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January 5, 2014


Hello BCS!


Happy New Year 2014!  I hope you have had a wonderful vacation with family and friends.  This time together with loved ones is truly the best gift one could ask for.  Also with this new year, it seems winter is in full force.  Stay tuned for any updates on school closing as today, Sunday, progresses due to this most recent winter blast of snow and cold.


As we return to school and our focus on learning, I came across a fun little video that made me smile and reminded me of the importance of our efforts to be a global learning community (sorry about the PG title choice).  Below is a link to the video followed by a sample of the lyrics from the song (Trip the Light by Alicia Lemke) in the video.  Let’s make the second half of the year of learning at BCS a celebratory one!


If all the days that come to pass
Are behind these walls
I’ll be left at the end of things
In a world kept small

Travel far from what I know
I’ll be swept away
I need to know
I can be lost and not afraid

We’re gonna trip the light
We’re gonna break the night
And we’ll see with new eyes
When we trip the light

Remember we’re lost together
Remember we’re the same
We hold the burning rhythm in our hearts
We hold the flame

As we enter the new year 2014, let us remember, with our kind hearts, to see the best in others, to use mistakes as opportunities to learn, to be comfortable not knowing then discovering, and to learn together.  Each one of us, faculty and staff at BCS, look forward to partnering with our families, seeing the best in each other, to make the second half of our school year the best learning experience possible for the students we serve.  Let’s celebrate each other locally and globally!


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

BCS – A Great Place to Be!


Wishing you well,

Mark Morawski




Like BCS on Facebook!


P.S.  We have surpassed the halfway point of our $12,000 goal for Project COPE Zambia with a total of $6422.26! This goal will provide two 2-wheeled tractors, rippers, ploughs, and a water pump to a village co-op in Chilupula, Zambia.  Thank you for all of your efforts and stay tuned for more opportunities with this global effort to support economic growth in this poverty stricken Sub-Saharan village.


Donations Needed to Enhance STEAM (Science/Technology/Engineering/Art/Mathematics) Integration

We're looking to continue building our STEAM skills integration within our Engage & Thinkering Studio programs.  To that end, if you have any extra of the following gently-used tools/items in your "toolbox", please consider donating them to BCS dropping them off in the main office:

Portable Tool Cabinet

Small bench vise

Wet/Dry vacuum

Electric Hand Drill

"Dremel" Kit

Claw hammer

Rubber Mallet

SAE and Metric Wrench set

SAE and Metric Hex set

Adjustable Wrench

Needle nose pliers

Square nose pliers

Utility knife

Tape measure

Hot glue gun & glue

Staple gun

Soldering Kit

Pencil soldering iron

Wire stripper


Table magnifying glass


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


Character Connections Word of the week:  CARING

Infuse this word into your conversations/lessons with students as a character education focus.

·         Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. – Dr. Leo Buscaglia

·         Loving parents have caring children. – Chinese Proverb

·         Being rich of heart makes you wealthy beyond compare. – Rodney Williams


Blastin' in the B Newsletter – 1st Edition

This is the official news source for Blast 2014!Mark your calendars for March 16, 2014 to join in the fun at “Blastin' in the B”!   This is the biggest fundraiser for BCS.  It is crucial that we raise funds to help support the great programs BCS is able to provide.  BCS has some of the best technology-based programs in the district with no additional public finding…it is all private money!  Help us make Blast 2014 the most successful event in BCS history.   Here are some things you need to know now.

NEW this year…become a sponsor and get the naming rights to the room of your choice!  Imagine putting your company or family name on the cake walk or cafeteria during Blast.  Not only will your company or family’s name be displayed on the signs throughout the Blast but will also be great exposure in all of our web and print ads.   For the huge amount of exposure you will get, the price is a bargain at $1200. Hurry as there are limited spaces and one has already been taken!  Please think about making this great tax deductible donation.

NEW this year… the auction will be online only through our “Bidding For Good” website.  We will run the online portion 2 weeks prior to Blast.  Check out www.biddingforgood.com for a preview.  The class baskets will be available for live auction on Blast day.

Speaking of the auction…we need items!  Have extra tickets or a timeshare you can’t use this year?  Consider giving to the Blast auction and get a great tax deduction as well!

Want to Volunteer?  Have a donation? Questions? Please contact Wendy Beard (wendy@halstedgallery.com) or Deanna Brown (deannabrown@comcast.net).


WEEK AT A GLANCE –   Week of January 6-10, 2014

(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 WEDNESDAY 5PM 

***LOTTERY REGISTRATION WEEK at Administration Building ONLY***

Monday, January 6

·         8AM-5PM-Lottery Registration at the Administration Building


·         3:15-5PM 6-8 GIRLS SWIM TEAM PRACTICE

Tuesday, January 7 - Due-Choice Hour Selection Sheets

·         8AM-6PM-Lottery Registration at the Administration Building

·         8 AM BAGELS - $1.25(cream cheese .25 cents) in front of Media Center


·         4:05-5:30PM -6-8 GIRLS SWIM TEAM PRACTICE

·         3:15BCS Play Practice

·         3:30 Snow Club bus leaves for Pine Knob, returns at 8:20

Wednesday, January 8

·         8AM-5PM-Lottery Registration at the Administration Building


·         9:15am  5/6 Room Parent meeting in Media Center


Thursday, January 9

·         8AM-5PM-Lottery Registration at the Administration Building

·         9AM-Friends of Different

·         12:15pm Lunch with the Principal (all parents welcome)

·         1:15pm PTSA meeting

·         3:15BCS Play Practice



Friday, January 10

·         8AM-5PM-Lottery Registration at the Admin. Building- LAST OPPORTUNITY TO REGISTER FOR BCS LOTTERY



·         8:30AM-5-8 BCS Spelling Bee-Media Center

Saturday, January 11

·         9-11AM-Saturday School at Berkshire-see below


Registration week for new BCS students for the 2014-2015 school year is January 6-10, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and until 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, January 7.  Register at the BPS Education and Administration Center at 31301 Evergreen Road, Beverly Hills. A lottery will be held on January 15 at 6:00 p.m. in the BCS Cafeteria.   



If your student received a device for the holidays, please make sure this is something that you want brought to school. We have had several situations where Apple devices have been misplaced recently.  If you do have an Apple device, please download the free “Find my iPhone” or “Find my iPad” application as it can be very helpful to us and to families to locate the device.  In addition, it is helpful to have a student’s name on the device and the case so that we can determine who it belongs to and return it.



Auditions for Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp will be held: January 13, 14, 15 from 9:30-10:20AM See Mrs. Eliassen or Mrs. Gillespie for a permission slip.



Interested in Winter II Sports-7/8 Girls Volleyball and 6-8 Boys Swimming?

The season begins for both 1/22/14.Make sure that you have a current (after 4/15/2013) physical turned in if you have not participated in sports this school year. Stay tuned for Volleyball Try-out information and practice schedules for both.



Choice Hour selection sheets WERE distributed to each homeroom on Monday December 16th.  Selections can be viewed online at www.bsconline.info .  If your child does not bring a selection sheet home you can print one from the BCS website.  Choice Hour selections are due back no later than Tuesday January 7th at 4:00PM.  We will not schedule students into classes if payment in full is not included with the choice hour selection sheet.  Please include proper payment if you are signing your child up for a 4th and/or 5th day of Choice Hour.   Do not include payment for classes with materials fees or pay to play fees.  A separate billing will be made once students have been placed in their Choice Hour classes.

Students who do not turn in a selection sheet will not be placed in any Choice Hour classes.  Students who do not turn in a selection sheet with payment by the deadline will not be allowed to make a change in their schedule.

Important information regarding 3rd quarter:

We are excited to announce that we will be offering a 3-4 Watercolor Basics class on Fridays and a 5-8 Watercolor Basics class on Tuesdays.

Ms. Butler, new BCS Forensics team coach, is inviting any 6-8 student interested in joining the Forensics team to sign up for the Wednesday/Friday Forensics II Choice Hour classes.  You must be willing to make the 2 day commitment.

Math support is being offered by Mr. Kernan to all grade levels.  3-4 is scheduled on Mondays, 5-6 is scheduled on Wednesdays and Thursdays and 7-8 is scheduled on Tuesdays.

The 3-4 RoboTech class is being offered to new students!! 

6th, 7th and 8th grade boys interested in participating in the BCS swim team program are encouraged to sign up for the Monday/Wednesday swim team Choice Hour class.

Choice Hour reminders – please call (248-203-4625), send in a note, or email Linda Stone at ls06bps@birmingham.k12.mi.us  if your child is going to be absent from Choice Hour for any reason!  Students that do not have Choice Hour on any given day need to be picked up by 3:20 PM.  Students that do not have a Choice Hour class and are not picked up by 3:30 PM will be charged a $5.00 fee.

Thank you for always supporting the Choice Hour program!


Battle Reminder- Friday, January 10, 2014 is the final day to qualify for a Battle Team

Battlers wanting to make a Battle Team will need to have read and passed the Compass Learning Quizzes for a minimum of 6 Battle Books. Please remind your child that if they need to retake a quiz, to see Mrs. Clark. We are limited to the number of times we can reset a quiz.  Mrs. Clark will be available until 5pm on Friday, January 10, 2014 for any student needing to take a quiz after choice hour that day. Please go to our Battle wiki link below for more important Battle Dates.  Parent info is on the Battle Parent page on the left panel.  http://bcsbattle.wikis.birmingham.k12.mi.us/home

SAVE THE DATES--- Battle Enrichment Programs at the Baldwin Library

Monday, January 13, 2014 4:15pm- What's Happening to the Honey Bees?  Come hear Dr. Michael D. Stafford, Director of the Cranbrook Institute of Science, who is also an anthropologist, an archaeologist and a passionate bee keeper.  He will talk about the honey bee situation described in the Battle book The Hive Detectives.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 7:00pm

The Battle Book Dangerous Waters taught us about the perils of the sea. Experience the beauty of the sea with the Pat and Randy Judd program, Exploration under the Sea- Scuba Demonstration.  You will see scuba diving equipment, film of actual dives, and hear about scuba diving from the experts. Randy and Pat have introduced divers to some of the most sought after destinations on our planet. All of these amazing underwater adventures are organized by Rec Diving of Royal Oak.



The end of the school year is still nearly six months off, but the deadline for Proud Parent ads is quickly approaching! January 12th is the last day to order a Proud Parent advertisement for the 2013-2014 yearbook.  Ads are $125 for full page, $70 for a half page, $40 for a quarter page, and $25 for an eighth page ad. Go to www.jostens.com to reserve and pay for the space.  Yearbook staff will contact purchasers in early January for photos (submitted via flash drive, Dropbox, or CD) and the text to accompany the ad.


Yearbooks are a great way to help your student remember the year. It makes a great gift!

The deadline for ordering a yearbook at the best rate is approaching.  Go to www.jostens.com to pre-order your child's 2013-2014 yearbook.  Personalization is only available through the end of January.  After this, yearbook prices increase and no personalized yearbooks can be ordered.  Yearbooks are $40 with personalization starting at only $5.00.  Order using credit or debit online at www.jostens.com or use the order form on bcsonline.info.


NEWS FROM FRIENDS OF DIFFERENT LEARNERS- January 9, 2014 click  Friends January Flyer   

Building the Handbook Your Child Wasn’t Born With

9:00 a.m.  (NOTICE:  MORNING MEETING)-Birmingham Covington School (BCS)

Building the instruction manual that your child arrived without. Estate planning attorney and past Friends president, Diana Moak, will help you to create a Letter of Intent to guide your child's guardian in the event that you are no longer able to care for your child due to death or disability. You will also have a chance to chat with other Friends members at this informal meeting.



The Seaholm English and social studies departments invite 8th graders interested in learning more about their programs to spend a portion of the day observing classes, including Flex, World History and American Literature.  The dates available this year will be Wednesdays and Fridays in January, specifically January 15, 17, 22, 24, 29 and 31.  The observations will take place between the hours of 10:45 and 2:45 (periods 3—5).  The visit will not include lunch, so please be sure to have students eat prior to the visit.  To reserve a visit, please contact Kyle Hall(English Department Chairperson) at kh01bps@birmingham.k12.mi.us



Don’t miss out on this opportunity to be part of a dynamic, growing program.  The BPS Saturday School is in need of tutors to work with students in grades K-12.  If interested, contact, David Brooks (db26bps@birmingham.k12.mi.us) or Rudy Erazo (re02bps@birmingham.k12.mi.us).  Saturday School meets at Berkshire from 9am – 11am.  The remaining dates for Saturday School are:January:11, 18, 25; February:1,8;March:1, 8, 15, 22;April:19, 26;May: 3, 10, 17, 31



BPS Saturday School & Parent University Presents:

Parent Advocacy Program Series (The Middle School Years)

Attention 6th grade Parents/Guardians: 

Still have questions about your role in supporting your child through the middle school transition? In partnership with Saturday School and Parent University the Parent Advocacy Program Series: The Middle School Years Session IV will be held on January 11. This dynamic program will be from 9 – 11 a.m. at Berkshire. 


AMERICAN PROMISE SCREENING Hosted by The BPS Achievement Gap and Diversity Committee

JAN. 18 10AM-12:30PM Location:  Groves Little Theater.

Don't miss this screening of the award winning film American Promise.  The documentary follows the school careers of two African American students at a prestigious New York private school.  American Promise examines such complicated topics as race, class and opportunity.  http://www.americanpromise.org/ A moderated discussion with the filmmakers following the film.  For more information, click AMERICAN  PROMISE


DON’T MISS THIS!!  See Blackthorn and support the Groves Senior All Night Party-January 18, 2014For information about this fabulous evening    click here



Save-the-Date for the 13th Annual Unabashed Bash, Local Roots, Global Reach, February 8, 2014. As we plan for the BASH we are in need of auction donations. If you have connections with someone that can provide lodging or restaurants in the Traverse City area please contact 248-203-3030.  For more information visit www.supportbef.org



The Groves Boys Basketball team is hosting their annual Basketball Blast, Saturday January 18, 2014 from 12-3pm. The "Blast" is a basketball clinic for both boys and girls grades 3 - 8.  The three hour clinic is run by our Groves coaches, Varsity, JV, and Freshmen players.  All skill levels are welcome.  $40 preregistered/$50 at the door.   Registration forms are in the front office or you can contact:  Tricia VanFaussien at: tvanfaussien@gmail.com


Buy a bag of locally, freshly roasted Great Lakes Coffee Roasting Company coffee, and support the Groves Marching Band on their march to London. The Groves Marching band has been invited to march in the 2015 London New Year’s Day Parade. Groves Band Students, and Berkshire and BCS 8th Grade Band students, are selling whole bean or ground coffee at $15 per bag to raise money for next year’s trip. 48% of the proceeds go directly to help pay for the students’ trip, so it is a great way to support our marching band. Just ask a band student or call or text Jane Konoya at (248)497-2706.



Birmingham Public Schools takes great pride in the accomplishments of all our students, including our student athletes. A quality athletic program provides students with experiences that cannot always be created in the classroom.  At the end of each season, student athletes and parents are asked to provide feedback on their experiences. The information we receive is vital as we work to evaluate/improve the athletic program. A survey was administered last month to student athletes from the fall season at the middle schools and high schools. In addition, a survey was administered to parents of these same athletes. The executive summary of the data is abbreviated due to a low response to the survey. However, the athletic directors will still be looking at these data to help evaluate the athletic program. If you have any questions or comments, please contact Tom Flynn, Athletic Director at Groves, or Aaron Frank, Athletic Director at Seaholm. We will continue to examine how this survey is communicated and distributed ahead of the survey that will follow the winter season. In addition, we continue to look at how to collect more specific information through the open-ended questions. 

As previously stated, the athletic directors will analyze data by sport for program evaluation purposes, and the analysis will be shared with the deputy superintendent, and summarized for the Athletic Advisory Board (AAB). While the individual comments collected from the surveys are not shared publicly, the athletic directors, administrators, and members of the AAB will review all comments. 

We appreciate the respondents taking time to provide us this valuable feedback. In our efforts for continuous improvement, these data, however limited, will be helpful as we evaluate all aspects of our athletic programs. 


Online registration is now open for the Beverly Hills Little League 2014 season. Processing and credit card fees will be waived for early registration. The cost for Minors Softball (Girls Grades 1-3), Co-ed T-Ball (Boys/Girls Ages 4-6) and Youth Baseball (Boys Ages 7-8) is $100 and $120 for Minors Baseball (Boys Ages 9-10) and Majors Baseball (Boys Ages 11-12). Every registered player in the BHLL will receive a jersey, hat, socks and pants that are theirs to keep at the end of the season. Visit the website and register now at


 FRANKLIN BASEBALL click Franklin Baseball Information

Play Ball!  Don't miss out! Franklin Baseball League offers community based baseball, softball, tee-ball, tournament, travel teams and coach, umpire and pre-tee ball clinics.  Register early and get a $35 discount.  Community based, FBL is building on a 60 tradition of excellence.  Visit www.franklinbaseball.org.