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!


Our three “water stops”

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

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

(Disclaimer: Please check all your calendars and 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 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 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 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.

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: • 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 ( 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 or 248.646.5106 with idea for a baked good or time available to sell. THANKS!

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.

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

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