Sunday, March 14, 2010

WAG March 15-19

March 14, 2010

Dear BCS Families,

Writing the WAG each week has made me think about a number of aspects regarding my position here and hopefully has contributed something to your experience at BCS. I have had many people comment on what is written each week with some agreeing on topics and some challenging what is written. Whether you agree or disagree, I hope we can all come to the conclusion that the WAG is a great way to start the week and be informed of the many exciting events taking place at BCS!
Reflecting on last week and the various meetings I have had with teachers, support staff, parents, and students, it became clear to me that there are many barriers in our lives. These barriers may be a family situation, a lost job, or the uncertainty of what is to come with our states economy. Barriers may also take the form of new challenges, not knowing a certain concept or skill, or simply not having the energy to complete everything we need to accomplish on a daily basis. One thing is certain, we all have barriers!
We all take on our barriers in different ways. Many times, our reactions to barriers will stem from how we were brought up and what guidance we had when we were younger, facing barriers for the first time. We all know people that will quit at the first sign of trouble, we also know people that will jump over any barrier that is placed in front of them. In today’s world, and certainly in the future, there is no question that our children will be faced with many barriers that could deter their growth in education and get in the way of their success. The question is will they quit or will they face the barriers head on? I believe as parents, and educators, we can help them with the skills it takes to jump over any barrier placed in front of them. This includes building in higher order problem solving, opportunities for collaboration, and challenged based learning in our classrooms. BCS will continue to stress these skills and model them throughout the day in order for each student to realize their full potential. Skill will not do it alone, however.
Success is the result of knowledge, skill, and a little luck! The main ingredient though may be old fashioned grit!

In the article (click below to read the full article) The Truth about Grit,
scientist reveal that it is not just intelligence or skill that makes people highly successful, but rather it takes a level of grit to overcome challenges. The author uses Newton as an example. Many of us associate Newton with his discovery of gravity- the apple falling from the tree. What really happened was that Newton overcame many barriers and challenges by working hard and “breaking a sweat”- simply by having grit! Research continues on how might educators teach the skill of grit and what types of lessons we could incorporate ways for students to show grit. After all, “I’d bet that there isn’t a single highly successful person who hasn’t depended on grit,” says Angela Duckworth, a psychologist at the University of Pennsylvania who helped pioneer the study of grit. “Nobody is talented enough to not have to work hard, and that’s what grit allows you to do.”
We all want our kids to be successful and we should all work together to make sure that they have the knowledge, skills, and desire to be successful at whatever it is they want to do. Let’s not forget, however, that it may take old fashioned grit to make it happen. While researchers continue to find ways to teach grit in the classroom, I believe that the most effective way we can teach it to our students is by modeling our grit. The barriers we are faced with are not hidden from our children. They are well aware of the challenges we face and observe how we handle these challenges. It is imperative then that we have grit for our kids’ sake!

Have a great week and show some grit!!

2010 Oakland County
Science Olympiad Results

On Saturday, March 13th, our Middle School Science Olympiad Team competed against 25 schools from Oakland County. We placed 1st overall and earned an invitation to the State Competition at Michigan State University on May 1st.

A BIG Thank you to Tammy Brown and Chris Emmi...

The following students took home medals:

1st Place
• Bio – Process Lab – Natalie Kozak & Lillian Lu
• Dynamic Planet – Hannah Diehl & Will Trask
• Elevated Bridge – Maria Roma & Aaron Levett
• Experimental Design – Natalie Kozak, Maria Roma & Bassel Salka
• Pentathlon – Bryce Owens, Noah Smith, Graham Ross & Aaron Levett
• Solar System – Hannah Diehl & Aaron Levett
• Trajectory – Bogdan Manga & Bryce Owens
• Write-It Do-It – Hannah Diehl & Lillian Lu

2nd Place
• Disease Detective – Natalie Kozak & Maria Roma
• Ecology – Aaron Levett & Lillian Lu
• Wright Stuff – Hannah Diehl & Lillian Lu

3rd Place
• Anatomy – Noah Smith & Bassel Salka
• Can’t Judge a Powder – Hannah Diehl & Will Trask
• Ornithology – Nitin Kumar & Bogdan Manga
• Physical Science Lab – Maria Roma & Bassel Salka
• Road Scholar – Bogdan Manga & Adam Smith

4th Place
• Compute This – Aaron Levett & Lillian Lu
• Junkyard Challenge – Noah Smith & Will Trask

5th Place
• Battery Buggy – Adam Smith & Graham Ross

6th Place
• Science Crime Busters – Nitin Kumar & Shounak Vale
• Shock Value – Nitin Kumar & Shounak Vale

The following students from the Alternate Team took home ribbons:

1st Place
• Battery Buggy – Trevor McMahon & Chandler Roberts
• Physical Science Lab – Maximilian Campbell & Jack Felch
• Trajectory – Jacob Anderson & Michael Kmiec

2nd Place
• Compute This – Michael Kmiec & Chandler Roberts
• Disease Detectives – Michael Kmiec & Chandler Roberts
• Ornithology – Nicole Floyd-Stancil & Alison John
• Shock Value – Chris Kompus & Rohon Roychoudhury
• Wright Stuff – Nicole Floyd-Stancil & Nadia Hakim

3rd Place
• Bio-Process Lab – Maximilian Campbell & Jack Felch
• Dynamic Planet – Nicole Floyd-Stancil & Brianna Williams
• Ecology – Maximilian Campbell & Jack Felch
• Junkyard Challenge – Clark Kingston & Chris Kompus
(Disclaimer: Please check all your calendars and in case we missed something)

Monday, March 15
• BLAST School Spirit – Pajama Day
• 6:45-8:00AM –8th grade Girls Volleyball practice
• 8:30AM-3PM – Joseph & Roberts homerooms- field trip to Upland Hills Ecological Center in Oxford. Lunch is included.
• 3:15 PM Conference sign-up sheets posted outside classrooms for 3rd & 4th grade students
• 4:15 – 5:30 PM – 7th grade Girls Volleyball practice
• 6:30PM–Boys swim team LEAGUE MEET for 7th & 8th graders @ Cranbrook

Tuesday, March 16
• BLAST School Spirit – Hat Day
• 7-8AM – Proud Dads Volleyball for 6th Grade Girls
• 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
• 4:00PM –Girl’s Volleyball game @ Anderson Middle School (Royal Oak school district). 7th grade game begins at 4:00PM and 8th grade game immediately follows.
• 6:30-8:00PM – Proud Dad’s CO-ED Basketball – 3rd-6th grades
• 7 -8:30PM BCS Tech Café in the 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.
• 7:00PM – Seaholm Parent Orientation Night in Seaholm’s Little Theatre - for parents of 8th graders attending Seaholm next year

Wednesday, March 17
• BLAST School Spirit – “Green” or Sports Team Day
• DEADLINE: BLAST order forms and payment are due for all BLAST presale items
• 6:45-8:00AM –8th grade Girls Volleyball practice
• 7 – 8:00 AM–7th grade Girls Volleyball practice
• Popcorn Day – freshly popped popcorn is sold during choice hour for $1 in the main hallway.
• E-Bugle published today!
• 3:15-5:15PM – Boys Swim Team party in the pool & cafeteria

Thursday, March 18
• BLAST School Spirit – Crazy Hair or Toga Day
• 7-8AM – Proud Dads Volleyball for 6th Grade Girls
• 4:00PM –Girl’s Volleyball game vs. Derby @ home. 7th grade game begins at 4:00PM and 8th grade game immediately follows.

Friday, March 19
• BLAST School Spirit – BLAST from the PAST Day- clothes from any past decade
• 2:40PM – 8th grade panoramic photograph – students were given order forms today to take home
• 3:30-5:00PM – BLAST AUCTION Preview in the Media Center-view the Silent Auction items and snatch one of the prized donations early!!
• 4:15 -5:30PM –7th grade Girls Volleyball end of season party and game -player vs. parents

Sunday, March 21
• 3:30-7:30PM – BLAST into the Future! – attend the BCS BLAST Silent Auction and Carnival throughout the entire school. Come prepared to have a real BLAST !!!!!!!
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 Subs-Diced Potatoes, broccoli
Tuesday –Soft Taco or Beef and Cheese Nacho- Corn
Wednesday –Chicken Fajitas- California blend
Thursday – Baked Chicken Rings- Cheesy potatoes, green beans
Friday –Grilled Cheese- Tomato soup

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

Mornings at BCS
BCS will have supervision in the cafeteria beginning at 7:40 a.m. every morning. Please do not drop students off before 7:40 a.m. unless they are participating in activities that are supervised (i.e. sports, teacher tutoring, or non athletic clubs) BCS is committed to providing an opportunity for our students to arrive early but we are also committed to making sure that each student is safe and accounted for. Beginning at 7:40 a.m. students may eat breakfast, work on homework, or chat with friends in the cafeteria. Thank you for your continued support.

Wind Turbine
Tomorrow morning starting at 6:00 a.m. our Windspire will be erected. It will not be functioning by tomorrow, but will be finally up for us to see! If your child rides the bus please prepare them for tomorrow morning just in case we have to deviate from our normal drop off procedures. Depending on the time it takes and the equipment present, we may have the busses drop off at the front of the west parking lot rather than drive around the loop.

Parking Lot
We are making improvements one step at a time…one major area that we need to focus on is dropping off or picking up in the middle lanes. There have been many cases where parents will drive up and have their children run across the first lane in front of cars. I know schedules are busy and the parking lot can be frustrating, but keeping our kids safe should be the number one priority!! Thank you for working together in order to keep our students safe!

3rd and 4th GRADE PARENTS
Starting Monday, March 15 through Thursday, April 15: the following classrooms: Butzin, Harvath, Seley and Wallington, will be attending Swim as their PE. Please be sure to send in a swimsuit and towel with your child.

SPRING SPORTS – Track & Field
Track & Field practice will begin soon for 6th, 7th & 8th grades. Students who want to participate must have all athletic paperwork submitted before they can practice (this includes a physical, necessary forms and payment). If the student has already competed in interscholastic sports this school year, only the athletic form and fee payment are necessary. Please remember that athletic fees must be paid for each sport.

Athletic paperwork can be picked up in the front office or downloaded from and can be turned in starting NOW. Once the paperwork is reviewed by a BCS staff member, the student will be issued a slip of eligibility (referred to as the “orange slip”). This eligibility slip must be presented to the coach at the first practice attended. Students may watch practices until the eligibility slip is presented to the coach. The office encourages paperwork to be submitted early so students are set to go when practice starts.

Attention BCS Families - the BLAST is just one week away! Get ready for great food and great times. We are excited to still offer these wonderful opportunities to our community:
• Corporate Sponsors - donations with a value of $250 - $499 will receive advertisement on the Corporate Sponsor banner to be displayed in the cafeteria during the Blast. Corporate sponsors will be mentioned on the website and is listed in the 2010 auction booklet and on the Blast T-shirt.
*Donations with a value of $500 or more will receive advertisement on the Platinum Corporate Sponsor banner to be prominently displayed in the cafeteria during the Blast and in the school for the remainder of the school year. Platinum Corporate Sponsor receives a one year advertisement on the home page and is listed in the 2010 auction booklet and on the Blast T-shirt.
• Family Patron - $100 gets you valet parking, priority auction checkout, and a t-shirt.
Thank you all for your continued support to BCS and your children! You are awesome!
Your Blast co-chairs, Karen Best & Ken Gilbert.

The BCS Community Connections Committee is looking for volunteers to help with the New Family Ice Cream Social taking place on Friday, April 16. We are looking for volunteers to greet and help scoop ice cream from 11 - 12:30. Please contact Becky Bachand at or 248.593.8234 if you can help. Thanks!

Data is showing that the 3-4 students are throwing away 3 times or more the trash than the other grade levels!

We are in need of a few parents in the cafeteria on Friday to observe and help the children decide what they should throw away.

If you are able to show up for 30 minutes this Friday (from 11:00 - 11:30) or a few Fridays in the next few weeks, please let contact Pauline Roberts at and let her know.

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.

Did you know that over 400 books are currently lost or overdue from the BCS Media Center? We’re willing to bet that many of them are in lockers, book bags, cubbies, and even on home bookshelves. To get them back onto our shelves and make them available for student use, we are happy to announce Library Amnesty Day! On Thursday, April 1st, the last day before spring break, look through your lockers, bags, cubbies, classrooms, or anywhere else library books like to hide. Bring them back to the media center for no-questions-asked, fine-free returns. That’s right! We’ll waive your fines. Plus, while you are in, you might want to check out some great reading material to keep you busy during the week of break. Not sure if you have any overdue books? Stop by the media center to check your account status, or watch your school email account for an overdue notice. The media center will be open at lunch and after school until 4:00pm for your book returning convenience. Any questions can be directed to Miss Samet,

It’s time to do your SPRING cleaning and donate unwanted items to the Birmingham Education Foundation Garage Sale. Remember that the BEF supports education programs at all schools throughout the district. Donations appreciated: Clothing, furniture, toys, books, sports and exercise equipment, electronics, small appliances, pet, garden, and household items…

The garage sale is at @ Berkshire Middle School on Saturday, April 17, 9 am to 3 pm.
Early entry at 8 am for $1, Half price sale at noon, Bag Sale at 1:30.

Drop off you items on Thursday, April 15, 4 to 8 pm or Friday, April 16, 10 am to 7 pm, tax forms available.
Questions or to volunteer please contact Jane Polan, 248 626-2231,

The city of Birmingham is hosting a Passport Fair on Saturday, March 27, 2010 from 10:00 until 2:00 p.m. to provide passport information to U.S. citizens and to accept passport applications. Location is the city of Birmingham clerk’s office. Please use Pierce street entrance. For additional information, please contact the Birmingham clerk’s office at 248-530-1880 or log on to

Football Opportunity at Seaholm
8th graders who are interested in playing football at Seaholm for the Fall 2010 season are invited to attend the Seaholm Football Kick Off Meeting on Sunday, March 28 at 1:00 pm in the Seaholm Cafeteria. For more information, send an email to or call Booster President Craig Frye at 248.790.0049

Visit Principal Adam Hartley’s blog and keep up on what’s happening at BCS!

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