November 5, 2017

Hello BCS!





What a great week at BCS!  The energy and passion for learning among our community continues to be prevalent daily. Check out a few of the pictures from the week, and  if you haven’t “liked” Birmingham Covington School on Facebook yet, please do so to check out some of the pictures, particularly those from our Halloween fun. 


Our annual Halloween Parade kicked of this past week, and now we begin to wrap up the first quarter preparing report cards which will be available through PowerSchool on Monday, November 13 for grades 5-8 (in all classes/subjects) and sent home via hard copy with our 3/4 students (all classes/subjects except co-curricular where grades occur after quarters 2 and 4) that day.  We also look forward to seeing our families at conferences on Monday, November 20 and Tuesday, November 21 from 1-4 PM and 5-8 PM (both days are half days for students with buses running at an 11:30 AM dismissal-there is no Choice Hour on half days).  The Book Fair is open during conferences, as well, and we’re looking for volunteers, so click on the Sign Up Link to offer your support.  For all the detailed information about our fall conferences, click on the conference letter that we sent via eNews last Monday.


Due this Friday! Be sure your child shows their creativity through the PTSA Reflections program!  The 2017-2018 Program is coming to a close and projects are due this Friday, November 10.  This year’s theme is Within Reach.  It’s your child’s last chance to enter this program and write a story, draw or take a picture, make a movie, make music or perform a dance.  Click the Student Packet for all the details, entry form, and rules.  All artwork, can be placed in the Reflections box in the Media Center. For questions, contact Diana Patterson at  Please consider volunteering with Diana to help collect the artwork, and process the entries for judging!  Click to sign up to help out


As you know, our annual theme is EMPATHY and our November monthly focus is the that empathetic people have a MORAL IDENTITY.  Let us lean in and lead with EMPATHY always embracing our BCS Moral Compass!  In Michelle Boba’s book Unselfie: Why Empathetic Kids Succeed in Our All-About-Me World, chapter 2 focuses on the concept that empathetic people have a moral identity.  Helping our children develop “an ethical code so [they] will adopt caring values that guide their integrity and activate empathy to help others.”  Here are the top 5 key points to know from this chapter:

  1. Moral Identity can inspire empathy, activate compassion, and motivate caring behavior
  2. To respond empathetically, kids must value other people’s thoughts and feelings
  3. Overpraising can make kids competitive, tear others down, and diminish empathy
  4. Entitling and “overvaluing” kids may increase narcissism and hamper moral identity
  5. If a child can imagine him/herself as a caring person, he/she is more likely to care about others

So, how can we strengthen our children’s Moral Identity?  Following are strategies our teachers will be employing and you can “practice” at home:

·       Take a reality check

o   Notice how children react to your encouragement and watch for signs you may be overpraising.

·       Align Praise w/ Character

o   Help them see themselves as “good people” by pointing out how their behavior matches their identity (“you’re the kind of person who always helps” or “you’re so caring” or “you’re thoughtful and you show it when you…”)

·       Use nouns, not verbs

o   Talk about kids “being helpers, not ‘helping’” - studies show kids are more likely to help when you use that type of language.

·       Focus on character, not behavior

o   Helps kids internalize altruism

o   Example of Character-focused praise: “You’re the kind of person who likes to help other people” or “you’re a considerate and helpful person”

o   Example of Behavior-focused praise: “It’s nice to see you sent some school supplies to orphans” or “sharing your toys was a considerate thing to do”

·       Model It

o   Kids follow our example

What about those negative influences our children are bound to come up against?  Here is How Kids Can R.E.F.U.S.E. Temptations & Stick Up for Their Beliefs:

            R--Review who you are

            E--Express your belief

            F--Firm voice

            U--Use strong posture

            S--Say no and don’t give in



We are excited about our focus this month; BCS is a great place to be!  Click on this handout for this moral identify information in printable form.  We’re looking forward to another great week of learning together at BCS where we lean in and lead with EMPATHY always embracing our BCS Moral Compass!


Wishing you well,

Mark Morawski

Twitter: @mark_morawski #BCSLearns

Check out my blog:


Character Connections Word of the week: POSITIVITY

Infuse this word into your conversations and share these quotes with your children as a character education focus.  There will be a new word every two weeks.

·       “In every day, there are 1,440 minutes. That means we have 1,440 daily opportunities to make a positive impact.” – Les Brown

·       “I'm a very positive thinker, and I think that is what helps me the most in difficult moments.” – Roger Federer

·       Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier.” – Colin Powell


WEEK AT A GLANCE – Week of November 6-November 12

To submit an item for next week’s “WAG”, email by WEDNESDAY at 5PM

Monday, November 6

·       Last Day of Quarter I

·       7-8AM Boys Basketball Tryouts

Tuesday, November 7

·       No School for students – Records Day for Teachers

Wednesday, November 8

·       First Day of Quarter II

·       New Choice Hours Begin

·       7-8AM Boys Basketball Tryouts

·       3:20-5PM Girls Swim Practice

Thursday, November 9

·       7-8AM Boys Basketball Tryouts

·       9:15AM 3/4 Room Parent Meeting (Media Center)

·       3:20-4:10PM Cross Country Practice

·       4:15-5:30PM Girls Swim Practice

Friday, November 10

·       7-8AM Boys Basketball Practice

·       9:15AM 5/6 Room Parent Meeting (Media Center)

·       4:15-5:30PM Girls Swim Practice

Saturday, November 11

·       Veterans Day

·       10 AM-12 PM Brunch for Veteran’s at he EAC

·       Debate Tournament #3 (Holt High School)

·       9-11 AM Saturday School at Berkshire (get help from high school tutors and teachers with your homework or studying)

Sunday, November 12



Chartwells- BPS Food Service-click -WEEKLY MENU




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Please send any extra candy you have to donate to our main office and we will see that it gets to our soldiers abroad. The drive will run through November 6th. Please drop off candy IN THE OFFICE, since some of our students have severe nut allergies and we do not want to take the risk of students having an allergic reaction (don’t drop off candy in classrooms).  We hope that you will donate any extra candy that you have. Doing so will not only satisfy our soldiers sweet tooth but it is a great way to show your appreciation for their sacrifice and remind them of home. Thank You, BCS Thinking Green Team


Veterans Day Brunch Friday, Nov. 10, 2017 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

Birmingham Public Schools invite military veterans to a Veterans Day Brunch on Friday, Nov. 10. The event will feature musical entertainment performed by high school students, along with decorations and special touches from elementary school students. The event is free and will include a selection of brunch items. RSVP for the event by calling 248.203.3001. See the attached 2017 Veterans Day flyer for more details or email



The due date is quickly approaching!  Reflect on the theme, WITHIN REACH, and create original art in the categories of dance, film production, literature, music, photography and visual arts. Enter to win recognition, prizes, and scholarships.  The top 2 BCS entries from each category will go on to the BPS District Program and possibly State and/or National recognition. Participants will be recognized/awarded at the BCS Reflections Pizza Lunch. Check out the Student Packet for more information. Submit entries in the Media Center through Friday, November 10th.  For questions, contact Diana Patterson at  Please consider volunteering to help collect the artwork, and process the entries for judging!  Sign up here

*Download the Student Packet

*Details on the BCS Website 

*Volunteer Sign Up


BCS Proud Dads Snow Club 2017 – 2018

Our BCS Proud Dads are gearing up for this year’s snow club for 3rdthrough 8th graders. We will pass out application packets after the Parent Information meeting on Tuesday, November 14 at 6:30 PM in the BCS media center. Applications will also be available in the main office starting Nov. 15th or on the BCS website. We will begin to accept applications on Tuesday, November 28th at 8:00 a.m. at the table located outside the main office. Click on the information letter with all the relevant details if you’re interested in signing up your child for this year’s club.​



This year with our theme of empathy and our community read, Save Me a Seat, our BCS Diversity Committee will be hosting monthly Movie Nights on Thursdays from 6:30-8:30 PM in the BCS media center based on our theme.  Parents and students, feel free to dress comfortably (PJs allowed) and bring a blanket or sleeping bag for extra comfort.  Check out the list below and be sure to save the dates for this fun, monthly, family event!

·        November 16 – Queen of Katwe (title change), PG (Check out the flyer: empathy habit having a moral identity) – Note Room Change: BCS Staff Development Room

·        December 21 – Nightmare Before Christmas PG (empathy habit understanding the needs of others)

·        January 18 – E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial PG (empathy habit having a moral imagination)

·        February 15 – Trolls PG (empathy habit keeping your cool)

·        March 15 – The BFG PG (empathy habit practicing kindness)

·        April 19 – Freaky Friday PG (empathy habit thinking “us” not “them”)

·        May 17 – Zootopia PG (empathy habit is sticking your neck out)



Purchase your 2017-18 BCS Yearbook Now! For a limited time, the purchase price of the BCS Yearbook has been reduced $10 to just $35, with a free icon!  More information on ordering your yearbook may be found on the Jostens Yearbook Flyer. Purchase your yearbook online by following this link to 8th Grade Parents: Make sure to think about ordering an ad for your graduate! Questions? Contact Michelle D'Orazio at




Choice Hour selections will be distributed to each homeroom and posted on the Choice Hour board in the morning on Wednesday November 8th.  The deadline for requesting a Choice Hour class change will be Tuesday November 21st by 11:30 AM.  Choice Hour class change request forms will be available in the main office beginning Wednesday November 15th.   Classes with openings will be listed on the back of the Choice Hour class change request form.  Please read the change form very carefully.  Changes are processed on a first come first served basis!!


Students requesting a change must attend their originally assigned classes up to and including Friday November 17th.  ALL Choice Hour changes that are approved will go into effect on Monday November 27th.  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 Choice Hour change period which ends at 11:30 AM on Friday November 21st. No refunds will be processed after the Friday November 21st 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 at the front desk beginning Wednesday November 15th.


There are still several families that have not turned in their student’s QII selection sheets. We understand that you may have sent a selection sheet and payment to school with your child but we have not received them.


Choice Hour is not optional! Students are required to attend Choice Hour three days per week.  If you are requesting that your child is waived from the Choice Hour program then visit for a waiver form.  Waivers require signature approval from Mr. Morawski or Mr. Hill. Thank you for always supporting the Choice Hour program!



·        Cool Science will be taught by Mrs. Sherry

·        Japanese Culture sections are cancelled for Quarter II. Students will be scheduled into their other choices

·        7/8 Spanish Enrichment opportunity added. Please see 7/8 updates section of the WAG for more information



Please call (248-203-4625), send in a note, or email Courtney Bassett at 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.




The Birbery Reading Program is a program brought to you by the BPS middle schools and Baldwin Public Library for all BPS 6th, 7th, and 8th graders.  It is a “Mock Newbery” program that is aimed at promoting newly released, high quality literature (possible Newbery Award contenders) to our students while fostering their love of reading.  Students read from a selected list of 10 books, attend book clubs, and then participate in a building-level Quiz Bowl style trivia game to see which students will advance onto the Birbery Committee at Baldwin Library.  Titles for this year will be announced at BCS on Monday, November 6 (for 6th graders) and Wednesday, November 8th (for 7/8 students).  Books will be available for checkout at BCS and Baldwin Library on Friday, November 10th.  For more information, visit the BCS Media Center Birbery website at



Battle of the Books is a program sponsored by Baldwin Public Library and supported by BPS Media Specialists to encourage and foster students’ enjoyment of reading. Fourth and fifth grade students read from a selected list of six books, form teams with an adult coach, and then participate in a district-wide contest where they will compete with other teams by answering questions based on the books. Titles for this year will were announced at the Battle Kick-Off held for 4th and 5th graders at BCS on last Friday.  Immediately after the assembly, students who ordered one received their Battle Book.   All other students were invited to check out Battle books from our school library.  Students are welcome to visit the Media Center any time with teacher permission to check out books.  We have the Battle titles available for the students, and Baldwin Library has copies as well.

Sent home with your child on Friday:

1.      A bookmark with the titles.  (Only one per student available.)  Titles are also online at

2.      A pamphlet from Baldwin Library that gives an overview on the program, complete with dates, rules, registration information, and contact information.  This can also be found online at   

For more information, visit the BCS Media Center website at or the official Baldwin Battle of the Books website at  Questions can be emailed to librarian Ann Truesdell at atruesdell@birmingham.k12.mi.usSave the date for the district-wide Baldwin Battle of the Books on Saturday, February 10, 2017!  



The BCS Library Media Center is looking for parent volunteers.  We need your help with: assisting students at library centers, checking in and checking out books, helping students locate materials, shelving & organizing, and processing new books.  No experience necessary – training provided!  Sign up to help at:  (Sign Up Genius). 



The new BCS Birthday Book club is another food-free way in which you can celebrate your child’s birthday and help our library collection continue to grow. Participation in the program involves a $15.00 donation per book (per child).  The book will become part of the BCS library collection, complete with a bookplate featuring your child’s photo, name, and birthday.  Check out this form for more details:



Click the link to find out what students can do in the library and what the library provides for you:




View the 3/4 PE Schedule for 2017-18

Frishman, Seley, Maliszewski, and ParWall 3 will be in the GYM.

Butzin, Davis, Harvath, and ParWall 4 will SWIM.




Try-outs: 7:00am to 8:00am on Monday, November 6, Wednesday, November 8, and Thursday, November 9. Thursday after school, announcements will be made. Each player will receive an envelope. First team practice is Friday, November 10 7:00am to 8:00am.

7th Grade: Monday @ 4:20 pm - 5:30pm, Wednesday/Friday @ 6:45 am and Tuesday/Thursday during Choice Hour (unless there is a game) 
8th Grade: Monday @ 4:15pm, Wednesday/Friday @ 6:45am, Tuesday/Thursday during Choice Hour (unless there is a game)

Game Schedule: Click here to view the updated team schedule via

Games will be at 4:00pm for 7th graders. Eighth grade games follow. Transportation only provided to out of district away games (not provided to Berkshire, Derby, and Cranbrook).



Tryouts: None

Parent Meeting: Monday, November 13th, 2017 at 5:05pm. Representatives from Bloomfield Sports will be here with team suits and other equipment available for purchase.

Practice: Practices start Wednesday, November 8, 2016 from 3:20 PM - 5:00 PM - We will be in the water. Monday/Wednesday (Choice Hour) 3:20-5:00 PM and Tuesday/Thursday/Friday 4:15-5:30 PM. The end time for Practice is when the girls are released from the pool. Swim Calendar - Practices

Meet Schedule: Click here to view the schedule via  Warm-Up Time typically starts at 3:45 with meets starting at 4:15. Check schedule for exact times. Transportation provided one way to all away meets.




This Spanish Choice Hour class will provide support and enrichment for our 7/8 students to get support for the more complicated Spanish I and II concepts such as grammar, vocabulary, and more complex verb tenses as well as providing enrichment learning opportunities such as expansion of culture and history. This class will be taught by Mrs. DeSimone.  This opportunity is open to 7/8 students, though preference will be given to 8th graders in Spanish II in preparation for High School Spanish.  Students can sign up for one or both days of the Tuesday/Wednesday course offering. Since scheduling has already passed, please email Courtney Bassett at if your student would like to enroll in this class. Please include your student’s name, grade, and which day(s) your student would like to take the course. Please submit requests ASAP.

We will publish a class list on the first day of Quarter II at the same time as the other choice hours.



All are invited to attend the School-wide Open House at Groves High School.  As a National School of Character, Groves inspires students to find and pursue their passion as well as set high expectations for academic achievement.  Students will be on hand to help potential students, parents and community members see Groves and its programs through walking tours.  Faculty members, administrators and parent volunteers are available to answer questions.  

Groves Open House, Monday, November 6, 2017, 5:00-7:30 p.m., Enter at the Pool Doors (NW corner of building) 



Birmingham Public Schools will be participating in the Middle School Minority Student Achievement Network (MSAN) Conference. The conference will take place on Friday, Nov. 17 at Oakland County Community College - Orchard Ridge Campus. This event offers students the opportunity to learn more about the concepts of social justice, equality and other current events of interest. Included in this year’s schedule will be a keynote speech by Mario Dewberry, Urban Leadership Specialist and breakout dialogue sessions led by high school students trained in their topic.  BCS is able to offer this opportunity to 17, 7th and 8th grade students.  The students will be transported via charter bus, leaving BCS at 7:40am.  Students will return to BCS at 12:00pm.  Lunch will be provided at the conference.  If your child is interested in participating in this event, please complete the MSAN Form and turn it into the BCS office by Wednesday, 11/8/17 at 8:30am.  If the number of students interested in participating exceeds the number of students we are allowed to send, a lottery will be done on Wednesday and the selected students will be notified. Be sure to complete the interest form in you would like your child to participate.




Groves Performing Arts Company proudly presents the absurdly humorous Gilbert & Sullivan musical, THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE! The musical takes this much loved classic piece of musical theatre from an operetta to a pop-operetta.  The pirates dance in hip hop style, the Pirate King raps, and there is a funky syntho-beat on several songs that will have you dancing in your seat!!   And, well, there are PIRATES, so you know it will be a fun show! This show takes place in Groves’ Little Theatre as the renovation in the main auditorium continues.  Instead of having 1000 seats available there are just 300 seats available for each performance, so GET YOUR TICKETS EARLY!! Tickets are on sale NOW in the main office at Groves High School on school days between 7:15 am and 3:15 pm.  Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for students (K – 12).  You can also purchase tickets an hour before any show for any show at the box office until tickets run out. The show will run November 9, 10, and 11 beginning at 7:00 pm, and November 5 and 12 starting at 2:00 pm. The Little Theatre at Groves can be easily accessed from the parking lot that is in front of the football field off of 13 Mile Road.  The address for Wylie E. Groves High School is 20500 West 13 Mile Road, Beverly Hills, MI 48025Any questions, please contact Leisa Passarelli at



Skyhawks and Community Ed will offer a day long kids club opportunity on Tuesday, November 7. See the District Wide Kids Club Flyer for more information. 



Early Childhood Center Saturday, November 11, 2017 9:00 am—12:00 pm @ Berkshire Middle School Early Bird starts at 8:30 am at Berkshire Middle School Cafeteria 21707 W. 14 Mile Rd. Beverly Hills, MI  48025 Entrance Fee $2.00 (Early Bird $3.00) There still tables available to rent! For more information, please contact: Tel: 248-722-4277 or follow us at



New Ways to Manage Unfriendly Behavior and Bullying

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Groves High School, Birmingham, MI and check out this flyer!

Facebook page:

Professional Track 9:00-2:15  Lunch included, (SCECH Credits available through Oakland Schools)

Adult and Kid Track 9:00-12:15 (3rd-5th and Middle School) w/ a Special Station for Girl Scouts 


For additional District and Event News, Athletics Community Sports Groups Information click BPS District eNews 


From the Office of Specialized Instruction & Student Services: Parents please see this months newsletter.


Review the District's Non-Discrimination Policy


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