April 12, 2015
I hope all our families had a wonderful spring vacation! Whether you vacationed locally, worked or traveled afar, I hope you were able to find time with those most dear to you to connect and create memorable experiences. We look forward to welcoming our students back with their smiles, energy and a passion to learn as we wrap up the 3rd quarter and embark on the final quarter finishing strong. Check out Birmingham Covington School on Facebook and check out new pictures from the past week’s experiences and learning that we post each week.
I want to remind our families that the state assessment, the Michigan Student Test of Educational Progress (M-Step), for grades 5 and 8 begins this week and for our other grades over the course of the next several weeks. The M-STEP replaces the 44-year old MEAP test and will be administered online. The ELA and mathematics tests (grades 3-8) are comprised of Smarter Balanced content plus Michigan developed items that will include a fixed-form, technology-enhanced test, a Classroom Activity, and a Performance Task. The science test (grade 4 & 7) and social studies test (grade 5 & 8) are comprised of Michigan developed online, fixed-form, multiple-choice based items. It is very important for students to be in attendance for this assessment and to complete the test on the day that they begin. In preparing for the testing dates, please make sure your child arrives to school on time, gets plenty of rest, and eats a nutritious breakfast. For more details on the M-Step and for specific daily testing schedules for all grades 3-8 at BCS, click on the following links:
M-Step Parent Information Packet
BCS Daily Testing Schedule
Additionally, we encourage you to view the preview test and sample items that are available online at https://wbte.drcedirect.com/MI/portals/mi/ott1. The page can only be opened using the Google Chrome browser. For more details and links regarding M-Step, see the related section below. We are confident that our students will do well and our goal is to provide a positive testing experience.
Finally, BCS is proud to be named a “Business Idea Winner” of the School Enterprise Challenge 2014! After learning of our 3rd place finish in the Global Enterprise Challenge a few weeks back, our student-created Zinc jewelry company has been recognized again. This year 1250 schools from 93 countries participated in the competition with businesses ranging from fly fishing in Belize, to an inter-schools newspaper in India and a carwash in South Africa. Our own Zinc was the only US school earning a prize! Well done to all of the students and teachers involved and congratulations to all the other winners around the world! Click here for a full list of our winners and to learn more about the competition visit http://www.schoolenterprisechallenge.org.
Looking forward to another great week of learning at BCS and welcome back!
Wishing you well,
For previous issues of the BCS WAG click here.
Character Connections Word of the week: ACCEPTANCE
Infuse this word into your conversations/lessons with your family as a character education focus. There will be a new word every two weeks.
- “It's time for us to turn to each other, not on each other.” – Jesse Jackson
- “What the world needs most is openness: Open hearts, open doors, open eyes, open minds, open ears, open souls.” – Robert Muller
- “Of course there is not formula for success except, perhaps, an unconditional acceptance of life and what it brings.” – Arthur Rubinstein
M-Step State Assessments Begin This Week for Grades 5 & 8
The State of Michigan’s new assessment program, M-Step testing windows begin on April 14 and you can note the specific BCS testing schedule below. Also, below is some helpful information and details re: the assessment.
- M-STEP and MI-Access Updated Practice Test (must access via Google Chrome): Also included, sample item sets by grade level and calculator practice. (Note: text-to-speech is still not available on the practice tests. It will be available for preview before the test windows open.) https://wbte.drcedirect.com/MI/portals/mi. All school computers with Windows 7 will have Google Chrome.
- Sample Classroom Activities and Performance Tasks (grades 3-8)
- State Testing calendar and BCS Testing Schedule
- Additional information (p. 4-5 testing times and sequence)
- Testing Subject Summary (specific classroom schedule forthcoming):
- Grades 3-8 take math and language arts (writing embedded)
- Three parts to each test (90-minute online test, 30-minute classroom activity, and 120-minute online performance task). The classroom activity will be given specifically by the LA and Math teachers in their classrooms.
- Grades 4 & 7 take science (2 parts, 50-minutes each)
- Grades 5 & 8 take social studies (2 parts, 50-minutes each)
- 3/4 teachers who teach math will do the 4th grade test and 3rd math will do the 3rd grade testing (it is up to teachers if they want to trade off)
- 5/6 is given by content area teachers
- 7/8 will have all core teachers involved in the testing
- A mouse and headphones will be provided for each computer. Students may use their own headphones if they’d prefer.
A BIG THANK YOU
The BCS Art Program would like to thank the management and staff of Home Depot on Southfield Road for making a generous donation of wood to our school. The wood will be used for the fish plaques that the 3rd and 4th graders are creating in art. Show them your support by frequenting their store! –Mrs. Parker
WEEK AT A GLANCE – Week of April 13-17, 2015
(Disclaimer: Please check all your calendars and bcsonline.info in case we missed something)
To submit an item for next week’s “WAG”, email firstname.lastname@example.org by THURSDAY 11PM
Monday, April 13
- 6:45-8AM-6-8 COED TRACK PRACTICE-FIRST DAY -MUST HAVE ORANGE SLIP
- 8:25AM 7/8 Town Hall Meeting-Café
- 11:20AM 3/4Town Hall Meeting-Café
- 11:50AM 5/6 Town Hall Meeting-Café
- 3:30-5:30PM-7/8BOYS TENNIS PRACTICE-SOMERSET PARK APARTMENT COURTS
- 4:10-5:20PM-STRIDES for Boys
- 4:10-5:20PM-Girls on the Run
- 4:15-6:15PM -7/8 GIRLS SOCCER PRACTICE-PARENT MEETING-6:15PM ON THE FIELD
Tuesday, April 14
- 6:45-8AM-6-8 COED TRACK PRACTICE
- 8AM-BAGEL SALE–get yours for $1, including cream cheese
- 11AM-SPRING PICTURE DAY-FUN POSES –on the cafeteria stage during student lunch/recess
- Complete the order form and have your child give it to the photographer Make sure to include payment (cash or check payable to Kaiser Studio). OR
- Order online Go to www.kaiserstudio.com , click ORDER PICTURES, then PREPAY ORDER and enter school code: 37COVINGTONFD. Kaiser Studio accepts Mastercard, Visa, American Express and Discover for online orders.
- 3:30-5:30PM-7/8BOYS TENNIS PRACTICE
- 4:15-6-8 COED TRACK PARENT MEETING-ROOM101
- 4:15-6:15PM -7/8 GIRLS SOCCER PRACTICE
- 7:30PM- 8th Grade Celebration Meeting-Media Center
- Join the BYA(Birmingham Youth Assistance) at the “Triple Nickle”-Birmingham’s Newest Restaurant for a RED RAISER- Tickets
Wednesday, April 15
- 6:45-8AM-6-8 COED TRACK PRACTICE
- 1:15PM-TORNADO DRILL-Parents/guardians please be aware when coming to sign in/out your student
- 3:30-5:30PM-7/8BOYS TENNIS PRACTICE
- 4PM-7/8 GIRLS SOCCER MATCH AWAY @WEST HILLS MS
- 4:10-5:20PM-STRIDES for Boys
- 4:10-5:20PM-Girls on the Run
- 4:15-6:15PM -7/8 GIRLS SOCCER PRACTICE
- 6:30PM- Informational Meeting for 2015-2016 Optional 7/8 Field Trips- TRIP INFO
Thursday, April 16
- 6:45-8AM-6-8 COED TRACK PRACTICE
- 9:15AM-5/6 Room Parent Meeting-Media Center
- 10AM-3PM-7th Grade Field Trip to Henry Ford IMAX Theater-7th Grade Trip on April 16
- 1:15PM-PTSA Meeting-Staff Development
- 4PM-7/8 BOYS TENNIS MATCH AWAY @WEST HILLS MS
- 6-8:30PM-Forensics Showcases-Media Center-click here
- 7PM- Friends of Different Learners meeting-Staff Development FODL April
Friday, April 17-HALF DAY-END OF 3RD QUARTER
- 11:20 AM dismissal- Records Day -Half Day for Students-busses run on their regular routes
Saturday April 18
- 9-11AM-Saturday School at Berkshire-Come get your learning on!
- 9-2 PM- Annual BEF GARAGE SALE-Berkshire
ALL BCS NEWS
Chartwells- BPS Food Service-click -WEEKLY MENU - for updates click NEWSLETTER or BREAKFAST MESSAGE
2015-2016 7/8 OPTIONAL FIELD TRIPS
Next year, our 7/8 students will have the opportunity to attend two optional field trips. Please click TRIP INFO for more information regarding these trips. There will be an information meeting on Wednesday, April 15, 6:30pm in the Media Center. Please plan on attending, as registration for both trips will open at the end of the meeting.
PRE-ORDER YOUR BCS 2015-2016 PLANNER - BCS values organization as well as the use of technology for such purposes. Please pre-order you 2015-2016 Planner by May 8th. Each planner is $5. Cash or checks made payable to BCS PTSA - Clearinghouse.
SPRING PICTURE FUN DAY is Tuesday, April 14
Pictures will be taken during lunchtime on the cafeteria stage. Order forms were sent home with students today. Students should wear their spring colors and may bring school appropriate props for their pictures. Prop ideas include sports balls and equipment, stuffed animals, a favorite toy, flowers, etc.….be creative! Pictures can be taken in friend or sibling groups, up to four people. Spring pictures are FUN because there are 16 colorful backgrounds to choose from. There are sports scenes, outdoor scenes, the locker room, and much more. View the backgrounds and prop ideas on the photographer’s website: www.kaiserstudio.com.
How can you order SPRING PICTURES?
- Complete the order form and have your child give it to the photographer on Tuesday. Make sure to include payment (cash or check payable to Kaiser Studio).
- Order online beginning NOW. Go to www.kaiserstudio.com , click ORDER PICTURES, then PREPAY ORDER and enter our school code: 37COVINGTONFD (not case sensitive). Kaiser Studio accepts Mastercard, Visa, American Express and Discover for online orders.
Please remember only students who have placed an order online or those that have an order form to give the photographer will get their picture taken. You will be purchasing SPRING PICTURES in advance of seeing the picture. We are also in need of a couple of volunteers during spring pictures. The time for volunteering is 11:00-1:30. If you can help during any of this time, please email Nancy Best, email@example.com .
FORENSICS TEAM NEWS
The BCS Forensics Team competed in a tournament at Novi High School on Saturday, March 28th. The team placed 1st overall with 13 individual events earning finalist placements! 1st place finishes included Arya in Informative Speaking, Perry in Oratory Speaking, Elle, Mia, Mahlah, and Olivia in Multiple, and Megan in Prose. The team is now working for their State Tournament at Wayne State at the end of April!
Don’t miss our SHOWCASE on Thursday, April 16, 2015 from 6:30-8:30PM (note the first half of the program is geared to our younger audience. Click here for more information.
TAKE YOUR CHILD TO WORK DAY IS THURSDAY APRIL 23
Please notify the attendance office-24/7- if your child will not be in school at 8:20am. A late arrival (tardy) or absence can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 248.203.4444, press 2. Thank you very much!!
MEDIA CENTER NEWS-Volunteers are needed in the Media Center! The Media Center needs help shelving and organizing through the end of the school year. If you’re interested in helping us out, please sign up using our Volunteer Spot calendar at http://vols.pt/Fbzvpm. If you have any questions, please email Ann at email@example.com
CHOICE HOUR INFORMATION: 4th Quarter Choice Hour classes begin Monday April 20th. Choice Hour selections are posted on the Choice Hour board in the main hallway and in each homeroom.
The deadline for requesting a Choice Hour class change is Thursday April 30th by 4:00 PM. Choice Hour class change request forms will be available in the main office beginning Friday April 24th. Classes with openings will be listed on the back of the Choice Hour class change request form. Please read the change form very carefully.
Students requesting a change will be expected to attend their originally assigned classes for the first two weeks of the new quarter. ALL Choice Hour changes that are approved will go into effect on Monday May 4th. You will receive timely notification if your Choice Hour change request is denied.
Choice Hour drop refunds will be processed for classes dropped during the official Choice Hour change period which ends at 4:00 PM on Thursday April 30th. No refunds will be processed after the Thursday April 30th deadline.
No Choice Hour drops, adds and/or changes will be accepted over the phone or via email. All Choice Hour change requests require a parent’s signature. Please pick up the proper paperwork in the office.
Thank you for supporting the Choice Hour program!
Choice Hour Planning for 2015-2016 School Year:
Choice Hour planning for the first quarter of the 2015-2016 school has begun. Several parents have already volunteered to teach some very interesting Choice Hour classes next year that highlight their talents and interests. If you would like to share your time and talents with a small group of students during Choice Hour please contact Linda Stone at 248-203-4625 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Choice Hour Reminders:
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 will be charged a $5.00 fee.
If your student has Choice Hour but will not be attending their Choice Hour class please call the Choice Hour attendance line (248-203-4625) to have them excused at 3:15, email Linda Stone at email@example.com or pick up a pink slip in the office to have them released from choice hour. Choice Hour attendance can be a very time consuming job. The safety of your children is always our priority. Your cooperation is greatly appreciated. If you have any questions regarding Choice Hour attendance please call Linda Stone at 248-203-4625.
BPS PRESENTS THIRD IN OUR PARENTING SERIES-KEEPING THE BALANCE April 28 from 6:30 to 8:00 PM
Please join us for our third in a series of presentations dealing with family issues. Keeping the Balance When Schools Out will be held in the Seaholm Little Theater. The session features BPS district experts and an audience question and answer session. The program is free and you do not need to RSVP for it. Keeping the Balance When Schools Out will focus on summer challenges and those that face families as students try their hand at a first job, stay home alone, or even prepare for life away at college. We hope that you can attend this informative session
IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENTs FROM THE BEF
BEF Garage Sale Help us celebrate spring at the BEF Garage Sale, benefiting all 13 schools in the Birmingham School District. Time to find treasures to keep or share. April 16-17 Drop Off Your Treasures at Berkshire Middle School: Thursday from 4:00-7:00 pm. and Friday-all day. Sale -April 18, 8:00-2:00 pm Sale - April 19, 10:00-1:00 pm. bag sale To make this sale a success we need volunteers. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org many hands can make this light work for our district!
SAVE THE DATE: EXPEDITION 2015: “DESIGNING A BETTER WORLD” is right around the corner. Mark your calendars for April 22, 2015, Groves High School, 6:00-8:00 pm. This is the 4th year we will celebrate student (STEAM) activities, including hands-on activities for everyone, and science oriented entertainment. The last few years over 700 students and their families have participated in this wonderful hands-on evening. We will also feature community organizations and businesses that are focusing on making the world a better place. What a great way to spend Earth Day 2015! All are welcome.
PE UPDATES -MONDAY, MARCH 16 THROUGH THURSDAY, APRIL 17TH:
Frishman, Seley, Maliszewski, and ParWall 4 will SWIM. Remember to bring a bag for suits, goggles and towels
Butzin, Davis, Harvath, and ParWall 3 will be in the GYM. Be sure that your child wears gym shoes
4th QUARTER -MONDAY, APRIL 20 THROUGH FRIDAY, MAY 15:
Frishman, Seley, Maliszewski, and ParWall 4 will be in the GYM.
Butzin, Davis, Harvath, and ParWall 3 will SWIM.
Spring athletics registration is underway. Our season started 3/30/15 and all student athletes need to be registered with a physical on file dated on or after 4/15/14 prior to the season start. Visit http://bcsonline.info/athletics.html to register
6-8 BOYS & GIRLS TRACK –If you have not picked up an “orange” slip before break, you will not be able to participate at the first practice on Monday, April 13, at 6:45am. Make sure you are signed up for TRACK Choice Hour as well.
THE 3/4 TEAM NEWS
BCS HAVE YOU CHECKED ON OUR 3/4 TEAM SALMON IN THE 3/4 SCIENCE LAB ? They are growing!
Salmon in the Classroom -- Thanks to the generosity of the BCS PTSA and Premier Pet Supply in Beverly Hills, we are able to help the Great Lakes by raising salmon. To view the blog click here: BCS Salmon Blog. To watch the salmon live, click here: BCS SalmonCam
THE 5/6 TEAM NEWS
BAND and ORCHESTRA INFORMATION for 5th,6th ,7th,8th grades
Mrs. Eliassen's wiki Practice logs, Assessment schedules, private teacher options, 2014-15 Band calendar.
From Mrs. Gillespie 2014-2015 Orchestra Calendar
THE 7/8 TEAM NEWS
8TH GRADE FAMILIES-IMPORTANT CELEBRATION INFORMATION-PLEASE READ
1) By now, everyone should have turned in "then" and "now" pictures of your 8th grade child for the farewell celebration. If not, please contact parent Kristen McNally <email@example.com> to submit these photos ASAP! There are still a few families we are waiting for -- please, please take care of this. 8TH GRADE VIDEO
2) There are two different videos created for the graduation. The first is "then & now" (referenced above). The second video we make for the kids is "BCS Memories" -- We ask now for all 8th grade families to browse through their digital files on their phones, hard drives, memory cards, etc., for any pictures of the 8th graders doing a BCS activity anytime between 3rd through 8th grade. These activities can be anything from classroom holiday parties or activities, 3/4 grade Super Bowl or Waikiki reading parties, Wacky Recess, last days of school, field trips, 5/6 camp or Rouge River trips, Science Olympiad, sports, any choice hour activities or clubs... anything associated with their BCS experience in the last 6 years (on- or off-site of the school). Photos need to contain at least 2 current BCS 8th grade students (no individual shots) and can be large group shots, also. We want to feature all of our 8th graders, but if there happen to be a couple BCS kids from the grade above or below in the picture, this is okay. (Please note: Photos that include students from other schools will not be used, so please do not send.)
**Send all memory photos digitally as attachments in large file .jpg format to firstname.lastname@example.org If you have any questions regarding your memory photos, please contact parent Shiva Motlagh at email@example.com. Please start sending lots of photos anytime NOW through Monday, May 4.
3) FYI, our 8th graders voted on what they would like their graduation theme to be. The result: "Anything Is Possible" with New York City themed decorations/invitations/tshirt, etc.
4) There will be an 8th Grade Celebration Committee meeting on Tuesday, April 14 at 7:30pm when we return from spring break.
SAVE THE DATE: 8TH GRADE GRADUATION IS TUESDAY JUNE 9.
Questions? Please contact Lynnette Kennedy Ltkennedy38@gmail.com or Karen Bierley firstname.lastname@example.org.
7/8 SAVE THE DATE
Sophie D and Lauren G will be hosting an "End of the Year" party for the graduating 8th grade class on the evening of June 12th! Invitations will follow.
COMMUNITY NEWS AND INFORMATION FOLLOWS…………
NEWS FROM THE BIRMINGHAM BLOOMFIELD COMMUNITY COALITION-BBCC is in need of volunteers, adults and teens, to help us assemble our annual Parents Who Host mailing. We have 8,000 pieces to assemble for families of high school teens in our community. This entails stuffing the envelopes, as well as labeling, stamping and sealing them. Whatever amount of time someone can give will be appreciated. We are in need of your help anytime March 23 - April 15. Please contact Leanne at 248.203.4615 or email@example.com.
Youth Mental Health First Aid USA Trainings for adults assisting youth.
Saturday April 18, or May 16, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Taught by certified instructors, you will learn to recognize the signs and symptoms of anxiety, depression, substance abuse disorders and psychosis in youth ages 12-18. You will also learn what to do until appropriate professionals and other help can begin. To register, contact Leanne at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 248-203-4615. We need 20-30 participants to hold this training. There is no cost to attend. For more information visit www.bbcoalition.org for more info. All trainings held at BPS Education and Administration Building, 31301 Evergreen, Beverly Hills.
Parents: Mark your calendars for Tuesday, April 28, 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. for CHOICES Youth Dialogue Day 2015. This all area high schools, student-driven event will be held at the First Presbyterian Church in Birmingham and feature the Honorable Judge Diane D’Agostini, from 48th District Court, who will bring live court cases to demonstrate the real-life consequences which come from decisions to use alcohol and/or drugs. Attendees will also hear a young man who is in recovery and from our community, speak about his journey. Students, parents and other interested community members are encouraged to attend. There is no charge to attend this event, although donations will be accepted. Visit www.bbcoalition.org for more info.
Birmingham Special Education Parent Advisory Council (PAC) New Members Wanted!!!
Consider becoming a member, PAC “Meet and Greet” coffee dates: Starbucks- Lasher and Maple
April 14, 2015, 9:30 – 10:30 a.m. April 15, 2015, 7:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Please come join the Birmingham Special Education Parent Advisory Council (PAC) to hear a special presentation on Strategic Plan Goal 1 & Goal 4 on Tuesday, April 21, 9:30-11:30am at the BPS Administration Building.
Goal 1: All BPS learners will continually excel in a learning environment that is engaging, global and free of achievement gaps.
Goal 4: BPS will design and implement a dynamic educational organization that creates unlimited opportunities for student learners.
AUTISM SOCIETY OAKLAND COUNTY LOOKING FOR SUPPORT
April is Autism Awareness Month and on Sunday, April 26, 2015 we welcome you to take part in our Walk 4 Autism inside the Somerset Collection in Troy. We need your help to continue to support programs and services assisting those on the autism journey throughout our community. Though the path and destination may be different, each person with autism deserves to realize their full potential. Click here to register online! #walk4autismoakland
For additional District and Event News, Athletics Community Sports Groups Information
Click BPS District eNews
To review the District’s Non-Discrimination policy, click here