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DBA Soars to New Heights in 2023-24

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The 2023-24 school year at Dietrich Bonhoeffer Academy was filled with historic achievements. From memorable classroom activities to an incredible trip, we had many adventures during our time together. These experiences helped our students grow in mind, body, and spirit, challenging them to develop the perseverance needed to overcome obstacles in both academics and life.

What is it that makes DBA different? First, we offer a dynamic and engaging learning program specifically focused on the unique needs of middle school students. Second, we provide intentional instruction and practice in building strong social and organizational skills for success in high school and beyond. Third, we support students with exceptional classroom teaching and individual coaching in a small and caring environment. As a result, our innovative and effective approach is already changing the lives of students.

Please enjoy a small sampling of highlights from the many learning experiences during 2023-24. CLICK HERE for the full 2023-24 DBA School Report.

Launching Another Year

Dietrich Bonhoeffer Academy opened for the 2023-24 school year on August 15th. We also marked an important transition as we added another room and divided into two learning groups. The fall semester featured a variety of stimulating activities both inside and outside the classroom. In science, the 8th graders dove into Integrated Physics and Chemistry with classic experiments such as Mentos in diet cola and a STEM project to construct a bridge. While exploring U.S. history, they enjoyed simulating the creation of Jamestown settlement and unsuccessfully attempting to cross the Oregon Trail. In 6th and 7th grade, students benefitted from interdisciplinary connections as they completed constellation projects in astronomy while reading the science fiction novel A Wrinkle in Time. They were even more enthused as lessons about Greek history and mythology were complemented by analyzing a graphic novel version of Homer’s Odyssey, which concluded with the creation of a hilarious short film. A field trip to the Houston Museum of Natural Science featured a planetarium show and special exhibit on King Tut. Whether it was improving organization or playing at recess, students continued to build skills and confidence while enjoying school everyday.

Spring Forward

The spring semester of 2023-24 brought an assortment of new and exciting learning experiences. The 8th graders were moved by powerful lessons, reading Unbroken, the story of American World War II hero Louis Zamperini, as well as exploring pivotal moments in the history of the Civil Rights Movement. The younger students took a virtual tour of the nation’s national parks as part of their study of Geology. Both groups worked together through United States Civics, highlighted by dynamic conversations each Wednesday on current events. As always, the students found our field trips particularly memorable, whether it was Space Center Houston or a minor league baseball game. The biggest highlight of all was the school trip through Texas to see the eclipse and more. The year concluded with impressive project presentations by both groups. The 8th graders completed an oral history project (see more below), while the 6th and 7th graders created superb artifacts based on their research of African, American, and Polynesian cultures. As we said farewell to our first ever group of graduates, it was meaningful to reflect on the incredible growth that had taken place over the last two years. On their final day of school, each 8th grader gave a thoughtful speech in Chapel on what their DBA experience meant to them.

Leave Your Mark – DBA’s First Yearbook

One of the year’s most successful projects was the creation of the school’s first yearbook. Students collaborated using an online platform to plan, design, and edit an original record of DBA’s first two years in operation. Phillip Goodman ’24 served as editor, and the student staff members were ably guided by Yearbook Coordinator Mrs. Kathi Lerch. Congratulations to all the students for their contributions and a job well done!

Academics in Focus – Oral History Project

For our graduates, one of their most meaningful learning experiences was also their last. As a culminating project in United States History, the 8th grade students became historians themselves to tell the life story of an older family member or friend. Each student conducted an extensive interview with their subject, inquiring about the individual’s life and their impressions on major historical events they experienced. After organizing the raw material into a coherent outline, students created both a classroom presentation and biographical essay. The entire process of research and writing stretched over the entire spring semester.

While showcasing several key skills they had developed during their time at DBA, this project came to mean so much more to the students. The stories they gathered were truly inspiring. A single mother who started her own business dedicated to helping people improve their mental health. A career member of the armed forces whose activities provided immense service to his country. A Russian academic who came to America after the fall of the Iron Curtain and promoted strong international relations in her field. An attorney who grew up roving the streets of New York City and worked his way up to represent companies in cases all over the world. An electrician who helped build the vital telecommunications infrastructure that powers the information highway in Houston. All are civic role models who have made positive contributions to their communities. Now, the valuable lessons encapsulated in these lives have been passed down to the next generation.

Eyes on the Future

As we celebrate the accomplishments of the past year, we are thrilled about the future at DBA. With new students and expanded offerings, we look forward to taking our learning program to even greater heights. For more information about joining our incredible middle school community, check out our applications page or email us at