Monday, September 5, 2011

Welcome Back- W.A.G. Sept 6-9, 2011

Week At a Glance”
September 6-9, 2011
Welcome back to BCS! It has been a hot and relaxing summer for many of us but the excitement is in the air!  Learning is something we all have in common.  We can all learn, we can all help each other learn, and here at BCS, we are all expected to learn.  There are non-negotiables for our students when it comes to learning.  The Birmingham Public School District has a rigorous and challenging curriculum our teachers are not only expected to teach, but teach well.  There are skills, facts, and procedures BCS students will learn depending on their grade, their abilities, and the time of year.  This happens in every school, within every city in America.  This routine of learning begins after Labor Day and ends sometime in mid to late June.  The team at BCS (which includes you) is determined to continue to be successful within this routine of learning as long as the normal state and local expectations are present.  We continue to maintain an excellent record of student achievement and have been recognized throughout the state as a high performing school.   
We firmly believe, however, BCS has and will continue to be an organization always looking to do things better.  Our students are encouraged to ask questions, challenge the status quo, and connect their learning with the real world.  We place that same high expectation on ouselves and the BCS staff.  We are inviting you to join us this year to begin looking at education through a different lens.  A lens of creativity, customization of learning, and through a global lens that will ultimately break down any walls the normal routines of learning have built to hold our young learners from going beyond what is expected of them.  BCS will continue to lead the way in breaking out of the learning routine called “school”.  Last year, we showed glimpses of transformation as our staff tweaked lessons by incorporating the G.E.E.K.ed (Global Education Engaging Kids) mindset by engaging our learners through purposeful technology integration and global connections.  
We welcome you back to not the routine of learning, but to the BCS hub of learning, where students, staff, and parents will work together to prepare our learners to be leaders in this ever-changing world.
G.E.E.K.ed about Leading,

Adam and Patricia

Please watch this short video on our new parking lot procedures.  It is much different from our parking lot in previous years.  There are two drop off/pick up areas divided by a sidewalk.  One off of Covington Rd. and one off of Quarton Rd.!!
Registration went very smoothly as Nancy Best, Mary Baughman, Jennifer Brown and their team made sure everyone completed the process. BCS is committed to be family friendly and our registration process proves that we have your best interest in mind!  If you have yet to register your child, please see Nancy Best in the front office on the first day of school.
Mr. Burdick and Mrs. Nast continue to work hard on the BCS locker list!  We appreciate how each family has handled the locker issues they may have encountered and thank you in advance for your patience.  Please remind your child that if there is a problem on the first day to please let their homeroom teacher know.
Bus Families:
We will continue making sure that our youngest learners are comfortable at BCS and on the bus.  Bus Families, led by Ms. Sivwright, groups students by their bus numbers and pairs them up with older students that ride the same bus.  Activities such as “Get to know you” will allow for our older learners to become familiar with the younger learners that ride the same bus.  The program continues to help make the first week of school a smooth transition for our 3rd and 4thgrade students. 
The welcome back packet included information regarding allergies at BCS but it is important to reiterate how important it is that we know about the allergies your son or daughter may have.  We are not a nut free school but have taken many precautions so all of our students can feel safe.  BCS does have nut free tables at lunch and we have allowed classrooms to be nut free if they include students with severe nut allergies. If you have a concern, please call or email me so we can work together to assure that your child is safe at BCS.  
Thank You:
Over the course of the summer, when many of us are relaxing and being recharged, there are team members that are here working hard and preparing for the upcoming school year.  I would like to thank the office staff and our custodial staff for making sure our first week will go smoothly.  The building looks great, even though we hosted summer school well into August!  Nancy Best, Mary Baughman, Meli Zakakas and Jennifer Brown have done a great job in preparing for the upcoming year!  
BCS has an amazing group of parents that continue to help make BCS a great place to be.  Thank you for your continued support and the hard work you put into your child’s education.  It is a pleasure to have you on our team!
Reaching our Community:
We are committed to communicate in effective and efficient ways here at BCS.  Please pick one or all communication portals we use to keep up on important information regarding your child’s experience at BCS.
BCS facebook:
Principal’s Blog:
BPS website:
BCS website (created and run by BCS parents!):
*Please remember your child’s teacher will also have websites and blogs to communicate specifically with their families.
WEEK AT A GLANCE –   Week of September 5-9, 2011
(Disclaimer:  Please check all your calendars and in case we missed something)

 To submit an item for next week’s “WAG”, email  by  THURSDAY 11PM

Tuesday, September 6
  • 8-9:30AM - PTSA Welcome Back Coffee for parents in the Media Center
  • The cafeteria is offering full lunch service today.  
  • If you are uncertain which days your child is signed up for choice hour, please check the choice hour board located to the right of the Media Center (300Hall) for his/her choice hour schedule.
  • 7PM Board of Education Meeting at the Administration Bldg.
Wednesday, September 7
  • 9:15-10:15AM 5/6 Room Parent Meeting-Media Center
Thursday, September 8
  • 9AM  Friends of Different Learners-Staff Development Room 
  • 3:15-4:05 Choice Hour-First Cross Country Practice for 6-8th grade students with completed paperwork
  • 6PM 3 /4 Curriculum Night Met and Greet and Refreshments
  • 6:30 PM 3 /4 Teacher Presentations
Friday, September 9
  • We Made it!!
Hot Entrée menu for the week:  (subject to change, if necessary)
-          Available everyday: Salad Bar, Hamburgers, Chicken Patties, Pizza & Cheese Breadsticks
Monday – Labor Day Holiday
Tuesday – Chicken Parmesan,Steamed carrots,Garlic bread,Cheese Quesadilla 
Wednesday – Chicken/Vegggie StirFry,Brown Rice,Oriental Vegetables,Supreme Pizza
Thursday – Baked Chicken Drummies,Au Gratin Potatoes,California Blend, Zesty Beef Burrito
Friday – Bacon Cheeseburger,Oven Roasted Potatoes,Fresh Peas&Carrots,Chicken Fajita Pizza
From the Student Handbook
Can I bring a personal gaming device to school?
A student may possess a personal gaming device (ex. PSP, GameBoy, etc.) in school, on school property, at after school activities and at school-related functions, provided that during school hours the device remains off and located in their locker unless the student has express permission from their teacher or the office to use the device.

Can I bring my laptop to school?
Students are permitted to bring a personal computing device (ex. lap top, netbook, iPad, iPod Touch, etc.) to school for educational purposes.  Students must abide by the acceptable technology use requirements when using a personal computing device on school property.  These devices are not to be used to play games.  These items should be locked in your locker if you are not using them as it is your responsibility to keep track of these items.  BCS cannot be responsible for the loss or damage of such items.
The use of a personal computing device by a student is a privilege, which may be revoked by the school if a student misuses this privilege. 
BCS Allowing Customized Learning Tools.
As we prepare for upcoming learning opportunities here at BCS, we are mindful of the desire to maximize our learning tools in a way that enables our students to best learn and grow in a customized way.  In the spirit of leading the way in technology integration, we would like to approach a model that allows our students to use personal learning devices, that is, to enable every child dedicated access to their own digital device throughout the course of the school day and at home.
A “personal learning device” refers to a laptop computer, ipad, itouch, Microsoft tablet, or other hand-held device that connects to the internet and allows for customization of each child’s learning (calendar, email, connection to classroom wikis, global connections, etc).
This is NOT a requirement but simply an invitation for our learners to use tools they are used to having in their hands as they learn.  This should not be confused with digital tools used strictly for gaming or non school activities.  If you have a question regarding a device or the appropriateness of bringing a lap top or other device to school, please feel free to call your child’s teacher or Principal Adam Hartley.  
BCS Lunchroom- A Place to Interact with Peers!
Please note students will not be allowed to bring gaming devices to the lunchroom this year.  We have found that by allowing these devices, we are limiting our students’ opportunities to interact with one another and use our media center and/or playground.   Personal learning devices within the classroom advocate for customized learning, however, we have found gaming devices (Nintendo DS, PS3, etc...) limits interaction during the short period of time our students are together for lunch.
Our lunchroom aides will have the key responsibility to advocate for character education discussions, physical activity inside and out, and school appropriate play during this time.
We will continue to conduct special game days for special occasions.
PE Information for 3 /4 Team  for  1st  Marking Period
Tuesday, September 6 through Thursday, October 6: 
Harvath and Maliszewski will SWIM. 
Butzin, Frishman, Davis, Seley, Parkin, and Wallington will be in the GYM.
Athletics   Information  
Cross Country
Practices are in the morning for one hour from 7-8 and on Thursdays during Choice Hour.  Friday is optional.  We usually run one meet a week and the races can vary from 1.6-2.8 miles. This year's season starts on September 8th during Choice Hour.
All runners must have an updated physical and the correct paper work completed on-line before any student can participate.  This paperwork can be found on our very own BCS website.   Please e-mail me the name of your child that is interested in joining this rewarding experience.  Your child has the opportunity to be a part of their very first middle school team!!!! 
Let me know if you have any questions.

Coach Angela Geisler
Choice Hour Announcements
The 1st Quarter Choice Hour program is in place for the first day of school.  Choice Hour student selections are posted on the Choice Hour board in the main hallway and in each homeroom. 
The change and refund deadline for QI Choice Hour is Friday September 16th!  Choice Hour class change request forms can be found in the front office!!  All approved QI Choice Hour changes will go into effect on Monday September 19th.   
Questions regarding the Choice Hour program should be directed to Linda Stone at 248-203-4625  Questions regarding Choice Hour schedules should be directed to Jennifer Brown at 248-203-4426 or .
Thank you for supporting the Choice Hour program! 
The BCS Webmasters Committee invites all interested parents to their next meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 14 at 7pm.    No experience is necessary to join, just an interest in updating and enhancing our Please join us in the Media Center.
News from the Joberts Team
Chance S. will be leading a class at the Robot Garage in Birmingham on Saturday Sept 10th from 9am-11am.  It is a free Lego workshop for those who register early.  Chance will demonstrate how he built his special Lego guy.  Kids can build for free, purchase kits or buy what they build.  As you can imagine, he is crazy excited.  Do register if you think its something your kids would enjoy.
Note to BCS/BPS Family and Friends
Comcast has introduced a program called Comcast Internet Essentials.  This offer is for any BPS students receiving free lunches (not reduced lunches) through the National School Lunch Program.  In an effort to bridge the “Digital Divide” it provides:
Home Internet Access for $9.95 per month
An Optional Netbook Computer for $149.00
Free Internet Training – Online, Print

Comcast has launched the program and is now accepting applications.
For more information, see the Comcast website:

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