Monday, October 27, 2014

Mr. Malpica Wins Award for Innovation

BCS FabLab Director David Malpica was recently honored for his innovative teaching at the "Cares and Shares" awards ceremony hosted by the Los Altos Community Foundation and Los Altos Courtyard by Marriott, who are generously donating $1000 to our school!

Congratulations, Mr. Malpica!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Intersessions are Underway at BCI!

Seventh and eighth graders started their first round of intersessions, and the excitement from the students is palpable on the BCI campus!  

Intersessions are a unique tenant of the middle school program at BCS -  regular instruction (with the exception of math) is suspended for three weeks, allowing students and staff to take a deep dive into a particular area of study.  

Students participate in three 3-week intersessions during the year, designed to engage students and maximize their learning in a real world environment.
Students plant bamboo at Panda Valley

Here’s a look at what the two grade levels are engaged in these next few weeks:

Seventh Grade: Engineering and Design Challenge
  • Students are tasked with solving a real world problems ranging from how to stop the crows from digging through trash cans near the lunch tables at BCI to designing a landing pod and lunar buggy for space exploration

  • Seventh graders are using the FabLab@BCS and guidance from our FabLab Director David Malpica and FabLab Assistant Nafiisah Renshaw to design, prototype, test and finalize their models


Seventh Grade: Cooking/Woodworking/Sewing
  • Students rotate through three workshop style classes in cooking, woodworking, and sewing,  throughout the day. These classes are led by experts in their respective fields

  • All students complete a finished product by the end of the intersession in each class, and students use these skills again at the end of the year when they put on a performance of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream in which students are responsible for creating everything including the set design (woodworking) and costumes (sewing), and and refreshments (cooking)

Eighth Grade: Civic Responsibility, Animal Enrichment, Organic Gardening
  • Students began by participating in a design thinking challenge to create animal enrichment devices for moon bears - an endangered species in China that are often inhumanely treated and hunted for their body parts

  • Students traveling to China will take these designs to Animals Asia moon bear sanctuary and work with Animals Asia staff to implement them. Students will record the results and use their experiences to increase awareness about moon bears upon their return. They will work collaboratively with the students who studied animal enrichment at Happy Hollow Zoo in San Jose.

  • Students also engaged in learning about organic gardening and sustainable agriculture practices by meeting with various groups in the community, and also taught BCS second graders about organic gardening

  • Students will regenerate the BCI garden with donations from Orchard Supply Hardware to be able to grow organic food to donate to Mountain View CSA
Eighth graders teach BCS second graders about organic gardening

Friday, October 17, 2014

Gaga Ball Pit at BCI!

6th graders learn the rules of Gaga Ball during
Physical Education class at BCI
Our middle school students have jumped right in and already love playing in our newly installed Gaga Ball Pit at the BCI campus.

Many of our middle schoolers had a chance to play Gaga during the class field trip to Walker Creek Outdoor Education camp - and because so many of them came back talking about how much they enjoyed it it, we thought it would be a great addition to our space at BCI.

The game has its roots in dodgeball, though the rules and strategy are quite a bit different.

The Gaga Ball Pit is a great way for our students to get some extra physical activity during the day and recharge during breaks and at lunchtime.

Mr. Stark has taught the rules to all of the students in his Physical Education classes, and he advises a team of middle schoolers who take on leadership roles as student referees to help keep the game safe and fun for everyone.  

Friday, October 3, 2014

BCS Receives Prestigious National Award for Educational Excellence

The U.S Department of Education designated Bullis Charter School a National Blue Ribbon School for the 2013-2014 school year.

For over 30 years, the NBRS Program has been recognizing exemplary schools from across the country in an ongoing effort to illuminate best practices in education. This year, BCS will be one of just 287 public schools throughout the country to receive this very prestigious award. 

This is a tremendous honor for our school that validates the strength of our programs, the dedication of our educators, and the tireless support of our parent community.  We are immensely proud of our teachers and students for this recognition of their hard work and love of learning — together, these bright young minds are helping set a new standard of academic excellence in public education.

BCS students and staff celebrate the National Blue Ribbon award
with a "Blue" Spirit Day!

Congratulations BCS Chess Team!

Please join us in congratulating our BCS Chess Team who won the United States Chess Federation Game 30 National Championship last weekend.  This was the first tournament for several of our players; they were joined by many “veteran” chess players from BCS and the team is lead by Lynn Reed, our MakerSpace Director.  

As a reminder, students who are interested can play chess in the MakerSpace room (Room 34) at lunch with Mrs. Reed on Tuesdays.