As an inclusive school committed to rigorous, relevant and holistic education, LSESD’s Beirut Baptist School (BBS) exists to cultivate and inspire diverse learners in mind, body and spirit to become responsible citizens and successful lifelong learners. The school’s vision is to see empowered learners and educators think creatively, reason critically and proactively engaged in their community guided by ethical and Biblical values.
This month, we sat down with Mrs. Nahy Moussa, the Head of Division for BBS’s preschool to learn more about this world changing division. With 274 students and 59 teachers & support staff, the preschool is growing in size, credibility and relevance to today’s evolving world. What seems like a small preschool is navigating two major changes. The first is becoming more intentional about its inclusion by mainstreaming children with differences into the classroom. The second, being its candidacy to the International Baccalaureate – Primary Years Program or IB-PYP.
This year, the preschool enrolled the largest number of students with special needs, and this is something to celebrate because inclusion matters as an expression of God’s unconditional love. The testimonies lie within the transformation we see in the community. A young girl in KG-1 who has Down’s syndrome recently joined our school and we started to receive numerous complaints from the parents of her peers regarding her behavior. We asked the parents to come in for a number of meetings to advocate and educate them on the value added that this young girl has on our school. Now three months into the academic year “we noticed a significant shift in attitude once parents began to speak the language of inclusion at home. Parents of all our learners have now become our greatest ambassadors,” says Mrs Moussa.
Modeling academic and social inclusion is indeed a milestone for BBS, and the nation as a whole; however, with 92% of its learners from a non-Christian background the school is adamant in maintaining academic excellence with affordable tuition fees. Why would parents send their child to a Christian school in a predominantly non-Christian area when they have other options accessible and available to them? Mrs Moussa answered this question by saying that “we believe in being the best stewards of what God has entrusted us with. I believe parents feel that they have a personal relationship with their child’s team of educators and see that because of our Biblical values we want to offer the best care to every learner through what God has entrusted us with.”
At Beirut Baptist School today is an opportunity to take an academic institution with 1,300 students from Msaytbeh and its neighboring area beyond the boundaries of a classroom and on to a life-transforming journey. The preschool is the entry point to that journey at BBS where learners are raised to become Lebanon’s future leaders and influencers. Continue to pray for this ministry and its growing partnership needs for native English speakers, improved facilities and an increased number of shadow teachers. Thank you for your support and prayers that ensure that BBS remains a lighthouse to its community!