Bethesda International School (BIS-CIB) was founded in August of 2001 by Viviana Cruz with the support of a group of parents and teachers who had been associated with a previous program, the Children’s International Workshop, which functioned during the 1999-2000 and 2000-2001 school years. BIS-CIB offers a Saturday morning school year Spanish Immersion Program for native and near-native speakers. A vacation camp program of service learning and ecotourism in Latin America and Spain is open to upper school students.
The mission of the Bethesda International School is to teach and encourage our students to learn and enjoy the language and cultures of the Spanish speaking world. BIS-CIB fulfills this mission by promoting the use of Spanish in the study of themes that the students cover in their regular schools. Through their active participation, students will increase their understanding of world cultures while improving their competence in Spanish. In addition to developing critical thinking skills, our goal is that BIS-CIB participants will experience the value of being bilingual in our modern society.
Parents are encouraged to be active participants in the educational process as the weekend school format requires support in the home. Family members also participate on a regular basis by providing classroom, library and office support.
Classes are offered for grades Pre-K through the Upper School and include preparation for the Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) examinations. Classes meet from 9:00 am to 12:15 noon for all grade levels on Saturdays from September through June with the academic year parallel to that of Montgomery County, MD Public Schools.