Sunday, December 6, 2009

WAG (from Hal)


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!


(Disclaimer: Please check all your calendars and 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 .
· 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
· 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 by FRIDAY 7AM

Dear Parents: Quarterly Choice Hour booklets will no longer be distributed to students at BCS. You can visit 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
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 and all other questions regarding the Choice Hour program should be directed to Linda Stone at 248-203-4625 or

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!!

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.

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 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!

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

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

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 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 or call 248-203-3800

BBFA News and Information Update - December 1, 2009
Visit us online at !

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:

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:
To purchase hockey tickets visit:
January 26, 2010 vs. Coyotes
March 9, 2010 vs. Flames

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:
To register online, click on the link below:

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!

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!


Thanks for your support of BBFA!!!

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