Monday, August 24, 2009

BCS is going Green!

No this does not mean we are all MSU fans!
John Carlos, BCS father, along with Mr. Prisciandaro and others, have successfully brought a wind turbine to BCS! The wind turbine is from Marian Power ( and stands 30 foot tall. I am sure many of you know about the turbine but I thought I would write about my enthusiasm about taking the lead in becoming green citizens. What is intriguing about BCS is the amount of people (parents, staff, and students) that are innovative and determined to be pioneers in many fields. One field that is not only exciting but very important to our future is focusing on how to improve our environment. This turbine is a great start to have our community learn about alternative power.
I will keep all of you posted on when the turbine will be installed and what kind of savings (and education) BCS is seeing!
Please take time to complete the poll to the right regarding Green schools.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Communication with Parents/Community

Mr. Heard and I attended the district workshop this morning regarding communication. I was pleased to have the opportunity to learn about the Birmingham Public Schools expectations and discuss with both Mr. Heard and Mrs. Best the great things BCS has done to communicate with our community. The major theme of the workshop was summed up by Dr. Larson when he explained that effective organizations take a look at what they are doing good and continue to work hard in order to make those positive characteristics better.

BCS, along with the district as a whole, is committed to moving forward in the area of communication. The satisfactory survey given last year showed BCS is meeting the communication needs of the parents with a 87% satisfactory rating. BCS scored a 41% rating in the area of Very Satisfied. While many organizations would be content with these results, we are already planning on working hard this year to bring those scores up considerably. Our goal is for 100% satisfactory.

I have included a link to a short video that is a good example of the benefits of parent/school communication and how important it is in a child's education. We all know how important it is -the hard part is moving forward and figuring our how to use today's tools to create new bridges, while maintaining the face to face environment that makes BCS such a great place to be!

This blog is an example of what we can now do as educators to keep parents up to date. Please continue to use this to gain insight on what goes on behind the scenes of BCS in order to make your child's education the best he or she can receive!

Have a great day!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


I wanted to remind everyone that registration is August 19th and 26th.



See you there!!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

enews 8/6/08

Dear BCS Community,

The summer is coming to an end and the excitement at BCS is building more each day! I would like to again extend a quick introduction as the new principal at BCS. I have had the opportunity to meet many of you and have been more than impressed with the generosity that each of you have shown. I am Adam Hartley and come to BCS with eight years of administration experience. In those eight years, I have expected nothing but the best out of myself, my team members, and the very families that we serve. I have been fortunate to learn from the outstanding educators, parents, and students I have worked alongside. I am looking forward to creating meaningful relationships that promote the best experience your child can have in 3rd-8th grade!

I have learned that BCS is not scarce in parents willing to take an active role in their child’s education. Already this summer I have met many of you at events, in the office helping, or dropping your child off at summer programs. This is good news! Everything that BCS has stood for, and everything that we as a school community will be striving for in the future, has been successful because of you. Research has shown that students achieve higher scores, are more confident, and enjoy school more when their parents are involved. I encourage all of you to take an active role in educating our future. This may look different from family to family. All of you have talents and interests that will prove to be beneficial to the BCS community. Whether it is helping in our PTSA, Proud Dad’s or athletic events, teaching a choice hour class, helping in the office, or assisting with the BLAST, we invite you to embrace the most important time in your child’s life! There will be plenty of opportunities for you to make a difference here at BCS, please take advantage of every moment!

Registration Packets were mailed out today, August 6, 2009. When you receive the registration packet please keep these details in mind:

• Registration forms will not be available on the web until Monday, August 10th.
• Families that have a 2nd address for mailings will only receive the registration packet at the primary address listed in the BCS office. Our records are currently being updated in a new school software program and the secondary addresses will not be available to us until the first week of school. If there is a need to mail the registration packet to the 2nd address at that time, please contact us. (Please remember that the registration packet is available online beginning on August 10th.)

To model best practices in education and take advantage of the endless possibilities of communication in today’s world, I will be creating a blog in order to keep in constant contact with the BCS community. I will be sending an invitation to the blog soon. The blog will allow us to expand our walls here at BCS and build a learning environment that isn’t defined by a building. Please take the time to sign up when the invitation is sent. The blog will include daily updates, a special events calendar and the Week at a Glance.

The BCS team will be anxiously waiting for each student to walk through the doors on September 8th and begin their adventure into a world of possibilities! Until then, take care and enjoy the rest of your summer!


Adam J Hartley

Welcome Back 2009

August 3, 2009

Dear BCS Families,

Robert Frost wrote a poem that has stuck in my mind since I applied for the position of team leader for BCS last spring. The title of the poem The Road Not Taken represents what my intentions are in leading the BCS team this year. The BCS community has known success at a variety of levels and has been the leading change agent in many areas within Birmingham. This success has not come from being complacent or feeling comfortable with the status quo, it has come from being a family oriented organization that believes in taking the road less traveled. As team leader, the road less traveled means to try new and innovative ways to communicate with the school community, to provide time and meaningful training for our teaching staff to enhance their 21st century skills, and to create and maintain an environment at BCS that promotes global learning.

Education has experienced many changes over the past decade and is on the verge of a complete transformation from what we know the school experience to be. Dr. Robert Marzano, an education researcher and author, recently published the results of his study on using technologies, such as the interactive whiteboards BCS has installed over the summer. The research points to a best case scenario that includes teachers that have been working with technology tools for at least two years and use it within their classroom for 75% of the time. This scenario proved to raise test scores by 29% and created environments that included 21st century thinking, collaboration, and most of all, students that enjoy learning!

This research caught my attention for two reasons. One, it is important for us as a school community to understand why we are purchasing these new tools and spending time to train our teams to successfully integrate the tools into our curriculum. Secondly, there is an enormous amount of research that points to the same results, however, many school districts within our state and across the country refuse to move forward with the best practices for the 21st century. BCS will not be a stagnant school! Our team is poised to be the trailblazers down the road less traveled!

The road less traveled will have twist and turns that we are not aware of. It will be an adventure that we will never forget and a journey that will ultimately make us stronger educators, more informed parents, and better prepared students. Hal and I are excited to take the lead in this adventure and ask that you join us in becoming pioneers, not just in Oakland County or the state of Michigan, but pioneers in the global community that lies ahead.

The last three lines of Frost’s poem sums up what we have in store this year and for years to come.

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Together, we will make a difference!


Adam Hartley Hal Heard

New Team Members
Hal and I would like to introduce new team members for 2009-2010 that will be a part of the journey and will be very capable of assisting us as we encounter new and exciting adventures.

Krystal Muhammed: 7th/8th Grade Math
Mrs. Muhammed comes to BCS from University Prep in Detroit. Krystal graduated from the University of Detroit Mercy in 2001 with a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and shortly after received her Masters in Education. After receiving her degree, she began teaching in Detroit at Winans Academy for Performing Arts, followed by a successful tenure at University Preparatory High School in the New Center Area. She worked as an advisor, math specialist and department head. Krystal believes in building strong and enduring relationships with both students and their families.

Erica Malisewski: 5th/6th Grade Math/Science
Erica will be teaming with Karen Fitzgerald and teaching 5th/6th grade math and science. She taught Spanish at BCS for two years before leaving to teach Spanish at the Lincoln St. Alternative School. We are excited to have Erica back at BCS!

Susan Adams: Media Specialist
Susan comes to BCS with 27 years of experience at the elementary and middle school level. She recently held the position of media specialist at Quarton Elementary and has worked at Harlan and Pembroke as well. Susan is excited to join BCS and is a strong proponent of parent involvement!
She will be coming to the BCS team as a ½ time media specialist sharing her time with Ann Truesdell. Ann will be at BCS in the a.m. and working with the district’s ignite program in the p.m.

Laurie Dean-Amir: Social Worker
BCS is excited to have Laurie join our team. She will be working closely with our staff to make sure that each child here at BCS receives a safe and quality education.

Karen Sivwright: Counselor
Karen joins the BCS staff after working in the same position at Harlan Elementary. Karen has already met our new families coming to BCS this fall and will be working closely with Tamra Nast and the BCS grade level teams.

Please join me in welcoming our new BCS team members!

Last year BCS created a theme that embraced the concept of working together and stepping out of our comfort zones to move forward in an honest and trustworthy fashion. The BCS team believes that this should not be a one year process but rather a process that includes conversations among all stakeholders, time to reflect, and time to set goals for the future. With this in mind, our theme will be me2WE: This I believe. Over the course of the 2009-2010 school year, all BCS stakeholders will question what our beliefs are in 21st century education. These challenges will be answered by our team, including staff and families, working on the same page and making sure that our students are receiving the best, most vigorous education a child can receive.

I would like to thank the parent community for such a warm welcome I received over the course of the past few months. I have had the opportunity to meet many of you and your families. I am excited to be a part of such a vibrant and caring community and look forward to working with you to prepare our future leaders for the challenges that lie ahead. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have a question or if I have not had the opportunity to introduce myself to you.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Welcome Back 2009

BCS families,

Welcome back to the 2009-2010 school year! I will be using this blog to post podcast, have discussions, and create a school experience that does not have walls!

Please use this blog to keep up on the everyday happenings of BCS and be a part of an exciting time in education. Our children will experience more than we ever dreamed of before they are in high school. Information is at our fingertips and it will take a team effort to make sure that our future leaders (our children) are using that information in a productive and responsible way.

Please join me in keeping up with the latest practices, information ,and skills so that we ourselves can model this responsibility for the students.

I am looking forward to a great year at BCS!