Sunday, February 27, 2011

Feb 28-March 4 WAG

February 27, 2011

Dear BCS Community,

I hope your week was filled with learning opportunities! Having been following the school schedule most my life as a student, a teacher, and now a principal, it is easy to fall into a routine that includes weekends and week long breaks set aside for no deep thinking or learning. We often look at learning as only occurring in the classroom from Monday through Friday. While we certainly take advantage of the time our students spend in school, I encourage all of us to remove the lines we have drawn over the years that establishes clear boundaries between “school” and the rest of the world. Weekends and breaks can provide many opportunities for our students (and for us) to learn new things and stretch our brains in ways it has never been stretched before.

I posted a statistic on my blog a few weeks ago showing the amount of hours the average child is spending in front of a screen. This includes television, video games and computer screens. Learning can occur in front of a screen and there are many valuable opportunities in screen activities such as watching videos or gaming. It’s important, however, to have a balance of learning experiences in our life.

While many of us took a break from “school” I hope we did not take a break from learning. Many of you shared with me that you were taking advantage of the time off and doing things such as visiting a museum or hitting the slopes to ski. Whatever the activity, I hope you found time to embrace the opportunity to learn something new. Research tells us that we learn in a variety of ways. Gardner (1991) tells us there are seven ways in which we learn:

Linguistic: Children with this kind of intelligence enjoy writing, reading, telling stories or doing crossword puzzles.

Logical-Mathematical: Children with lots of logical intelligence are interested in patterns, categories and relationships. They are drawn to arithmetic problems, strategy games and experiments.

Bodily-Kinesthetic: These kids process knowledge through bodily sensations. They are often athletic, dancers or good at crafts such as sewing or woodworking.

Spatial: These children think in images and pictures. They may be fascinated with mazes or jigsaw puzzles, or spend free time drawing, building with Legos or daydreaming.

Musical: Musical children are always singing or drumming to themselves. They are usually quite aware of sounds others may miss. These kids are often discriminating listeners.

Interpersonal: Children who are leaders among their peers, who are good at communicating and who seem to understand others’ feelings and motives possess interpersonal intelligence.

Intrapersonal: These children may be shy. They are very aware of their own feelings and are self-motivated.

The BCS staff will continue to work together in order to provide opportunities for our students to use all seven of the intelligences whether they are in front of a screen or not! The BCS team welcomes you back to school, but we hope you never took a break from learning!

G.E.E.K.ed about learning (with and without a screen),


*Gardner, Howard. The Unschooled Mind: How Children Think and How Schools Should Teach (New York: Basic Books, 1991)

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WEEK AT A GLANCE –February 28 - March 4, 2011

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

Monday, February 28 – Classes Resume from Mid Winter Recess

  • 6:45-8:00AM 8th Grade Girls Volleyball Practice
  • 3:15-5:30PM - Boys swim team practice
  • 4:15-5:30PM 7th Grade Girls Volleyball Practice
  • Articles for E-Bugle Due

Tuesday, March 1

  • 6:35-8:00 AM Boys Swim 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
  • 3:30-8:30PM MAKE UP DATE IF NECESSARY- SNOW CLUB bus leaves for Pine Knob. Students return to BCS at 8:30PM and need to be picked up
  • 4:00PM Covington 7th Grade Girls Volleyball vs Berkshire Silver @ Berkshire Silver
  • 5:00PM Covington 8th Grade Girls Volleyball vs Berkshire Silver @ Berkshire Silver
  • 7 PM Board of Education Meeting at the Administration Building

Wednesday, March 2

  • 6:45-8:00AM 8th Grade Girls Volleyball Practice
  • Market Day Orders to be Picked Up
  • POPCORN Day – freshly popped popcorn is sold during choice hour for $1 in the main hallway
  • 4:15-5:30PM 7th Grade Girls Volleyball Practice
  • 4:15PM – BCS Boys Swim vs. Berkshire at Home
  • 7 PM Web Team Meeting in the Media Center

Thursday, March 3

  • 6:35-8:00 AM Boys Swim Practice
  • 4:00PM Covington 7th Grade Girls volleyball vs. Cranbrook MS @ Covington
  • 5:00PM Covington 8th Grade Girls Volleyball vs. Cranbrook MS @ Covington
  • 6:30-8:00PM – 3rd-8th Grade Proud Dad’s Co-Ed Baseball
  • 7:00 PM – Friends of Different learners Meeting-Media Center, Social Skills Presentation

Friday, March 4

  • 6:35-8:00 AM Boys Swim Practice
  • Trash Free Friday
  • 4:00PM Covington 7th Grade Girls Volleyball vs. West Hills Middle School @ Covington
  • 5:00PM Covington 8th Grade Girls Volleyball vs. West Hills Middle School @ Covington
  • 6:30-9:00 PM 7/8 Dance –So You Think You CAN Dance

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

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

Monday –Grilled Hot Dog/Beef Chili Dog, seasoned fries, Fresh fruit cup, BBQ Chicken Pizza

Tuesday – Texas Grilled Cheese or Grilled Ham and Cheese, Chicken Noodle Soup, Caesar Salad, Nacho Supreme

Wednesday – Hot Turkey or Philly Sub, Pasta Salad, Buttered Carrots, Hawaiian Pizza

Thursday – Whole Wheat Spaghetti w/Marinara or Meat Sauce, warm breadstick, steamed Greenbeans, Chicken Enchilada

Friday –Egg, Ham & Cheese Biscuit,baked Home Fries, Fresh Fruit cup ,Chicken Fajita Pizza


Dear BCS Families -
THANK YOU for "giving from the heart" -- together we collected close to 1,100 food items in the "Surf's Up for Healthy Snacks" Food Drive! We appreciate all BCS families and staff members who brought in food for the children of Detroit City Mission and helped to make the food drive a success! BCS parents, teachers and staff delivered the food yesterday to this wonderful and incredibly grateful grass-roots organization. City Mission will be using the food immediately for breakfast and lunches. Video footage (a kind of "virtual tour" of City Mission) was taken to help show our own kids the impact their giving will make for City Mission youth. They will be able to view this when we come back from break! Thank you!!!
The 3/4 Room Parents


On Saturday, February 12th, BCS competed in the Oakland Chapter Mathcounts Competition. The BCS Team got 8th place out of 18 schools.

The following students participated in this competition: Bogdan M., Noah S., James R., Adam S., Will E., Maximilian C.. The kids worked hard and did a fantastic job in this very competitive Mathcounts program. Adam Hartley and Coach Marius Manga are very proud of these math competitors!

So You Think You CAN Dance

The 7/8 Spirit Committee is hosting a “So you think you CAN dance” dance on Friday March 4 , $ 5 at the door.

DJ, Dancing Subway, snacks and drinks.

A donation of 2 cans/boxes of food equals a $ 1 discount off the ticket price.

A donation of 4 cans/boxes(or more) of food equals a $ 2 discount off the ticket price.

All donated food will be donated to Gleaners Food Bank.


Most Valuable Male Night (MVM) is Friday, March 11, 2011 from 6:30-8:30pm at BCS!!

Don't miss the fun!! Bring your MVM or other significant adult for a night of movies, trivia, prizes and yummy food! RSVP to and you are IN!! Pay at the door only. $6.00 per person for loads of fun and treats!



3/4 Engage is in need of Legos for our next project! We have some very specific pieces that we need, and if you have any of these that you no longer need at home, we’d be glad to put them to use. See the attached list for the pieces we need. Donations can be given to Mrs. Truesdell in the Media Center. Thank you


If you love books and have 2 hours to spare, please contact Shiva Motlagh ( to volunteer for the upcoming Spring Book Fair!

If you have an upper class high school student who needs community service hours, we would welcome their help too!

2 hour shifts are available during the following times:

Monday, March 21 - book fair set up - please e-mail Shiva at for the hours

Tuesday, March 22 - student preview times - 8:30 am to 3:00 pm

Weds. & Thurs. March 23 & 24 - student preview/public sale - 8:30 am to 8:30 pm

Thursday March 24 - book fair pack up - 7:30 pm to 9:00 pm


The BCS PTSA is looking for volunteers to coordinate a BCS Box Tops effort and to manage our existing Market Day program for the 2011-2012 school year. Without parent participation, we will be unable to support these programs next year. If you (or someone you know) are interested in getting involved and willing to offer your fellow BCS parents a service that generates revenue for our school, please contact Gina Herdegen or Marnie Lewbel, PTSA Co-Chairs, at Thank you!

Purchase Your “Geeked To Eat” Dining Cards today!

By purchasing a “Geeked to Eat” Discount Dining Card for only $15 you will not only be supporting our own BCS graduating students but you will also be saving yourself 25% off your total food bill at participating restaurants when used Monday thru Thursday .Promotion runs through March 15-there is still time to buy.


Attention all BCS families, the BLAST PRIZE ROOM needs you to CLEAN OUT YOUR CLOSETS!!
We are currently looking for any unopened games and gadgets, toys or trinkets that you would like to get rid of for our Blast Prize room. Maybe you have a stash of never opened toys or "just in case" gifts or gift cards taking up way too much space in your closet. What a great way to do some house cleaning! Kids will be able to "purchase" these items in the Prize room with the tickets they win at the Blast.

Just bring it to the big box outside the office starting this Monday Feb 7 and we will collect and distribute to the Blast prize room. Anything we do not use will be delivered to a local children's charity. The Blast carnival committee thanks you.


Auction Parties! - New for 2011

Get your friends together and decide what kind of party you would like to host, how much you each want to spend

and how many people can participate.

Design a party theme… see ideas below… and write up the party on an auction donation form.

Auction Parties have a fixed price for each winner, so there is no bidding necessary. All winners will be contacted by the host(s) either by invitation or by phone with further details of the party.

Party Ideas for Adults

Party Ideas for Children

· Ladies Luncheon and Spa Day

· Men’s Texas Hold 'Em

· Parent Golf Outing

· Men’s Night Out (sporting event, rent the BCS gym for basketball or volleyball night, etc.)

· Ladies’ Shop 'Til You Drop @ Birch Run

· Mexican Fiesta or an Italian Feast

· Kids Night Out (Wii bowling, X-Box tournament, etc.)

· Summer Pool Party

· Day at CJ Barrymore’s

· Roller Skating Party at Bonaventure Roller Rink

The idea here is to have fun! Use your imagination! The list is endless!

Thanks to everyone who has contributed to the Blast prize room by cleaning out their closets, we are getting some great prizes!

Please be on the lookout for the volunteer sign up sheets from your room parents. There are a lot of fun games and activities to sign up for!

Thanks for your continued support,

Karen Best and Ken Gilbert

Friends of Different Learners Meeting-Social Skills

Thursday, March 3, 2011 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.

Rebecca Lepak and her team of Speech and Language Pathologists have trained extensively in Feuerstein, Theory of Mind, and Winner's Social Thinking™. They will provide an insightful overview on social skill development and how these programs can improve a child’s social functioning. Small breakout sessions will help participants learn hands on approaches for using these concepts at home and school. Rebecca Lepak is the founder and director of Total Communication, Lepak and Associates P.C.

Parent Advisory Committee- PAC

RTI and Special Education Services

Open Meeting-March 8, 2011 9:30-11:30

BCS Staff Development Room

RTI or Response/Responsiveness to Intervention is a systematic way of determining individual student needs and engaging the necessary supports to meet those needs. This process should be seamless and the individual needs of students should be met through differentiated instruction in the classroom, intensive small group instruction or through special education services for those students whose unique educational needs cannot be met solely through general education classroom instruction. A student with an IEP who may be receiving special education services for a reading disability can also participate in the RTI process for math. The underlying theme of RTI is continuous monitoring of student progress and analyzing student response to specific interventional methods. RTI was part of the Reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Act in 2004 and may look differently depending on the school district. Birmingham Public Schools in conjunction with the BPS Special Education PAC will explore this topic in greater detail in their annual Open Meeting on March 2011. This discussion will include Case Studies and participants from different school buildings and or grade levels. The Open Meeting will be held at BCS in the Staff Development Room on March 8, 2011 from 9:30 – 11:30 AM. All are welcome.

Below is a link for anyone interested in gaining additional information about Response to Intervention. It is a great resource to review prior to attending the Open Meeting.


Birmingham Girls Softball registration is NOW for grades 2-8. Applications are due February 14th, and evaluations begin March 6th, and March 13th. Also, we NEED COACHES!! For more information on email: or visit our website at


The Birmingham Education Foundation's annual garage sale will be held Saturday, April 16 at Berkshire Middle School from 9 am to 3 pm, with early entry at 8 am for $1. Proceeds benefit programs throughout the school district.
Donation drop off at Berkshire:
Thursday, April 14 from 4 to 8 pm
Friday, April 15 from 10 am to 7 pm
Donations appreciated:
Clothing, furniture, toys, books, sports and exercise equipment, electronics, small appliance, pet, garden, and household items.
Tax forms available.
Questions or to volunteer please contact Jane Polan at 248 626-2231 or

Covington Technology Celebration (CTC)

Thursday, May 19th, 2011.

The Covington Technology Celebration is an opportunity to showcase the work of BCS students in all of the subject areas. Exhibits can reflect work done in class or as a special project. Past and present projects or displays are welcome from competitions, groups or individuals. There is no judging of “entries”, as this is not a traditional Science Fair. We want to see all types of 21st century learning and problem solving. Get ready for the CTC! More info to come...

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