before the end of next week. The new warm weather uniform is very similar to the current one. It is knitted with a 100% polyester micro-fiber designed to let air in and move moisture out. Attributes include: moisture absorption, quick dry and silky touch. Please note that you will not need to buy a new uniform if you already own the current one. Both uniforms are acceptable attire for PE classes.

We hope to have the samples of the new cool weather uniform available before the end of September for early October delivery. This new uniform will also be a polyester knit fabric suitable for PE, including a zippered jacket and pant. The current cool weather uniform is still acceptable attire for PE classes. Note that all stock of the current cool weather uniform is at a close-out price of 10,000 won each, while they last!!

Please be patient with our volunteers in the shop as we make this transition. We hope to make this successful for students, their families, and as well the PE teachers. Should you have comments or feedback, please direct them to pe.uniforms@isbusan.org .

Our PE Uniform Shop hours are based on the availability of our volunteers. In order for the shop to be open 8:30-3:30, M-F, we need approximately 20 volunteers. The PE Uniform Shop is a great way to be involved at school and allows you to get to know students and other parents. Our volunteers generally work two half days or one full day each month, with the same schedule each month. For more information, please contact dbaker@isbusan.org.

In closing, THANK YOU for being a part of the BIFS Family this year! We have a lot of inspiring learning and discovery ahead of us! It promises to be a year of achievement and accomplishment for all of our students! Together, we will “Exceed Expectations”! Thank you for your participation, partnership and support for the exhilarating year ahead!

Go BIFS! Go Bears!

Have a great year!

Kevin Baker
Head of School