Sunday, May 22, 2011

WAG May 23-27

May 22, 2011

Dear BCS Community,

I read an article today on how a local elementary classroom recently took a field trip to a one room school house. The article, titled "Old Fashioned for the Day" was intended to point out how cool the experience was for the students and how exciting it was for the owners to share the history of what school "used" to be like. The quotes by both students and adults pointed to the clothing, the outside plumbing, and other structural changes that were noticeable in the turn of the century school building. The author also wrote about how if you were a student in the 1800's and early 1900's you had to follow the rules; stay quiet, stay on task, get to school on time, no cheating and keep your desk neat and clean. The director of the school told a story of how the boys used to take the girls hair and dip it in the ink well. Aside from the history lessons of how family life was in the 19th century, the author shares that kids had a few school lessons, ate lunch at their desks, and were able to go out to have recess and take a drink from the water pump. After thinking about how cute the article was and reminiscing of my days as a teacher (I took my class to Crossroads Village School House in Flint) it occurred to me that this article is sending a message I am sure the author did not intend to send. Though not an intentional message, an important one.
Looking beyond the structural changes of schools; size, material, design, inside plumbing...and the change in clothing styles, I could not see any changes in how many of our children in America are educated. The clear message here was after over 150 years of educating every child in our great country, nothing has really changed. The author points out the rules (listed above) of what kids used to follow. Unless I am missing something, these rules are still intact. I know as much as the next principal these rules are sometimes tested by students (and adults) but I have a hard time believing there was not a student or two back in 1865 that didn't drive the teacher crazy!
The change in learning tools that the author discusses is really not a change at all. On the surface it may look like a change when students grab a slate and piece of chalk and write their answers down, but is that really different than what many of our students do now? Whether it is a slate, a piece of paper, or a lap top, the learning can be the same. My hope as an educator, and as a parent, is I read an article like this in twenty years to find that there have been indeed real changes in how kids "used" to be taught. These changes will include various new tools, how schools are designed, and possibly a new rule or two. I am hoping, however, when I am sitting on my porch on a beautiful Sunday afternoon in the year 2031, I read about these changes:

Students used to rely on textbooks and teacher knowledge to receive facts about various subjects and landmarks. Students now seek information themselves through research on the internet, connecting with experts in various fields and archive their findings for others to use. Their time on the computer is not to learn facts but to use the facts already available to them to connect disciplines and make meaning of the world around them.

Teachers used to stand in front of the class, write on promethean boards, and show examples of math or science problems. Teachers now place students in groups, give them a math or science problem that is thought to be too hard for their age level; and given the task to complete the problem together. The teacher is there to ask the questions not to answer them. The teacher gives the students full control of the technology to share their challenges, successes, and problem solving steps.

What was once run by textbook companies and legislators, the curriculum is designed for each individual student and is fluid in order to match the students' needs and abilities. There is no ceiling and there are no walls that hold a student from moving beyond the grade level or expected achievement that once served as strict boundaries.

Students once praised for their ability to memorize facts are now celebrated for their ability to think through issues, collaborate with peers, and connect their ideas to better global inequalities. What was once a system of knowledge is now a system of learning and thinking.

These changes are already present in a small group of classrooms, schools and even districts. Twenty years seems like a long time but in the big scheme of things it will be here before we know it. We are fortunate to be in a district that can see the changes coming and to be a part of a school that continues to lead these changes each and every day.

and who knows...maybe one of our BCS alumni will be the one writing the article!

G.E.E.K.ed about not being "old fashioned",


WEEK AT A GLANCE – May 23-27, 2011
(Disclaimer: Please check all your calendars and in case we missed something)
To submit an item for next week’s “WAG”, email MIDNIGHT THURSDAY
Monday, May 23


6:45-8:00AM – 6th – 8th Boys and Girls Track Practice

4:00PM – 7th-8th Grade Girls Soccer Covington v DERBY- AWAY
Tuesday, May 24

6:45-8:00AM – 6th – 8th Boys and Girls Track Practice

8-8:20AM – Bagel sale in front of the media center by the 8th grade celebration committee

8:30-11 AM -Gleaners Field trip-Seley/Davis

4:05-6:00PM – 7th-8th Grade Girls Soccer Practice.

7-8:30PM Town Hall Meeting for Parents/Guardians in the Media Center
Wednesday, May 25

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

4:00PM – 7th-8th Grade Girls Soccer Covington v Berkshire @ HOME

4:15PM – 6th – 8th Boys and Girls Track Meet @ GROVES (HOME) Covington v Berkshire

6:30-8:30PM Activities Fair for incoming freshmen in the Seaholm gym
Thursday, May 26

Market Day Orders Due

6:45-8:00AM – 6th – 8th Boys and Girls Track Practice

8-9:30AM Parent Appreciation Breakfast-Media Center-Please attend and let us show you how we appreciate our Families for making BCS a great place to be

8:30-11 AM- Gleaners Field trip-Butzin/Frishman

4:05-6:00PM – 7th-8th Grade Girls Soccer Practice.

7PM –PTSA Committee Transitions Meeting
Friday, May 27

Trash Free Friday

6:45-8:00AM – 6th – 8th Boys and Girls Track Practice-NO PRACTICE MON DUE TO THE HOLIDAY

12:25-8th grade girls interested in Maple Motion for the Fall are invited to a pizza/info lunch in the cafeteria

4:05-6:00PM – 7th-8th Grade Girls Soccer Practice.

Hot Entrée menu for the week: (subject to change, if necessary)
Available everyday: Pizza, Hamburger & Cheeseburger, Chicken Sandwiches, Nachos, Beef Soft Shell Tacos, Freshly Made Salads & Sandwiches, Garden Fresh Salad Bar
Monday –Baked Chicken Nuggets, Baked Potato Rounds, Steamed Corn, Mexican Pizza
Tuesday –Roast Beef Grinder, Scalloped Potatoes, Coleslaw, Cheese Quesadilla
Wednesday –General Tso’s Chicken with Steamed Rice, Fresh Baked White Roll, Honey Glazed Carrots, Supreme Pizza
Thursday – French Bread Pizza, Small Fresh Garden Salad, Fresh Fruit Cup, Zesty Beef Burrito
Friday –Meatballs & Gravy, Tossed Noodles, Steamed Green Beans, Meat Lover’s Pizza

Warm weather is here and so are the summer clothes! Please remember that we have guidelines for our students when it comes to dress code and we will be reminding them of our expectations of dressing appropriately. If a student is in violation of the dress code, a staff member may ask them to contact a parent to bring up a change of clothing. Thank you for helping us maintain the integrity and respect that BCS has always known!
Two dress code violations that are often brought to our attention by staff here at BCS are shorts and tank tops. Shorts should be as long as your child’s fingertips when their arms are at their side and spaghetti strap tank tops are not permitted. Undergarments should not be visible at all. Hats are not allowed to be worn within the school building except for special occasions such as hat day. Thank you again for your support and help in this matter!

IMPORTANT REMINDER Please ensure that your student has and USES a lock on their GYM locker and that all valuables are secured there or in their SCHOOL locker. Some students have lost valuable items. Locking them is the best protection for everyone

3/4 SWIM Schedule. Burns, Frishman, Seley and Wallington will SWIM from Monday, May 23rd through Friday, June 17th
3/4 GYM Schedule. Butzin, Davis, Harvath and Parkin will be in the GYM from Monday, May 23rd through Friday, June 17th.
Parents and Guardians are encouraged to attend a Town Hall meeting where Adam Hartley will provide additional open forum to answer questions and address concerns regarding the issue of teacher absences. The Town Hall meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, 5/24, from 7-8PM at BCS.
Congratulations to Luke T and Joseph C for their participation in the Birmingham Optimist Club 20th Annual Larry Raymond Oratorical Program where they gave a speech on “My Future is Bright Because…”
We would like to take a moment to thank Jennifer Thompson and Chef Shawn Thompson for all of their hard work with helping the traffic flow in the parking lots! A reminder for all parents that the area next to the EAST Parking lotbetween the Covington Road entrance and Quarton is a NO PARKING zone . Please use the parking lots and do not park here for drop off/pick up.
We are looking for volunteers to help with Move Up Day taking place on Thursday, June 9th. This is a wonderful way to greet and welcome our incoming 3rd graders and their families. We are looking for a commitment to help from 8:15 - 10:45 a.m. Volunteer responsibilities will include helping with check-in and a fun scavenger hunt activity. Please contact Becky Bachand at if you can help. Thanks so much.
BCS could not exist without the incredible support of the BCS community. Please allow us to show you howgrateful we are by attending the Parent Appreciation breakfast on Thursday, May 26
The 5th & 6th grade bands will perform their spring concert on Wednesday evening, June 1st in the BCS cafeteria. The performance will begin at 7:00pm. The 7th & 8th grade bands will perform their spring concert on Wednesday, June 8th 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 2 at 7:30 pm. Specific details for the 8th grade performance with the orchestra will be sent to parents as the concert date gets closer.
For the rest of the year, the 7/8 Spirit Committee will be making fleece tie blankets to donate to Project Linus. Please help our effort by donating FLEECE, FLEECE BLANKET KITS or a NEW HANDMADE BLANKET made by a student, parent or someone you know to the blue bins by the office.
All blanket styles are welcome, including quilts, tied comforters, fleece blankets, crocheted or knitted afghans, and receiving blankets in child-friendly colors. Always remember that blankets must be homemade, washable, free of pins, and come from smoke-free environments due to allergy reasons. (Project Linus donates blankets to children, infants through teens. Many sizes are appropriate depending on chapter need. For example, blankets could be as small as 36" X 36." The majority of Project Linus blankets are about 40" X 60", or what is called “crib size.”)The mission of Project Linus is to provide love, a sense of security, warmth and comfort to children who are seriously ill, traumatized, or otherwise in need through the gifts of new, handmade blankets and afghans, lovingly created by volunteer "blanketeers."This company and its volunteers and supporters have distributed over three million blankets to children in need since our inception in 1995.Please visit www. for more information, blanket patterns, to learn more about this organization, etc. (The FAQs page is very helpful

The thinking Green Team has two main aims for the remainder of the year:
1) Bottle Cap Mural
We are hoping to complete our mural before the year is out and we need help!!If you have any left over latex paint please send it in so we can use it to paint the background-any amount can be put to good use, the brighter the better! On June 6th we will be inviting all the students to come and screw the lids onto the mural. We really need adult volunteers to supervise so if you can join us for an hour or two during that day please email Mrs Roberts
We will also need battery powered drills, if you would like to loan us your drill for the day please label it with your name and homeroom teacher so we can return it to you ASAP! Thank you helping us with this “Flip Your Lid “event.
2) Jeans Gone Green!!
Jeans Gone Green is a Michigan Company that upcycles jeans to create sandals and bags .Any material they don’t use gets donated to Habitats for Humanity to be shredded and used for insulation. Jeans Gone Green have agreed to give a donation to school for any jeans we can collect so as we move into the season for shorts please consider donating your outgrown, ripped or torn jeans to our collection-the bin is outside the main office.
Thanks again for your support of all our Green efforts and for helping us to achieve Evergreen Status for the second year running as part of the Michigan Green Schools Initiative!!

On Friday,May 27th, ,members of the Maple Motion will host a pizza lunch and info session for all interested 8thgraders. The Seaholm High School Dance Team 'Maple Motion' will be holding tryouts for the 2011-12 football and basketball seasons the week of 5/31.
Routine instruction and practice will take place on May 31st 4-6p, June 1st 5-7p and June 2nd 5-7p. Tryouts will conclude on Friday June 3rd with scheduled performances beginning at 6p. All practices will be held on the Seaholm Dance Floor inside the Fitness Center. Questions? Contact Maple Motion Dance Coach Tracy Yamin

The Seaholm Flex Program is hosting a Holocaust Rememberance Conference on Thursday, 5/26 from 8:00 AM-2:30 PM in the Seaholm Auditorium and the G Hallway. You are invited to join the Flex Program as they remember those who suffered the Holocaust. For more information, please visit the flex program’s wiki: All are welcome!

Living Life Online is a 16-page student supplement designed to reinforce citizenship skills that keep student safe online and off. As the introduction to students states, "Parents and teachers often talk about helping you stay safe, online and off. They try to teach you to think critically about what you see and hear, and make sure you have the skills you need to succeed in the 21st century. But the truth is that being a good citizen these days requires the same skills it always has: being honest and respectful of others, and treating other people the way you want to be treated. So whether you are texting or talking, posting photos or playing games, this guide has information to reinforce those citizenship skills that work online and off." Click here to download the Living Life Online (PDF).
Here are other technology safety supplements:
Cyberbullying Prevention (PDF) (IWB)
Created in partnership with the National Crime Prevention Council, this supplement provides tips for students, parents, and teachers on how to prevent and deal with Cyberbulling online, in school, and in the community.
Get Wise About Wireless: Be Safe, Be Courteous (PDF) (IWB)
Created in partnership with the national Crime Prevention Council and The Wireless Foundation, This supplement educates kids and their families about the importance of cell phone safety and responsible use and how to deal with issues like cell-bullying.

Birmingham Bloomfield Community Coalition (BBCC)

Parents have more influence over their child than friends, music, TV, the Internet and celebrities. Kids who learn a lot about the risks of drugs and alcohol from their parents are up to 50% less likely to use than those who do not. To learn more about how to help your teen stay safe and make healthy choices click on

Check out the May 12th edition of “Keeping Our Youth Safe & Substance Free” Newsletter featuring Middle School Transition Program, Parents Who Host, Movie Nights and more. Click on

Tips for Hosting Substance-Free Parties for Tweens & Teens. Parties are supposed to be fun and still can be. In the lead article from the newsletter “Parents Are Hero’s,” it suggests parents plan the party with their teens, clearly and plainly explaining all expectations, including consequences for breaking the rules (The fundamental rule is no alcohol or drug use by anyone). Tips include not allowing anyone to bring in their own beverages to not allowing guests to leave the party and return. More tips can be found at . Also, “A Family Guide for Teen Parties” offers tips if you are hosting a party or if your teen is attending a party. To access the guide, just click on these links and

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