WAG Header

September 8, 2013


Hello BCS!


What a great first week of school at BCS for all of us learners! The smiles, the learning, the joy, the awe, even the “probletunities” – it was a full-of-life week indeed.  A parent shared with me this week a conversation she overheard in the hallway on Thursday at the end of the day. A 7thgrader was walking down the hall with a 5thgrader after Choice Hour and the exchange went something like this:

7th Grader:     “This is the greatest school!  And it only gets better the longer you are here.  Every year is better than the last!

5th Grader:     “Yeah!”

This exchange is what we, as a school community, hope for and aspire to as we serve our students and their passion for learning.  We are not perfect to be sure, though we must aspire daily toward what I like to call “consistent and repetitive momentary perfection” which supports the philosophy we all share and desire at BCS.


We have great learning opportunities ahead and look forward to seeing all of our parents and guardians at the upcoming Curriculum Nights.  These nights are a great chance for you to learn about the curriculum, programming and educational schedule for your child(ren) as well as one of the most important steps in partnering with our teachers in your child’s learning this year.  Following are the details:

·         3/4 will be this Thursday, September 12th and 5/6 will be Thursday, September 19th

o   6:00-6:30 p.m. – PTSA Curriculum Night Meet and Greet and Refreshments in the media center

o   6:30-7:25 p.m. – Teacher presentations in classrooms/homerooms

o   7:30-8:00 p.m. – Principals, Co-Curricular Teachers& PTSA presentations in the media center

·         7/8 Curriculum Night will be Thursday, September 26th

o   6:00-6:30 p.m. – PTSA Curriculum Night Meet and Greet and Refreshments in the media center

o   6:30-7:00 p.m. – Principals, Co-Curricular Teachers& PTSA presentations in the media center

o   7:05-8:45 p.m. – Teacher presentations to parents in classrooms based on your student’s schedule (start in your student’s Academic Lab)

We hope you will find the time in your schedule to join us for your respective Curriculum Night.  They truly are “don’t miss” events!


Here’s to what will be another fantastic week of learning at BCS!


Wishing you well,

Mark Morawski




P.S.  Are you interested in helping with some basic grant-writing to try to get extra money and materials for BCS?  If so, email Teresa Rea (reateresa@gmail.com) with your interest as we’d love to create a grant-writing team to search for, write, and apply for grant opportunities throughout the year!  Who knows what we could earn to enhance our educational program for the students we serve?


– To view previous 2013-14 BCS WAG documents click here!) –


Character Connections Word of the week: KINDNESS

Infuse this word into your conversations with your children throughout the week.

·         Constant kindness can accomplish much. As the sun makes ice melt, kindness causes misunderstanding, mistrust, and hostility to evaporate. – Albert Schweitzer

·         You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

·         The truest greatness lies in being kind, the truest wisdom in a happy mind. – Ella Wheeler Wilcox


WEEK AT A GLANCE –   Week of September 9-13, 2013

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

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




Traffic Flow Pattern for Cars at Arrival & Dismissal

You’ve heard “pay it forward” – well for traffic flow purposes, let’s all “pull it forward”! As we all get in the swing of the routines of a new school year, arrival and dismissal times are incredibly busy times with car traffic.  Following are some reminders that will help for a safe, efficient and friendly arrival and dismissal experience for all of us.  Please read the following and the link to the full document to keep in your car as a reminder.  In summary, when picking up your child, please pull all the way forwardaround the circle as far as you can to drop off your child and when you see space in front of you when picking up your child.  Above all, drive SAFELY and remain KIND and PATIENT so we can be models of outstanding citizenship for the sake of our children!


AM DROP-OFF PLANS – Please Pull Up as Far as You Can

For a copy of the complete document click here!

  • Please drop off your children in the drop off/pick-up zones located either in the traffic circle at the front of the school or on the east drive that exits onto Covington Road, nearest the bike racks. Do not use the Tech Services driveway on Covington Road.
  • Please pull up as far as you can in the two designated drop-off and pick-up zones.
  • If you plan on exiting onto Covington Road, you must use the drop-off/pick-up zone that enters from Covington Road.
  • Please do not block the two handicapped parking spaces in the front circle.
  • In order to keep the traffic moving in the drop-off/pick up zones, please make sure you have said all of your goodbyes to your children, before you enter the BCS grounds.
  • After you have dropped off your children, please pull out cautiously, as you will be merging into other traffic leaving BCS.


PM PICK-UP PLANS at 3:15 PM or at 4:05 PM

  • Please have a consistent plan of picking up your children each day.
  • Please pull up as far as you canwhen there is space in front of you as you are waiting.
  • See above “AM DROP-OFF PLANS” section.


Project COPE Zambia

The partnership with the village of Chilipula continues to unfold!  Following is the video I shared with students at each of the Town Halls if you would like to review as necessary with your child (Learn Globally).  Also included are links to the full interview with George Sherman (unedited) if you’re interested in more details of the region and project.

·         Project Cope Zambia Town Hall video for students:  http://youtu.be/Xm07t5WAjZA (10 minutes)

·         For the full interview with George Sherman, Project Cope Zambia Co-Chair click on the following links:

o   Part I:  http://youtu.be/aMvHdK4laHU (15 minutes)

o   Part II:  http://youtu.be/ccwDIN_O-rQ (5 minutes)

As I mentioned, more to come on our efforts via our BCS Service Learning Committee, but feel free to continue learning about Zambia (and the village of Chilipula) – Learn Globally – and think with your students who (besides you our parents) we could ask to support our project fundraising goal.  Local businesses for example – Serve Locally!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 included students hearing from George Sherman via the video above, learning about Chilipula, Zambia and their needs.  If you have interest in this project and would like to join our service learning committee, please contact Cindy Balicki ASAP at cb15bps@birmingham.k12.mi.us.


Monday, September 9


·         4:30PM-WEBMASTERS  Meeting-Media Center

Tuesday, September 10 



Wednesday, September 11-PATRIOT DAY

·         FALL PICTURES –all students will get their picture taken today by Kaiser Studio. Picture packets can be ordered online at www.kaiserstudio.com .  Click Online Orders, then click Pre-Orders. TheBCS school code is covington Students may also bring in completed picture forms to order a packet.   The form should be given directly to the photographer



·         4:05-6PM-FIRST 7-8 BOYS SOCCER PRACTICE and TRYOUTS if necessary

Thursday, September 12

·         Online ordering for Fall Pictures is still open - www.kaiserstudio.com , click Online Orders, then click Pre-Orders. TheBCS school code is covington




·         4:05-5:30PM-SOCCER PRACTICE

·         6PM -3/4 PTSA Curriculum Night Meet and Greet and Refreshments

·         6:30 PM -3/4 Teacher Presentations


  • Online ordering for Fall Pictures closes at midnight tonight - www.kaiserstudio.com , click Online Orders, then click Pre-Orders. TheBCS school code is covington


·         4:05-5:30PM-SOCCER PRACTICE-


BPS FOOD SERVICEShttps://www.sodexoeducation.com/segment%5F0200/district%5F3102/ENM/Entry1/

Twitter: @BPSFoodService    Facebook: BPS Food Service 



We are looking for 3 parent volunteers to help with Fall Pictures on Wed, Sept 11 from 8-15-11:30am.  Please email Nancy Best nb01bps@birmingham.k12.mi.us if you are interested.  Volunteers are determined on a first come basis and will receive a $15 credit towards a picture packet


THE FIRST DELAYED START DAY IS THURSDAY, 9/24/13-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



As we begin our year with some beautiful weather, we want to remind all of our families to visit the student handbook online under the new STUDENT tab.  Some of the common issues we are seeing this fall include shorts/skirts that are not of appropriate length, exposed midriffs, and exposed undergarments.  Please help us to make sure that our students are appropriately dressed for the academic environment.  Review the handbook with your child and please check-in with your child in the morning to be sure that they are wearing the appropriate clothing for school



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


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


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 Genni Keahey, 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!


4th/5th grade Battle of the Books (Important Battle Dates)

  1. Battle Launch-Monday October 28, 2013
  2. Qualify for Battle Team- Friday, January 10, 2014 (end of week 11)
  3. Qualify for Gold –Friday, January 31st , 2014 ( end of wk 14)
  4. Battle Day-Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014
  5. February Break is Feb 17-Feb 21, 2014
  6. Battle AfterGlow with Board of Education- March….Board Meeting TBD



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.



Fall athletics are in full swing!  If your child is interested in Co-Ed Cross Country, Boys Soccer, or Girls Basketball, pleasebe sure to go to our website and start the registration process: http://bcsonline.info/athletics.html.  Please allow 24 hours time from completion of the registration process for your child to receive an “orange slip” of eligibility.


PE INFORMATION FOR 3 /4 TEAM FOR  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, towels AND GOGGLES



The 1st Quarter Choice Hour program is well under way.  Choice Hour student selections are posted on the Choice Hour board in the main hallway and in each homeroom.   The Choice Hour change form is available in the office and online (go to choice hour – click on packets, selections sheets and forms) – classes with openings are listed on the back of the form.  Most classes are full – options are very limited.  Change forms are due back to the office no later than 4:00 PM Friday September 13.  Change requests will not be accepted via email or over the phone.

The change and refund deadline for QI Choice Hour is Friday September 13th!  All approved QI Choice Hour changes will go into effect on Monday September 16th.  


We are looking for parents to teach the 3rd grade and 4/5 math pentathlon classes during choice hour beginning QII.  Contact Linda Stone if you are interested.


Changing Lives One Little Dress at a Time is a community service Choice Hour class that is currently being offered to students in grades 6-8.  These students are making simple dresses out of pillow cases to be delivered to churches and orphanages and distributed to needy little girls around the world to help make them feel better about themselves.  Students in this class design, cut, sew and finish these pillow case dresses.  We are in need of pillow cases, thread, colorful buttons, ½” wide elastic, single fold bias tape (to match pillow cases) and rick rack.  Your donations would be greatly appreciated.  Please deliver to the BCS office marked for Linda Stone.


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 scheduling should be directed to Kathy Juriga at 248-203-4426 or kj04bps@birmingham.k12.mi.us .




BCS PTSA Annual Ice Cream Social

Friday 9/20 6:30-8pm

BCS Cafeteria

This is a free event but donations are gladly accepted






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



Welcome back everyone!!!  The time has come for great music along with enthusiasm to learn.  During our first week, your musician should have received an orchestra handbook with a ton of information for you to read. (If not, there are extras in the orchestra room-have your child pick one up.)   Please return all forms in the orchestra handbook to Mrs. Gillespie-Braisted.  The year for BCS Orchestra students looks amazing!!!  Here are some of the highlights:  8th grade Masquerade Concert at Seaholm, Winter Concerts, 5th grade informances, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, great choice hour options, Michigan School Band and Orchestra Association Solo and Ensemble Festivals, and super spring concerts!!  Hope you all had a great summer, and I can’t wait to get to know my new students, as well as hear summer memories from previous students.  Looking forward to a great fall!!! 


Lynne Gillespie-Braisted

Director of Orchestras



ParentCamp 2013

Saturday, September 28, from 7:30 a.m. to Noon

Birmingham Education & Administration Center (adjacent to Groves HS)

Free registration at: http://bpsparentcamp2013.eventbrite.com

ParentCamp is…

Ø  An opportunity for parents, teachers and administrators to engage in dialogue regarding what is best for our children.

Ø  A face-to-face, relationship building, networking opportunity designed on the premise that “We’re all in this together.”

Ø  Breakout sessions with facilitators sitting with the group to lead the topic dialogue, with the focus on harnessing the expertise and experience in the room.

Ø  Conversations, driven by audience participation, that are authentic and real, where every voice is heard.

Keynote Speaker ~ Dr. Vickie Markavitch, Superintendent, Oakland ISD

Also scheduled to present:

Ø  Dr. Dan Nerad, BPS Superintendent

Ø  Steve Scheidt, President, Board of Education

Ø  Cathy Hurley, Principal, Groves HS

Ø  Dee Barash, Principal, Seaholm HS

Ø  Bob Lusk, Attorney with Lusk & Albertson

Ø  And many more…

Stay tuned next week as we will release an expanded list of presenters…

And follow us on Twitter @BPSParentCamp13 (#BPSparentcamp2013)!



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: