WAG Header

August 31, 2014


Hello BCS!


As I eagerly await the first day of school on Tuesday and finish compiling our first WAG of the year, I find myself growing increasingly excited to welcome our students and families back to the 2014-2015 school year! When referring to our dynamic school community, you may hear me regularly use the word “partner”.  Generally defined, partner is a person who takes part in an undertaking with another or others.  We are indeed partners in supporting the learning and development, together, for our students.  May I be bold enough to assert that the “undertaking” of student learning and growth is, without doubt, the most important of partnerships. Each year I am energized to partner with our faculty, staff, community and you to further support our BCS vision, mission, values and beliefs serving our students with our innovative learning community.


A new school year allows us another opportunity to reconnect to our vision andinspire 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 (Cycle 2) for 2014-15 (3-4 Patterns/5-6 Interdependence/7-8 Diversity) 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 by connecting our learning with partners locally here in metropolitan Detroit or globally with Project COPE (Chilipula) Zambia or beyond.  These are ways we 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 communities near and abroad.


Finally, as the weeks unfold, we will be regularly referencing and infusing 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 with a positive attitude, honesty & integrity, respect & kindness, and responsibility & accountability is a key foundation of BCS.  This type of work and self-discipline will continue to guide our students on the path to being global citizens who move forward with both intention and purpose. (Moral Compass poster and description)


We are ready indeed for a great year of learning and our faculty and staff is just about set.  Following are the staffing changes to our team to-date:

  • Debbie Hubbell, Interim Assistant Principal (see below message from Debbie)
  • Jessica Heckman, 3/4 Engage teacher
  • Mandy Pantuso, LRC teacher
  • Amy Johansson, long-term Engineering Technology guest teacher while JP Prisciandaro is on his semester-long leave (through January 23, 2015)

    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.  Additionally, with the recent departure of our assistant principal, Patricia Chinn, and our instructional specialist, John Kernan to elementary principal positions in Walled Lake and Gibraltar respectively, we have posted the positions and will begin our search process immediately for replacing these two members of our BCS team who indeed will be greatly missed.  We wish them well in their new roles.  I would like to thank Debbie Hubbell for her willingness to step into the assistant principal role at BCS on an interim basis until we select our new AP.

BCS is a great place to be, and 2014-15 will be the best year yet.  We look forward to seeing all our parents and guardians at our Back-to-School Curriculum Nights on 9/4/14 for 5/6, 9/11/14 for 3/4 and on 9/18/14 for 7/8.   Let’s make it a year were we all continue to Learn Globally, Serve Locally celebrating what is right with the world through partnership and collective engagement!


Wishing you well,

Mark Morawski




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


A Message from our Interim Assistant Principal

My name is Debbie Hubbell and I will be the interim Assistant Principal for the next several weeks until a permanent AP is selected. I have over 37 years in education most recently as the Principal of Derby Middle school.  I am excited to be a part of such a dynamic and exciting school community.  I have enjoyed my time here this past week as I learned more about the BCS vision and goals for the year.  Although my time here is expected to be short, I do want to get know the staff, students and families of the BCS community.  I am here to help each of you make the start of this school year a successful one including any athletics-related questions.  Please let me know anything I can do to support you in this. My email is dh12bps@birmingham.k12.mi.us and my phone is 248-203-4430.




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


WEEK AT A GLANCE –   Week of September 1-6, 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 

Monday, September 1

  • Labor Day-Enjoy the Last Day of Summer!

Tuesday, September 2-SCHOOL BEGINS AT 8:18 AM

  • The cafeteria is offering full lunch service today-Breakfast is available at 7:40AM
  • 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 3

  • Our second fabulous day at BCS

Thursday, September 4

  • 9AM Friends of Different Learners-Staff Development Room –BPS Special Education Vision And Focus-And the 
  • 9:15AM-5/6 Room Parent Meeting-Media Center
  • 2:30PM-5/6 Camp Michindoh Town Hall Meeting
  • 3:45PM-Girls Basketball Parent Meeting
  • 6PM-5/6 Welcome Back Night PTSA Reception
  • 6:30PM-Program begins in classrooms
  • 7PM-Camp Meeting for parents with Camp Michindoh representative

Friday, September

  • 10am-Media Center Volunteer Orientation-Media Center




THE BPS FOOD SERVICE PROVIDER is now Chartwells-click here for menu and prices   MENU   PRICES


POWER SCHOOL- Important Parent Information:

BPS provides the PowerSchool Web Portal for parents of students at BCS in grades 5-8 to access their child’s schedule, grades, and attendance via the Internet.  If you are new to the district or a parent of 5th-8th 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.  Only Middle School (5-8 at BCS) and High School parents have access to their students’ grades with PowerSchool.  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 Sally Battle at (248) 203-4515 or sbattle@birmingham.k12.mi.us.


Health & Safety Alerts

As a way to build awareness for our parents and guardians, we point your attention to the following safety concerns in which middle and high school aged children have been participating across the U.S.  While these situations aren’t occurring with students at BCS, these dangerous trends among older students may be helpful to bring to your attention:


Tips for Helping Your Child with Homework

Click here for some neat strategies for supporting your child with homework.  These are some good reminders as we start off the new school year.


THE FIRST DELAYED START DAY IS Wenesday, 9/24/14 Delayed start

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


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 prearrange this by calling the BCS office.  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 does break protocol. Additionally, our parent volunteers at the desk in our front office are there to greet you once you enter the school, so please appreciate their efforts by thanking them for the support they provide.  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 (breakfast begins at 7:40 AM in the cafeteria)
  • 8:25 AM – Doors Locked (VNS activated for school day – 8:18 AM school begins/tardy chime)
  • 3:05 PM – VNS deactivated for student pick up prior to Choice Hour
  • 3:30 PM – VNS activated for Choice Hour
  • 4:05 PM – VNS deactivated for student pick up at end of day


Traffic Safety Reminder

Please be sure to practice safety precautions during the busy times of student arrival and dismissal at BCS.  We do understand that we all are often busy and in a hurry, but PLEASE, for the safety of our children,slow down, be safe, and cautious of the traffic and children around you.  We truly do appreciate each of you following basic traffic safety guidelines as well as following the arrival and dismissal procedure in place at school for the safety of our students and your children.    Click here for complete arrival and dismissal procedures. Thank you!


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 continue to care for our fish tank as a gift to our school for the second year running.  Thank you also to Sharon Morris (parent/cafeteria manager) for continuing to work with Mike to make this happen! As you visit Premier Pet Supply, please be sure to thank them for their gracious support.



Cub Scout Pack 1032 invites all 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade boys to join in fun and adventure at our pack meetings and outings.  Please attend one of our first two meetings Wednesday September 10th or 24th, 7:00-8:30 pm. Meetings are held at First United Methodist Church of Birmingham, 1589 West Maple Road, Birmingham.  For further information please contact Kim Bowyer at 586-321-8342, krbowyer@hotmail.com or Jim Minewiser 248-346-1522 minewise@comcast.net


BE SURE AND VISIT   bcsonline.info -- FOLLOW US on twitter (@bcs_cobras) and LIKE “Birmingham Covington School” on FACEBOOK


FRIENDS OF DIFFERENT LEARNERS September 4, 2014 9:00 am Staff Development Room  click  September Flyer

BPS Special Education Vision & Focus 2014-15 and the BPS Strategic Plan



The BCS Media Center is looking for parent volunteers.  If you’re interested in helping us out, please sign up using the directions below.  On Friday, September 5, there will be a volunteer orientation at 10am.  You can also RSVP for this using the VolunteerSpot software.  Click this link to go to our invitation page on VolunteerSpot: http://vols.pt/Fbzvpm. If you have any questions, please email Ann at at05bps@birmingham.k12.mi.us.  Thank you!



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 9/5 at 4PM. These forms will be due by Thursday 9/11 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 Kathy Juriga at 248-203-4426 or kj04bps@birmingham.k12.mi.us.




PE INFORMATION-1st Marking Period

Tuesday, September 2 through Friday, October 3:

Frishman, Seley, Maliszewski, and Park/Wall 4 will be in the GYM. Be sure that your child wears appropriate shoes-NO FLIP FLOPS

Butzin, Davis, Harvath, and Park/Wall 3 will SWIM. Remember to bring a bag for suits and towels



6-8 CROSS COUNTRY-Practices start Thursday, 9/4/14. During Choice Hour.  Monday-Wednesday, 7 AM, every Thursday during Choice Hour, and every other Friday at 7 AM


Parent Meeting: Thursday, 9/4/14@ 4:15 PM in room 101


7-8 BOYS SOCCER-Begins Monday, 9/8/14, 3:25PM - tryouts if necessary 

Mondays and Wednesdays 3:25 to 5:30 PM (Choice Hour replaced by soccer practice)
Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 4:10 - 6:10PM (Attend regular choice hour)

TEAM PICTURES-9/18/14 @ 4:15 PM

Parent Meeting-Wednesday 9/17 at 5:30 PM on the Soccer Field. Players will have practice before the brief parent meeting.



Try-outs: 9/8-9/11/14 @ 6:45 AM

Practice: Starts 9/15/14.  Monday-Friday @ 6:45-8 AM.  Not on game days.

TEAM PICTURES 9/18/14 @ 7 AM

Parent Meeting: Friday, 9/4/14 @ 3:45 PM in room 600A


THE  3/4  TEAM  NEWS  

Thursday, September 11 – 3/4 Welcome Back to School Night

PTSA Reception at 6:00 p.m. in the main hallway
Program begins at 6:30 p.m. in classrooms
All parents will go to the media center at 7:05 p.m.to hear from principal Mark Morawski, the Co-Curricular teachers and our PTSA.



Thursday, September 4 – 5/6 Welcome Back to School Night

PTSA Reception at 6:00 p.m. in the main hallway
Program begins at 6:30 p.m. in classrooms
All parents will go to the media center at 7:05 pm to meet Terry Bear from camp Michindoh for a 5/6 camp overview.  Then, hear from Mark Morawski, principal, the Co-Curricular teachers and our PTSA.



Thursday, September 18 – 7/8 Welcome Back to School Night

PTSA Reception at 6:00 p.m. in the main hallway
Program begins at 6:30 p.m. in the media center to hear from principal Mark Morawski, the Co-Curricular teachers and our PTSA.
Then, all parents will go to their child’s academic lab teacher’s classroom at 7:00 p.m. and follow their child’s schedule from hour to hour hearing from each of his/her teachers.





Enrollment is now open for metropolitan-Detroit students who are in grades 4-12 to participate in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) programming on Saturdays from October 11 through November 15, 2014. DAPCEP is a nonprofit that partners with Michigan universities, STEM corporations, community organizations, and K-12 school systems to expose, motivate, and prepare students for futures in STEM careers. On Saturdays this fall, we will offer 35 courses at 14 locations in southeast Michigan. Courses range in topics from renewable energy engineering to video game design to calculus, ACT preparation and more.


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:


 ParentCamp 2014 -4 weeks to ParentCamp 2014! Learn with us on Saturday, September 20.

Saturday, September 20, from 7:30 a.m. to Noon

Birmingham Education & Administration Center (adjacent to Groves HS)

Free registration at: http://bpsparentcamp2014.eventbrite.com

ParentCamp is…

  • An opportunity for parents, teachers and administrators to engage in dialogue regarding what is best for our children.
  • A face-to-face, relationship building, networking opportunity designed on the premise that “We’re all in this together.”
  • 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.
  • Conversations, driven by audience participation, that are authentic and real, where every voice is heard.

Those scheduled to present include:

  • Dr. Dan Nerad, BPS Superintendent
  • Cathy Hurley, Principal – Groves
  • Rachel Guinn, Principal – Seaholm

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

And follow us on Twitter @BPSParentCamp14 (#BPSparentcamp2014).