Sunday, January 10, 2010

W.A.G. Jan 11-15

January 10, 2010

Dear BCS Families,

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

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

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

Where is the Windspire going?
The Windspire will be placed in the bus turnaround on the west side of
the building. The location was decided on two factors. One, all city ordinances
must be followed (the turbine must be 192 feet back from houses and the road)
and two, the Windspire needs to be in an area free of wind barriers to work
properly. These two factors place the Windspire in the back
parking lot. This will not disrupt games such as basketball, four square or other
activities that our students play during recess. While they will have to play around the structure, there is still plenty of room for them to continue their recess activities. (see attachment)

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

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

When will the Windspire be installed?
Pending board approval, the Windspire will be installed as soon as possible after January 12, 2009 (board meeting). It depends on the schedule of the contractors and whether or not the ground is too frozen. It may be next week or it may go in this spring. I will keep you posted on the timeline.

I would like to thank John Carlos for his efforts throughout this process and the Birmingham School Board, Dr. Larson’s office, Proud Dad’s, and the PTSA for their support. Mr. Carlos will be attending the board meeting on Tuesday to represent Mariah Power and their generous donation.

BCS continues to be a model school for educating our future leaders in the area of clean energy! This is a big step in becoming a school that promotes innovations, big or small, to change the world!

Have a great week!

Click here to see the Windspire in action

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

 To submit an item for next week’s “WAG”, email by FRIDAY 7AM

ALL WEEK: Register for the BCS Lottery for the 2010-2011 School Year at the BPS Administration Building, 550 W. Merrill Street, Birmingham (just east of Southfield Road). Hours to complete a lottery registration card are M-F, 8:00AM – 5:00PM, with extended hours to 7:00PM on Tuesday. Lottery registration cards cannot be completed at BCS. The Public Lottery is January 20, 2010 at BCS-Staff Development Rooms.

Monday, January 11
• 7-8AM – Proud Dads 6th grade boys basketball
• 9:15AM – 3/4 Room Parents Meeting
• 4:00PM – Boys basketball game @ home vs. Bloomfield Hills MS – 7th grade game at 4PM, 8th grade game immediately follows.
• 4:15PM –Girls swim meet vs. Bloomfield Hills Middle School @ Home
• 4:15-5:30PM – Oklahoma! play practice for the full cast

Tuesday, January 12
• 6:35 – 8:00AM –Girls swim practice-7th & 8th graders only
• 6:45-8AM – Boys basketball teams practice
• 7:30-8:00AM - BCS Diversity Committee meeting in Room 505 – All are welcome
• 8-8:20AM – Bagel sale in front of the media center by the 8th grade celebration committee
• All day - Disability Awareness Workshop for 5th & 6th graders in these homerooms: Bishop, Brown, Burdick, Cook
• 8:30 – 9:30AM – Groves Counselors Visit BCS for 8th graders to review 9th grade scheduling
• 9:30 AM – BBFA Meeting – “Raising Young Boys” 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.
• 7 PM – BLAST Committee Meeting-Media Center
• BBFA Meeting – “Adolescent Boys” at the Gary M. Doyle Center

Wednesday, January 13
• 7-8AM – Proud Dads 6th grade boys basketball
• All day - Disability Awareness Workshop for 5th & 6th graders in these homerooms: Fitzgerald, Joseph, Maliszewski, Roberts
• 7th & 8th graders in Janet Kelmegian’s PE class will be swimming today – bring suit & towel
• Popcorn Day – freshly popped popcorn is sold during choice hour for $1 in the main hallway.
• 3:15 – 5:00PM –Girls swim practice-7th & 8th graders only
• 4:00PM – Boys basketball game @ Derby MS – 7th grade game at 4PM, 8th grade game immediately follows. Maps to away games can be found on .
• 4:15-6:00PM – Oklahoma! play practice for the full cast
• 7 PM – Groves Parents Curriculum Night – for parents of 8th graders attending Groves-Auditorium

Thursday, January 14
• 6:35 – 8:00AM –Girls swim practice-7th & 8th graders only
• 6:45-8AM – Boys basketball teams practice
• 7th & 8th graders in Janet Kelmegian’s PE class will be swimming today – bring suit & towel
• 12:30PM – Lunch with the Principal in Staff Development I (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 I-All are invited to learn about the operations of the PTSA at BCS. Bring a friend or meet new friends.
• 7 PM – Friends of Different Learners Meeting – Camp Fair, location TBD

Friday, January 15 - Trash –Free Friday – see comments below
• 6:35 – 8:00AM –Girls swim practice-7th & 8th graders only
• 6:45-8AM – Boys basketball teams practice
• Deadline: Articles for E-Bugle due today

Hot Entrée menu for the week: (subject to change, if necessary)
- Available everyday: Salad Bar, Hamburgers, Chicken Patties, Pizza & Cheese Breadsticks
Monday –Cream Chicken over Biscuit, Mixed Vegetables
Tuesday –Chicken Fajitas, Rice and Corn
Wednesday –Corn Dogs, Sweet Potato Fries, California Blend, Jello
Thursday –Spaghetti, Green Beans and Garlic Bread
Friday –Baked Mac and Cheese or Soup with Breadstick, Green Beans

The Proud Dads will be offering Co-Ed basketball for 3rd-6th grades. The program will start on January 19th. Look for an email flyer during the week of January 11th to sign your student up. The Proud Dads are looking for 4 – 6 dads with basketball experience to assist in coaching. If interested, please email Max Rogers at to let him know. Lending a hand to coach our kids is a great way to continue to make BCS a special place, to meet new people, and to get one of those very cool Under Armor PD shirts!!

Boys Swim Team (grades 6-8) and Girls Volleyball (grades 7-8) are the Winter II sports. Students who want to participate must have all athletic paperwork (including physical evaluation and fee payment) submitted before they can practice.

• Athletic paperwork can be picked up in the front office or downloaded from
• Athletic paperwork and fees can be turned into the front office immediately. It is strongly suggested not to wait until the day before practice starts to turn in paperwork.
• Once all paperwork is complete and the fee is paid, the student will be issued a slip of eligibility, referred to as the “orange slip”. It is the responsibility of the student to give the “orange slip” to the coach at the first practice attended. The slip is essentially an admission ticket to the student’s first practice. The student will not be allowed to practice without an eligibility slip.
• Try-outs for volleyball begin on January 27. 7th grade volleyball coach is Leon Braisted. 8th grade coach is Angela Geisler.
• Swim practices begins on January 27. Swim coaches are Bill Johansson and Mat Brown.

If you have an 8th grader and have not yet turned in the “HIGH SCHOOL SCHEDULING” form, please email the following information to Mary Baughman ( in the counseling office: Your child’s name and the high school he/she will be attending. Additionally, if you are using the open enrollment option for either Seaholm or Groves, please indicate that in the email (ie: We live in the Seaholm feeder pattern, but will be open enrolling our child at Groves High School OR We live in the Groves feeder pattern, but will be open enrolling our child at Seaholm High School.) Please take the time to complete the email as soon as you can as high schools are already planning for next year.

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

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

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

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

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

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