Parents at BBS often comment on the warmth and friendliness of the school community. Part of those sentiments come from actively contributing time and energy to the place where their children are being educated. At BBS, learning is not only a one-way process between teacher and student, but an interwoven process between staff, student and parent.
BBS was founded by parents, and it continues to be shaped by their active involvement. Parents are an immense resource to the school; by drawing on their professional and creative talent, we are able to make improvements to the buildings and their grounds, enhance programmes, and help in reaching out to the greater Berlin community.
We believe that it takes a community to raise a child. That’s why the focus on a strong partnership between school and family is a fundamental part of BBS. Our infrastructure of family-community participation is another to support our students. It helps shape their sense of being cared for within their whole environment.
Parents are an active and essential part of the BBS spirit. Their involvement in work for the school, and in initiatives for our community reflect the immense creativity and togetherness within our school.
Some optional roles parents take on:
- join the Association Board and develop school policy
- write press releases for school events
- work library shifts in the afternoons
- bake cakes for open houses and/or special events
- address students on topics such as the brain, human rights and historic preservation
- translate school newsletters
- build climbing walls and acoustic soundproof classrooms
- work on school communications
- sew costumes
- decorate the school for themed events
- run marathons to raise money
- collect donations for the school auction
- illustrate posters for events and projects
The fondness and warmth I feel for our BBS community is immense.
As soon as my daughter started at BBS I joined the library group. As a lover of the written word, and as someone who cares deeply about students and their sense of belonging, I felt I had something to contribute.
Eight years later (and two libraries later) I hope my devotion shows our students that they can find themselves within the bookshelves of the BBS library. Whatever expression of self they are, and choose to be, the books can provide a mirror. And equally important, there are books to provide a window into other ways of living and being.
The fondness and warmth I feel for our BBS community is immense. And by community, I mean students, staff and parents. I have spent countless hours with students having inspiring & funny conversations about books. When students share with me their current reading interests, I am left smiling big, like a proud parent. In so many ways, BBS is not only a second home to my kids but to me as well.
Katherine Duvigneau, parent of a 5th and 8th grader
BBS is a unique opportunity for our girls
As a parent of two girls who have been enrolled in BBS since they started school, I’ve had the opportunity to stay involved with the school as a parent rep and school conference member. And both of my daughters have been able to be class rep and see the value of having a voice in the decision-making process, which I believe is an incredibly important element for their development.
BBS is a unique opportunity for our girls. With a German mom and an American dad, it is important for our daughters to be exposed to a diverse and multicultural environment, and BBS provides exactly that.
At BBS, our daughters have had the opportunity to experience a strong bilingual culture, interact daily with children and staff from all over the world, and live the school's values of respect for diversity and responsibility.
I’ve gotten to know other families whose children went to BBS and are now in their teens and early 20’s. The result of the community environment and impressive, committed leadership seems to stick with these kids as they mature and become pretty amazing adults.
Kevin Dykes, parent of a 4th and 6th grader
For us, it’s a school where pupils AND parents can get involved
BBS is a highly agile and creative place where both children and parents quickly settle and find their place. There’s an impressive level of interaction among parents, something we were eager to have access to in big old Berlin.
We’ve been impressed particularly by the sense of community among parents, be that through organised events or more informal social gatherings.
If there’s one thing that really encapsulates the BBS spirit, it’s how the school’s entire community came together in early 2022 to offer support to Ukrainian families. The speed and agility of mobilisation was truly impressive. That, alongside some of the great environmental charity initiatives, has helped our daughter mature with an awareness of her place in the world. For us, it’s a school where pupils and parents can get involved.
Russell Handy, parent of a 4th grader
I have learned so much about what I don’t know!
BBS is a melting pot of cultures, traditions, languages, and people, and being cognisant of this is a challenge unto itself. Over the years the school has showcased this diversity in many ways starting out with a map of where the student body is from (pre-renovation Weinstr), inviting parents to talk about their migration journey to creating its very own world events calendar!
As this theme is so central to our community, the school staff and parents now as a single entity, create a year-round programme touching on various topics relating to gender identity, neurodiversity, cultural and historic events. There is even a book club for parents.
Seeing the amount of effort and enthusiasm the team brings to the planning and execution of these activities and the breadth of issues we are looking into is amazing.
Needless to say, I have learned so much about what I don’t know! This is what I really love about the BBS community: we come together, figure things out and move forward!
Renita Danabalan, parent of a 3rd grader