June 14, 2015

Hello BCS!


It was a great final week of the year at BCS!  Smiles, energy and celebrations abounded.  If you haven’t “liked” Birmingham Covington School on Facebook yet, please do so to check out new pictures from the week’s experiences that we posted.


As summer vacation arrives, so to do some inevitable changes to our staffing.  We have some bittersweet news that our band director Marianne Eliassen will be moving to her new role as an elementary vocal music teacher.  We wish Mrs. Eliassen well in her new role and sincerely thank her for her service to BCS these last two years.  With that, we are excited to announce our new band director, Mr. Jeffrey Krum who will be joining our BCS team. Jeff will begin his twelfth year of teaching music this fall with us at BCS.  He has spent the past four years serving the Groves and Berkshire communities as their band director. He studied engineering in college before following my passion, music, and earned his bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University. A few years later, he earned his master’s in music education from VanderCook College in Chicago.  Jeff is thrilled to be joining the BCS team as our new band director and continuing the tradition of excellence that is BCS.  Click here for a picture of and welcome letter from Mr. Krum.


We would also like to thank you for participating in another terrific Move-Up Day (June 9th).  This truly is a wonderful opportunity to help our students and teachers transition to and get excited about next school year.  It even helps to get some of those nerves out.  To view a copy of the presentation that Jason and I gave to our new 3rd grade parents that morning, click here. Also, for our incoming families to grades 5 and 7, she shared a general schedule at Move Up Night for Parents.  Following are links to those general schedules:

5/6 General Schedule 2015-16

7/8 General Schedule 2015-16

We also want you to know that our 3/4, 5/6 and 7/8 BCS Summer Packets are posted on BCSonline.


And, now let summer vacation begin…and how fast the school year goes!  It’s hard to believe the end of the school year has arrived and with it, the joys of summer!  Enjoy your summer filled with family, fun and friends with each providing wonderful learning experiences and memories for your children.  Those of us at BCS look forward to a variety of plans that include travel, professional learning, graduate classes and some simple rest and relaxation.  For parents, summer vacation can be, at times, fraught with anxiety as the regular daily schedule comes to a grinding halt.  Losing that basic sense of structure to the day can initially seem daunting.  Too quickly however, the summer can become as hectic as the school year, with camps, swimming lessons, sports, and vacations.  Before your child’s summer schedule is full, consider a few alternatives that allow you to spend time having fun together as a family, instead of apart as individuals.  Some of these don’t even require a deposit, registration, reservation or a carpool!  Think back to your own childhood and those memories you hold most dear.  They invariably involve time spent doing things together with those about whom you most care.

  • Pack a picnic lunch and enjoy one of the parks.
  • Read the books outside with your child under a shaded tree.
  • Take a few “mystery trips,” guided only by your child’s sense of adventure. Stay off the highways and let your child decide when and where to turn, what to see, and where to eat.
  • Write and illustrate a book together.
  • Visit the Detroit Zoo, the DIA, Greenfield Village, The Henry Ford, the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History or the Detroit Science Center.
  • Take a train ride from Birmingham or Dearborn to the western part of our great state.
  • Get back to the basics – bake a cake from scratch, make fresh lemonade, go berry picking, etc.
  • One rainy morning, have a family breakfast in bed and watch a good movie.
  • Make tents out of blankets on a rainy day.
  • Let your child empty his/her piggy bank, count the change and see what they will buy.
  • Make a time capsule and bury it in your garden.
  • Go through your child’s old toys, winter clothes and books, and donate unused items to a charity.
  • Take a nature walk and let your child take photographs.
  • Sit outside with your child and count the sounds you hear: dogs, cars, ice cream truck, crickets, birds, frogs, children playing, etc.
  • Write a note to your child’s teacher, and thank her/him for a great year!
  • Think of all the other things you can do to spend quality time as a family!

Some of these suggested activities you can experience with your family even align with our 3/4, 5/6 and 7/8 Summer Packets.  Also, you can check out Edutopia.org where Keith Ferrell lists his “48 Ultra-Cool Summer Sites for Kids” with ideas you and your children may find interesting.


I would like to extend my deepest thanks to all of our staff, students, and parents for helping make BCS such an amazingly caring and dedicated community of learners.  A very special thank you to those staff, students, and parents who are leaving us, and best of luck to each of you in the future and may your endeavors continue to be successful ones.  Finally, thank you to our entire BCS community for helping me serve this incredible community in this my second full year.  Though it’s only the first days of summer, I stand ready for a great 2014-15 school year full of learning for all!


BCS – A Great Place to Be!

Wishing you well!

Mark Morawski




For previous issues of the BCS WAG click here.


P.S.  An important “save the date” for 2015!  BCS 20 Year Celebration will be an open house format on Saturday, November 28, 2015 from 3:00-6:00 PM at BCS.  Check out #BCSTurns20 on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!


Join the BCS Web Team

Did you know that the BCSOnline.info website is created and run by parent volunteers? Current parent volunteers will have 7th and 8th grade students next year. To keep our website going, we need new members to join the BCS web team.

When should you join?  Summer is the best time to join the team. We have lots of updates that need to be done to prepare for the new year and it's a great time to get up to speed and try out any new ideas.

Why should you join? You get to work with our principal, office staff and PTSA to help provide accurate and up-to-date information for our parent community. Plus, you get to learn new skills or share existing ones.

Please contact Mark Morawski at MMorawski@birmingham.k12.mi.us or the web team directly at bcsbrags@bcsonline.info for more information.

Thank you for your consideration,

BCS Web Team
Loran Brooks, Philippe Sainte-Marie and Kathy Juriga


WEEK AT A GLANCE – First Week of Summer - June 15, 2015

Last WAG until next school year!

To submit an item the “WAG”, email cbassett@birmingham.k12.mi.us 





Please mark your calendars with these dates and remember every student should be registered on one of these two dates for next school year!



  • STUDENT MEDICATION - All student medication must be picked up by a parent no later than 4PM, JUNE 18. Student medication or forms do NOT carry over into the next school year.  ALL medications not picked up will be discarded on Friday, June 19.
  • LOST AND FOUND – There is an incredible amount of lost and found items. The lost and found is currently set up in front of the Media Center and will be until June 19. Feel free to come by and check for any lost items.  All lost and found items left after the end of the day on June 19 will be donated. 
  • SUMMER PACKETS – Summer packets are now available online and can be found here.
  • REPORT CARDS – End of the year report cards will be mailed home on June 19.



To continue our Serve Locally efforts, let’s keep our support of Karen Fitzgerald going by joining the BCS community “Team Fitz” in the Susan G Komen 3-Day Walk Summer 2015.  For more information, contact Elizabeth Cook or Susie Englehart.  To sign up for the 3-Day on August 7-9, 2015 in the Detroit area, click here, then click on “Register and Join a Team”.  The team name is “Team Fitz” and the password to join is “teamfitz”.



Click here to view all the entries from our talented BCS students from this year’s Reflections program and competition.


GaGa Student-Led Service Learning Project

A team of students from BCS want to serve locally by helping a school in Detroit.  Click here to find out about their project and how you can help and share their story soliciting others to support them.



A suspicious vehicle was seen at Harlan Elementary this week.  Yesterday, a similar vehicle was seen on a side street next to Harlan.  It is not known if this is the same vehicle.  When the individual was approached by a staff member, he quickly left the property.  Police were contacted and are currently investigating.  The vehicle is a white utility-type van with the word “wood” on the side.  The individual is described as a white male, age in the fifties with salt and pepper hair.  Although this incident occurred in the Harlan area, it is important that all of us be aware of any suspicious individuals or vehicles.  Here are some general safety guidelines for you to talk about with your child.  These guidelines are from the National Crime Prevention Council.

  • Know where you are going and the safest way to get there.
  • Always take care when walking or biking. 
  • Avoid isolated areas and do not wear headphones or text while walking.  You need to be aware of your surroundings at all times. Walking around with a cell phone in sight can make you an easy target. 
  • Always tell an adult where you are going and what time you’ll be back.  Whenever possible, travel with a friend or group of friends.
  • If you think you are being followed, go to the nearest store or public place.  If there isn’t a store or public area nearby, keep moving and don’t be afraid to yell for help or make other noise to draw attention to the situation.
  • Report anything suspicious to the police as quickly as possible and provide as much detail as you can.





During June and August, our BCS office hours will be approximately 8:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. 




Six books! According to Oakland Schools that is all it takes to prevent the summer reading slide. We want to help our elementary school students maintain or enhance the reading skills they have worked so hard on this school year. Enroll in our Bee A Reader Summer Reading Program online and begin tracking your summer reading minutes. Students that read at least 800 minutes will be acknowledged at a school-wide assembly in the fall.  Enroll at http://bee-a-reader.birmingham.k12.mi.us.

  • eBooks are available for checkout all year long – even during the summer!  To access:
    • Download this app:  BryteWave K-12 Edition
    • Username: child’s school username (not the entire email address)
    • Password:  either the child’s birthday password or their regular district password – try both
    • URL: wbb02427



If you have not turned in your choice hour form, please do not wait until the fall. The office is open in June and forms can be turned into the Main Office.



There are many summer offerings for middle school students found in the Summer Fun Brochure at www.communityed.net. Or click here for more information.



Celebrate the start of summer at the YAB Kick-off Summer 2015 Concert this Friday, June 12, 7:30 p.m. at Shain Park in Downtown Birmingham. There is quite an impressive line-up of talented teens from the area performing.  Bands include Sail, the winning band from our Winter Battle of the Bands, Northern Lights & Keynote Sisters. Solo performances from Chelsea Grey, Sara Fortsch and Kirah Zook. And, DJ Magic by Jacob Farber. We are dedicating this amazing evening to teens dealing with mental health issues, stress, anxiety and depression. Summertime fun is about to begin! Perfect event for the whole family. For more info: http://tinyurl.com/o6f43se


2015 ELEMENTARY ACADEMIC SUMMER SCHOOL-at Groves High School click Academic Review

Math & Reading Review (Grades K-5) -July 20–August 7 --Monday – Friday 9:00am-12:00pm

Each class is taught by a BPS district teacher and covers the math and reading curriculum set for that specific grade level by Birmingham Public Schools. This program is designed for students who could benefit from review and reinforcement of math and reading skills.  Please register by June 1, 2015 so that our summer staff can communicate with your child’s current teacher on how to best meet your student’s individual needs. -  cost $385.00.  Exiting 5th graders who like a challenge may enroll in advanced math and/or reading at Seaholm High School (June 16-July 2). To register or find more information on these offerings, please visit www.communityed.net or call (248) 203-3800.



Birmingham Community Education Presents…Middle School Cheerleading-Program Dates: August 24 – October 31

Register at www.communityed.net or call (248) 203-3800.Space is Limited!  Register early!

Registration Closes - July 1, 2015 

Program Dates: August 24 – October 31

Practices will be held on Mondays and Tuesdays at Covington School from 4:15–5:45pm.

Most games occur on Wednesdays.

Each participant will receive a uniform package, which is included in the registration fees.

Fee: $300.00

*For the best experience, Covington students should register for the squad that is affiliated most closely with their future high school.  Students that plan to attend Seaholm should register for the Derby Squad and students that plan to attend Groves should register for the Berkshire Squad.




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