WAG Header

September 1, 2013


Hello BCS!


As I eagerly await the first day of school on Tuesday and enthusiasitcally compile our frist WAG of the year, I find myself growing increasingly excited to welcome our students and families back to the 2013-2014 school year! I am energized to partner with our faculty, staff, community and you to further support our BCS vision, mission, values and beliefs.


A new school year allows us another opportunity to reconnect to our vision and inspire those students we serve “to lead in the global community through a passion for learning, innovating, and inquiry & design.” To that end, let’s embrace together this year’s theme:Learn Globally, Serve Locally!


Aligned with this theme, we will continue living into our vision through our focus in the areas of inquiry-based interdisciplinary learning, leveraging technology purposefully, and building global competencies. Additionally, our BCS Interdisciplinary Themes for 2013-14 (3-4 Systems/ 5-6 Interdependence/7-8 Individuality) will help us connect our daily learning across all disciplines. Project-based learning is a key strategy to support interdisciplinary learning and build global competencies connecting with our efforts partnering with Project COPE (Chilipula) Zambia.  This is another way to begin to live into our BCS vision of creating leadership in a global world through inquiry and design (project/service-based learning) – a sustained, focused, long term relationship with a global community (see below for more details).


Finally, let us continue to infuse our Moral Compass and the 3 E’s (education, environment, and each other) into the building at all levels. Our students working together as leaders, learners, and collaborators is a key foundation of BCS.  This type of work will continue to guide our students on the path to being global citizens who move forward with both intention and purpose.


We are ready indeed for a great year of learning and our faculty and staff is set.  Patricia and I would like to remind you with you the following staffing changes to our team this year:

·         Marianne Eliassen, band teacher

·         Kathy Juriga, Front Office Assistant

·         John Kernan, Instructional Specialist

·         Leslie Kohrman, 7th& 8th grade Math teacher

·         Joe Leibson, 4th, 6th& 7th grade Spanish teacher

·         Valerie Weage, 7/8 Math, Algebra I and Honors Geometry

·         Jenn Holloway, long-term LRC guest teacher while Amy Martin fills in as the Interim ASD Supervisor for BPS

We are adding these fantastic people to our dynamic BCS community! Please be sure to extend your heartfelt BCS welcome to them if you have not yet had the opportunity.


Our, Superintendent, Dr. Nerad, shares my enthusiasm for the new school year through a video you can view by clicking here.  BCS is a great place to be, and 2013-14 will be the best year yet.  Let’s make it a year were we all Learn Globally, Serve Locally celebrating what is right with the world!


Wishing you well,

Mark Morawski




P.S.  Be sure to stay connected with BCS-related information two different ways:

We have been working on enhancing our website.  You may notice a “student” tab has replaced the “academics” tab.  We also renamed a tab to “Why BCS”.  It’s still a work in progress.  Check out the all new teacher/staff pages (almost completed) at http://www.bcsonline.info/Students/Teachers.htmlThanks to webmasters Loran Brooks and Jeanne Jacobs for all their efforts in making this site makeover happen.

·         Sign up for BCS and BPS eNews at  http://bpsenews.birmingham.k12.mi.us/mailout/

·         Remember to view Dr. Nerad’s welcome back message:  https://youtube.googleapis.com/v/n8k90YkXSfU


Character Connections Word of the week: KINDNESS

·         Kindness begets kindness. – Greek Proverb

·         I expect to pass through this world but once. Any good therefore that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to any fellow creature, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again. – William Penn

·         Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless. – Mother Teresa


Project COPE Zambia – Partnership with the village of Chilipula continues to unfold!  George Sherman, Project COPE Zambia Co-Chair sends the following message in response to BCS’s willingness to partner with them: “I cannot tell you adequately what this means to our project and the people of Zambia. This can be the breakthrough step we need to get the entire COPE Project working at scale. It will tie your students into one of the most important ground level steps in eliminating poverty, and it can serve as a model for many sub-Saharan countries. Thanks for your involvement and dedication.”  The goal of Project COPE Zambia is to eliminate rural poverty in one generation without going through the carbon economy. This week’s Town Halls will include students hearing from George Sherman, learning about Chilipula, Zambia and their needs.  Next week’s WAG will include a video from an interview with George Sherman addressing our school community. Stay tuned!


BCS + GANAS + Our Moral Compass = Valuing Our 3 E’s

The next time you walk by or into our BCS cafeteria, you will find “GANAS” painted on the wall. A gift that Coach Laurie Huff Hardy painted along with the help of GenniKeahey, Izzy Holton, & Lindsay Fisher.

At the beginning of every school year for the past near 20 years at BCS, Coach Hardy would show her math students the movie: “Stand & Deliver”.  The movie is a true story about the well known math teacher, Jamie Escalante. Escalante taught the nation that inner-city students could master mathematics…

HOW? With “GANAS”! The Desire and Drive to work hard and to do our very, very best!

Our new “GANAS” mural is another reminder for us to

VALUE: Our Education, Our Environment,

Each Other & Ourselves…Our Moral Compass!


WEEK AT A GLANCE –   Week of September 3-7, 2013

(Disclaimer:  Please check all your calendars and http://www.bcsonline.info/ in case we missed something) 

ØTo submit an item for next week’s “WAG”, email mz07bps@birmingham.k12.mi.us  by  WEDNESDAY  5 PM 


Tuesday, September 3

  • The cafeteria is offering full lunch service today. 

·         If you are uncertain which days your child is signed up for choice hour, please stop in and check the choice hour board in person. It is located to the right of the Media Center (300Hall) for his/her choice hour schedule. This is the best way to ensure you have the information that you need.

·         7PM-Board of Education Meeting-Birmingham Education and Administration Building-31301 Evergreen Road

Wednesday, September 4

·         9:15-10:15AM 5/6 Room Parent Meeting-Media Center

·         Rosh Hashanah begins at Sundown

Thursday, September 5


·         9AM Friends of Different Learners-Staff Development Room –BPS Special Education Vision And Focus-And the  Survey Says

Friday, September 6


·         9:30 AM-3/4 Room Parent Meeting-Media Center



Occasionally we include URLs to follow to access more information about a particular topic or event. Sometimes you will be able click on the URL and go straight to this information, other times you will have to copy and paste the URL into your browser, depending on if the information comes from a District Server or if it is public. The best way is to ALWAYS cut and paste and you will be sure of getting the information you need.  Thank you for reading the Week At a Glance and sharing your suggestions.


Visitor Notification System (VNS)

This is a reminder that with our VNS the main access doors to the building will not open until 7:30 a.m.  Only students with pre-organized before school activities (i.e. cross country practice) should be dropped off before 7:30 a.m. If you have a school-related group or event that requires access to BCS before 7:30 a.m., please call the office so that we can provide you with temporary access.  Also, if you're entering the building using the VNS just before another person, wait for the other person to "check-in" at the same time. This will help avoid you holding the door open for that person which is respectful, though not necessarily safe and breaks protocol. And, by all means, thank the person if they don't hold the door open for you in honor of our students' safety. Additionally, our parent volunteers at the desk in our front office are there to greet you once you enter the school.  They are not the ones to let you in; the VNS is to be operated only by BCS office staff.  Thank you in advance for your continued support in helping navigate the critical balance of both a safe school AND a welcoming one! Following are the VNS activation times:

·         Before 7:30 AM – Doors Locked (VNS activated)

·         7:30 AM – VNS deactivated for student arrival

·         8:25 AM – Doors Locked (VNS activated for school day – 8:20 AM school begins/tardy chime)

·         3:05 PM – VNS deactivated for student pick up prior to Choice Hour

·         3:25 PM – VNS activated for Choice Hour

·         4:00 PM – VNS deactivated for student pick up at end of day


A Huge Thank You to Premier Pet Supply

With budgets in schools becoming tighter and tighter, we would like to send our sincere gratitude to Mike Palmer, owner of Premier Pet Supply in Beverly Hills who has offered for his family-owned business to care for our fish tank as a give to our school.  Thank you also to Sharon Morris (parent/cafeteria manager) for working with Mike to make the happen! As you visit Premier Pet Supply, please be sure to thank them for their gracious support.


The Pledge of Allegiance

In October, 2012, Governor Snyder signed Public Acts 320 and 321, which amended the Revised School Code to require, in part, that schools display flags in classrooms and provide students with a daily opportunity to recite the Pledge of Allegiance.   At BCS, we have an established practice of reciting the Pledge at 8:20 a.m. (school start time/tardy chime). Students have not been compelled to participate, nor will they be compelled to participate now. Students choosing to participate are asked to stand and recite the Pledge. Students who choose not to recite the Pledge may either stand or remain seated, but are expected to be silent during the Pledge.



Please follow food services on Twitter: @BPSFoodService and like us on Facebook: BPS Food Service for menus, “did you knows”, and other food services information



Please visit bcsonline.info to print a registration form for the first delayed start day. Registration is $5/child. Registration forms are due by Friday,, 9/20/13. CHILDREN MUST BE REGISTERED TO ATTEND AM KIDS CLUB



The 1st Quarter Choice Hour program is in place for the first day of school.  There are still a number of students who have not submitted Choice Hour Selection Sheets. The Choice Hour Change forms will be available on Friday 9/6 at 4PM. These forms will be due by Monday, 9/13 at 4PM. There will not be any changes to any Choice Hour schedules until then. Choice Hour student selections are posted on the Choice Hour board in the main hallway and in each homeroom.

Questions regarding the Choice Hour program should be directed to Linda Stone at 248-203-4625 or ls06bps@birmingham.k12.mi.us.  Questions regarding Choice Hour schedules should be directed to Jennifer Brown at 248-203-4426 or kj04bps@birmingham.k12.mi.us


POWER SCHOOL- Important Parent Information:

BPS provides the PowerSchool Web Portal for parents to access their child’s schedule, grades, and attendance via the Internet.  If you are new to the district or a parent of a 3rd ,4th or 5th grader, you will be receiving a letter in the mail shortly.  This letter will provide you with information to create an account for yourself, and add your child(ren) to your account.

 If you already have a PowerSchool account, it is sign in as usual. If you have forgotten your Password or Username please click “Having trouble signing In?” on the Parent Sign In page.  Any other questions or concerns may be addressed to Mary Baughman at mb08bps@birmingham.k12.mi.us



Topic:BPS Special Education Vision And Focus-And the  Survey Says….

September 5, 2013 at 9:00 am in the Staff Development Room at Birmingham Covington School (BCS)


PE INFORMATION-1st  Marking Period

Tuesday, September 3 through Friday, October 4:

Frishman/ Seley, Maliszewski, Wallington will be in the GYM-Be sure that your child wears appropriate shoes-NO FLIP FLOPS

Butzin, Davis, Harvath, and Parkin will SWIM-Remember to bring a bag for suits and towels



6-8 CROSS COUNTRY-Practices start Thursday, 9/5/13. During Choice Hour.  Monday-Wednesday, 7 AM, every Thursday during Choice Hour, and every other Friday at 7 AM


Parent Meeting: Thursday, 9/12/13 @ 4:00 PM in room 101

7-8 BOYS SOCCER-Begins Wednesday, 9/11/13, 4:05-6:05pm - tryouts if necessary 

Mondays and Wednesdays 3:30 to 5:30 PM (Choice Hour replaced by soccer practice)
Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 4:05 - 6:05PM (Attend regular choice hour)

TEAM PICTURES-9/16/13 @ 3:30 PM

Parent Meeting-9/20 at 6 PM on the Soccer Field. Players will have practice before the brief parent meeting.


Try-outs: 9/10-9/13/13 @ 6:45 AM

Practice: Starts 9/17/13.  Monday-Friday @ 6:45 AM.  Not on game days.

TEAM PICTURES 9/25/13 @ 7 AM

Parent Meeting: Friday, 9/6/13 @ 3:45 PM in room 600A



The Emergency Alert System is used by BPS to contact parents in case of immediate emergencies.  The phone number you designated as your child’s “home” phone is the number used.  Please be advised that only ONE number is available to call, day or night.(Emergency calls can be weather related, building/grounds related or security related, etc.)  Please review the home phone number you gave us on your child’s emergency card.  We have no way of letting parents select the type of emergency they wanted to be contacted for – in other words, we can’t remove them from “snow day” calls and still contact them in case of a daytime emergency. If you would like this number changed for the EAS please email mb08bp@birmingham.k12.mi.us and the number will be updated in the system.  If you have any other questions about the Emergency Alert System, please email Anne Cron or call her at 248.203.3066.



The BCS Media Center is looking for some volunteers who enjoy being around kids and books!  For more information, email Ann Truesdell at at05bps@birmingham.k12.mi.us


Join us on Saturday September 28,, 2013 –see the flyer here




Comcast has introduced a program called Comcast Internet Essentials.  This offer is for any BPS students receiving free lunches (not reduced lunches) through the National School Lunch Program.  In an effort to bridge the “Digital Divide” it provides:
Home Internet Access for $9.95 per month
A Low Cost Computer for $149.00
Free Internet Training – Online, Print

Comcast has launched the program and is now accepting applications. For more information, see the Comcast website: