Beiger Elementary School is now in its third creation. In 1922 Beiger was a small wooden two story schoolhouse set in an empty field at the edge of a growing Mishawaka. In 1926 the need for a new and bigger structure was built of brick along Lincoln Way. During that time it was the home to students at varying times from preschool to tenth grade. It was known to the community as Beiger Junior High School. It was in 1956 with the second addition that Beiger became known as the home of the Bulldogs. The bulldog was originally an English fighting dog, but now he’s about as easygoing as a dog can be. In 2000 Beiger was rebuilt on the football field next to the junior high. It is now a preschool through sixth grade. Our seventh and eighth graders have moved to a middle school complex on the north side of Mishawaka. It was then that our fierce canine mascot became what the real bulldog has evolved into: an intelligent and trainable, affectionate and gentle, sensitive and uncomplicated friendly dog. Our logo no longer scares people with its vicious look, but reflects warmth and caring.
Beiger is a school with a professional staff that is relentless in seeking and trying research-based best practices that engage every child. This staff displays a never-ending commitment to improving their own expertise. We participate in programs that foster the development of the whole child.
Just as our school participates in an elementary sports program, we also participate in state sponsored academic competitions in math and spelling. To encourage and support our language program we participate in the national Reading is Fundamental program which puts more books in our students’ homes. We are now offering a kindergarten parent/child book club whose purpose is to introduce parents to good reading strategies that they can use with their children, as well as providing good literature for home. We have a fourth through sixth grade adult/child book club, and are working to offer programs for first through third graders.
We realize that we cannot be as successful as we might be without the support and involvement of our students’ parents. We seek and we value meaningful partnerships with parents and our community at large. Our local churches are providing Beiger with several volunteers who come and read with our children.
First-time visitors to Beiger often remark, “What a warm and inviting school you have!” Substitute teachers, who work in many schools throughout the Mishawaka area during the year, often say, “I love subbing at Beiger School! I feel so welcome and everyone is so friendly, helpful, and caring!” We believe this is caused by our effort to make this a place where there is an absence of threat. Our school teaches and practices what are called “Lifeskills” and “Lifelong Guidelines.” These 23 qualities identify what it takes to be successful in the world. These differ from regular school rules because they apply to all age groups in all situations. In such a diverse environment children are taught to accept and appreciate others whose background and life experiences may be far different from their own. You will notice on our website homepage the lifeskill of the week.
Creating a school that is warm and caring to everyone who comes – especially our students – is absolutely critical for working successfully with children and families. Children, who feel safe, secure, and appreciated – children who truly enjoy coming to school every day – will be successful learners!
We also see learning as something that occurs in the community. Our student council and teachers raise money for needy families at Christmas, help support the local food bank, as well as perform community service projects. Beiger is a great place to be.