Sunday, January 2, 2011

WAG: Lessons from the Great Wall!

January 2, 2011

Dear BCS Community,

There are many things I could write about in this first W.A.G. of 2011. There are of course resolutions to discuss, past events to reflect on, and future goals that we must reach together. All of these topics are important to communicate on as we begin the new year. I have decided to start the new year out, however, with a quick lesson I learned walking the Great Wall of China last month. This lesson will help us with our resolutions and will help us achieve anything we set our mind to in 2011 and beyond. I hope you find this mini lesson to be inspiring and motivating as you begin your new year! Happy New Year and may 2011 bring you many successes!

Lessons from the Great Wall:

  1. Take one step at a time
  2. Look forward but don’t forget to look back
  3. Do not climb alone
  4. Never stop climbing

Take one step at a time

I was eager to climb the wall and had it in my mind that I would climb and go further than anyone in my group. I started with a jog and skipped a few steps on the way up. It wasn't long before I was out of breath and ready to take a rest. I looked back and saw my group taking pictures, talking with others, and spending quality time taking in the scenery. While I wanted to make it to the top first, I realized I had missed the most important things about the climb. Sometimes in life we need to take one step at a time. Life is an uphill climb, slow down, enjoy the scenery and make sure to enjoy the journey as much as the destination.

Look forward but don't forget to look back

Always look forward while walking the wall and set your sights on a certain tower or curve in the wall that you want to reach. Just as in life, setting goals and taking steps to reach those goals help us to stay focused. We must not forget, however, to take the time to look back and reflect on our past success and our mistakes. My first few minutes on the wall I picked a tower half way up and decided that is where I wanted to make it to before my next break. I started moving quickly over each step climbing like I had been there before. Then out of nowhere I tripped and fell. The steps were a different height. Some were one step high while others were two, three, and even four steps high. I was too busy looking at my goal and didn't see the changes I had to adapt to. Though it was funny to the family walking by (I couldn't understand what they were saying in Chinese but their laughter said enough!) I quickly learned from my mistake. Moving forward, I would not only look ahead to my goal, but I would always be aware of any barriers or challenges that were in front of my goal. By looking back, we become wiser and stronger.

Do not climb alone.

After my first five minutes of climbing alone I figured I would wait for the group. Yes, they moved a little slower, and yes I may have given up on my quest to be first to the top, but it was worth it! After an hour, we were all tired and ready to turn back. If I were alone I probably would have called it quits and returned to the bottom. Being with the team pushed me to go farther. 2011 will mark a year where all of us are expected to work with people that may not climb as fast as us. We need to be careful, however, to not take their strengths for granted. The people I climbed with may not have been as fast as me walking up the wall, but they provided encouragement, coaching, and knowledge that I needed to be successful. I also realized that I was pushing them to go further and they appreciated what I brought to the team. Whatever your goals are for 2011, don’t do it alone!

Never stop climbing

After over an hour of climbing and reaching one goal after another, I realized...there was no end in sight! For every tower on the wall I reached, there was another. There was no way we were going to reach a place on the wall where we could say, “we have reached the end.” This mindset must be taken as we continue to move forward in life. We should never reach a place where we are satisfied and feel we cannot go any further. My group did turn back, but it doesn't mean we stopped climbing. There will always be bell towers and points in our life we set out to reach. It is important for us to realize that once we reach that destination, there will always be a reason for us to keep climbing.

I am looking forward to climbing with all of you in 2011!

Happy New Years!



WEEK AT A GLANCE –January 3-7, 2011

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

Monday, January 3 – SCHOOL RESUMES

  • 6:45-8:00AM - Boys basketball team practice
  • 3:15PM – Girls Swim Team Picture Day
  • 3:15-5:00PM – Girls swim team practice

Tuesday, January 4

  • 6:35-8AM – Girls swim team practice
  • 7:00-8:00AM – Proud Dad’s 6th Grade Basketball practice
  • 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 Boys basketball game at Cranbrook MS

Wednesday, January 5

  • 6:45AM - Basketball Team Picture Day
  • 6:45-8:00AM - Boys basketball team practice
  • 9:15-10:30AM 5/6 Room Parent Meeting – Media Center
  • 4:30PM – Girls swim meet at Derby
  • Market Day Orders to be Picked Up
  • POPCORN Day – freshly popped popcorn is sold during choice hour for $1 in the main hallway

Thursday, January 6

  • 6:35-8AM – Girls swim team practice
  • 7:00-8:00AM – Proud Dad’s 6th Grade Basketball practice
  • 11:00AM PTSA Management Team meeting-Staff Development
  • 4:00PM Boys basketball game at East Hills
  • 4:15-6:00PM Alice in Wonderland Rehearsals– FULL CAST, Cafeteria
  • 7:00-9:00PM information Session for BCS Enrollment – Media Center

Friday, January 7

  • 6:35-8AM – Girls swim team practice
  • 6:45-8:00AM - Boys basketball team practice
  • Trash Free Friday
  • 8:30AM - BCS Spelling Bee – Media Center
  • DUE: 4:00PM - Choice Hour Selection Sheets for 3rd Quarter classes
  • 7-9PM Forensics Team Showcase – Media Center – everyone is invited to see the Forensics Team perform pieces in various public speaking categories.

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

  • Available everyday: Salad Bar, Hamburgers, Chicken Patties, Pizza & Cheese Breadsticks

Monday – Baked Macaroni &Cheese, Garden Fresh Peas, Dinner Roll, Mexican Pizza

Tuesday –Chicken Parmesan, Glazed Carrots, Dinner Roll, Cheese Quesadilla

Wednesday –Spaghetti with Whole Wheat Noodles and meat or Marinara Sauce, Steamed Broccoli, Baked Breadstick, Supreme Pizza

Thursday – Baked Chicken Drumstick, Au gratin Potatoes, Seasoned Vegetable Medley, Zesty Beef Burrito

Friday –Grilled Chicken or Veggie Caesar Wrap, Pasta Salad, Fresh Fruit Cup, Meat Lover’s Pizza

The BCS Staff thanks all parents, guardians and students for the special treats of food, notes, cards and other gifts that were given to staff members during December. Thank you for your thoughtfulness….we truly appreciate it!


Burns, Frishman, Seley, and Wallington will SWIM through Friday, January 28th. Please send swimsuit and towel in with your child. Butzin, Davis, Harvath, and Parkin will be in the GYM through Friday, January 28th. Please make sure your child has tennis shoes.


We are still missing an iPod Touch from the 5/6 hallway during choice hour classes. If your child has any information about this, please have them contact Mr. Joseph, Mrs. Chinn or Mr. Hartley.


Own the first-ever, student-created BCS decal! Place it on your car, your window, or your locker. The new BCS decal is available for $5.00 and is removable, repositionable, and restickable. To order your decal(s), return the order form (available at along with cash or a check payable to the BCS PTSA on or before January 14th, 2011. Decals will be made available for pick-up in the office beginning January 25th, 2011.


The BCS Halloween Candy Collection has been delivered to Gleaners Food Bank in Pontiac. BCS students donated 149 pounds of candy to Gleaners. Wow, that is an awesome donation. Gleaners thanks the BCS community and a special thank you goes to Becky Bachand for coordinating this effort!


Basketball and Swim seasons are well underway and it is now time to preserve these memories in pictures! Girls swim team pictures will be taken Monday, 1/3, during afterschool practice (3:15 PM). Boys Basketball pictures will be held Wednesday, 1/5, during morning practice (6:45 AM).

We understand how vital creativity is in the development process of the young minds at BCS -- participating in the Reflections fine arts program is a perfect opportunity to let our students express themselves! Which media category is your child most interested in? They can choose to express this year's theme "Together We Can..." through writing/literature, visual arts, musical composition, dance, film, or photography. The BCS entry deadline is Jan 4 & 5, 2011, when we come back from break. Rules for each media category and entry forms are available on the BCS website and in the school office. Remember, this is to be the kids' expressions of the theme, so let them be as simple or involved as they would like. Enjoy!


During January we are collecting gently worn coats, gloves and mittens to donate to the "Warm Coats and Warm Hearts Drive”. Coats need to have working zippers and no stains. We thank you in advance for your help and the bin for collection will be in the main hallway outside the office.

Ongoing collections include Frito Lay chip packets, Capri Sun and Honest Kids juice pouches and empty ink jet print cartridges. The collection bin for these is located in the main entrance in front of the office.

Trash Free Fridays are ongoing and the following tips are helpful for putting together a trash free lunch :

  • 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.

Thanks again for your continued support of our green efforts.

The Green Committee


  • This is just a reminder that high school selection forms were due Friday, December 17, 2010. If you forgot to turn one in for your child please do so as soon as possible. A district high school must be selected before your appointment. The form is available on the BCS website or in the office. Thanks so much.
  • It's time to submit your baby photo (up to age 2) AND a current photo for the 8th Grade Farewell Video! Scanned images are preferred and can be emailed to: . Otherwise, please drop off your photos to the turn-in-basket in the office. PLEASE BE SURE TO PUT YOUR NAME ON THE BACK OF THE PHOTOS SO THAT THEY CAN BE RETURNED. Photos are due January 14 by 4:00. The first homeroom to turn in all photos will win a pizza party for their homeroom!


If you would like to purchase a Proud Parent Ad for the yearbook, the due date is fast approaching! In the past, many of the 8th grade parents have purchased ads to help celebrate their child’s years at BCS. Please check out the information and order form at (under “Parent Resources” then “Yearbook.” ) Act quickly! NO ORDERS ACCEPTED AFTER JANUARY 17!

Choice Hour Information

3rd Quarter Choice Hour selection sheets will be going home the week of January 3rd, 2011. Class offerings can be viewed online at . Choice Hour selections are due no later than Friday January 7th at 4:00PM. Students who do not turn in a selection sheet will not be placed in any Choice Hour classes. Students who do not turn in a selection sheet with payment by the deadline will not be allowed to make a change in their schedule.

Also, please include proper payment if you are signing your child up for a 4th and/or 5th day of Choice Hour. Do not include payment for materials fees or pay to play fees. A separate billing will be made once students have been placed in their Choice Hour classes.

Important information regarding 3rd quarter:

  • Students interested in applying for the BCS Now Choice Hour class need to have their applications to Mr. Joseph no later than Friday January 7th at 4:00PM. The application is included in with the choice hour selection sheet! Please read the instructions very carefully!! This class meets every day but students are not expected to be available every day!
  • 6th, 7th and 8th grade boys interested in participating in the BCS swim team program are encouraged to sign up for the Monday/Wednesday swim team Choice Hour class.

Choice Hour reminders:

  • If your child is going to be absent from Choice Hour for any reason, please call (248-203-4625), send in a note, or email Linda Stone at .
  • Students that do not have Choice Hour on any given day need to be picked up by 3:20 PM.
  • Students that do not have a Choice Hour class and are not picked up by 3:30 PM will be charged a $5.00 fee.

Thank you for always supporting the Choice Hour program!

Robotics Team/Choice Hour

The BCS robotics has been very successful and will continue to be strong throughout 2011! Thank you to all of the parents that have put in their time and effort this year! To better accommodate our families and to recognize the various degrees of participation and experience in the robotic field, we will have both a robotics choice hour and a robotics team. Students can now take the choice hour as a separate class and not participate on the team which involves commitments from the school day. If you are interested in both the choice hour and team, you may participate in both!

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.

No comments:

Post a Comment