Birmingham City School District

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For the school district in Alabama, see Birmingham City Schools.

Birmingham Public Schools (BPS), formally the Birmingham City School District,[1] is the public school district for Birmingham, Michigan. Beyond Birmingham, the district provides public school services for all areas of the following municipalities: Beverly Hills, Bingham Farms, Franklin and Southfield Township, Michigan; and parts of these municipalities: Bloomfield Hills, Bloomfield Township, Southfield (city), Troy and West Bloomfield Township, Michigan.[2] The current superintendent is Dr. Daniel Nerad.[3]

History[edit]

In 1834, the first "district" school in Birmingham opened. This school was housed in John Hamilton's old log house at Hamilton Road and Old Woodward Ave. Rev. Lemuel M. Partridge served as the teacher. In 1855, the brick "Old Red Schoolhouse" was built at Maple and Southfield roads and served as a school until 1869. The Allen House, part of the Birmingham Historical Museum, now stands where the school was.

Through the 1930s other districts had their own elementary schools and sent paid tuition students to Baldwin High School in the Birmingham district. Throughout the 1940s, other school districts in the area were encouraged by the state to join Birmingham's school district. Southfield joined in 1943, Bloomfield Village in 1946, Franklin in 1945 and Walnut Lake in 1947.[4]

Schools[edit]

Birmingham Public Schools runs eight elementary schools, one 3–8th grade school, two middle schools, two high schools, and one alternative high school. Each elementary school hosts a half day preschool program [5] and the district also runs a preschool program out of Midvale BPS Early Childcare Center.[6]

  • Groves High School
  • Seaholm High School
  • Lincoln Street Alternative school
  • Berkshire Middle School
  • Derby Middle School
  • Birmingham Covington School
  • Beverly Elementary School
  • Bingham Farms Elementary School
  • Pembroke Elementary School
  • Pierce Elementary School
  • West Maple Elementary School
  • Quarton Elementary School
  • Greenfield Elementary School
  • Harlan Elementary School (New building opened 2007, replacing original 1957 building)

Curriculum[edit]

The Birmingham Public Schools Strategic Plan[7] calls for a curriculum which is updated and challenging for all students. Curriculum planning and staff development, incorporating developmentally appropriate practices, occur progressively beginning at the kindergarten level. Students in the district have access to a comprehensive arts program,[8] music education,[9] physical education,[10] health life management classes[11] and world languages.[12]

The experiences and knowledge young children bring to school, combined with their natural curiosity, are the foundations for learning in the primary grades. The BPS program is designed to help develop children's potentials. The emphasis is on learning experiences which help children make connections between existing knowledge and new skills and information. All subject area outcomes are clearly defined, but learning is linked across these subject area boundaries. Classroom experiences are designed to be mutually reinforcing. In this manner, children see the connections between skills learned and their importance in real life.

The district incorporates technology throughout the curriculum beginning in elementary school. All classrooms throughout the district utilize Promethian Boards, a type of interactive whiteboard.

Engage[edit]

At Birmingham Covington School, grades 5–8 experience the Engage program. Engage is a program of 21st Century skills including science, engineering tech, education tech, and communications. It is problem/project based and uses cooperative teams with ongoing documentation and reflection.

!gnite[edit]

In 2009 the district introduced a unique program called !gnite.[13] This program was developed after the success of the Engage program at Birmingham Covington School.

The !gnite initiative strives to create flexible learning environments where the use of technology is a seamless part of the process, ubiquitous in connecting learners to content, each other, and the global community. Students work extensively with digital tools to create podcasts, video casts, still images and mind maps; and use Web-based environments such as Moodle, blogs and wikis to construct, communicate and collaborate across time, space and geographical boundaries.

This project, developed with help from Dr. Punya Mishra and Dr. Matthew Koehler, professors at Michigan State University, includes an intense professional development component centered on maximizing the relationship between technology, course content and teaching practices. !gnite teachers engage in discussions, discourse and activities that stretch the boundaries of traditional learning as they work to design lessons that transform and redefine the role of technology in education.

Character Education[edit]

In 2011, the Character Education Partnership [14] awarded three BPS schools the title of National School of Character. Pierce Elementary School, Bingham Farms Elementary School and Pembroke Elementary School joined Birmingham Covington School, Beverly Elementary School and Greenfield Elementary School as National Schools of Character within the district. As of 2011, the district holds the following Character Education awards:

Number Award
6 National Schools of Character
6 National Schools of Character Finalists
1 National Profiles in Character Winner
2 National Honorable Mention Schools of Character
7 State Schools of Character (2 repeat winners)
40 Promising Practice Awards

Character Education is an integral part of the Birmingham Public Schools community, culture, and curriculum. The district incorporates a program guided by the 11 Principals of Character Education.[15] The principles include the understanding and demonstration of core ethical and performance values in the lives of students, teachers, families, and community members. BPS District traits are Positive Attitude; Honesty and Integrity; Respect & Kindness; and Responsibility & Accountability. Teachers use everyday situations and the core curriculum to expand upon teachable moments for all students. One of the most visible aspects is through district wide, school wide, and classroom community service projects. These core values are imbedded into curriculum, discipline, pedagory, and relationships to create a culture of caring and excellence that is visible in each one of the schools.

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ MICHIGAN SCHOOL DISTRICTS AND INTERMEDIATE SCHOOL DISTRICTS: a map. michigan.gov
  2. ^ [1][dead link]
  3. ^ "Birmingham Public Schools - Central Administration". Birmingham.k12.mi.us. Retrieved 2012-08-15. 
  4. ^ Birmingham Historical Museum & Park; Birmingham School District (2006). Birmingham Historical Museum & Park. 
  5. ^ http://half-day-preschool-programs.birmingham.schoolfusion.us/modules/groups/integrated_home.phtml?&gid=1700182&sessionid=5b2b6392d0346786a9e3751beb1d167b&t=5b644f6675b18e611685eed1d291c427
  6. ^ BPS Early Childhood Center – Index. Ecc.birmingham.schoolfusion.us. Retrieved on 2012-06-06.
  7. ^ Birmingham Public Schools Strategic Plan 2008–2012. birmingham.schoolfusion.us (June 2008)
  8. ^ Birmingham Public Schools – Art Education. Birmingham.schoolfusion.us (2012-05-28). Retrieved on 2012-06-06.
  9. ^ [2][dead link]
  10. ^ [3][dead link]
  11. ^ Birmingham Public Schools – Health Life Management. Birmingham.schoolfusion.us (2012-05-28). Retrieved on 2012-06-06.
  12. ^ [4][dead link]
  13. ^ Welcome To !gnite. birmingham.schoolfusion.us
  14. ^ Character Education Parnership – http://www.character.org
  15. ^ Character Education Partnership (CEP)'s. Eleven Principles of Effective Character Education. opi.mt.gov