Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Monday, December 21, 2009

Windspire Coming to BCS!

On December 15, 2009 the Birmingham School Board was asked to approve a donation of a Windspire wind turbine to BCS. The school board is receptive to the donation and will be asked to officially approve the project at the January board meeting. Many people have worked hard over the course of the past year to bring the turbine to BCS. It is now close to becoming a reality!

The Windspire wind turbine is a low-cost, low-noise, attractive wind power appliance for use in urban, suburban, rural and remote locations. Manufactured in the U.S. by Mariah Power, Windspire turbines are propeller-free, vertical-axis designs that feature patented technology that maximizes energy conversion from wind into electric power, regardless of changing wind speed and direction. The Windspire portfolio includes a 1.2 kW version (coming to BCS), a special High Wind version and a 230V European Grid version. The Windspire has been featured in Fortune, Popular Mechanics, Popular Science, and on “20/20”, CNN and NPR. For more information, visit
http://www.mariahpower.com/

Why is it coming to BCS?
Mariah Power has donated the windspire to BCS. The company
was looking to donate a turbine to an educational organization and
John Carlos, a BCS parent, mentioned that his daughter’s school may
be interested. Neil Campbell, BPS Executive Director of Operations, and
Mr. Carlos worked with local contractors to have most of the material
and work donated. The cost to the district has been minimal.

Where is the Windspire going?
The Windspire will be placed in the bus turnaround on the west side of
the building. The location was decided on two factors. One, the district
mandated that all city ordinances be followed and two, the Windspire
needs to be in an area free of wind barriers to work properly. These two
factors place the Windspire in the back parking lot. This will not disrupt
games such as basketball, four square or other activities that our students play during recess. While they will have to play around the structure, there is still plenty of room for them to continue their recess activities.

How is the power generated from the Windspire and where will the power go?
The Windspire wind turbine generates power when wind blows against its vertical airfoils causing them to spin. This power is then converted to AC electricity. While the technology behind the Windspire is complex, the basic premise is simple: the stronger the wind the more power it will generate. The power will be directly feeding the electrical grid in the BCS engineer technology lab and will also power tools in the lab to help with small projects and experiments.

BCS- Preparing our Leaders for the Future
Our staff and students will use the Windspire to learn about wind power and how we can use it to promote clean energy. The Windspire comes with a wireless monitor that will allow the students to see the exact amount of power it is producing. The students will be learning from the Windspire and will be participating in activities and projects that will prepare them for the future. The BCS Green Committee comprised of students, staff, and parents, will be clean energy ambassadors as they continue to promote environmental friendly choices.

See the Windspire work! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fNudnI5tzf8

Wind Energy Information
http://www.kidwind.org/

http://www.miamisci.org/hurricane/windscale.html

http://www.awea.org/

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Why Let Students Blog?

video

WAG Dec 14-18

Tomorrow will mark the beginning of the last week of 2009 here at BCS. The next WAG you will receive will be dated 2010! Time flies when you are having fun! I hope all of you can reflect on the year and see the positive outcomes of working together as a school community and supporting one another through tough times here in Michigan. There is an old Chinese proverb that states, “If you want happiness for an hour, take a nap. If you want happiness for a day, go fishing. If you want happiness for a year, inherit a fortune. If you want happiness for a lifetime, help somebody.” Now is the time to help others. Many of us have read the book, Have You Filled a Bucket Today, by Carol McCloud. This book shows kids (and adults) how to be happy by making others happy. Being a Bucket Filler means we make an effort to give compliments, be polite, and help others when they need help. BCS is full of Bucket Fillers! Our Spirit Committee, with the help from Sue Reepmeyer and Angela Geisler, has put together a food drive to help families have food on their table for the holidays. They have shown that with a little effort, an open mind, and the determination to fill others’ buckets, making people happy is one of the best gifts we can give ourselves!

The food drive will end Thursday, December 17th. BCS is encouraging our own families to consider picking up food for their friends or family members that may be in need this holiday season. You may pick up food items at BCS between 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. on December 17th at BCS. All food items at the end of the school day on Friday, December 18th, will be taken to the Food Pantry in Birmingham.

Please consider these other local agencies during the holiday months. Open Hands Food Pantry at 26998 Woodward, Royal Oak 48067. Pontiac Baldwin Center (https://owa.birmingham.k12.mi.us/OWA/redir.aspx?C=695e972bee9d48ea8c436dd3cfc50163&URL=http%3a%2f%2fwww.baldwincenter.org) and Lighthouse (https://owa.birmingham.k12.mi.us/OWA/redir.aspx?C=695e972bee9d48ea8c436dd3cfc50163&URL=http%3a%2f%2fwww.lighthouseoakland.org).

Enjoy the snow, cold weather and good times!

Adam


How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world. ~Anne Frank
Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not. ~Dr. Seuss
Nobody can do everything, but everyone can do something. ~Author Unknown

WEEK AT A GLANCE – DECEMBER 14 – DECEMBER 18, 2009
(Disclaimer: Please check all your calendars and bcsonline.info in case we missed something)

Monday, December 14
7-8AM – Proud Dads 6th grade boys basketball
FOOD DRIVE COLLECTION – Bins are in entrance hall
8:30 – 11AM –Field Trip - Mrs. Harvath’s class goes to the Environmental Center. Please ensure children are dressed for the weather – jackets/coats, rain gear, hats & boots may all be needed.
9AM-1:15PM –3/4 field trip to Ford Rouge Factory for Parkin, Wallington, Butzin & Frishman homerooms- students need to bring a bag lunch with all disposable containers
9:15AM – 3/4 Room Parents Meeting
3:15 – 5:00PM –Girls swim practice
4:00PM – Boys basketball game @ home vs. Berkshire MS – 7th grade game at 4PM, 8th grade game immediately follows.
4:15 – 6:00PM – OKLAHOMA! practice-full cast
7:00PM-Orchestra Holiday Concert – a winter musicial “present”ation in the cafeteria

Tuesday, December 15
6:35 – 8:00AM –Girls swim practice
6:45-8AM – Boys basketball teams practice
7:30-8:00AM - BCS Diversity Committee meeting in Room 505 – All are welcome
FOOD DRIVE COLLECTION – Bins are in entrance hall
8-8:20AM – Bagel sale in front of the media center by the 8th grade celebration committee
8:30 – 11AM –Field Trip - Mrs. Parkin’s class goes to the Environmental Center. Please ensure children are dressed for the weather – jackets/coats, rain gear, hats & boots may all be needed.
3:15-4:00PM – School store is open in the main hallway during choice hour
3:30PM – SNOW CLUB bus leaves for Pine Knob. Students return to BCS at 8:30PM and need to be picked up.
4:15 – 7:00PM – OKLAHOMA! practice-full cast
6:30 – 8:30PM – Technology Café – Media Center. Tonight topics are Internet Safety and Powershool demonstration. Advance questions can be emailed to tech@bcsparent.com. Bring a laptop if you have one.
7:00PM - BPS Board of Education meeting at the BPS Administration building, 550 West Merrill Street, Birmingham. Watch it live on Comcast channel 17.

Wednesday, December 16
7-8AM – Proud Dads 6th grade boys basketball
Last day for Candygram sales for 7/8 students
8:30 – 11AM –Field Trip - Mr. Seley’s class goes to the Environmental Center. Please ensure children are dressed for the weather – jackets/coats, rain gear, hats & boots may all be needed.
Popcorn Day – freshly popped popcorn is sold during choice hour for $1 in the main hallway.
E-Bugle published today!
4:00PM – Boys basketball game @ home vs. Royal Oak MS – 7th grade game at 4PM, 8th grade game immediately follows.
4:15PM –Girls swim meet vs. Berkshire Silver @ Berkshire
7 – 10PM –Forensics Showcase in the Media Center. Come and see the performances of the Forensics Team. Pieces were just performed over the weekend at the Tournament.

Thursday, December 17
6:35 – 8:00AM –Girls swim practice
6:45-8AM – Boys basketball teams practice
8:30 – 11AM –Field Trip - Mr. Wallington’s class goes to the Environmental Center. Please ensure children are dressed for the weather – jackets/coats, rain gear, hats & boots may all be needed.
4-6PM – BCS families can pick up a bag of donated food for families in need – front office

Friday, December 18 - Trash –Free Friday – see comments below
6:35 – 8:00AM –Girls swim practice
6:45-8AM – Boys basketball teams practice
DUE: CHOICE Hour Selections for Quarter III
DUE: 8th grade pictures (one baby/toddler pic & one current pic) for Farewell Celebration DVD
Progress reports released
Thursday, December 31, 2009
· Market Day internet orders due by midnight. If you are unable to complete your order online, please contact Lori Croad at 248-348-4390.

Hot Entrée menu for the week: (subject to change, if necessary)
- Available everyday: Salad Bar, Hamburgers, Chicken Patties, Pizza & Cheese Breadsticks
Monday –Baked chicken nuggets, buttered noodles, and steam broccoli
Tuesday –Chicken Fajitas with toppings, Brown rice and green beans
Wednesday –Cook choice
Thursday – Bar-B-Q Pull Pork on wheat bun, roasted potatoes, peas and carrots
Friday –Ham and cheese bagel melt, au gratin potatoes, corn and chicken noodle soup

Ø To submit an item for next week’s “WAG”, email nb01bps@birmingham.k12.mi.us by FRIDAY 7AM

3rd and 4th Grade Parents
Starting Monday, December 14 through Friday, January 29: The following classrooms will be attending Swim as their Physical Education: Butzin, Harvath, Seley and Wallington. Please be sure to send in a swimsuit and towel with your child.


ORCHESTRA CONCERT FOR THE HOLIDAYS
Monday, December the 14th the BCS Music Department proudly presents a winter musical ‘present’ation! The show starts at 7:00 pm in the BCS cafeteria, and will feature our 6th, 7th and 8th grade orchestras as well as our famous “BCS Fiddlers” and a big surprise finale! Come early for a good seat, stay late for punch and treats. See you there!


BCS SPONSORS A COMMUNITY FOOD DRIVE
Between now and December 16, BCS is sponsoring a food drive to benefit our local community because we are aware that individuals and families in our own neighborhoods, affected by the abrupt loss of employment or other resources, sometimes find it difficult to provide healthy and sufficient meals for family members.
As you grocery shop between now and Wednesday, December 16, please consider purchasing one or more of the following items to bring to school:

Canned Vegetables, Canned Fruit, Potatoes (boxed or canned), Macaroni and Cheese, Boxed or Canned Pasta Meals, Jellos & Puddings, Juice, Spaghetti Sauce, Soups, Peanut Butter, Jelly, Cereal, Cake Mixes, Toilet Paper and Paper Towels.

Collection bins are located in the entrance hallway. On December 16, Spirit Committee students will bag the items for pickup. On Thursday, December 17, BCS families who see an immediate need within their own families, neighborhood or circle of friends are encouraged to come to the office between 4:00 and 6:00 p.m. to take home a bag or bags of groceries. Groceries not picked up will be taken to a local food pantry on December 18. Thank you in advance helping BCS make a difference in our community.


2010 BCS BLAST MARCH 21ST 3:30-7:30 PM
The 2010 Blast team is already hard at work planning the biggest party of the year! We are so excited for another great auction and carnival. This year and we will be traveling down memory lane with all your favorite songs, candies and movies from the past! Please visit the BCS website (http://www.bcsonline.info/) if you are interested in donating anything to the auction or know any business that would like to be involved. Thanks for all your support. Karen Best and Ken Gilbert, 2010 Blast Co-Chairs.


REDUCING TRASH AT BCS-TRASH FREE FRIDAYS
The Joseph/Roberts (“Joberts”) fifth graders are entering the Siemens We Can Change the World challenge this year. For their project, they are trying to reduce the amount of trash we generate at BCS, focusing particularly on the cafeteria. They would like to initiate “Trash Free Fridays” at BCS and they are asking for your help. Each Friday they will be collecting data after lunch about the amount of trash we generate in the cafeteria. They would like the students to think about packing a Trash free lunch and have put together the following tips:

· Use a lunch box or reusable sack.
· Pack a cloth napkin and reusable utensils.
· Put food in reusable food and drink containers.
· If you must use a disposable plastic bag, wash it out and keep reusing it.
· Purchase your snacks in bulk size and repack into individual reusable containers.
· Pack fresh fruit since it doesn't require any additional packaging.

Disposable lunches can create between 4–8 ounces of garbage every day.

That can add up to as much as 100 pounds per year! With your help, the Joberts kids believe that we truly can become agents of change!!

If you buy lunch, please buy only what you believe you can eat and try not to have any waste!!


7/8 PARENTS – CANDYGRAMS
Show someone your “sweet” side –buy them a Holiday CANDYGRAM. The 7/8 Spirit Committee will be selling CANDYGRAMS – ONLY for 7/8 graders and teachers to receive from Thurs, Dec. 3rd - Wed, Dec. 16th. The cost is only 50¢ each (includes note, candy and delivery ). To buy your Candygrams, visit the counter in the front office and follow the steps below:
• Fill out each note on the blank Candygrams
• Place $.50 and Candygram(s) in sealed envelope
• Place in bucket
Spirit Committee members will be delivering the CANDYGRAMS to each homeroom on Friday, December 18th.
HAVE A SWEET HOLIDAY!


Attention Kroger Shoppers!
Did you know that the shopping you already do can help support the Birmingham Education Foundation through the Kroger Community Rewards program? Simply register your Kroger shopper's card with the BEF number and the BEF will receive funds every time you shop! Go to the BEF website at http://www.supportbef.org/ for easy instructions. The BEF is one of the ways that we can channel funds directly to our schools, and this program doesn't cost us anything extra! Thanks for your support!

The BCS Forensics team
The Forensics team had a wonderful time at the MIFA Fall/Winter Tournament. The whole team did a wonderful job and we are proud of all their hard work. The following students placed at the competition:Sam Weed- Honorable Mention plaque for ImpromptuBrad Freeman- 2nd place trophy for SalesSydney Rosen- Honorable Mention plaque for SalesAudrey Kennedy- 2nd place trophy for Dramatic InterpretationAudrey Belf- 6th place trophy for Dramatic InterpretationLily Douma, Haley Werthmann, Courtney Wilkie, Stephen Brown, Caity Dolan, Judy Kalfelghazal, and Sarah Camisa WITH PERFECT SCORES- 1st place trophy for MulitpleEmma Ellis- 2nd place trophy for PoetryNatalie Nepa- Honorable Mention plaque for ProseSarena Brown- 4th place trophy for StorytellingSally Kalfelghazal- 6th place trophy for StorytellingThe Forensics team will have a showcase for all to come see on Wed, Dec. 16th at 7pm in the Media Center.
Thank you to all of the families that helped and great job Mrs. Schultz!!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

BCS Gives Back

Please read the letter below from Sue Reepmeyer and consider joining the BCS staff and student Spirit Committee in helping others this holiday season!

Dear BCS Families,

Between now and December 16, BCS is sponsoring a food drive to benefit our local community because we are aware that individuals and families in our own neighborhoods, affected by the abrupt loss of employment or other resources, sometimes find it difficult to provide healthy and sufficient meals for family members.

As you grocery shop between now and Wednesday, December 16, please consider purchasing one or more of the following items to bring to school:

Canned Vegetables, Canned Fruit, Potatoes(boxed or canned), Macaroni and Cheese, Boxed or Canned Pasta Meals, Jellos & Puddings, Juice, Spaghetti Sauce, Soups, Peanut Butter and Jelly, Cereal, Cake Mixes, Toilet Paper and Paper Towels.

Please add your donation to the collection bins in the BCS front hall near the office. After December 16, our Spirit Committee students will bag the items for pickup.

On Thursday, December 17, BCS families who see an immediate need within their own families, neighborhood or circle of friends are encouraged to come to the office between 4:00 and 6:00 p.m. to take home a bag or bags of groceries.

Groceries not picked up will be taken to a local food pantry on December 18.

Thank you in advance helping BCS make a difference in our community.


Sue Reepmeyer
Community School Organizer
Birmingham Covington School
sr02bps@birmingham.k12.mi.us
248-203-4449

Sunday, December 6, 2009

WAG (from Hal)

12/6/09

Dear Parents,

Thank you for the many get-well wishes, my recovery is going well even though I am on a faster track than the one my doctor has planned!

As we approach the holiday break, this time of the year is traditionally known as a time for family gatherings, religious celebrations and last minute shopping. Unfortunately, during this holiday season many people are facing challenges that impact each of those areas. This economic climate has brought many new difficulties, struggles and a search for new opportunities to Michigan. A friend of mine sent me an article that addresses the impact of the current fiscal environment on our country’s children. This article provides some good strategies for helping families though this difficult time. I have included a copy of the article below:


Helping Children And Teens Deal With Stress In An Uncertain Time
Science Daily


As families across the country face losses of nest eggs, homes or jobs, their young children and teens need emotional support. Child psychologist Michele C. Thorne, Ph.D., assistant professor of clinical psychology at the Indiana University School of Medicine and clinical director of the Consult Liaison Service at Riley Hospital for Children, says that parents should recognize that even newborn babies pick up on the emotional tones of adult stress. She says children of any age, including teens, need to be reassured that they are safe and will be cared for no matter how the family is faring.

Children, especially those prone to anxiety, will jump to conclusions and worry. Dr. Thorne says that if upheaval is occurring or is feared, it is better for children and teens to be prepared. "Parents need to talk with their children and teens because they need time to adjust to changes. But parents also should censor what they say and shouldn't burden their children with adult worries and concerns," she said.

That's because children aren't ready to be saddled with adult burdens. The frontal lobe, the part of the brain that handles planning, attention, concentration, and reasoning isn't fully developed until late adolescence or early adulthood. Or as Dr. Thorne puts it, the main onboard computer which directs how an individual makes decisions isn't fully programmed in children and teens.

She recommends weekly family meetings, especially when a family is going through a difficult time. For example, parents might say that Dad will be home more often because he isn't working and that he will need to use the computer because it helps him locate job leads or keep up with financial markets.

"It's best to talk with your children about what is going on and to explain the family's strategies for dealing with it," she said.

While parents want their children to know that they can ask questions or offer suggestions she counsels against involving children in decisions such as whether to move or how to handle situations outside their spheres of influence.

"You don't want to make your child or teen think you don't appreciate their advice so it's best not to solicit their opinions on things which they are unqualified to make a decision," she said.

As media headlines carry daily updates on the global economic crisis and broadcast news of possible recession, children and teens may be facing an information overload even if not directly affected. Dr. Thorne suggests that parents investigate what is being presented in their children's classrooms for guidance on discussions at home.

If a child appears to be having trouble coping with stress or appears anxious, parents should consult with the child's pediatrician or community mental health services or school counselor. Parents should also make sure they have their own emotional supports in place, which will provide them with the ability to best help their children.

Adam and I along with the entire BCS staff wish each of you a very safe and restful holiday break!


Hal



WEEK AT A GLANCE – DECEMBER 7 – DECEMBER 11, 2009
(Disclaimer: Please check all your calendars and bcsonline.info in case we missed something)

Monday, December 7
· 7-8AM – Proud Dads 6th grade boys basketball
· 9AM-1:15PM –3/4 field trip to Ford Rouge Factory for Davis, Seley, Burns & Harvath homerooms- students need to bring a bag lunch with all disposable containers
· 4:00PM – Boys basketball game @ home vs. East Hills MS – 7th grade game at 4PM, 8th grade game immediately follows.
· 4:15PM –Girls swim meet vs. Cranbrook @ home
· 4:15 – 6:00PM – OKLAHOMA! practice-full cast

Tuesday, December 8
· 6:35 – 8:00AM –Girls swim practice
· 6:45-8AM – Boys basketball teams practice
· 8-8:20AM – Bagel sale in front of the media center by the 8th grade celebration committee
· 8:30 – 11AM –Field Trip - Mrs. Burns’ class goes to the Environmental Center. Please ensure children are dressed for the weather – jackets/coats, rain gear, hats & boots may all be needed.
· 9:30 AM – BBFA Meeting – “My Little Girl is Growing Up” at the Gary M. Doyle Center
· 3:15-4:00PM – School store is open in the main hallway during choice hour
· 3:30PM – SNOW CLUB bus leaves for Pine Knob. Students return to BCS at 8:30PM and need to be picked up.
· 4PM – DEADLINE – PTSA Reflections entries are due today
· 4:15 – 6:00PM – OKLAHOMA! practice-leads only
· 7 PM – BLAST Committee meeting – Media Center
· 7 PM - BBFA Meeting – “Raising Strong & Confident Daughters” at the Gary M. Doyle Center

Wednesday, December 9
· 7-8AM – Proud Dads 6th grade boys basketball
· Students receive a CHOICE HOUR SELECTION sheet from homeroom teachers today.
· 8:30 – 11AM –Field Trip - Mrs. Butzin’s class goes to the Environmental Center. Please ensure children are dressed for the weather – jackets/coats, rain gear, hats & boots may all be needed.
· Popcorn Day – freshly popped popcorn is sold during choice hour for $1 in the main hallway.
· 4:00PM – Boys basketball game @ West Hills MS – 7th grade game at 4PM, 8th grade game immediately follows. Maps to away games can be found on highschoolsports.net .
· 4:15PM –Girls swim meet vs. Derby 2 @ Derby

Thursday, December 10
· 6:35 – 8:00AM –Girls swim practice
· 6:45-8AM – Boys basketball teams practice
· 8:30 – 11AM –Field Trip - Mrs. Davis’ class goes to the Environmental Center. Please ensure children are dressed for the weather – jackets/coats, rain gear, hats & boots may all be needed.
· 12:30PM – Lunch with the Principal in Staff Development II (located down 600 Hall). Bring your lunch for this informal time with the principal to ask questions and learn his perspectives.
· 1:15PM – PTSA Clearinghouse Meeting in Staff Development II-All are invited to learn about the operations of the PTSA at BCS. Bring a friend or meet new friends.
· 4:15 – 6:00PM – OKLAHOMA! practice-full cast

Friday, December 11 - Trash –Free Friday – see comments below
· 6:35 – 8:00AM –Girls swim practice
· 6:45-8AM – Boys basketball teams practice
· DUE: Form due to counseling office for your child’s enrollment at BCS in ‘10-‘11 school year
· 8:30 – 11AM –Field Trip - Mrs. Frishman’s class goes to the Environmental Center. Please ensure children are dressed for the weather – jackets/coats, rain gear, hats & boots may all be needed.
· Deadline: Articles for E-Bugle due today kyraeg@wowway.com
· 2:45-4PM-Market Day pick-up in the entrance hall.
· 4:30 – 6:00PM – Rehearsal for Orchestra Holiday Concert

Hot Entrée menu for the week: (subject to change, if necessary)
- Available everyday: Salad Bar, Hamburgers, Chicken Patties, Pizza & Cheese Breadsticks
Monday –Steak and cheese sub, baked potato, wedges, and green beans
Tuesday –Spaghetti, garlic bread, and peas
Wednesday –Calzones pepperoni and cheese and corn
Thursday – Chicken or vegetable egg rolls, rice, fresh fruit and yogurt with whole grain muffin
Friday –Grilled Cheese and tomato soup

Ø To submit an item for next week’s “WAG”, email nb01bps@birmingham.k12.mi.us by FRIDAY 7AM


QIII Choice Hour Information-REALLY IMPORTANT INFORMATION!!!!
Dear Parents: Quarterly Choice Hour booklets will no longer be distributed to students at BCS. You can visit www.bcsonline.info to view the QIII Choice Hour selections.

Students will receive a Choice Hour selection sheet from their homeroom teachers on Wednesday December 9th. Please visit the website to make your selections and return the signed form with payment, if applicable, to BCS by 4:00 PM on Friday December 18th.

Students will also receive a BCS Now News audition form (this class is offered Monday through Friday but students can select the day that works best for them.) This form is due back to BCS by 4:00 PM on Friday December 18th. The audition form is available online!

Academic course additions:
3-4 Math Facts Games – offered on Wednesdays by Mrs. Davis
5-6 Math Help – offered on Mondays by Mrs. Maliszewski and Fridays by Mr. Bishop
7-8 Math Challenge – offered on Wednesdays and Fridays by Mrs. Macksood
Also:
3-5 Beginner Swimming class - offered by Mr. Johansson on Tuesdays, this class is by invitation only. Please speak to Mr. Johansson if you are interested.

All Choice Hour scheduling questions should be directed to Donna Feldmaier 248-203-4522 or df02bps@birmingham.k12.mi.us and all other questions regarding the Choice Hour program should be directed to Linda Stone at 248-203-4625 or ls06bps@birmingham.k12.mi.us.

REDUCING TRASH AT BCS-TRASH FREE FRIDAYS
The Joseph/Roberts (“Joberts”) fifth graders are entering the Siemens We Can Change the World challenge this year. For their project, they are trying to reduce the amount of trash we generate at BCS, focusing particularly on the cafeteria. They would like to initiate “Trash Free Fridays” at BCS and they are asking for your help. Each Friday they will be collecting data after lunch about the amount of trash we generate in the cafeteria. They would like the students to think about packing a Trash free lunch and have put together the following tips:
· Use a lunch box or reusable sack.
· Pack a cloth napkin and reusable utensils.
· Put food in reusable food and drink containers.
· If you must use a disposable plastic bag, wash it out and keep reusing it.
· Purchase your snacks in bulk size and repack into individual reusable containers.
· Pack fresh fruit since it doesn't require any additional packaging.
Disposable lunches can create between 4–8 ounces of garbage every day. That can add up to as much as 100 pounds per year! With your help, the Joberts kids believe that we truly can become agents of change!! If you buy lunch, please buy only what you believe you can eat and try not to have an
y waste!!


7/8 PARENTS – CANDYGRAMS
Show someone your “sweet” side –buy them a Holiday CANDYGRAM. The 7/8 Spirit Committee will be selling CANDYGRAMS – ONLY for 7/8 graders and teachers to receive from Thurs, Dec. 3rd - Wed, Dec. 16th. The cost is only 50¢ each (includes note, candy and delivery ). To buy your Candygrams, visit the counter in the front office and follow the steps below:
• Fill out each note on the blank Candygrams
• Place $.50 and Candygram(s) in sealed envelope
• Place in bucket
Spirit Committee members will be delivering the CANDYGRAMS to each homeroom on Friday, December 18th.
HAVE A SWEET HOLIDAY!


Attention Kroger Shoppers!
Did you know that the shopping you already do can help support the Birmingham Education Foundation through the Kroger Community Rewards program? Simply register your Kroger shopper's card with the BEF number and the BEF will receive funds every time you shop! Go to the BEF website at www.supportbef.org for easy instructions. The BEF is one of the ways that we can channel funds directly to our schools, and this program doesn't cost us anything extra! Thanks for your support!


BIG FUN/COOL PRIZES!!
Reflections Contest Entries now being accepted!
When you turn in your Reflections entry on Monday or Tuesday, be sure to stop by the Reflections table and get a brownie and prize. You will also be entered into a drawing for a $25 Michael's Gift Card. This Wednesday is the last day to turn in your artwork!! For rules and entry forms, go the BCS Website and click on Reflections. Pay special attention to the entry rules, particularly dimension requirements. Questions? Please contact Rita Brown at ritabrown001@comcast.net


DISABILITY AWARENESS WORKSHOP
In alternating years, Covington hosts a disability awareness workshop to raise awareness in our students of the challenges faced by people with disabilities. This year the workshop will take place over two days, on January 12 and 13. We are looking for volunteers to work either the morning or afternoon shift of either day. While 5th and 6th grade students will be participating in the workshop, we would welcome volunteers who have children in any grade. If you are interested in helping, please contact Diana Moak at 248-594-7245 or DPMoak@aol.com.


COMMUNITY CONNECTIONS
Birmingham Community Education presents
Winter Recess - December 21 -23 and 28- 31. Camp will be held at the Birmingham YMCA, 400 East Lincoln Street, Birmingham. Register through Community Education at www.communityed.net or 248-203-3800

Schools Out Day Camp – arts & crafts and sports
Program Hours 7am – 6pm
For ages 3 - 11 years
December 21-23 (3 Days), $135
December 28-31 (4 Days), $170

Sports Camp
Program Hours 7am – 6pm
Sports all day...every way.
For ages 4-7
December 21-23 (3 Days), $145
December 28-31 (4 Days), $180

Register on-line at www.communityed.net or call 248-203-3800




BBFA News and Information Update - December 1, 2009
Visit us online at www.bbfaprevention.org !

December Parent Education Programs
Tuesday, December 8, 2009 at the Gary M. Doyle Center.
Presented by Carol Lapidos, MSW
9:30am - My Little Girl is Growing Up (for parents of preschool and elementary school aged daughters)
7:00pm - Raising Strong & Confident Daughters (for parents of tween and teenage daughters)
Please join us for these informative programs!
They are free of charge and open to the public.
Click on the link below for more information on this program:
http://www.bbfaprevention.org/images/December_2009_Joint_Flyer.pdf


The Red Wings Support BBFA!
Build a Better Family by spending some time together at a Red Wings game
and help support BBFA at the same time!
Tickets are only $37 each and for that you get:
1 Red Wings ticket (choose from the Red Wings vs. the Phoenix Coyotes on January 26th or the Red Wings vs. the Calgary Flames on March 9th), 1 general admission College hockey ticket for a game at Joe Louis Arena (see the Red Wings link at the right for all your choices - Great Lakes Invitational, U of M vs. MSU game, CCHA Championship games are available to choose from), a food voucher for a hot dog or slice of pizza and a small soda, plus you get a complimentary hockey puck.
The Red Wings will donate $5 from each ticket sold to BBFA! What a great way to enjoy your family and support BBFA!!!
Click the link below for more information:
http://www.bbfaprevention.org/images/Pucks_Into_Bucks_BBFA_Flyer.pdf
To purchase hockey tickets visit:
January 26, 2010 vs. Coyotes
https://www.formspring.com/forms/?750835-S1whlNKunt
March 9, 2010 vs. Flames
https://www.formspring.com/forms/?750849-S1whlNKunt

Parenting Teens Workshop
Join BBFA for a workshop on parenting teens in the 21st century. The program has 4 sessions - sign up for one (each session is $20) or all 4 ($70 for all 4)! Programs will be held at the Gary M. Doyle Center (7275 Wing Lake Road, Bloomfield Hills) from 10:00am - 11:30am.
January 7 - Anxiety & Depression (Toni Kaplan, Ph.D.)
January 14 - Communicating with Teens (Bernie Les, Ph.D.)
January 21 - Peer Issues (Bernie Les, Ph.D.)
January 28 - Social Life of Teens (Julie Fisher, M.Ed.)
For more information, click on the link below:
http://www.bbfaprevention.org/parentingteensworkshop.html
To register online, click on the link below:
https://co.clickandpledge.com/sp/d2/default.aspx?wid=30264

Kroger Rewards Program to Benefit BBFA!
Click on the link below to register your Kroger Plus Card for BBFA - every time you shop at Kroger, Kroger will donate a percentage of what you spend to BBFA!
http://www.bbfaprevention.org/krogerrewards.html

Franklin Athletic Club Helps BBFA!
Sign your kids up for sports programs, preschool, school's out and snow day programs at Franklin Athletic Club and Franklin will donate a portion of your class fee back to BBFA! Click on the link below for details and don't forget to mention BBFA when you register!
http://www.bbfaprevention.org/franklinathleticclub.html

Questions???
info@bbfaprevention.org
248.341.6340

Thanks for your support of BBFA!!!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

WAG Nov 30-Dec 4

November 29, 2009

Dear BCS Parents,

I hope all of you were able to enjoy your family and friends over the break. I am looking forward to getting back to business on Monday morning and working hard to continue our push forward to deliver a quality and meaningful education.
During the break, I was able to read more on the character education initiatives that BCS has set forth and study the key points of our mission to integrate character education into everything we do. BCS has always been a model school for character education and it is important that we continue our charge to be the example of how character education is delivered in our nation’s schools. The staple of our BCS character education initiatives are the eleven principles. These principles are essential in our responsibility to educate our students in a safe and caring environment. I thought it would be valuable to share these with you so we can all reflect on what it means to be a true school of character!

Enjoy the week!

Adam

BCS
me2WE: This I believe

1. Promotes core ethical values
2. Defines “character” comprehensively
3. Uses a comprehensive, intentional, and proactive approach
4. Creates a caring school community
5. Provides students with opportunities for moral action
6. Includes academic achievement for all learners
7. Strives to develop students self-motivation
8. Includes all staff
9. Fosters shared moral leadership
10. Engages family and community as partners
11. Assesses character and continuities improvement

Past articles on BCS and the 11 principles:

http://www.character.org/lessonplan-birminghamcovington

http://www.character.org/uploads/PDFs/NSOC/2007_NSOC_Winners/Birmingham_Covington-rgb.pdf


WEEK AT A GLANCE – NOVEMBER 30 – DECEMBER 4, 2009
(Disclaimer: Please check all your calendars and bcsonline.info in case we missed something)

Monday, November 30
3:15 – 4:30PM – Boys basketball teams practice
3:15 – 5:00PM –Girls swim practice
PM- 8th graders take the ACT EXPLORE test

Tuesday, December 1
DUE – Proud Dads 6th grade boys basketball registration form. Forms went home with 6th grade boys on Tues, Nov. 24 and can be downloaded from www.bcsonline.info .
7:30-8:00AM - BCS Diversity Committee meeting in Room 505 – All are welcome
8-8:20AM – Bagel sale in front of the media center by the 8th grade celebration committee
AM- 8th graders complete taking the ACT EXPLORE test
3:15-4:00PM – School store is open in the main hallway during choice hour
4:00PM – Boys basketball game @ Bloomfield Hills MS – 7th grade game at 4PM, 8th grade game immediately follows. Maps to away games can be found on www.highschoolsports.net
4:15PM –Girls swim meet vs. Derby 1 @ Derby
7:00PM - BPS Board of Education meeting at the BPS Administration building, 550 West Merrill Street, Birmingham. Watch it live on Comcast channel 17.

Wednesday, December 2
7-8AM – Proud Dads 6th grade boys basketball
9:15AM – 5/6 Room Parent Meeting – Media Center
Popcorn Day – freshly popped popcorn is sold during choice hour for $1 in the main hallway.
3:15 – 4:30PM – Sports team pictures taken first – athletes should bring their uniforms. Order forms were handed out at practice. Boys basketball teams practice after pictures.
3:15 – 5:00PM –Sports team pictures taken first – athletes should bring their team swimsuits. Order forms were handed out at practice. Girls swim practice following pictures.

Thursday, December 3
6:35 – 8:00AM –Girls swim practice
7-8AM – Proud Dads 6th grade boys basketball
4:00PM – Boys basketball game @ home vs. Derby MS – 7th grade game at 4PM, 8th grade game immediately follows.
7 PM – Friends of Different Learners Meeting – “Parent Networking/Holiday Bazaar” in the BCS Media Center

Friday, December 4- Trash –Free Friday – see comments below
6:35 – 8:00AM –Girls swim practice
6:45-8AM – Boys basketball teams practice
Trash –Free Friday – see comments below
Market Day internet orders due by midnight. If you are unable to complete your order online, please contact Lori Croad at 248-348-4390.

Hot Entrée menu for the week: (subject to change, if necessary)
- Available everyday: Salad Bar, Hamburgers, Chicken Patties, Pizza & Cheese Breadsticks
Monday – Cheese lasagna roll up, green beans, and wheat roll.
Tuesday –Baked chicken, rings, buttered noodles and broccoli.
Wednesday –All beef hot dog or chili dog, tater tots, carrots, and soup.
Thursday – Chicken or cheese quesadilla, brown rice, and corn
Friday –Turkey corn dog, au gratin potatoes, mix veggies, and soup

Ø To submit an item for next week’s “WAG”, email nb01bps@birmingham.k12.mi.us by FRIDAY 7AM

REDUCING TRASH AT BCS-TRASH FREE FRIDAYS
The Joseph/Roberts (“Joberts”) fifth graders are entering the Siemens We Can Change the World challenge this year. For their project, they are trying to reduce the amount of trash we generate at BCS, focusing particularly on the cafeteria. They would like to initiate “Trash Free Fridays” at BCS and they are asking for your help. Each Friday they will be collecting data after lunch about the amount of trash we generate in the cafeteria. They would like the students to think about packing a Trash free lunch and have put together the following tips:

· Use a lunch box or reusable sack.
· Pack a cloth napkin and reusable utensils.
· Put food in reusable food and drink containers.
· If you must use a disposable plastic bag, wash it out and keep reusing it.
· Purchase your snacks in bulk size and repack into individual reusable containers.
· Pack fresh fruit since it doesn't require any additional packaging.

Disposable lunches can create between 4–8 ounces of garbage every day.

That can add up to as much as 100 pounds per year! With your help, the Joberts kids believe that we truly can become agents of change!!

If you buy lunch, please buy only what you believe you can eat and try not to have any waste!!


Attention Kroger Shoppers!
Did you know that the shopping you already do can help support the Birmingham Education Foundation through the Kroger Community Rewards program? Simply register your Kroger shopper's card with the BEF number and the BEF will receive funds every time you shop! Go to the BEF website at www.supportbef.org for easy instructions. The BEF is one of the ways that we can channel funds directly to our schools, and this program doesn't cost us anything extra! Thanks for your support!

SNOW CLUB
There are still 4 seats left on the bus for this year’s SNOW CLUB!! Mom's and Dad's - we are obviously very close to sold out status so don’t delay…turn your forms in TODAY. Please check out the Snow Club flyer and Sports Waiver forms on our BCS Website. Please turn in your forms to the main office.

COMMUNITY CONNECTIONS
Groves High School is hosting a volleyball clinic for grades 5-8 on Saturday, December 5 from 12:00–3:30PM. The cost is $35 and includes a T-shirt and light snack. Registration form is attached. Please send registration and check (made out to Groves Volleyball Boosters) to: Groves Volleyball Boosters,32055 Bellvine Tr., Beverly Hills, MI 48025. Inquiries: please contact Sarah Gijsbers at 248-703-7802, or sjlyonsatty@comcast.net

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving Fun Facts- Enjoy the Break!

The preliminary estimate of turkeys raised in the United States in 2009 is 250 million. That’s down 8 percent from the number raised during 2008. The turkeys produced in 2008 together weighed 7.9 billion pounds and were valued at $4.5 billion.
Source: USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service http://www.nass.usda.gov/

The preliminary estimate of turkeys Minnesota expected to raise in 2009 is 45.5 million. The Gopher State was tops in turkey production, followed by North Carolina (37.5 million), Arkansas (28 million), Missouri (21 million), Virginia (16.4 million) and California (15 million). These six states together would probably account for about two-thirds of U.S. turkeys produced in 2009.

The forecast for U.S. cranberry production in 2009 is 709 million pounds.. Wisconsin is expected to lead all states in the production of cranberries, with 400 million pounds, followed by Massachusetts (190 million). New Jersey, Oregon and Washington are also expected to have substantial production, ranging from 16 million to 54 million pounds.

The total weight of sweet potatoes — another popular Thanksgiving side dish — produced by major sweet potato producing states in 2008 is 1.8 billion. North Carolina (874 million pounds) produced more sweet potatoes than any other state. It was followed by California (437 million pounds) and Mississippi (335 million pounds).

If you prefer cherry pie, you will be pleased to learn that the nation’s forecasted tart cherry production for 2009 totals 284 million pounds. Of this total, the overwhelming majority (220 million) will be produced in Michigan.

The 2008 contracted production of snap (green) beans in major snap (green) bean-producing states is 794,777 tons. Of this total, Wisconsin led all states (320,200 tons). Many Americans consider green bean casserole a traditional Thanksgiving dish.
Source: The previous data came from the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service http://www.nass.usda.gov/.

The value of U.S. imports of live turkeys from January through July of 2009 — 99.3 percent from Canada is $9.2 million. When it comes to sweet potatoes, however, the Dominican Republic was the source of 60.7 percent ($2.8 million) of total imports ($4.7 million). The United States ran a $5.8 million trade deficit in live turkeys during the period but had a surplus of $23.1 million in sweet potatoes.
Source: Foreign Trade Statistics http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/

The quantity of turkey consumed by the typical American in 2007, with a hearty helping devoured at Thanksgiving time is 13.8 pounds. Per capita sweet potato consumption was 5.2 pounds.
Source: Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2010, Tables 212-213 http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/.

The value of turkeys shipped in 2002 is $3.6 billion. Arkansas led the way in turkey shipments, with $581.5 million, followed by Virginia ($544.2 million) and North Carolina ($453 million). In 2002, poultry businesses whose primary product was turkey totaled 35 establishments, employing about 17,000 people.
Source: Poultry Processing: 2002 http://www.census.gov/prod/ec02/ec0231i311615.pdf

Forecast 2009 receipts to farmers from turkey sales is $3.8 billion. This exceeds the total receipts from sales of products such as barley, oats and sorghum (combined) and peanuts.
Source: USDA Economic Research Service http://www.ers.usda.gov/Data/farmincome/finfidmu.htm

Retail cost per pound of a frozen whole turkey in December 2008 was $1.33.
Source: Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2010, Table 717 http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/

Number of places in the United States named after the holiday’s traditional main course is 3. Turkey, Texas, was the most populous in 2008, with 456 residents, followed by Turkey Creek, La. (361) and Turkey, N.C. (272). There are also nine townships around the country named Turkey, three in Kansas.
Source: Population estimates http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/releases/archives/population/013960.html
http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/BasicFactsServlet
http://www.census.gov/popest/cities/cities.html

Number of households across the nation — all potential gathering places for people to celebrate the holiday 117 million.
Source: Families and Living Arrangements: 2008
http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/releases/archives/families_households/013378.html

Source: US Census Bureau

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


I would like to congratulate the Crazy Cobra Crafters, our Robotics Team, for winning the Lego Fever II “Judges Special Award” trophy. The program, which took place in Flint, MI, focused on teamwork, innovation and entrepreneurship.

The BCS team was the only team with a live twitter feed! They learned about design, marketing, and communications, while making good use of thier website, blogs, huddlespace and wiki.



Thank you to all of you that completed the survey the team sent out two weeks ago!


A special thanks to Marius Manga, Peter Hollinshead, and Nikhil Kumar for leading our leaders...GREAT Job!


Sunday, November 22, 2009

WAG Nov 23-27

November 22, 2009

Dear BCS Parents,

I had many ideas on how I was going to address the upcoming holiday break with all of you and was anxious to be creative when wishing everyone a happy Thanksgiving. However, when I read the local newspaper on Friday and found the article below, I felt compelled to share it with you.

FENTON -- More than 12 hours into their 30-hour, liquid-only fast to raise money to fight world hunger, 15 students at First Presbyterian Church in Fenton said they were ready to go the distance tonight and early Sunday morning — growling stomachs and all.
“They are not complaining about hunger now, but they were about an hour ago,” said the Rev. Amanda Riley, an associate pastor at the church, where students were staying overnight Friday and Saturday in between volunteering at several spots in the community.
“They think it’s kind of cool to fast for something this important,” Riley said.
Fueled only by juice breaks, students from sixth to 12th grade raised $789 through pledges, money that’s being given to World Vision to help feed starving children around the world.
The group in Fenton, which will end its effort with a pancake breakfast this morning, is part of a larger effort nationwide in which a half million teens were trying to raise $12 million for the group.
Heidi Ritchie, 12, a Linden Middle School student, said she wanted to help others with her fast, something that made her forget about skipping breakfast and lunch today.
“As long as I’m asleep tonight I think I’ll be all right,” said Ritchie, who said the personal sacrifice was part of “learning about people who are less fortunate.”
D’onte Fetzer, 12, a student at Sherman Middle School in the Holly Area School District, said he was also ready to go the distance with his no-food pledge.
“I like the concept of helping all those kids without enough to eat,” Fetzer said. “We have choices of what we want to eat and we still complain.
“We always think we have it so bad (but) people have it way worse than me.”

This article shows exactly how we should be educating our students. Real-life applications and connections, no matter what the subject, are the only way to assure a true education.
The middle school students interviewed in this article will never forget what it is like to not have three meals a day. The teachers could have easily have lectured on world hunger, gave the students a worksheet, or asked that they research the subject. The decision to actually have the students live through a 30 hour fast, however, was a decision to become real educators.
We have many things to be thankful for here at BCS. Our parent community is as strong as ever, our students are exceptional, and our staff is second to none, but the one thing that I am most thankful for is our ability to connect everything we do here at BCS to real-life experiences.
Already this year, we have had engineers come speak to our 7th and 8th grade math students, our 5th and 6th grade students recently had a guest speaker on the topic of alternative energy, and we have had meaningful fieldtrips that continue to spark deep discussions regarding global issues. These are the quality experiences each child is receiving at BCS!
The highlighted words above are an example of how effective lessons can be when we connect them to real-life experiences. These experiences will assure that our students will leave here with an awareness of what their strengths are and how to use those strengths to make this world a better place! We can all be thankful for that!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Adam

WEEK AT A GLANCE – NOVEMBER 23 – NOVEMBER 27, 2009
(Disclaimer: Please check all your calendars and bcsonline.info in case we missed something)

Monday, November 23
12-2PM – 8th grade field trip to Groves High School –students MUST bring a sack lunch as no cafeteria service will be available for 8th graders
3:15 – 5:00PM –Girls swim practice
3-7PM – PIE PICK-UP- Please pick up your prepaid Grand Traverse pies in the entrance hallway.
3:15 – 4:30PM – Boys basketball teams practice
4:15 – 6:00PM – Oklahoma! play practice – full cast

Tuesday, November 24
6:35 – 8:00AM –Girls swim practice
6:45-8AM – Boys basketball teams practice
8-8:20AM – Bagel sale in front of the media center by the 8th grade celebration committee
E-Bugle published today!
11:30 – 2:30PM – 8th grade field trip to Seaholm High School –students MUST bring a sack lunch as no cafeteria service will be available for 8th graders
3:15-4:00PM – School store is open in the main hallway during choice hour
4:15 – 6:00PM – Oklahoma! play practice – full cast

Wednesday, November 25
· No School – Thanksgiving Recess

Thursday, November 26
· No School – Thanksgiving Recess

Friday, November 27
· No School – Thanksgiving Recess
Hot Entrée menu for the week: (subject to change, if necessary)
- Available everyday: Salad Bar, Hamburgers, Chicken Patties, Pizza & Cheese Breadsticks
Monday – Beef burritos, rice, and green beans.
Tuesday – Pizza bagels, small salad or soup with cheese breadstick.

Ø To submit an item for next week’s “WAG”, email nb01bps@birmingham.k12.mi.us by TUESDAY 7AM

Mark your calendars for Nov. 23rd 7:00pm - Community Forum with your Legislators
Due to the ongoing financial crisis facing public schools, BPS is hosting a community Q & A with area legislators on Mon., Nov. 23, 7pm. at the Groves Auditorium. This important meeting will allow community members an opportunity to address their questions and concerns regarding Michigan public school funding directly with your legislators. At this time, the following have confirmed attendance: Sen. Gilda Jacobs, Sen. John Pappageorge, Representative Marty Knollenberg, Representative Vincent Gregory and Oakland County Sherriff, Mike Bouchard. Other legislators have been invited but have not yet confirmed their attendance.

To view a narrated PowerPoint presentation entitled, "Facing the Michigan School Funding Crisis.", please go to the BPS Homepage – www.birmingham.k12.mi.us

SNOW CLUB
There are only 4 seats left on the bus for this year’s SNOW CLUB!! Mom's and Dad's - we are obviously very close to sold out status so don’t delay…turn your forms in TODAY. Please check out the Snow Club flyer and Sports Waiver forms on our BCS Website. Please turn in your forms to the main office.

Unleash Your Artistic Talents with this year's REFLECTIONS Contest!
The theme is “Beauty Is…” and the possibilities are endless. All BCS students are eligible to submit their creative works. There is a category for everyone… so all artists, dancers, photographers, musicians, writers and filmmakers - get creative! Turn in your entry between November 30th and December 8th, and be entered in a drawing for a great prize. Also, the first 100 entries get a cool early bird gift! Thanksgiving break is a great time to get started. For rules and entry forms, go the BCS Website and click on Reflections. Pay special attention to the entry rules, particularly dimension requirements. Questions? Please contact Rita Brown at ritabrown001@comcast.net


THANKS TO EVERYONE FOR SUPPORTING THE FALL BOOK FAIR!!
Once again we would like to extend our appreciation to the BCS community for their strong support of our Fall Book Fair. We made a little over $2,000 in cash, $750 books and $480 in catalogue credit for the Media Center. We really do have wonderful families! We would especially like to thank the many parent and student volunteers who worked throughout the Fair. We couldn’t have done it without you!!
Ann Truesdell – Media Specialist and Linda Weitzel – Parent Chairperson


REDUCING TRASH AT BCS-TRASH FREE FRIDAYS
The Joseph/Roberts (“Joberts”) fifth graders are entering the Siemens We Can Change the World challenge this year. For their project, they are trying to reduce the amount of trash we generate at BCS, focusing particularly on the cafeteria. They would like to initiate “Trash Free Fridays” at BCS and they are asking for your help. Each Friday they will be collecting data after lunch about the amount of trash we generate in the cafeteria. They would like the students to think about packing a Trash free lunch and have put together the following tips:

· Use a lunch box or reusable sack.
· Pack a cloth napkin and reusable utensils.
· Put food in reusable food and drink containers.
· If you must use a disposable plastic bag, wash it out and keep reusing it.
· Purchase your snacks in bulk size and repack into individual reusable containers.
· Pack fresh fruit since it doesn't require any additional packaging.

Disposable lunches can create between 4–8 ounces of garbage every day.

That can add up to as much as 100 pounds per year! With your help, the Joberts kids believe that we truly can become agents of change!!

If you buy lunch, please buy only what you believe you can eat and try not to have any waste!!


EIGHTH Grade Families
Please provide a BABY PICTURE and a CURRENT PICTURE of your student for the class DVD. Remember to write your name on the back of the pictures so we can return them to you at the Farewell Celebration (and identify your child). The class DVD is a HIGHLIGHT of our year-end celebration; please make sure YOUR STUDENT IS PART OF THE FUN by ensuring their pictures are submitted to the Photo Box in the Main Office by December 18. If you would like to submit high-quality digital images, please send them to BCSFarewellPhotos@gmail.com. Don’t forget to provide your student’s name!





Attention all Poets and Writers!

The Baldwin Library is hosting a Poetry Slam Competition for poets grades K-adult on Tuesday December 1st from 7-8pm. Come and recite your own poetry in dramatic, exciting fashion. Top prizes given in elementary, middle, high school, and open categories. Questions?
Email Mr. Joe at rj04bps@birmingham.k12.mi.us

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Meet our guest teacher- Nora Krol

Click here to see a short interview with Mrs. Krol, guest teacher for Mrs. Toth (7-8 Spanish, OS)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

WAG Nov. 16-20

Thank you to all of you that attended and helped out with the open house- this was truly a great event!

Dear BCS Parents,

If you are compassionate in your approach to all tasks in life, believing that all "problems" contain valuable lessons, you will find peace of mind. ~Dr. Lee Jampolsky

The Birmingham Optimist Club held their annual Youth Appreciation Breakfast this past week in order to recognize students from area schools that have put forth a great amount of time and effort to make a difference at their schools and within their community. The BCS staff nominated four students based on academic standards and character traits. These four students were to stand in front of their peers and families to receive the awards by a representative from BCS. Due to unfortunate circumstances, they found themselves standing in front of the crowd without a BCS staff member to introduce them and discuss the reasons for their accomplishments. They were faced with a problem!
This problem quickly turned to a valuable lesson when the four students took it upon themselves to communicate with the crowd why they received the awards and showed that they were indeed worthy of such recognition. The BCS students learned that having a great amount of courage and not relying on others to lead the way will allow you to reach your full potential. As their building principal, I have taken away many valuable lessons from that morning that I will carry with me as long as I work with students and their families. One lesson that most struck me was that our true character does not show until we are faced with adversity. This is true of adults and kids.
The students should be proud of how they handled the situation and I know the parents and Optimist members are impressed with the way they stood up and represented BCS. I found that the BCS team found peace of mind knowing that when things do not go as planned, our students will step up to the plate!!
The nominations were a tough decision for our teaching staff and administration since many of our students exhibit the characteristics of a leader. We are proud of all of our students here at BCS and their dedication to making our world a better place!
I asked the teachers to send me information on the four students and I received many detailed responses.
I would like to end by summarizing the responses I received about our four students that were nominated and would like to tell them …”Great job and thank you for representing BCS in such a positive way!”
“…these four students are wonderful children. They are upbeat, friendly and engaging. They are helpful and always positive. They show so much kindness and compassion for everyone and are respected by our student community. They make our classrooms a better place to be.”
-BCS staff

Have a great week!

Adam





WEEK AT A GLANCE – NOVEMBER 16 – NOVEMBER 20, 2009
(Disclaimer: Please check all your calendars and bcsonline.info in case we missed something)

Monday, November 16
6:45-8AM – Boys basketball try-outs
3:15 – 5:00PM –Girls swim practice
4:15 – 6:30PM – Oklahoma! play practice – full cast

Tuesday, November 17
6:35 – 8AM –Girls swim practice
6:45-8AM – Boys basketball try-outs
7:30-8:00AM - BCS Diversity Committee meeting in Room 505 – All are welcome
8:00 AM – SNOW CLUB applications accepted in the front office – please note the time is 8AM, not this evening
8-8:20AM – Bagel sale in front of the media center by the 8th grade celebration committee
3:15-4:00PM – School store is open in the main hallway during choice hour
6:30-8PM – Technology Committee Meeting– Media Center – see comments below.
7:00PM - BPS Board of Education meeting at the BPS Administration building, 550 West Merrill Street, Birmingham. Watch it live on Comcast channel 17

Wednesday, November 18
6:45-8AM – Boys basketball team practice
Noon – GREEN team meeting – Media Center
Popcorn Day – freshly popped popcorn is sold during choice hour for $1 in the main hallway.
3:15 – 5:00PM –Girls swim practice
4:15-5:50PM—Oklahoma! play practice for the following roles: Laurey; Curly; Gertie; Eller; Jud; Will; Ado Annie; Peddlar; Vivian; Ellen; Kate; Virginia
Thursday, November 19
6:35 – 8AM –Girls swim practice
6:45 - 8AM – Boys basketball team practice Deadline: 8th grade permission slips for high school visits due to homeroom teachers by today.
7:00 AM – Breakfast with the Principal in the Media Center. Bagels will be provided.
7:00 PM – PTSA Clearinghouse Meeting in the Media Center-All are invited to learn about the operations of the PTSA at BCS.

Friday, November 20
6:35 – 8AM –Girls swim practice
6:45-8AM – Boys basketball team practice
Deadline: Articles for E-Bugle due today kyraeg@wowway.com
4:00PM Deadline – Choice Hour change forms and refund requests for dropped classes for the 2nd quarter are due by 4:00PM today.
Saturday, November 21
· 9AM -4PM - The BCS Robotics team is competing in the Lego Robotics Tournament at Carman Ainsworth Middle School, 1409 Maple Ave, Flint, MI 48507. Team members need to be there by 7:30 a.m. to register. All team member friends and family as well as other BCS kids and families are invited to root for the Crazy Cobra Crafters!


Hot Entrée menu for the week: (subject to change, if necessary)
- Available everyday: Salad Bar, Hamburgers, Chicken Patties, Pizza & Cheese Breadsticks
Monday – Baked chicken nuggets, diced potatoes, and mixed veggies.
Tuesday – Hot dog w/ or without chili, chips or onion rings, and garden peas.
Wednesday – Chicken fajitas w/ choice of toppings, brown rice, and soup.
Thursday – Turkey and gravy, mashed potatoes, corn, fresh fruit, yogurt, and muffin.
Friday – Grilled cheese, tomato soup, carrots, and celery.

Ø To submit an item for next week’s “WAG”, email nb01bps@birmingham.k12.mi.us by FRIDAY 7AM

TECHNOLOGY COMMITTEE MEETING
The November Technology Committee meeting is scheduled for Tuesday November 17 at 6:30PM.
On the agenda for this meeting is planning a “Tech Café” session for the BCS community in December. We will also begin planning “Engineers Week” for the spring.
Everyone is welcome at the meeting. Contact tech@bpsparent if you have any questions.

To parents of Nicole Toth's 7/8 Spanish 1 classes,
Nicole's long-term sub, Nora Krol, now has her own email address up and running. Feel free to email her if you have any questions or concerns throughout the time she is here, or just to introduce yourself! Her email address is nk05bps@birmingham.k12.mi.us.

Blue Lake Scholarship Auditions for summer camp 2010 will take place in the BCS band room on Wednesday, December 2nd during the regular band classes. A representative from the camp will be on hand to evaluate student performances. Students with special talents in instrumental music (including piano), vocal music, drama, art and dance are invited to present a brief demonstration of their skills for scholarship considerations to Blue Lake. Students who are not in band or orchestra should see Mr. Rodgerson on Wednesdays or Thursdays to reserve an audition time.

BUDGET CRISIS – Q & A SESSION WITH LEGISLATORS
Due to the ongoing financial crisis facing Michigan public schools, Birmingham Public Schools is hosting a community Q & A with area legislators on Monday, November 23, 7:00 pm. at the Groves High School Auditorium, 20500 West Thirteen Mile, Beverly Hills. This important meeting will allow community members an opportunity to address their questions and concerns regarding Michigan public school funding. At this time, the following legislators have confirmed attendance: Sen. Gilda Jacobs, Sen. John Pappageorge, Representative Marty Knollenberg, and Representative Vincent Gregory. Other legislators have been invited but have not yet confirmed their attendance. Please join us for this important event.

PTA REFLECTIONS Program Unleashes Your Artistic Talents!
The theme is “Beauty Is…” and the possibilities are endless. All BCS students are eligible to submit their creative works. There is a category for everyone… so all of you artists, dancers, photographers, musicians, writers and filmmakers - get ready. The deadline is December 8th, so let’s get started now! For rules and entry forms, go the BCS Website and click on Reflections.


ROBOTICS CLUB NEEDS YOUR OPINIONS
“The students of BCS’s Crazy Cobra Crafters robotics club are doing a research project on this year’s theme, transportation for the FLL Competition. They have taken Mass Transit as the most relevant topic for our time, both from a global and local perspective. As a part of their research, they have put together a survey which they would like all their classmates and their parents to answer. We would like you to spend a few minutes of your time to help them formulate their answer. This is time-boxed (the competition is on the 21st), so please take it by the 18th ”. The link is:
http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=m75vQT3GishMyRikS5Tf5A_3d_3d


GREEN TEAM: The BCS recycling committee (comprised of staff, parents and students) is meeting Wednesday, November 18th at noon in the BCS Media Center. If you are interested in helping BCS strengthen its green initiatives, please join our effort. If you have questions or would like additional information contact Betsy Erwin at ejerwin3@gmail.com

EIGHTH Grade Families
Please provide a BABY PICTURE and a CURRENT PICTURE of your student for the class DVD. Remember to write your name on the back of the pictures so we can return them to you at the Farewell Celebration (and identify your child). The class DVD is a HIGHLIGHT of our year-end celebration; please make sure YOUR STUDENT IS PART OF THE FUN by ensuring their pictures are submitted to the Photo Box in the Main Office by December 18. If you would like to submit high-quality digital images, please send them to BCSFarewellPhotos@gmail.com. Don’t forget to provide your student’s name!


EIGHTH GRADE PARENTS
Seaholm would like to extend an invitation to 8th grade students to visit the English/Social Studies and Flex programs. We are reserving spaces on any Wednesday in December or January to come and view the classes. The visit would last from approximately 8:45 to 12:00, and they would visit at least two classes. Transportation will need to be provided by a parent. If you would like to reserve a space for your child, please contact Kyle Hall, English Department head, at 248 203-3746 or kh01bps@birmingham.k12.mi.us to review the details of the visit and confirm available space.

Nutrition Nibbles: An enthusiastic “thumbs-up” from students in Mr. Seley’s Class, who had the opportunity to enjoy a healthy snack of apple slices and yogurt dip last week. One of Mr. Seley’s students was the drawing winner from Michigan Apple Week, which took place October 19-23. His class won a quick and tasty apple snack prepared by Mrs. Hitch, Sodexo Dietitian. Check out the recipe for this well-received yogurt dip at http://www.birmingham.k12.mi.us/Departments/Food+Services/Nutrition+Nibbles/.


COMMUNITY CONNECTIONS
GROVES HIGH SCHOOL annual garage sale is on Sunday, November 22, 9AM-3PM. Early entry at 8AM for $1 fee. Please consider donating saleable items. Donation drop off in the cafeteria on Fri, Nov. 20 3-7PM and Sat, Nov 21, 8AM-6PM.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Monday, November 9, 2009

WAG Nov 9-13

November 8, 2009

Dear BCS Parents,

What a beautiful November weekend! I spent yesterday at the Michigan High School Cross Country State Finals watching my daughter run with hundreds of other student athletes from around the state. If you are a runner, or have runners in your family, you know that there is an amazing amount of training that occurs in order for someone to compete at such a high level. The determination of a runner can be a model for the mindset we can take when preparing to educate our children.
At the beginning of the year, Hal and I set out to prepare the BCS team for the 2009-2010 school year by asking everyone to look at our mission as a marathon. We talked about challenges and how as a team (all of you included) can make those challenges into opportunities. We had team reflections on what our theme, me2WE: This I believe, represents and what we will do to maintain our charge to deliver a quality education. These activities and conversations are now being followed up with a professional development calendar that places trust, quality instruction, and a positive environment as our first priority.
The BCS team will have a series of “book study” workshops that we have named our BCS Marathon “water stops”. These “water stops” will serve as refreshers for us as we continue to build our professional learning communities (PLC’s) around the idea of becoming better educators for your children. The “water stop” workshops will be held during a series of staff meetings before school at BCS. Each grade level team, along with the co-curricular and support team members, will read a portion of three separate books and reflect on a set of questions that connect the books with the essential questions wrapped around using data to drive change. These books were chosen based on their connection to our three E’s (Education, Each Other, Environment).
I feel it is important for you to know what books we are reading and the time we are taking to make sure we are not standing still during this year’s marathon.
Each team will have read and reported on the three books by the end of the year. These “water stops” are designed to support the team in building strong PLC’s. In order to do this, there must be trust among all stake holders (teachers, parents, students, administrators), there must be a positive environment, and there must be a solid understanding of effective instructional strategies.
If you happen to see any of our team members look tired or sore…it may be due to our training!
Enjoy the week!

Adam

Our three “water stops”

Education:
Classroom Instruction that Works: Research-Based Strategies for Increasing Student Achievement by Robert J. Marzano, Debra J. Pickering, and Jane E. Pollock

Each Other:
The SPEED of Trust: The One Thing That Changes Everything by Stephen M.R. Covey, Stephen R. Covey, and Rebecca R. Merrill

Environment:
The Art of Possibility: Transforming Professional and Personal Life by Rosamund Stone Zander and Benjamin Zander


WEEK AT A GLANCE – NOVEMBER 9 – NOVEMBER 13, 2009
(Disclaimer: Please check all your calendars and bcsonline.info in case we missed something)

Monday, November 9
· Second quarter begins today – New Choice Hour classes
· 9:15AM – 3/4 Room Parents Meeting- Room 100
· 5/6 Lunchtime – BCS Ambassador Training
· 4:30 – 6:30PM – Oklahoma! play practice – full cast

Tuesday, November 10
· 8-8:20AM – Bagel sale in front of the media center by the 8th grade celebration committee
· 9:30AM – Special Education Coffee with Adam Hartley and Wendy Albanese in the cafeteria
· 3/4 Lunchtime- 4th grade Ambassador Training
· 7/8 Lunchtime – Ambassador Training-Room 407
· 3:15-4:00PM – School store is open in the main hallway during choice hour
· 4:45 – 6:30PM – Oklahoma! play practice – full cast
· 7:00PM – BLAST meeting – Media Center

Wednesday, November 11
· Boys Basketball try-outs begin today.
· Popcorn Day – freshly popped popcorn is sold during choice hour for $1 in the main hallway.
· 5-8PM- CONFERENCES – 3/4 & 5/6 conference in the classrooms; 7/8 conferences in the cafeteria
· During conferences, there is a BOOK FAIR in the Media Center (proceeds benefit the media Center) and a BAKE SALE in front of the Media Center and the Cafeteria (benefits the 8th grade Celebration Committee). Also, please look through the LOST & FOUND items displayed in the main hallway.

Thursday, November 12
· HALF DAY OF SCHOOL – Dismissal at 11:20AM. Busses are provided at the early dismissal time.
· 12-1:30 PM Cartooning Class with Neal Levin– BCS gymnasium. Cost is $15 and advance registration is required. Bring your own lunch.
· 1-4PM CONFERENCES– 3/4 & 5/6 conference in the classrooms; 7/8 conferences in the cafeteria
· 5-8PM CONFERENCES– 3/4 & 5/6 conference in the classrooms; 7/8 conferences in the cafeteria
· During conferences, there is a BOOK FAIR in the Media Center (proceeds benefit the media Center) and a BAKE SALE in front of the Media Center (benefits the 8th grade Celebration Committee). Also, please look through the LOST & FOUND items displayed in the main hallway.

Friday, November 13
· Report Cards Released and sent home with students
· 8:45AM – Rising Stars performance for 3rd & 4th graders in the gymnasium
· Lunchtime - Dad’s Eat and Run – Please get a nametag at the sign-in table and join your child for lunch in the cafeteria during the normal lunchtime.
Lunchtimes: 3/4 - 11:00 – 11:40AM
5/6 – 11:55 - 12:35PM
7/8- 12:35 - 1:15 PM
· 7/8 Ambassador training during lunch
· 4PM – Choice Hour Change form for 2nd quarter is available for pick-up in the office

Sunday, November 15
· 1-3PM BCS Open House


Hot Entrée menu for the week: (subject to change, if necessary)
- Available everyday: Salad Bar, Hamburgers, Chicken Patties, Pizza & Cheese Breadsticks
Monday – Baked boneless rib-B-Q, oven roasted potatoes, and broccoli
Tuesday – Roast beef sub w/ au jus, green beans, and baked potato wedges
Wednesday – Soft taco day with choice of toppings, corn
Thursday – half day, no lunch provided
Friday – Chicken patty w/ bacon on bun, buttered noodles, and carrots.

To submit an item for next week’s “WAG”, email nb01bps@birmingham.k12.mi.us by FRIDAY 7AM

CONFERENCES – Special times for certain staff
The following staff members will be available for conferences at BCS as stated:
Janet Armil – Nov. 12, 5-8PM
Ron Rodgerson –Nov. 11, 5-8PM and Nov. 12, 6:30-8PM
Elizabeth Schultz – Nov. 11, 5-8PM
Nicole Toth – Nov. 10 4-6PM, Nov. 11 5-8PM, Nov. 12 1-4PM & 5-6PM
Wulatin – Nov. 11, 5-8PM or by appointment


3rd and 4th Grade Parents
Starting Monday, November 9 through Friday, December 11: Students in Burns, Davis, Frishman, and Parkin homerooms will be having Swimming as their PE class. Please be sure to send in a swimsuit and towel with your child.


POSTCARD AND ELECTRONIC INVITATIONS TO OPEN HOUSE
Postcard invitations to Open House on November 15 are available in the BCS office if you would like to take some to send or distribute to potential new families. Another great idea is to distribute postcards to friends and neighbors who don’t currently have children in our schools. These are our voters and the BCS Open House is a great way to showcase the strength of Birmingham Public Schools. Also, Principal Adam Hartley will be sending his own electronic invitation to the Open House on Monday, November 9th, which we also encourage you to forward online to all of the above.


Special Education – Building Coffee
You are cordially invited to come and meet with Mr. Hartley and Wendy Albanese – Special Education Supervisor. Join us for coffee, meet with other parents who have students receiving special education services in our building and ask questions. This will be a great opportunity for us all to network within our building community! The coffee is hosted by BCS in collaboration with Friends of Different Learners. Tuesday, November 10, 9:30am BCS cafeteria.


2nd QUARTER CHOICE HOUR ANNOUNCEMENTS
2nd Quarter Choice Hour classes begin on Monday November 9th. Choice Hour selections will be posted on the Choice Hour board in the main hallway on Thursday November 3th.

The deadline for requesting a Choice Hour class change will be Friday November 20th by 4:00 PM. Choice Hour class change request forms will be available in the main office after 4:00 PM on Friday November 13th. 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 must attend their originally assigned classes for the first 2 weeks of the new quarter. ALL Choice Hour changes that are approved will go into effect on Monday November 23rd. 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 4:00 PM on Friday November 20th. No refunds will be processed after the Friday November 20th 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 in the office.
Thank you for supporting the Choice Hour program!


PTA REFLECTIONS Program Unleashes Your Artistic Talents!
The theme is “Beauty Is…” and the possibilities are endless. All BCS students are eligible to submit their creative works. There is a category for everyone… so all of you artists, dancers, photographers, musicians, writers and filmmakers - get ready. The deadline is December 8th, so let’s get started now! For rules and entry forms, go the BCS Website and click on Reflections.


GET YOUR PICTURES IN THE YEARBOOK !
The Yearbook Staff invites students and parents to submit photos for the yearbook. If you've got great photos of school and community events or you and your friends just having fun, we'd like to see them. Our photographers can't be everywhere. Help us get as many photos as possible to create a terrific book everyone will want to have.Here is how you can submit photos online: • Go to: https://images.jostens.com/login • If it does not automatically log you into the site, enter username:400007265 and password:bcs • Browse to select the photo(s) you wish to upload. • Enter information about the photo and provide contact information in case the staff needs additional information. • Click "Save Details".It's that easy! Submit your photos today! The last day to submit photos is 3/1/2010. The Yearbook Staff will review all photos and determine final yearbook content. We cannot guarantee that all submissions can be used in the book.


The Scholastic Book Fair is November 10-12 -Please stop by the Media Center during conference to visit the Scholastic Book Fair. Additionally, volunteers are still needed for:
Wednesday, November 11th from 2:30 to 4:30pm Thursday, November 12th from 12:30 to 6:00 pm
If you have a junior or senior BCS alumni high school student who needs community service hours, we would welcome their help too! Please contact Linda Weitzel (jeffnlinda@hotmail.com or 248-865-7279) if you can help!


BAKE SALE AT CONFERENCES-Sponsored by parents of 8th Graders
The 8th Grade Celebration Committee is holding a bake sale during the upcoming conferences in front of the media center and cafeteria. Please stop by and support this effort. All proceeds go toward the 8th grade farewell celebration. There will be wonderful home baked items for sale. Just what you need after conferences!

If you are the parent of an 8th grade student, please consider baking some items and/or staffing a sale table for an hour during conferences. Please contact Frances Trask at frances@theresearchhouse.com or 248.646.5106 with idea for a baked good or time available to sell. THANKS!


HOLIDAY PIES AVAILABLE during Conferences
Here's to a stress free happy holiday! For only $15.00 each, you can help support the 8th Grade Celebration Committee by purchasing a delicious pie from the Grand Traverse Pie Company. While at your student conference, take a moment to place an order at the Bake Sale Table for your holiday pies. We offer 10 of their famous varieties, including those Thanksgiving favorites, Pumpkin and Pecan. Your pre-paid orders will be available for pick up at BCS on Monday, November 23 from 3 p.m. until 7 p.m. Thank you for your orders and we appreciate your support.


COMMUNITY CONNECTIONS
The 1st Annual BBFA Parenting & Wellness Fair is Saturday, November 14 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., further information available at www.bbfaprevention.org


Monday, November 2, 2009

WAG Nov 2-6

Dear Parents,

Recently, I have had the opportunity to spend time with 7/8 students in their Engage classes. The students were using SimCity 4 to create virtual cities and run a simulation of what it be like to run actual cities. Viewing the students using SimCity was another way of seeing them apply the skills that they have acquired throughout their time at BCS. I was able to see:

• Students being challenged to use creativity and imagination
• Students take control of what they learn and how they learn it
• Problem solving became a way of life in the classroom
• Critical and analytical thinking is nurtured
• Students are motivated to master the material they are learning

Learning is student-centered, rather than teacher-centered
These observations can be be seen in every classroom throughout BCS which is fabulous!
This weekend I reread an interesting article regarding computer games that I would like to share with the parent community! The article is entitled “Computer Games Explore Social Issues” written by Kara Platoni. An excerpt of the article is listed below:Social studies teachers Karl Atkins and Scott Deckelmann take on a very serious subject by giving their students a very amusing challenge: Win a computer game. In fact, students have to win PeaceMaker, a simulation of the Middle East peace process, twice -- once while playing as the Israeli prime minister and once as the Palestinian president.In both cases, students must respond to a rapidly evolving political situation by choosing which actions -- building settlements, launching rockets, making speeches -- are most likely to broker peace. The Scappoose, Oregon, teachers have played PeaceMaker with more than a dozen sections of their freshman global-studies and junior international-relations classes, and they say gaming is an effective way to explore intricate political issues. Indeed, PeaceMaker is at the forefront of a movement -- often called serious games or social-issues games -- in which educators use games to illustrate complex social issues, from immigration to climate change."Games are largely misunderstood in our society. They aren't necessarily trivial or sophomoric. Gaming is just a young medium," says Suzanne Seggerman, president and cofounder of Games for Change, a resource and support clearinghouse for game developers, nonprofit organizations, and educators. "They're a great way for people to explore serious issues."Better yet, they make that exploration fun, even addicting, according to Scapoose sophomore Ashley Amick, who played PeaceMaker at school last year. "I never wanted to go to my next class, because I hadn't won yet, and I wanted to see what would happen when I did," she explains. "We usually learn from textbooks or worksheets, but because you automatically learn while you play it, even my classmates that don't like school had fun."

Modeling the Real WorldSocial issues are by their nature complex and dynamic. Understanding them involves analyzing cause and effect, multiple viewpoints, and rapidly shifting scenarios. Games easily mirror this fluidity."The thing we get with games that is different from what we get with books or other media is that we are able to actually build models of relationships between the different moving parts of a system and let people mess around with them, let people experience what happens when they change one variable or when they introduce a different kind of behavior," says Ian Bogost, an associate professor of computational and digital media at the Georgia Institute of Technology. (Bogost is also an adviser to the Serious Games Summit at the annual Game Developers Conference, and he wrote the book Persuasive Games: The Expressive Power of Video Games.)"Understanding something such as war or poverty or immigration demands understanding a whole range of different kinds of inputs and outputs," he adds. In other words, if you take an action in PeaceMaker, you'll soon find out what the other side thought of your input."It is very clearly active, not passive," says Deckelmann of the way his students use the game. "They are part of the game. They are helping determine the end of the story. They don't get to determine the end of a documentary. It's about them deciding what's important, as opposed to us telling them what is important. And it's allowing them to fail in a safe place where no one can shame them." Games teach almost entirely through trial and error, with few real-world consequences; if you mess up, you can always restart.A big lesson students pick up from PeaceMaker, says Deckelmann, is that "being a leader isn't easy." It's not just having your finger on the button. Indeed, Amick says the game encourages flexible thinking and empathetic decision making. "Every decision you make will affect something, whether immediately or in the future," she says. "It helped me learn to think from different viewpoints, and not just my own. Whenever I picked what to do next, I had to think about the consequences it would have on both sides, or I might hurt one side and help the other, which wouldn't work out in the end."

Have a Great Week!!Hal

We are pleased to introduce Nora Krol, who will be Nicole Toth’s long-term guest teacher in Spanish 1 and OS while she is out on maternity leave in November and December. Mrs. Krol's interest in and passion for the Spanish language and Hispanic cultures started while living in Montevideo, Uruguay for two years as a teen. She graduated from Miami University with a BS in Finance and minors in International Business and Spanish. After spending 5 years in Commercial Lending, Mrs. Krol entered a Post Baccalaureate Teacher Certification program in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. During two years of training, she worked in a Bilingual Kindergarten classroom and did field placements at two of Milwaukee’s Spanish Immersion schools. She then taught both Elementary and Middle School Spanish with Kettle Moraine Schools in Wales, Wisconsin. During the 8 years focused mainly on rearing her three children, Mrs. Krol continued to tutor and teach Spanish in various capacities, including a two-year job as Spanish teacher for 10 home-schooled students. Since 2006, she has been a Guest Teacher with Oxford Schools, which included an 11 week position teaching 7th and 8th grade Spanish. Mrs. Krol hopes that her time at BCS will serve to enhance students' understanding and appreciation of the Spanish language and culture.

WEEK AT A GLANCE – NOVEMBER 2 – NOVEMBER 6, 2009
(Disclaimer: Please check all your calendars and bcsonline.info in case we missed something)Monday, November 2 6-7PM – Proud Dads Co-ed Tennis at Pine Lake Country Club, indoor courts4:05-6:20 – Play practice for the cast of Oklahoma!
Tuesday, November 3 – ELECTION DAY7:30-8:00AM - BCS Diversity Committee meeting in Room 505 – All are welcome8-8:20AM – Bagel sale in front of the media center by the 8th grade celebration committee9:30 AM – BBFA Meeting – “Talking to your Kids and Teens about Sex” at the Gary M. Doyle Center3:15-4:00PM – School store is open in the main hallway during choice hour7 PM – BBFA Meeting – “My Child is Turning 18 – Now What?” at the Gary M.Doyle Center7:00PM - BPS Board of Education meeting at the BPS Administration building, 550 West Merrill Street, Birmingham. Watch it live on Comcast channel 17.
Wednesday, November 4 9:15AM – 5/6 Room Parent Meeting – Media CenterPopcorn Day – freshly popped popcorn is sold during choice hour for $1 in the main hallway7-8PM – Snow Club Informational Meeting –Media Center. Applications will be handed out after the meeting and are accepted in the office beginning November 18.
Thursday, November 5 Last day of the 1st quarter5-6:30PM – Proud Dads Co-ed Flag Football for 3rd – 8th graders7 PM – Friends of Different Learners Meeting – “Understanding and Coping with Bully” in the BCS Media Center7:00PM - Community Conversations regarding BPS budget and school funding - Derby
Friday, November 6 No School – Records day

Hot Entrée menu for the week: (subject to change, if necessary)Available everyday: Salad Bar, Hamburgers, Chicken Patties, Pizza & Cheese Breadsticks
Monday – Popcorn chicken or julianne turkey and breadstick.
Tuesday – Salisbury steak, mashed potatoes, green beans, or soup with cheese breadstick.
Wednesday – Baked chicken tenders, buttered noodles, and garden peas.
Thursday – Cook choice, fresh fruit, yogurt and muffin.
Friday – No school

To submit an item for next week’s “WAG”, email nb01bps@birmingham.k12.mi.us by FRIDAY 7AM

OPEN HOUSE STUFFING VOLUNTEERS NEEDEDThe BCS Community Connections Committee is looking for volunteers to help stuff the 500 folders needed for the upcoming BCS Open House. We will be stuffing folders in the Media Center on Tuesday, November 3rd from 8:15 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. or until we are done. The more hands we have, the faster it will go and coffee and donuts will be available for all those who help. Please contact Becky Bachand at dbachand@comcast.net for more information and to let us know how many extra hands we can count on. Thanks so much!?

WINTER I SPORTS Boys Basketball (grades 7-8) and Girls Swimming (grades 6-8) are the Winter I sports. Students who want to participate must have all athletic paperwork and payment submitted before they can practice.Athletic paperwork and fees can be turned into the front office beginning today. Once all paperwork is complete and the fee is paid, Mr. Heard will issue a slip of eligibility to the student (referred to as the “orange slip”). It is the responsibility of the student to give the eligibility slip to the coach to be admitted into practice. The student will not be allowed to participate without an eligibility slip.Athletic paperwork can be picked up in the front office or downloaded from http://www.bcsonline.info/ Try-outs for boys basketball begin the week of November 11Swim practices begin the week of November 16?

POSTCARD INVITATIONS TO BCS OPEN HOUSEIn an effort to let as many people as possible know about our BCS Open House on November 15 from 1-3 p.m., we have created special announcement postcards for distribution. Parents are invited and encouraged to take responsibility for a handful of these, to send on to friends and neighbors living in the district whose children might be interested in BCS at any grade level. The postcards are also a wonderful way to extend an invitation to families without school age children, as these are voters whom we hope will continue to support our millage renewals. During the week beginning November 2, each grade 3-4 student will receive two postcards to take home for your use and 5-6 students will receive one. If you have students in 7-8 or if you would like MORE postcards, there will be a box of them available for pickup in the front office during the next two weeks. Please help yourself!Finally, Adam will be emailing an electronic version of the postcard to you next week, if you prefer to invite people electronically, as well as a link to his personal invitation to prospective families.BCS is an amazing and unique center of teaching and learning which our students and staff are eager to showcase! Thanks in advance for your help in encouraging potential families to attend.

The Scholastic Book Fair is November 10-12 - Volunteers are needed!! ? If you love books and are looking for a short term volunteer job... we would love to have your assistance with the BCS/Scholastic Book Fair! Parents are needed to help set up, assist students during their previews, collect $ during the sale and to pack up. This is a fun event and all proceeds go directly to the Media Center to purchase new materials!! If you have a junior or senior BCS alumni high school student who needs community service hours, we would welcome their help too! Please contact Linda Weitzel (jeffnlinda@hotmail.com or 248-865-7279) if you can help!2 hour shifts are available during the following times:Monday, November 9th - book fair set up- 9:00 am to 3:00 pmTuesday, November 10th - student preview times - 8:30 am to 3:30 pmWeds. and Thurs. Nov 11 & 12 - student preview and public sale - 8:30 am to 8:00 pmThursday November 12th - book fair pack up - 7:30 pm to 9:00 pm

BAKE SALE AT CONFERENCES-Sponsored by parents of 8th GradersThe 8th Grade Celebration Committee is holding a bake sale during the upcoming conferences in front of the media center and cafeteria. Please stop by and support this effort. All proceeds go toward the 8th grade farewell celebration. There will be wonderful home baked items for sale. Just what you need after conferences!If you are the parent of an 8th grade student, please consider baking some items and/or staffing a sale table for an hour during conferences. Please contact Frances Trask at frances@theresearchhouse.com or 248.646.5106 with idea for a baked good or time available to sell. THANKS!

Dear Families:Due to the likelihood that we will see a sudden increase in the number of flu cases, it is not feasible to send individual letters home each time a student is absent due to the flu. Our district Web site http://www.birmingham.k12.mi.us/ will update flu absentee numbers daily. It is important that you keep in mind that students come in contact with others outside their classroom throughout the day through the use of common areas: hallways, gyms, cafeterias, playgrounds, etc. That is why it is important that you be aware of the entire building total rather than just per classroom. Starting Monday, November 2, school totals will be available on our district Web site. This is also a good time to remind you to sign up for the district eNews if you have not done so already. Important districtwide information is shared in that format. Visit the home page and click on the eNews button to add the district eNews to your current subscription list. Thank you. Marcia F. WilkinsonDirector of Community RelationsBirmingham Public Schools248-203-3026mw01bps@birmingham.k12.mi.us Follow Birmingham Public Schools on Twitter: www.twitter.com/birminghamps