Welcome Back, BIA Bobcats!

Back to School Newsletter 2022-2023

Dear Families,

Welcome to the start of the 22/23 school year...& what a wonderful year it is going to be! This year I have the distinct honor of serving Bethesda as your Executive Director. I bring to this new role almost two decades of work in Lutheran school administration, my vast experiences from owning & managing a small corporation, and serving as an elected official in my community for eight years. I am a proud Lutheran school graduate and consider myself blessed that both of my children also received a Lutheran education. This year I'm thrilled to be on campus everyday, interacting with students, teachers, and families. Be prepared...I have BIG plans for BIA this year and look forward to sharing a bit of that with you here, and more as the school year progresses.

Over the last few years you have seen BIA undergo positive improvements that have enabled us to grow our community. Improvements have included: new reading and math curriculums, infrastructure enhancements such as new electrical, boiler, and water heater, and security improvements that included cameras and new front doors. This summer we have continued our improvements and are confident that this "refresh" will keep BIA on the path to bigger and better things.

So just what have we been working on...

  • Students this year will have access to additional new curriculums such as Social Studies and Chapel
  • Our Early Childhood Building had exterior repairs done this summer and received a new coat of paint.
  • We've added outdoor activities including a gaga ball pit (which is sure to quickly be a student favorite) and a multipurpose net for soccer, badminton, and volleyball.
  • Our main building hallways and bathrooms received a paint refresh.
  • Our unused kitchen space has been converted into our new school lunchroom complete with new flooring and new paint...making it the perfect multipurpose room for lunch, art, meetings and more! (for a sneak peek, see the pictures below)
  • Classroom spaces have been decluttered and refreshed.

In addition to the building changes, we've added several programs and opportunities for students and families.

  • Students in grades 5-8 will now be able to apply to The Lutheran Junior Honors Association. The LJHA recognizes students who exercise leadership, servanthood, and discipleship, while excelling at academics. And fosters these qualities through service projects and other activities. While staff will oversee the organization, it's the students who will be the drivers on the direction they choose for the year.
  • Scholastic Book Fairs is back this fall...just in time for our annual Read-A-Thon. Mark your calendars for September 26th-30th to shop this event and support our teacher's classroom libraries with your purchases. More information will be out soon - including opportunities to volunteer.
  • This school year we will be unveiling our new online grade book and information system. This new addition will allow you to view grades throughout the year, get updates from teachers, and more! Stay tuned for the rollout of this exciting addition!
  • Outdoor Education camp is back! Our older students will have the opportunity to visit Walcamp this year and strengthen their faith, bond with their classmates, and grow as individuals. It's sure to be a lasting memory of their time at BIA!
  • BIA favorites are once again on the schedule including International Fest, All School Christmas Service, Lutheran Schools Week, and our Learning Fair. We also are adding in a lock in for our older students, holiday movie night for families, our Thanksgiving breakfast for all students, "Step Up Days", Book Buddies for our younger students, and chapel families. It's going to be a busy...but amazing year!
  • This year we are adding daily enrichment opportunities after school. These clubs/classes will include art, music, homework help, games, sports (in addition to our regular offerings), and more! We want your input...Be on the lookout for a survey about what your student might like to see us add to our offerings!
  • Families will once again have the opportunity to lend a hand as part of our Friends of Bethesda Parent Group. Stay tuned for ways in which you can get involved and make a difference.

Bethesda International Academy has been blessed over the years with a network of outstanding and faithful teachers. This upcoming school year is no different. While this summer we have said goodbye to some of the familiar faces you are all used to...this fall we welcome new faces with new ideas, exciting backgrounds, and big hearts. As a parent myself, I know that change is not easy, but I am confident in my faith that God has plans for BIA and our community. He continues to provide us with what we need, at the very moment we need it. Due to the timing of teacher departures, I am still in the process of finalizing contracts with our new staff. Just as soon as that is completed, I will share with you the amazing individuals who are eager to work with your children. While I expect to announce our new staff members next week, I thank you in advance for your patience and acceptance of our new BIA staff members.

New teachers means it's the perfect time to switch things up within our buildings. In our Early Childhood building, students will be in the following classrooms:

  • Preschool 3 students will be in the "orange" room (first door to the left as you walk into the building)
  • Preschool 4 students will be using both the "green" & "purple" rooms on the right side of the building as you walk in)
  • Kindergarten students will now be in the "red" room (second room on the left)
Our main building has changes as well:
  • First/Second grade will be in the previous 4th/5th grade room (first room to the left of our main doors)
  • Third/Fourth grade will be in the previous 2nd/3rd grade room (second room to the left of our main doors)
  • Fifth/Sixth grade will be in the previous Title room (classroom closest to the back door)
  • Seventh/Eighth grade will remain in the same classroom (first door on the right - past the office)
  • Student Support Services, such as Title, will now be housed out of our previous teacher meeting room.

All of this work would not have been possible without the financial support from our friends at the Chicagoland Lutheran Educational Foundation (CLEF) and the English District, Lutheran Church Missouri Synod. We are also so thankful for the support of the Bethesda Lutheran Church. We thank all of these groups for their dedication to urban Lutheran education AND to BIA!

As a reminder, Back to School Fee Night/Supply Drop-off will take place Wednesday, August 17 from 5-7. We look forward to seeing you then!

As a "glass half full" person, I am energized and excited about the future of BIA. We have the materials, facility, students, teachers, supporters and families to help us reach new goals and serve our community through our mission of "Transformational Learning, Anchored in Faith".

Thank you for being a part of this new "refresh" and I look forward to serving you all this school year.

Blessings on the year ahead,

Andrea Bateman

Executive Director, Bethesda International Academy

Announcing the 22/23 BIA School Year Theme....

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Each day we have the opportunity to live out an amazing journey that a God has planned for us. 1 Corinthians 16:13 tells us to "Be on your guard; Stand firm in the faith; Be courageous; Be strong"...all the attributes that we need when starting off on a new "journey". Throughout the school year you will see this theme woven into lessons, Mission Mondays, chapel, family events and of course, our Song of the Year (see below). It is my hope that each student and their family will begin to look at life as a journey. Opportunities abound and my goal is to encourage students to follow their dreams and step outside comfort zones, knowing that God is right there walking beside them each and every step of the way. Let the Journey Begin!

Get a Jumpstart on Learning this year's Theme Song!


Important Times To Remember in 2022-2023...

Each school day officially begins at 8:45am in the classroom (students are tardy if they arrive after this time). Doors to the building will open at 8:30am. If your child is late, a parent must sign them in at the office.

Each school day officially ends at 3:15pm for all students. Students that leave early do lose important parts of their school day, so please try to limit early dismissals. All students leaving early must be signed out in the school office.

Parent Drop-Off and Pick-Up: All students will enter through our Campbell Ave doors. Preschool half day dismissal will also be at the Campbell Ave doors. Preschool full day & Kindergarten dismissal will be at our side gate, while the main building grades 1 -8 will dismiss from the Campbell Ave doors. This allows us to have proper security and supervision from both buildings for students arriving and departing school and will help with traffic flow at dismissal.

Kitchen to Lunchroom Makeover Before...


The 2022/2023 School Year Calendar

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Bethesda International Academy 22/23 Student Handbook

Review now, or before the start of school; sign and return the compact page at the end to your child's teacher at Back to School Night, or the first days of school Thank you!

Be A Part of the Friends of Bethesda Parent Group!

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Resources for Parents

How to help your child succeed from Day 1

This article has concrete advice for kids & parents, plus a very helpful checklist for parents.

BIA News

Latest News: Get The Latest News on Facebook!

Be sure to take a look at what's happening at BIA on Facebook and/or our website: https://www.biachicago.com

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