I hope this message finds you in the middle of a wonderful summer! With the heat beginning to really hit here in Austin I thought it would be a good time to update you on the fast moving summer we are having on campus in preparation for the upcoming school year. We currently have multiple construction/remodel projects occurring and I truly believe you will be very pleased and our students will be very proud. Please read to the bottom for a coming request and announcement. Here’s a quick update:

  • Offerings: As you will recall, this past year we installed new computer labs. These labs were the first step, post infrastructure redesign and implementation, to bring quality technology to our students. This upcoming year we will be providing:
    • Advanced Coding – this class will be taught by Ben Sullivan and will take our current coding/computer class to the next level.
    • Computer Support – Ben Sullivan will also be teaching a class on computer design, construction, and support. This is a hands-on lab that will involve the deconstruction and then construction of computers in order to learn the inner workings of this technology and eventually support end users.
    • Anatomy and Physiology – this course will be a huge addition to our already very strong science offerings. A&P is a prerequisite building block for any student interested in a healing profession. This course will be a difference maker!
    • Kindergarten through 3rd grade will begin a new science curriculum this year that is very hands-on and lab based. It is designed to help the students experience the foundations of science and create excitement for learning about the inner-workings and structure of elements and life. This is a significant investment for BCS but it is one that truly brings the joy of learning into the classroom and laboratory of science!
  • Libraries: At our last Partnership Dinner our community came together and raised the money to do a complete overhaul of both libraries. Construction of both is in full swing and here is what you can expect:
    • Elementary Library – this project is a true construction project. The current walls are a little over 6-foot-tall and there is a gap between the wall and the ceiling. The new library will have floor to ceiling walls with windows looking out into the hallways. The corkboard coverings will be removed and the walls will integrate into the current hallway flow. Inside there will be a new reading center with comfortable reading places and a new librarian station that will make the library inviting. There will also be new technology centers with individual and projected/interactive group technology. Our little elementary library will now be a shining light for our youngest Bears!
    • Secondary Library – this project is about reallocating the purpose and processes of the library. The books have been culled and refocused onto the needs and wants of our students and will be made available through a built-in shelving system that opens up the library. Half of the library will be designated for traditional use with new study tables and a new librarian desk. The other half of the library will have multiple collaborative workstations with large monitors at the end of each station so that our students can work in groups on advanced assignments. This area will also be equipped with “commons” seating so that it is a comfortable environment where our students can spend time in study, discussion, and work. This “commons” theme also means that the library will be opened and proctored for our high school students at 7:15am on school mornings and will stay open and available until 4:15pm for high school students.
  • Athletic Center: One of the great blessings at BCS is that our kids can participate in so many activities. In fact, we have an 84% participation rate in Athletics! Because we have so many students participating in our athletic offerings we are remodeling the locker rooms and weight rooms to add more showers, storage space, dressing areas, washer and dryers, and lockers. This will make for a much healthier and accessible athletic center. As part of this process, and to make room for the new student centered remodel, the Athletic Director’s office is being relocated to the Family Life Center where the old football locker rooms were located. The demolition of the old Athletic Center weight room and locker rooms is complete and construction has begun.
  • Playground: The playground for grades 3-5 is in serious need of new and healthy playground equipment so we are beginning the process of identifying and then installing playground equipment that will promote healthy and age appropriate exercise and will foster an environment that makes our young Bears excited to go out and play.
  • Cross Country course: this is a parent-led initiative that will create a 1.3-mile Cross Country route on our campus so that our runners can stay on campus, benefit from our campus’ beauty and topography, and hopefully soon begin hosting Cross Country events. This is a sweat equity endeavor once again led by parents who just want BCS to be the best it can be for our students.

As you can see, there are many wheels turning here on campus. Aside from the many activities listed there are the standard summer updates and upgrades that go into keeping our campus beautiful and making sure our offerings are the best they can possibly be. The results have been tremendous the last couple of years with this past year culminating with the historic sweep of all academic events for the first time in Texas history. Due to our incredible community and incredible students there will be a very exciting announcement regarding BCS in July. I can’t tell you what it is yet but you will be very proud!

As I end the update I want to thank the BCS community for your ongoing involvement, investment, and care for our school. From the many upgrades to our campus to the exciting offerings that will expand your Bear’s ability to learn, this is possible because of your prayers and your involvement. I truly believe this is the best school in central Texas and I know that God is looking at the work done by the faculty and the students and the parents and He is pleased.

I do have one request regarding openings in lower elementary. National trends are holding true and parents are keeping little ones close to home the first couple of years so we have openings in the lower grades. Please share the joys of BCS with your brothers and sisters at church and invite them to come see our campus and hear our story. BCS is the most academically accomplished private school in central Texas this past year but it did this at half the tuition of our competing schools. This is made possible by classrooms that are not over-crowded but are full. If you want some materials to share with folks at church or work let us know and we will get it to you.

Have a truly blessed summer and rest assured that the upcoming year will once again be a great year to be a Brentwood Bear!

Jay Burcham

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