Tuesday, December 21, 2010

ENJOY THE BREAK!! School is out until Jan. 3rd (but we are still learning!)

2011 here we come!

BCS is ready and willing to take on every challenge that comes our way and to build on our success!

Please rest for the next two weeks and relax with friends and family!

See you on January 3, 2011!!

Monday, December 13, 2010

NO SCHOOL- Monday Dec 13, 2010

School has been cancelled due to the weather! Enjoy the snow and drive safe if you are going out!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

One of five schools visited in Chongqing

Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City

Calligraphy Class

This is one of many art classes students take at the middle school level.

Teaching Good Habits

The class before our visit was teaching about ways to take care of the environment. I took some video of the blackboard. The teacher translated it for me. They have yet to start recycling but are now discussing it in their school!

Students in the Classroom

Me and Washington in a secondary classroom. Washington would like to study at Harvard or Stanford!
Students in a primary classroom- notice the coats..no heat!

Morning Warm-Up

Double Happiness

Double Happiness (simplified Chinese: 双喜; traditional Chinese: 雙喜; pinyin: shuāngxǐ; sometimes translated as Double Joy or Double Happy) is a Chinese ornamental design commonly used as a decoration.

It is a ligature "囍" composed of two Chinese characters 喜 (, 'joy'), compressed to assume the square shape of a standard Chinese character (much like a real character may consist of two parts), and often modified in various ways.

The shuāngxǐ motif often appears on decorative items associated with Chinese New Year celebrations and weddings, the latter of the two is often found all over the wedding ceremony, as well as on gift items given to the bride and groom. The color of the character is usually red, occasionally black. (wikipedia)

Mr. Chen: Principal of Yubei Experimental School

Mr. Chen and I will be keeping in touch. We look forward to a continued relationship between his school and BCS to advocate global awareness.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Yubei Middle School

Talking with students at Yubei Middle School
Adam and Ben (Their "English" names) discuss American movies they have seen!

Alan November in Oakland County

Redesigning a Culture of Learning featuring Alan November

Monday, January 31, 2011, 6:30 - 8:00 PM @ Oakland Schools

2111 Pontiac Lake Road, Waterford, MI, 48328


Alan November, recognized internationally as a leader in education technology, has guided schools, government organizations and industry leaders as they plan to improve quality with technology.

In this special presentation, Alan will explore what essential questions and planning processes are needed to prepare our students to have a global work ethic, and how to turn our classrooms into global communication centers.

He will share his work on redesigning the culture of teaching and learning with concrete tools, websites and ideas that educators, parents and community members can take and use with students to create a more empowered authentic model

of learning.

Special Gifts

Each school visited, graciously gave us a red scarf that symbolizes leadership. Each student leader wore the red scarf to show they are responsible and ready to lead. The scarf is red to represent the blood shed by their Chinese ancestors during the wars throughout the history of China.

This is Wu Yanan, she also painted a picture that is now hanging in my office!

Should we be worried? Your thoughts?


China Visit Day 1

Great to be back in the US where I can access my blog. Don't take anything for granted!

I will post a few reflections in the next week or so along with video and pictures.

December 6, 2010

I visited three schools today and each visit was amazing! The teachers and administrators were so kind and every school made sure our visit was memorable. China is very proud of their progress in education over the past thirty years and after today I can see why. I have learned many things over the course of the past two days and look forward to visiting other schools tomorrow. Each visit begins with a welcome session and ends with exchanging gifts. The sessions with their staff provides us with a brief history of the school and an opportunity to ask questions. The questions however are asked in the presence of administrators and are carefully answered. It is the conversations I have had with the students and the teachers outside the supervision of the administration i find intriguing.

Creativity is, I believe, one of the non-negotiable characteristics of a quality education. Teachers and students must have the freedom, the knowhow, and the expectation to be creative. I firmly believe that when given the chance, all of us have a creative side that is essential in our learning. When the keynote speaker at our welcome banquet last night spoke of China’s efforts to reform education and stated that creativity is pivotal, it caught my attention. According to her, the slogan for educational reform for the next decade is, “Escape Chinese Education.” She strongly stated that in order for China to compete in the global arena, they must be more creative. Sound familiar?

My “covert” conversations revealed an environment very similar to ours here in the Untied States. Teachers feel they do not have time to be creative since they have loads of content to cover. They feel the pressure of assessments and take on the burden of preparing their students for very high stake tests given during the university application process. The students I talked to feel “powered down” at school, not having many technology tools to use within their classrooms. One student told me, “I do not like Chinese schools, we have 13 lessons a day and that is too much time to sit and listen.” He then went on to ask me if I facebook and wanted my cell number. I responded by asking how he is able to access facebook since the government does not allow it. He just smiled like many 16 year olds I know and said, “I’m creative!”

As different as China and the United States are, today showed me that we have something in common. We have children that need our support, need our care, and most of all, need the opportunity to be creative. Escaping Chinese Education, from what I have learned, means to escape the same environment we have been trying to escape in education for years. No matter what country, state, or district we work and live in, we MUST advocate for creativity among our teachers and our students. China is pushing ahead to transition into a movement that the United States has already started. Both countries have a long way to go but as long as it continues to be a priorty and the teachers themselves are motivated to make it happen, creativity can not be denied for long!

G.E.E.K.ed in Chionqing,


Thursday, December 2, 2010

Off to China

Sitting in the Lansing Airport discussing our trip to China. I am here with educators (teachers, principals, superintendents) from various school districts across the state. Everyone is excited but it is obvious that each district represented has a different reason they are here. Forest Hills has an emersion program that teaches all subjects in Chinese, Greenville is looking to bring Chinese to their elementary, and Ann Arbor would like to "see what this is all about"!
I am equipped with questions sent to me by parents, students, and teachers.
Thank you for sending these- it has helped frame a vision for what I hope to learn from this trip.
I am told that blogger is available in Beijing, I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Look for updates

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Sunday, December 5th-
Come experience BCS!
1:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m.
1525 Covington Rd
Bloomfield Hills, MI

BCS: A Great Place to Be!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Jingle Bell Run at BCS

Pictures from the Jingle Bell Run- Saturday, Nov 20th at BCS

BCS Cobras raised over $2500.00 for the Arthritis Foundation thanks to David Stone (Proud Dads Co-chair), Chris Manchester and Bill Johansson (BCS P.E. teachers), Angela Geisler (BCS Spanish teacher and Cross Country Coach), and many more!
The 5K walk/run proved to be an amazing event. Thank you Proud Dad's for putting the Cobra team together...82 participants!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Text one word that describes BCS!

Text the number 25725 and one word that describes BCS to 37607

I will create a wordle from this for our open house on Dec 5, 2010 (1:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m.)

Virtual Learning Article and Video


Virtual Learning- The Future is Here...

Thursday, November 18, 2010

G.E.E.K.ed=Real Life Applications!

Mr. Prisciandaro tests a bridge our 3-4 Engineering Technology students designed and constructed!

Mr. P and his students are G.E.E.K.ed!

Failure? NO- Learning? YES!

New Parent Wiki

Please visit the new wiki created for BCS parents.


Monday, November 15, 2010

Transformative Technology: Lessons from Africa

I recently had the privilege of attending TEDx Flint at Kettering University. This event was led by Kevin Simpson, a 1994 graduate of Carmen-Ainsworth High School. Thanks to Kevin, an educational consultant, and many other visionaries from the Flint area, this event proved to be both relevant and exciting. The theme F.L.I.N.T. (Focus, Learn, Innovate, Nurture, Transform) was threaded into every speaker's message.

Sixteen speakers took the stage at the McKinnon Theater on the Kettering campus and had 18 minutes to inspire us through pictures, videos, demonstrations, and most of all their words. One speaker that stood out was Dr. Steve Livingston, head professor of media and public affairs at George Washington University. Dr. Livingston is originally from Flint and talked about transformative technology. His message focused on how his work across the globe with mobile technology and how it has transformed remote villages in Africa. He discussed how mobile technology allows them to warn one another of active volcanoes, order more mosquito nets if their stock is running low, and share stories of dangerous animals prowling inside their villages. Technology, according to Dr. Livingston, is not just another cool piece of equipment for the villagers. The mobile phones are transforming how people live, but most importantly, helping them live longer.

The technology has a purpose!

What amazed me about this presentation wasn't so much the pictures of villagers dressed in paint and head dresses holding mobile phones in the air, though the pictures did grab my attention, what amazed me was the fact that the villagers welcomed Dr. Livingston into their remote community, had the mindset to accept new technology, and have found ways of using it that are purposeful.

After hearing this astonishing presentation, I am challenging all educational leaders across the state, including myself, and asking, if tribes in Africa can transform and adapt to today's challenges, why can't we?

The villagers took three steps towards a transformation that we can all learn from.

Listen to positive deviants:
Positive deviance is often times frowned upon from organizations and is many times taboo in public education. A positive deviant can be described as a person that holds an idea or a belief that may not match the organizations or may go against what has always been status quo. The villagers allowed a man that looked different from them to enter their villages and listened to what he had to offer. By using the mobile phones and taking a risk, they opened their eyes and ultimately opened their minds to something new and innovative. Educators are often guilty of keeping the positive deviant out of decision making opportunities and often times will try to portray the positive deviant as the "crazy" employee. If we are going to transform our schools to match the rigor and relevance that our global society has to offer, we must let the positive deviants into the village.

Accept the new technology and put it in the hands of the end user:
The villagers could have easily shunned Dr. Livingston and sent him packing with his mobile phones. What they did, however, is exactly what any teacher or student would do if given the opportunity. They played with the new gadget, were curious about its applications, and showed others how to use it. Dr. Livingston showed a number of pictures but what stuck out for me was the fact that the tools were in the villagers' hands, not his. Too often our classrooms are equipped with the newest and greatest tool but it never reaches the end user, our students. The first step is getting these new tools in the classrooms, the most important step,however, is to allow the very people that are expected to do the learning have the opportunity to use the learning tool. A lecture using Powerpoint is still a lecture and a math problem written on an interactive whiteboard is a very expensive piece of chalk. If we are going to transform our schools into environments where kids own their learning, then place the tools in the villagers' hands.

Make learning purposeful:
Once positive deviants are heard and the tools are in the hands of the learner, make the learning purposeful. The key to Dr. Livingston's work is how the villagers themselves defined the purpose of the new tools. If Dr. Livingston brought the mobile phones into the villages and limited their use by setting policies on how and when they can use them, then true transformation would not have taken place. It was the villagers' creativity that allowed for true transformation to take place, not Dr. Livingston's experience and knowledge of mobile technology. While his training and knowledge helped, it was his ability to stand back and allow the villagers themselves figure out what purpose do the new tools serve within their community. Education is often prescribed by adults and delivered in one stagnate way. Allowing students to connect a purpose to their learning often serves as a natural motivator for them to be creative and to learn. If we are going to transform our schools into villages with a purpose, then we must allow the villagers to ask, "why are we using these tools and how can they better our education."
These questions should not be answered by teachers or administrators, but rather answered by the students themselves as they experiment with technology and are allowed to define their own purpose.

Three steps - Encourage positive deviance, place the tools in the students' hands, and make learning purposeful. If a remote village in Africa can do it...

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Drive, Dan Pink

What Motivates Us?

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Nov 1-5 WAG

October 31, 2010

Dear BCS Families,

Having a voice can be empowering for people of all ages. BCS firmly believes that by giving our students and their families a voice, we are advocating for a true community school. An environment where all stakeholders have a voice is an environment where true learning occurs.

As principal of BCS, it is both my desire and responsibility to make sure all of you have a voice in framing our vision for the future. I have registered BCS for the Project Tomorrow Speak Up Survey conducted nation wide each year. The survey is created to allow students, staff, and parents to assess the use of technology in schools and will allow us to gauge where we are in comparison to other schools in order to be on the cutting edge. It is essential to gain feedback from our families, and the speak up survey is a great tool to collect the necessary data to move forward.

Please go to http://www.speakup4schools.org/speakup2010/Default.aspx

to access the survey. You will click on the parent tab and use BCS as the secret word. The survey is approximately 25 questions. Our goal is to have every family, parents and students, participate in the survey to give us a clear picture of how we are doing in incorporating technology and what we must focus on in the future. Your results will be included in the nation wide survey but will also be available for us to specifically look at data connected to BCS.

I would like to encourage all of you to participate and thank you in advance for having a voice here at BCS. Our staff and students will be receiving a separate letter to participate. If you have any questions regarding the Speak Up Survey, please contact me at ah07bps@birmingham.k12.mi.us.

Have a great week!



Quotes for the week:

My dear friend, clear your mind of can’t.

-Samuel Johnson

Life is a great big canvas, and you should throw all the paint you can on it

-Danny Kaye

Life is partly what we make it, and partly what it is made by the friends we choose.

-Tennessee Williams

WEEK AT A GLANCE –November 1-5, 2010

(Disclaimer: Please check all your calendars and bcsonline.info in case we missed something)

Monday, November 1

  • 7:45-8:15AM – Medication round-up for 5/6 camp-parents should bring in medications that are required to be administered to their children during camp. If your child has emergency medications on file in the office already, please know that those medications will be going to camp.
  • 7:00PM Webmasters Committee Meeting-Media Center

Tuesday, November 2 – ELECTION DAY

  • Fire Drill
  • 8:20AM - 5/6 leaves for Camp Copeneconic in Fenton-students should meet at the camp busses in front of the school with all their camp gear.
  • 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
  • 7:00PM Board of Education Meeting – Administration Building

Wednesday, November 3

  • POPCORN Day – freshly popped popcorn is sold during choice hour for $1 in the main hallway

Thursday, November 4

  • End of First Quarter
  • 8:45-9:45- Rising Star Performance for 3/4 students - Cafe
  • 12:30-1:15PM Seaholm Leadership Class Partnership Program / G.E.E.K.ed about Leadership
  • 5-6:30PM Proud Dads Co- Ed Flag Football 3-8 @BCS Fields 1,2,3 (not soccer field)
  • 7:00 PM – Friends of Different learners Meeting-Media Center, Curriculum Modification

Friday, November 5- NO SCHOOL – RECORDS DAY

Saturday, November 6

  • 6:00-7:00PM Proud Dads Co- Ed Tennis 3-8 @Birmingham Racket Club

Sunday, November 7

  • Daylight Savings Time ends-set clocks back one hour

Hot Entrée menu for the week: (subject to change, if necessary)

  • Available everyday: Pizza, Hamburgers & Cheeseburger, Chicken Sandwiches, Nachos, Beef Soft Shell Tacos, Freshly made Salads and Sandwiches, Garden Fresh Salad Bar

Monday – Baked Mac & Cheese or Chili Cheese Mac, Steamed Broccoli, Fresh Fruit, BBQ Chicken Pizza

Tuesday – Chicken or Beef Soft Taco, Spanish Rice, Carrots, Vegetarian Pizza

Wednesday – Chicken Fettuccini, Choice of White or Wheat Noodles, Breadstick, Green Beans, Cheese Quesadilla

Thursday – Italian Sub on a Wheat Bun, Side Salad, Fruit Cup, Hawaiian Pizza

Friday – NO SCHOOL


3/4 Swim Schedule: Butzin, Davis, Harvath and Parkin will SWIM from Monday, November 8th through Friday, December 10th. Please send a swimsuit and towel with your child on their PE day.

3/4 GYM Schedule: Burns, Frishman, Seley, and Wallington will be in GYM from Monday, November 8th through Friday, December 10th. Please send tennis shoes in with your child on their PE day.


BCS Conferences are on Wednesday, November 17 from 5-8PM and Thursday, Nov. 18 from 1-4 & 5-8 PM. There is a half-day for students on Thursday. Please watch for future emails regarding conference sign-ups for 3-6 grades. Conferences for 7-8th grades are held in the cafeteria on a first come, first served basis for each teacher. The 7-8 format models the high school conference process. Please disregard the BCS conference times listed in the BPS Family Guide.

You are cordially invited to meet with Mr. Hartley and Special Education Administrators, Ms. Kelly Lovik - Executive Director, and Wendy Albanese - Supervisor. Join us for coffee, meet other parents who have students receiving special education services in our building, and ask questions. This is a great opportunity to network within our building community! The coffee is hosted by BCS in collaboration with Friends of Different Learners.


The BCS Webmasters Committee invites all interested parents to their next meeting on Monday, November 1 at 7pm in the Media Center. We launched our new website at the Blast last spring and we still have lots of new ideas we would like to implement. No experience is necessary to join, just an interest in updating and enhancing our website www.bcsonline.info. We look forward to seeing YOU!


Save the Date! On Saturday, November 20 the Arthritis Foundation will be hosting its 23rd annual Jingle Bell Run. The run will start and finish at BCS. Chris Manchester and BCS Proud Dad'sare working together to get the BCS community involved – their goal is to have 150 members of the BCS community sign-up. To register for the event, go to www.bcsonline.info. If you are interested in helping you can contact David Stone at DSTONE1@US.IBM.COM .

Fall Book Fair Volunteers Needed!!

If you love books and have 2 hours to spare, please contact Shiva Motlagh (shivamotlagh@comcast.net) to volunteer for the upcoming Fall Book Fair! If you have an upper class high school student who needs community service hours, we would welcome their help too! Helping at the Fair is lots of fun and 25% of the proceeds go directly to the Media Center to buy books, ipods, materials, and furnishings!!

2 hour shifts are available during the following times:

  • Monday, November 15 - book fair set up- 8:30 am to 2:00 pm
  • Tuesday, November 16 - student preview times - 8:30 am to 3:00 pm
  • Weds. & Thurs. November 17 & 18 - student preview/public sale - 8:30 am to 8:30 pm
  • Thursday November 18 - book fair pack up - 7:30 pm to 9:00 pm


The 8th Grade Celebration Committee is looking for a Professional Photographer (or Photo Enthusiast) who can take pictures at the various sporting events throughout the year. The pictures will be included in the 8th Grade Celebration DVD. If interested or for questions, please contact Peggy Kassab at peggykassab@gmail.com


The girl’s basketball and the boy’s soccer teams ended a successful Fall athletics season this week. Online registration for the Winter I season of boys basketball and girls swimming is now up and running (http://www.bpsregister.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=2010-11_BCS_ATH_W1). The Winter I season begins officially on November 15th. Please watch the website and emails for upcoming information on try-outs and practices!

BPS Athletic Updates

All BPS parents/guardians are invited to attend the semi-annual ATHLETICS UPDATES on Tuesday, November 9 from 7-9PM at Berkshire Middle School. Tom Flynn, athletic director at Groves and Aaron Flynn, athletic director at Seaholm, will discuss the following topics: fall sports review, winter sports review, and the work of the athletic advisory board. There will be time for Q’s & A’s.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

How to ...-Provided by Mrs. Wilkie

Audacity Page - http://howto.wikis.birmingham.k12.mi.us/Audacity
How to download and install Audacity on Windows computers - DownloadInstallAudacityWindows.mov

Flip Page - http://howto.wikis.birmingham.k12.mi.us/Flip+Video+Cameras
How to save/export withe new FlipShare software - Flipshare.mov

Miscellaneous Page - http://howto.wikis.birmingham.k12.mi.us/Miscellaneous
Access From Home
How to access your H:drive and T:drive from home - RemoteAccess.mov

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Monday, October 11, 2010

Friday, October 8, 2010

Action Research at BCS

I hope everyone is enjoying their day off!

The BCS staff (along with some Berkshire teachers) are in an all day workshop with Dr. Craig Mertler. Dr. Mertler is the author of several articles and the book Action Research: Teachers as Researchers in the Classroom

Dr. Mertler wil be assisting BCS staff throughout the year.
He is a professor at The University of West Georgia and continues to be a pioneer in school improvement.

Have a great weekend.


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Alan November Workshop

At a workshop with Alan November today.

He is discussing how education has moved from the one room school house with older students helping younger students (student controlled) to a teacher controlled classroom.

We need to give the power back to the student!!!!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

What is a Wiki?

What is a Blog?

Monday, September 20, 2010

Mr. Manchester is G.E.E.K.ed

Mr. Manchester, new 3-8 P.E. Teacher is G.E.E.K.ed about the upcoming school year.
He describes a game he uses in his classes to work on problem solving, collaboration and communication!

Mission Impossible

Objective- Students will be able to work together as a group to accomplish the task of getting to the other side of the gym without touching the floor.

Materials Needed- Large mats, 2-4 scooters, 2-4 towels, Mission Impossible theme music

Lesson Steps-

1. The teacher will put students into groups of 7-10 on the baseline of the gym. The students will be instructed to get their team to the other side of the gym without touching the floor. At this time there is no equipment out, so the students think that it is IMPOSSIBLE.
2. The teacher will then get some mats out and place apart so that students cannot just jump to them. Then ask them if they can get across the gym without touching the floor using the mats. They will try and jump and see that they cannot do it with just mats.
3. The teacher will then get out one scooter for each team (students should already know scooter rules). Then get out the towels and show them how to scoot using the towels.
4. Then play the music and let the students figure out how to get everyone across the gym without touching the floor. The first team getting the whole team across wins.
5. The teacher must make sure students are playing with integrity. The students will accidentally touch the floor with hands and feet and not realize it, so the teacher will enforce the rules. If a student makes it across the gym and into the safe zone than they must stay there. They cannot keep going back and forth.

Variation- Students may not talk during the game. This helps to work on nonverbal communication and the students really enjoy that aspect. If during the game they get caught talking the whole team must start over from the beginning.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Patriot Week

Patriot Week is September 11th - September 17th
Constitution Day is September 17th-

Our students will be participating in a variety of activities.

Here are a few links to visit

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Great First Week!

What a week!
Our G.E.E.K.ed students did a great job this week. Our theme this year, G.E.E.K.ed about Learning, paints a picture of untethered learning for our students. Its important that we continue to give our students (and families) opportunities to learn in an environment that is not defined by walls, desks, and other restrictions.

Global Education Engaging Kids means our students will be empowered to own their education and drive how they learn this year. Thank you to all of our families for a great first week. I look forward to seeing all of you at Curriculum Night!


Thursday, September 2, 2010

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Report: Reinvent schools for digital age

Report: Reinvent schools for digital age

BCS Community

As September nears I would like to tell you how excited I am to begin my 2nd year at BCS. It has been a pleasure getting to know you and your children.

Our 7-8 Language Arts/Social Studies and 3-4 teachers will be participating in the districts ignite workshops throughout the year.

This will provide them the professional development and opportunities needed to collaborate with other teachers across the district and plan technology rich lessons.

BCS will continue to grow in ways that challenge the status quo in education today.

I have attached an article that relates to our work here at BCS.

Please feel free to leave comments regarding your thoughts on the article.

Enjoy the rest of the summer!

Survey: Educators aren’t discussing STEM careers with students

Survey: Educators aren’t discussing STEM careers with students

Friday, July 16, 2010

ignite Presents at BLC10

ignite, BPS' 21st century district wide initiative, presented yesterday at the BLC (November Learning Conference). The facilitators did a great job showing that Birmingham is on the right track in transforming our schools into relevant, progressive places of learning.

Sara Wilkie and Ann Lewellyn are show in the picture. They are both BCS staff members!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

BLC10- Keynote Speakers

I am at the November Learning Conference in Boston, MA. There are 8 BCS teachers here along with new Asst. Principal, Patricia Chinn. The sessions have been informative and we have all been able to meet educators from around the globe!
Here are the keynote speakers for the conference.

Dr. MItchel ResnIck http://web.media.mit.edu/~mres/

Adora SvItak http://www.adorasvitak.com/

Dr. MIchael Wesch http://mediatedcultures.net/ksudigg/?author=1

RIchard Halkett http://grad.berkeley.edu/spotlight/halkett.shtml

Rahaf Harfoush http://www.thelavinagency.com/speaker-rahaf-harfoush-2.html

Moving forward...going global!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

BCS- 11th on MI top 100 schools list! A Message from Dr. Larson

Dear BCS Staff, Students and Families,

Congratulations BCS for being one of the top thirty scoring schools on the Michigan Department of Education’s Top 100 Schools List. This acknowledgement takes into account test scores, school improvement work and academic achievement. While all of our BPS schools made the top 100 schools list, BCS led the way for us with a 99.65% score! BCS students, staff and families deserve recognition for your hard work, your commitment to excellence and your unwavering pride in the BCS way. On behalf of the Board of Education, I want to thank each of you for your commitment to educational success.

David F. Larson, Ed.D.
Birmingham Public Schools
550 W. Merrill St.
Birmingham, MI 48009
Phone: (248) 203-3004
Fax: (248) 203-3007

Every student . . . .Every advantage

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Welcome Patricia Chinn

Patricia Chinn has been named BCS Assistant Principal for the 2010-2011 school year. I, along with the BCS staff, would like to welcome Patricia to this amazing school!
Mrs. Chinn is excited to work with the BCS students and their families in the fall!

Growth Mindset Links

Here are a few links about having a growth mindset. Failure=success...it just depends on your mindset!





Sunday, June 13, 2010

June 14-18 WAG

June 13, 2010

Dear BCS Families,

I am writing the WAG for the last time this year and wish all of you a great summer! I would like to thank everyone for embracing my leadership and making me feel welcomed here at BCS. I am excited about what the 2010-2011 school year will bring and look forward to working with all of you to provide the quality education BCS is known for.
Last Thursday, I had the opportunity to address the incoming 3rd grade parents at our move up day program. That same day, I helped send our 8th grade students off to high school at the end of the year ceremony. What an amazing day!
I was able to see firsthand how BCS allows a child to grow both educationally and socially for six years under the same roof. This rare opportunity allows our students to build relationships with one another, and the teaching staff, that may not occur in a traditional setting. Those relationships begin on move up day, when the third graders visit their homeroom teachers, and are fostered throughout the six years our students are here. Thursday night it was evident that the six years spent together were meaningful and fruitful for our students. It was nice to see how the move up day experience eventually leads to an 8th grade graduation!
Speaking at the 8th grade graduation was an opportunity for me to talk about a topic that we all have known in some way or another, Transitions.
Transition is defined as the passage from one state, subject, or place to another. It is a word that is often associated with change and change is many times connected to feelings of anxiousness or concern. The message I gave to the 8th graders and the message I would like to end with this year’s WAG is this…
Whether you are going through a transition that is natural (losing a loved one or moving from one grade to another), forced (losing a job and having to start a new career), or chosen (taking on a new position or transferring from a college), make sure to embrace the change and learn from it. This will make you stronger and will benefit everyone around you more than you know!
BCS has had its share of transitions, and we will continue to embrace the changes that are natural, forced, and chosen!
Have a great summer!
WEEK AT A GLANCE – JUNE 14 – JUNE 18, 2010
(Disclaimer: Please check all your calendars and bcsonline.info in case we missed something)

Monday, June 14
• 8:00-8:15AM – Yearbook orders taken in front of the Media Center, cost is $35. Yearbooks will be distributed in homeroom on Wednesday.
• E-bugle published today!
• 9:15AM – 3/4 Room Parents Meeting

Tuesday, June 15
• 8:00-8:15AM – Yearbook orders taken in front of the Media Center, cost is $35. Yearbooks will be distributed in homeroom on Wednesday.
• 3/4 Eng. Tech. Ambulance Project Presentation and Distribution in the Media Center
o 1:35-2:20 Davis & Seley
o 2:25-3:10 Parkin & Wallington
• 6:30 – 8:00PM Technology Committee Meeting - Media Center
• 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, June 16
• 8:00-8:15AM – Yearbook orders taken in front of the Media Center, cost is $35.
• Yearbooks are distributed in homeroom
• LOCKER CLEAN-OUT DAY – Please send in a sturdy garbage bag with your student to carry locker items home. All items left in lockers after today will be disposed of
• GYM LOCKERS – all gym lockers should be cleaned out today. All remaining locks will be cut-off on Thursday and contents will be disposed of
• 3/4 Eng. Tech. Ambulance Project Presentation and Distribution in the Media Center
o 1:35-2:20 Butzin & Frishman
o 2:25-3:10 Burns & Harvath
• There is no popcorn sold today
• Choice Hour- annual student vs staff volleyball game in the gym

Thursday, June 17
• 7:00AM – Busses leave for 7/8 end of the year trip to Cedar Point. Please arrive at 8:30PM to pick up your child.
• 5/6 end of year party to Skateworld & Thunderbird Lanes
• 3/4 end of year party at BCS

Friday, June 18 – LAST DAY OF SCHOOL
• HALF DAY OF SCHOOL – Dismissal is now at 11:20PM. PLEASE NOTE THAT THE DISMISSAL TIME HAS BEEN CHANGED TO 11:20. Busses are provided at the early dismissal time.
• There is NO lunch service today.

Friday, June 25
• Report Cards mailed home today

Hot Entrée menu for the week: (subject to change, if necessary)
- Available everyday: Salad Bar, Hamburgers, Chicken Patties, Pizza & Cheese Breadsticks

Monday –Baked chicken sticks, diced potatoes, broccoli
Tuesday –Baked popcorn chicken, rice
Wednesday – Grilled chicken pitas, chips
Thursday – End-of year celebrations – no cafeteria lunch provided
Friday – Half day of school, no cafeteria lunch provided

Congratulations to Sara Wilkie and Pauline Roberts who were both honored as nominees for the Birmingham Education Association's 2009-2010 Teacher of the Year Award at the annual BEA Awards Ceremony on Thursday June 3. Sara is an !gnite program facilitator and 3/4 Educational Technology teacher and Pauline is a 5/6 Math and Science teacher and Green School Coordinator. Both Sara and Pauline have worked in many different capacities this year with students, staff, and parents. Congratulations to Sara and Pauline on their recognition!

All student medication must be picked up by a parent no later than 3PM, JUNE 21. Non-emergency medications can be picked up any day during the last week of school. Student medication or forms do NOT carry over into the next school year. ALL medications not picked up will be discarded on Tuesday, June 22

Could you please remind your children that Monday June 14th is the last day to return student reference books, calculators, geotemplates, and textboooks. Fine slips will be issued after this date.

Many students have outstanding book fines that need to be paid before the end of the school year. In some cases, students will be asked to pay fines before departing on the end of the year field trip. Please check with your student to see if any of their teachers have issued a book fine.

The 3/4 EOY Party is June 17th from 10am to 2pm. This full day of fun will include swimming, games, crafts, lunch, ice cream, and a performance by Animal Magic. Children should wear sneakers and bring their pool gear. Little Caesars cheese pizza will be served (if preferred, children may bring their own bag lunch). See you there!

Volunteers in the office are vital as they assume the position of receptionist at BCS. The office is the center of much activity and, as a volunteer, you will have the privilege to assist students, parents, staff and visitors. Current volunteers have indicated that working in the office has provided the best opportunity to really get to know how things work at BCS. If you have time available on a weekly basis, bi-weekly basis, or other basis, please contact Cindy Balicki at cbalicki@aol.com or 248.644.5062. Also, Office volunteer sheets can be downloaded from the BCS website.

As this school year winds down, we are looking ahead to the next school year!!! Please mark your calendars for the Back-To-School registration dates….and remember, every student should be registered before school starts next year! We need lots of volunteers to ensure our registration is successful and the office starts the next school year well prepared for your children. Would you please look at the dates below and sign-up to help as often as your schedule allows? We really do need you. BCS 7th and 8th graders or high school students that are BCS alums are welcome to volunteer for community service hours credit, IF they are scheduled in advance.

If you can help during any of these times, please contact Linda Weitzel (248-865-7279, jeffnlinda@hotmail.com). Please put BCS Registration on the subject line.
August 3rd (Tuesday) - 10 am to 2 pm
August 16th (Monday) - 10 am to 2 pm
August 18th (Wednesday) - 9 am to noon or 5 pm to 7 pm
August 19th (Thursday) - 9 am to noon
August 25th (Wednesday) - 9 am to noon or 5 pm to 7 pm
August 26th (Thursday) - 9 am to noon

Come out for the 14th annual Birmingham Education Foundation Golf Scramble on June 22, 2010 at the lovely Wabeek Country Club. We are starting earlier this year with registration at 9:00 a.m. and a shotgun start at 10:00 a.m. To learn more about the event visit http://www.supportbef.org/golf-scramble.html . A registration form is also attached to this email. We really appreciate all your help in the past, and we hope to have another successful fundraiser this year. The proceeds from the outing will go directly back into the classroom to support our staff and students.

Summer Birmingham United JV Hockey!!! Keep your skills and skates sharp this Summer!!! When: Starting June 21, 2010. Where: Orchard Lake St. Marys. Who: Any returning BU JV Players and any Groves and Seaholm players that are interested. This includes incoming freshman. We can have between 20-30 Players. Coach: JV Coach John Chateau. Teams: We will be in a Summer League with at least six teams. Games: 8-10 Games only, no practice. Cost: $200.00 per player. Please email Wally Haley whaley@haleylawfirm.com or call 810 423-0911 by June 16 if you are interested.

Boys Tennis Team Tryouts begin on August 11, 2010. Tryouts are mandatory. During the summer, there will be “Captain’s Practices”. Captain’s practices are not mandatory but encouraged. If you are interested in more information regarding Seaholm’s Boy’s Tennis, please contact Graham Gettel (gfgettel@comcast.net) or Brad White (gogreengowhite14@yahoo.com).

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

BCS Students Discuss Peer Pressure

Officer Hoffman, school liaison officer, was here to talk about the pressures our students face each day regarding drugs and alcohol. Officer Hoffman talked about standing up to peer pressure and what the consequences are if you do not. He also talked about how the high school students that make good choices go on to lead successful lives.

The students heard statistics that MOST high school students in both Groves and Seaholm DO NOT participate in illegal activities- however, most kids perceive that many students do.

Thank you Officer Hoffman!

Monday, May 31, 2010

WAG June 1-4

May 31, 2010

Dear BCS community,

I have recently read an article on connecting with our digital learners and what it takes to educate students in a digital world. I read the article through the lens of the instructional leader and found myself asking…
Are we doing enough at BCS to adapt to today’s learner?

Here is an excerpt from the article; the whole article can be read at http://www.edutopia.org/ikid-digital-learner

Teachers in every strata of education are increasingly dealing with a student population that is not only more wired than they are but also grew up in a techno-drenched atmosphere that has trained them to absorb and process information in fundamentally different ways. This generation of students is more likely to be armed with cell phones, laptops, and iPods than with spiral notebooks and No. 2 pencils.
Teachers who once struggled for students' attention mainly against daydreams, passed notes, class clowns, and cross-aisle flirting now also face a formidable array of gadgets and digitized content. Smart schools -- and smart educators -- are scrambling to figure out how to use these same tools and information-distribution techniques to reach and excite young minds. "You have to work with the kind of brains we've got now," says Susan Blackmore, who holds a PhD in psychology from Oxford University and frequently writes and lectures on new technology's effects on consciousness..

As the principal of BCS I see movement and energy surrounding this very subject. I observe lessons, participate in discussions, and see firsthand how our students are empowered and engaged on a daily basis. Technology, whether it is provided by the district or brought in by the students themselves, is used in many effective ways to enhance learning. A big part of meeting the needs of our students is allowing our teachers and students to take risks and to possess something that continues to be missing in many schools, autonomy

If we are to build an environment where today’s’ learners can experiment with the tools they are accustomed to, we must allow for autonomy. We cannot expect growth among our students unless they themselves have a say in how they learn, or what they learn with. Instead of giving our students all of the answers, we need to guide the students to search for responses to their own questions by helping them research, identify, and sort through information.

The BCS staff continues to strive for a climate of collaboration to support our changed role as educators for today’s learner. Daily conferences with team partners allow our teachers to encourage each other to make changes and try new things. Because our teachers stay with our students for two years, they do not use the same ideas with the class and are always coming up with new projects. Autonomy is not an option. Our students, and our teachers, need to have the freedom to learn with new tools, utilize the best technology that is out there, and learn from each other.

Are we doing enough? I believe that as long as we are allowing for students and teachers to have the autonomy to use new tools, utilize the technology in a variety of ways, and to learn from one another, we are certainly moving forward. We will never reach a point to where we can say we have done enough, but if we can say that we are working vigorously to keep up with our students’ interest…that is half the battle!

Finish Strong,

WEEK AT A GLANCE – MAY 31 – JUNE 4, 2010
(Disclaimer: Please check all your calendars and bcsonline.info in case we missed something)

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

Monday, May 31
• No School – Memorial Day

Tuesday, June 1
• Forensics Team audition sign-up outside Room 407
• 8th grade students who have not picked up their T-shirt – please stop at the bagel sale to pick it up. Also, please drop off any remaining loose change baggies.
• 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
• 4:10 – 5:00PM – Track Practice for student attending the Oakland County Meet
• 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, June 2
• DEADLINE: RSVP due to Joe Neal (joe@tandyengineering.com) for BCS golf outing on June 9
• Forensics Team audition sign-up outside Room 407
• Popcorn Day – freshly popped popcorn is sold during choice hour for $1 in the main hallway.
• 3-4PM-Market Day pick-up in the entrance hall
• 3: 20 – 4:05PM – Track Practice during choice hour – BRING UNIFORMS
• 5:30-6:30PM – Proud Dads Golf for 3rd – 8th grade- Royal Oak Driving Range at 13 Mile Rd & Coolidge
• 7:00PM – 5th & 6th grade SPRING BAND CONCERT – BCS Cafeteria - band members arrive no later than 6:30 in concert attire (no blue jeans, athletic shoes or tee shirts)

Thursday, June 3
• Forensics Team audition sign-up outside Room 407
• All ART ALIVE canvases and pieces of art should be picked up by students today and tomorrow
• 8:15 – 9:30AM – 8th Grade Farewell Celebration Planning Meeting-media center
• 1:30 PM – Students leave for Oakland County Track meet at Clarkston High School
• 7:30PM – BCS ORCHESTRA SPRING CONCERT – BCS Cafeteria – guest appearance by the 8th grade band at 7:50PM.
• 7 PM – Friends of Different Learners Meeting – “Wrap Up – Planning Meeting, Board Elections for 2010-2011” in the BCS Media Center

Friday, June 4
• All ART ALIVE canvases and pieces of art should be picked up by students today
• DUE: Permission slip and payment for the 8th grade field trip to Thunderbird Lanes on June 10. Permission slips can be downloaded from www.bcsonline.info
• 3:30 - ?? Forensic Team Auditions – please be prompt for your appointment time

Hot Entrée menu for the week: (subject to change, if necessary)
- Available everyday: Salad Bar, Hamburgers, Chicken Patties, Pizza & Cheese Breadsticks
Monday – No School
Tuesday – Beef Hot Dog or Chili Dog, carrots w/ dip
Wednesday – Spaghetti – w/ or w/o meat sauce, garlic bread
Thursday – Pasta primavera w/chicken, steamed broccoli
Friday – Breakfast for Lunch OR Chicken sliders, fresh fruit

Move-Up Night for parents is June 8, 2010 in the Media Center. Parents of students in 4th grade going to 5th grade will be from 6:30pm-7:15pm and parents of students in 6th grade going to 7th grade will be from 8:00pm-8:45pm. Please plan to attend and learn more about these transitions.

The parent portal of POWERSCHOOL will be available until July 5, 2010. On July 6, 2010, the portal will be closed until parents receive notification that it has re-opened.

The 5th & 6th grade bands will perform their spring concert on Wednesday evening, June 2nd in the BCS cafeteria. The performance will begin at 7:00pm. The 7th & 8th grade bands will perform their spring concert on Wednesday, June 9 in the BCS cafeteria. The starting time for the 7th & 8th grade band performance is 7:00pm. The 8th grade band members will also be making a guest appearance with the BCS orchestra on Thursday, June 3 at 7:30 pm. Specific details for the 8th grade performance with the orchestra have been sent home with the 8th grade band members.

During Move-Up Day on June 10, the eighth graders will go bowling tot Thunderbird Lanes with Mr. Johansson and Mrs. Kelmigian. For your convenience, the flyer was emailed on May 28. You may also download the flyer from www.bcsonline.info . Please return permission slip and $12.50 (payable to BCS) to Mrs. Reepmeyer in the main office by Friday, June 4. We would also welcome a few parent volunteers for this fun outing! Please indicate your interest on the permission slip.

Please remember to RSVP for the BBQ lunch on Wacky Recess Day, Friday, June 11. The cafeteria will not be open on this day as the staff will be helping the Proud Dads serve food at the BBQ. Download the flyer at www.bcsnline.info and send it, with payment, into the office just as soon as you can. Also, if you are able to volunteer to help at the BBQ, please contact Dawn Walton at dawnanderic@sbcglobal.net .

Can you believe it's already time to be thinking about Move Up Day? On June 10th, the incoming 3rd graders will be visiting BCS and meeting their new teachers and classmates. In order to make this a great experience, the BCS Community Connections Committee is looking for your help. We need eight volunteers to assist with check-in, the scavenger hunt, and dismissal from 8:00 to 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, June 10th. To volunteer, please contact Becky Bachand at dbachand@comcast.net or 248.593.8234. Thanks!

The Pulse newspaper staff at BCS has once again received awards in the statewide Michigan Interscholastic Press Association newspaper contest. Congratulations to the students and staff advisor, Michelle Snyder!
Here are the honorees:
• 7th grader Adam Dabaldo = third place in the Alternative Story Form category for “BCS Students and Their Music Players”
• 8th grader Alena Farooq = honorable mention in the Alternative Story Form category for “Ask Alvin” advice column AND honorable mention in the In-Depth Feature category for “Seeing in Believing”
• 8th grader Alexander Breeden = honorable mention in the Sports Feature Story category for “Instant Replay in Baseball”
• 8th grader Melissa Shiner = honorable mention in the Bylined Opinion Article for “Sparkle’s Tips for a Fun and Safe Summer!”
• 8th grader Claire Erwin = 2nd place in the Advertising Layout category for her popcorn sale advertisement
• The entire staff = 2nd place in the Front Page/Newspaper Style category for the front page of the December issue

The 2010-2011 Forensics Team auditions will be Friday, June 4th. Students must have taken at least one marking period of the Forensics I choice hour to audition.

Students auditioning may choose to audition in either of the following categories: Prose, Poetry, Storytelling, D.I., Sales, Oratory, and Informative. Sales, Informative, and Oratory must be original pieces written by the students, all other categories may NOT be written by the student. Those auditioning with Sales or Informative may use visual aids.

ALL PIECES MUST BE BETWEEN 3-5 MINUTES AND MUST BE MEMORIZED. Individual preparation and memorization are big components of being on the team and will be a factor in deciding who makes the team.

Students will sign up the week of June 4th outside Mrs. Schultz’s room (Room 407) for an audition time. Audition times will begin at 3:30 (however, times from 3:30-4:00 are reserved for those students who are currently in the Forensics I Choice Hour). Please arrive on time for your audition. Students will wait in Room 407 and be able to practice in there until it is their time to audition, in which case they will then be ushered into the Media Center by a helper. Auditions will be closed, meaning that only the team coach (Liz Schultz) and a guest judge will be watching. The guest judge has no affiliation with BCS, thereby being totally neutral and judging on performance criteria. The guest judge has toured nationally in shows, went to college in New York for performance, and has Forensic experience…he is very qualified. Once students are done with their audition they are to leave BCS…they are done for the evening.

The new members of the team will be posted outside classroom 407 on Mon, June 7th before school begins.

Students may be nervous, but please try to calm their fears as much as possible. There are a limited number of spots on the team, however everyone has a fair chance and I am excited to see all auditions! If you have any questions, please email me (Liz Schultz) at es02bps@birmingham.k12.mi.us . Thank you.

As this school year winds down, we are looking ahead to the next school year!!! Please mark your calendars for the Back-To-School registration dates….and remember, every student should be registered before school starts next year! We need lots of volunteers to ensure our registration is successful and the office starts the next school year well prepared for your children. Would you please look at the dates below and sign-up to help as often as your schedule allows? We really do need you. BCS 7th and 8th graders or high school students that are BCS alums are welcome to volunteer for community service hours credit, IF they are scheduled in advance.

If you can help during any of these times, please contact Linda Weitzel (248-865-7279, jeffnlinda@hotmail.com). Please put BCS Registration on the subject line.

August 3rd (Tuesday) - 10 am to 2 pm
August 16th (Monday) - 10 am to 2 pm
August 18th (Wednesday) - 9 am to noon or 5 pm to 7 pm
August 19th (Thursday) - 9 am to noon
August 25th (Wednesday) - 9 am to noon or 5 pm to 7 pm
August 26th (Thursday) - 9 am to noon

Tryouts for next year’s football cheer team will be held on Tuesday, June 8th from 6-7 PM at Seaholm High School. If you’ve never cheered before or want to sharpen your skills before tryouts, please attend one or both of the pre-tryout instructional days listed below:
Tuesday, June 1st – 5:00-6:30 PM OR Wednesday, June 2nd – 6:00-7:30 PM
For more information about the cheer team and tryouts, please contact Coach Szura at js44bps@birmingham.k12.mi.us . Go Maples!