Berkshire Middle School

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Absolutely Berkshire

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     Weekly Update

    Week at a Glance:

    Week at a glance

    Greetings Berkshire Families:
    We are continuing to enjoy seeing students, staff, and families positively transitioning to our hybrid learning model.  Although there are always new challenges, it has been great to see everyone acclimating to this learning environment as we all find new opportunities for success.  To make sure that everyone stays up to date on all things Berkshire, please take a moment to carefully read and review the following Berkshire Family Update.

    Have a great weekend!
    Jason Clinkscale
    Berkshire Middle School

    Notes from the Office: ATTENDANCE PROCEDURES
    Please call the attendance line when:

    • Your child is sick and will be absent from school for the day
    • Your child has an appointment and will be tardy to school or missing a few classes
    • Your child is scheduled to be PRESENT in school but will be staying home and attending class VIRTUALLY
    • Please provide a doctor’s note to excuse your student's absence, it can be emailed to, faxed to 248-2034720 or it can be handed into the main office

    Also, please remember that is very important to keep your student home if:

    1. The student is pending a COVID test
    2. A household member is pending a COVID test
    3. A household member is positive with COVID
    4. If the student is symptomatic

    Although we have thankfully not seen this at Berkshire, OCHD is seeing many classmate quarantines occur across the county because of a student attending in person even though they should be staying home (as reasoning mentioned above). Typically, there is a reason that is the driving force in seeking testing. If they are getting tested, all should stay home while results are pending. The OCHD encourages a PCR test for accuracy. 


    8th Grade Virtual Parent Night
    Monday, January 25, 2021
    6:00 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.

    Please click on the following link for details:
    Virtual Parent Night

    Welcome - Susan Smith, Principal and Counseling Overview - Norm Hurns, Department Chair
    Zoom Link for 8th Grade Parent Night - 

    Breakout Sessions will be held- 

    1. 6:30 - 6:50 p.m. 
    2. 6:55 - 7:15 p.m.
    3. 7:20 - 7:40 p.m. 

    Parents will be put into breakout rooms to hear each of the following curriculum presentations:

    • Math and Science courses - Ms. Searle and Mr. Kane
    • English and Social Studies courses - Ms. Reed-Nordwall and Ms. Sheckell
    • World Language, Business, Life Management and Engineering Tech courses - Ms. Snyder and Ms. Arslanian

     7:40 - 8:00 p.m.
    Parents will return to the whole group session for information from administration about athletics, extracurricular activities, the transition to high school, and there will be time for questions. 
    We look forward to meeting you! Welcome Class of 2025! 


    9th Grade Scheduling Timeline

    • 9th grade recommendations will be completed and communicated to the students by Tuesday, January 19, 2021.
    • Groves’ 9th grade scheduling forms will be sent to the students’ Gmail account on Wednesday, January 20, 2021. 
    • Groves’ Counselors will meet with the 8th graders during Language Arts via Zoom on Wednesday, January 20, 2021. 
    • Groves’ 9th Grade Parent Curriculum Night will be held via Zoom on Monday, January 25, 2021.                                                                    
    • 8th graders must enter 9th grade courses into Power School by Wednesday, January 27, 2021.

    *Email your counselor if you need help entering your courses into Power School.                         
    Mrs. Hardeman’s Email Address (A-L):
    Mrs. Battle’s Email Address (M-Z):

    8th Graders Only: We Need 7th Grade ELA Books from Last Year!
    If you still have your mystery novel from seventh grade, please bring it back to school and drop it off to Mrs. Schultz or Mrs. Gacki ASAP. This might be: And Then There Were None, The Westing Game, or Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer.

    Yearbook Survey
    Hello Berkshire Families! We are ready to start selling yearbooks! In order to get a pre-count, your help is greatly appreciated. Please fill out the form by clicking on the link below if you are interested in purchasing a yearbook for the 2021 school year.
    Remember this is just a pre-count. Yearbooks will be sold online starting February 1, 2021 for $40.00 each. This includes shipping and handling. It will be shipped directly to your house in June. More information will be coming soon.

    Winter 2 Sports Update:
    Berkshire families, registration is now open for Boys Swim and Girls Volleyball with both sports starting 1/25. More information (including the registration link) on the offerings can be found on the Berkshire athletics page ( Following are some pertinent details from the coaches:


      • Participants will have to have a physical on file dated on or after April 15 2020. If you have trouble getting on your doctor’s schedule, physicals can be procured on a walk-in basis for $25 at Emcura Immediate Care - 4050 W Maple Rd #101, Bloomfield Hills, MI 48301.
      • If you are unable to obtain a physical that fits within the date parameters, you can fill out a waiver to use an older one from last year, pre-April 15th through the MHSAA.

    Girls Volleyball

      • Just a reminder that the volleyball season for 7th and 8th grade girls begins with tryouts next week. Cohort A tryouts will be Monday and Thursday  (1/25 and 1/28) from 3:25-5:00 pm and Cohort B tryouts will be Tuesday and Friday (1/26 and 1/29) from 3:25-5:00 pm. Any virtual student interested in trying out, please contact Mrs. Lincoln at to be assigned tryout dates and times (to keep the numbers balanced and Covid compliant). All participants must register and pay before attending. The link to do so is:  For more information, please visit the Berkshire Sports page located under the Clubs and Activities tab on the Berkshire Home Page.

    Boys Swimming
    Boys Swim practice will begin Monday 1/25 and your practice times will be dependent on your Cohort. 

    • Early Practice 3:45-4:45 on days you are/would be in person
      • Boys will be in the cafeteria from the end of school to the beginning of practice.
    • Late Practice 4:45-5:45 on days you are/would be remote
      • Please arrive 10 minutes before practice so there is no crossover in the locker room between practices
    • To join the Swim Team’s remind text @swimberk to 81010
    • Coach Kurt’s email:


    9th Grade Scheduling Timeline

    • 9th grade recommendations will be completed and communicated to the students by Tuesday, January 19, 2021.
    • Groves’ 9th grade scheduling forms will be sent to the students’ Gmail account on Wednesday, January 20, 2021. 
    • Groves’ Counselors will meet with the 8th graders during Language Arts via Zoom on Wednesday, January 20, 2021. 
    • Groves’ 9th Grade Parent Curriculum Night will be held via Zoom on Monday, January 25, 2021.                                                                    The Zoom Link and meeting time will be shared next week.   
    • 8th graders must enter 9th grade courses into Power School by Wednesday, January 27, 2021.    

    Email your counselor if you need help entering your courses into Power School.                         
    Mrs. Hardeman’s Email Address (A-L):
    Mrs. Battle’s Email Address (M-Z):

    VARC Update
    With the move to our hybrid schedule, our Virtual Academic Resource Center will continue to be offered on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, during lunch and rec.  You can access VARC through this VARC Zoom Link

    This is a great first stop for academic support! Encourage your child to sign in and touch base with our Berkshire staff. We are so happy to support our Berkshire students!

    VARC updated times:
    Monday – 11:21am-12:58pm
    Wednesday – 11:05-12:40pm
    Friday – 11:21am-12:58pm

    Chess Club
    Attention All 6th Grade Students:

    Interested in developing mental skills like logic, strategic thinking, problem-solving, and planning?  If so,  come join Berkshire’s Chess Club!  Chess Club will begin February 2nd and will run through the month of May.  Whether you are a skilled player who wants to sharpen your skills or a beginner who wants to learn the game-- join Mrs. Konen on Tuesdays during lunch/recreation in Room 111.  Chess boards will be provided for all players. Please bring a nut-free lunch and be a part of the fun.  If you have questions, please email them to   See you soon!

    Final Picture Retake/Make-up day
    If you have not had your picture taken this year or you need a retake we will have the photographers here one more time:

    Thursday, February 11  
    After School from 3:30-5:00
    Berkshire Cafeteria

    Announcing BPS Has Got Talent - Call for Submissions
    Join the Birmingham Education Foundation for our first-ever districtwide virtual talent show!
    Students and staff of BPS are invited to submit a video showing off their talents! A panel of judges will review the entries and on Thursday, March 11 at 7:00 PM, the final show will air! Everyone will have the chance to vote for their favorite videos, and the winner will be awarded not only a prize for themselves but also a grant for their school. There will also be awards for Judges Choice and Most Original. See the attached flyer for additional details, or visit Keep up with the latest about the event on our Facebook Event Page

Daily Schedule

  • Daily Schedule

VL Parent Tips

  • Berkshire families,

    As we continue with virtual learning and now prepare for in-person learning opportunities as well, we have come to recognize the need for parents to have some guidance on how to best support their children at home.  With everything going on these days and the relative stressors that are out there, we understand that time, patience and an understanding of how to help your student can be tough to come by.  As a result, we put together a list of ideas that will help any student be more successful not only during virtual learning, but throughout their education.  We hope that you can find some things here that can add to your parenting “toolbox.”   


    Attendance - Ideas to help:

    Is your student showing up?

    • Check Power School attendance daily. 
    • Contact Ms Borovsky in the front office if you need help with getting onto Power School: Phone: 248-203-4811.
    • Check a couple times during the school day to “catch” them in the act is best.
    • Need Help getting Power School notifications? 

    What to stress to your student:

    • Being present in C3 is as important as their class.  C3 disseminates a variety of information.
    • The importance of being in class on time. Classes are 45 minutes long and many teachers start class ASAP, crucial information and direction is expressed the first 10 minutes of class. 
    • Try to keep your day as “normal” as possible.  Follow a routine. Get up, shower, eat breakfast and be ready to go.  Consistency is the key to success. 
    • Print off a SCHEDULE so students can have it by their work area.  This way they know what time classes start each day.
      This is our current Live/Virtual schedule:


    Nightly have your student walk you through Schoology 

    • What are the assignments?
    • What has been completed?
    • What is left to do?
    • Download the Schoology App using your student’s username and password. (See Directions below)
    • Show me your work!  Have your student share their work with you so you can see their progress.
    • Check in with their teachers to help your student be accountable for their learning.

    As they meet expectations, you can gradually ease up on nightly check-ins and move towards every few days or once a week. Give and take goes a long way with middle schoolers.


    Develop a calendar and a schedule for your student based off what you see in Schoology

    • Record upcoming assessments and assignments.
    • Schedule out work time per assignments/assessments - Not just the due dates.
    • Update it every night and hold students accountable for the deadlines you set.
    • Plan rewards for small and large successes: Middle schoolers collectively are very extrinsically motivated.
    • Figure out what motivates them and set up a detailed system where the rewards are obtainable and happen within a short time frame (ex.  small weekly reward). Start small or maybe focus on one class at a time if the student is really struggling. BE CONSISTENT. 


    Checking Grades:

    • Check Power School as well. Different teachers rely more on PS than Schoology – Reach out to teachers to see which one is best.
    • Check frequently to see your child’s grades and if they are turning assignments in, on time, and complete.
      *You can click the letter grade (or “i” if there is no grade yet for that class) to see all of the assignments for that class.


    Go over zoom etiquette and your expectations

    What are your expectations for their participation in class?

    Questions to ask/consider:

    • Is their camera on?
    • Is their camera and microphone in good working condition? 
      (We are seeing many kids with tech issues, especially with their cameras and microphones).
    • Does their camera show their face or just their forehead?
    • How is their teacher supposed to know if they are engaged or what they are doing?
    • Does their camera show their workspace for applicable classes?
    • Are they sitting at a desk or table instead of lying or sitting in bed?



    SLANT is the best way to get ready to be engaged in class:

    Sit up

    Lean forward

    Ask questions

    Note Take


    Technology Issues

    If you have any issues with technology:

    • Check the Q&A at the bottom of this page
    • Contact Mrs. Garbutt with any issues you might have with technology- most issues can be resolved with a phone call or email
    • Request a District laptop- (limited supply)
      • Please submit an email with your request for a laptop to
      • She will send you a form to fill out.
      • Once she recieves the form back from you, then the laptop will be processed.
      • You will be contacted when the laptop is ready

    *If you are requesting an exchange due to a faulty laptop, please follow the same procedure stated above.

    Contact Berkshire's Tech Support:

    Ms. Garbutt:

    Office #: 248-203-4735


    School Supplies

    Make sure school supplies they will need for each class is on their desk or work space: books, binders, pencils, pens (blue, black, red), paper, highlighters, etc. Once you establish your expectations with your student, check-in with their teachers to hold them accountable.


    Encourage your students to:

    • Reach out to their teacher through e-mail and/or Schoology. Teachers are human.  They understand not feeling good, needing extra time, forgetting to ask a crucial question. Communicating with teachers makes it easier to understand your student’s needs.
    • Students should be encouraged to advocate for themselves and their issues.  Every student has the capability of composing an email or staying after class to ask questions or explain missing work.  Teachers want to help their students and are willing to work with them. Students learn valuable communication skills when advocating for themselves.


    Get Academic Help:


    (Virtual Academic Resource Center) is a great place to get extra help with an assignment, reading comprehension, studying for an upcoming test, or reviewing a math concept.

    We find that once a student comes to VARC once, they are happy to return – so encourage your middle schooler to stop by! We love giving one-on-one support to our wildcats.

    Monday-Friday, from 11:05-11:45 am. Simply have your child join with this VARC zoom link.

    We encourage you to fill out this VARC form. It gives us contact information for you and your child, so that we can follow up and make sure we’ve met their needs.


    Saturday School:

    Time: 9 – 11 am.

    Dates: December: 19 - January: 9, 22, 30 - February: 6, 27 -March: 6, 13, 20 - April: 10, 17, 24 - May: 1, 8, 15, 22.

    Please visit the BPS Saturday School webpage to learn more and we hope to see you in this year’s virtual setting!

    Zoom link:

    Teacher “Office Hours”

    Every teacher is open for one on one help from 11-11:40 am Monday, Tuesday & Thursday every week.



    Reach out for Social/Emotional Help:


    Last Names A-L = Ms. Hardeman: 248-203-4714

    Last Name M-Z = Ms. Battle: 248-203-4711


    Daily check-in question stems – Instead of asking “How was school?” try these questions to gain more information about how your child is doing in school.

    What was the best part about your school day?

    What was the hardest thing you had to do today?

    Did any of your classmates do anything funny?

    Tell me about what you read in class.

    Do you think math [or any subject] is too easy or too hard?

    What did you do for lunch?

    Did you join any clubs?

    Can you show me something you learned (or did) today?

    Comments (-1)
  • Virtual Learning Frequently asked questions:

    ***NOTE: (Both the Schoology and ClassLink App  can only be used with student accounts at this time)


    Q. Can I download the schoology App on my phone or tablet?

    A. Yes you can-

    • Find the App in your app Store and  download it to your device
    • Open the App

    • Schoology App
    • In the search bar type in Birmingham Public Schools- Beverly Hills MI (Searching for Berkshire does not work because the Schoology account is associated with Birmingham Public Schools)
    • Select it - This should take you to the logon Window
    • Put in your computer credentials to login to Schoology
    • You should now be connected to your Schoology App!


    Q. Can I download the Classlink App on my phone or tablet?

    A. Yes you can-

    • Find the App in your app Store and  download it to your device
    • Open the App
    • Click Allow to find your School District
    • Select Michigan Birmingham Public SD
    • Use your logon credentials to login to ClassLink
    • You should now be connected to your ClassLink App!



    Q. I am trying to login to Zoom but it says my account is invalid or I get an error message...

    A. This usually happens if you get disconnected from Zoom- It may show you still as logged in but your account is no longer connected.

         Try this:

    • Go to
    • Click Sign In (if you are signed in - sign out)
    • Don't sign in at the first login Screen, but scroll down until you see Sign in with Google
    • Follow the onscreen prompts
    • Once logged in verify you are using a Birmingham Account:
      • Click your picture or icon in the top right corner of your screen
      • It should have you logged in with your Google account and it should say licensed above that.
      • If it has Basic instead of Licensed, please contact Mrs. Garbutt immediately!

    When I go to Schoology, I can't find my school-

    If you are going to you have to find your District (Not School) before logging on. An easier way is to go to ClassLink and then open Schoology from there. You are encouraged to always use ClassLink for all your school needs.  ClassLink is the quickest, easiest way to navigate through Virtual Learning.

    In the event that ClassLink is unavailable please go directly to SchoologySchoology

    QI can't log in-

    A.  To best assist you with this problem, we need to know what you can't log in to. Possibly you are using the wrong account information for a site that you need to login to. Remember, if you are using ClassLink, your username and password information are collected and stored in ClassLink so You don't have to log on every time you need it. 


    Here are places you would need credentials:

     Computer Logon

    Computer logon -(district devices only) 
    This is your username and password (Birmingham Account)


     ClassLink logon - This is your username and password (Birmingham Account)

     Office 365

    Office 365 logon-Use your Birmingham Account.  Make sure to set up in ClassLink


    Outlook Email - Use your (Birmingham Account) credentials. Make sure to set up in ClassLink.


    Powerschool - Use your Birmingham username and your password  given to you from the district. Send an email to if you need it reset.


    Gmail - Use your  credentials.  Email Mrs. Garbutt at if  you need your password reset. Make sure to set up in ClassLink.

     Google Drive

    Google Drive - Use your  credentials. Email Mrs. Garbutt at if you need your password reset Make sure to set up in ClassLink.


    I log on to Schoology, but I can’t upload my assignments from Google Drive-

    A.  There are three reasons this may happen:

    Reason one: - The Schoology Extension did not load properly. Reinstall if you are having issues.

    Reason two: - You did not use ClassLink to access Schoology. Close the browser, then reopen it and navigate to ClassLink to open Schoology.

    Reason three- You did not connect your Google Resource Drive in Schoology. Make sure to download the Google Resource app while in Schoology and then put in your Google credentials to connect them to your assignments.The next time you use Google Resource, it will automatically log you on as long as you have logged on through ClassLink.

    How do I use my Google Drive in Schoology?
    1. Click Resources at the top of your home page.
    2. Select Apps on the left.
    3. Click Install Apps under My Resources Apps.
    4. Select Google Drive in the pop-up menu.
    5. Click Install to add the app to your resource apps.
    6. To connect the app to your Google account, click Connect.

    Submitting Google Drive Resources to an Assignment

    If your teacher has assigned a Google Drive Assignment to you, you can use the Google Drive Assignments App to submit your assignment.

    1. Open the assignment from Course Materials.
    2. Click Submit Assignment.
    3. Within the Upload window, select Resources.
    4. Click Apps, and then Google Drive.
    5. Search for your document using the search bar.
    6. Check the box to the left of the item you wish to upload to the assignment.
    7. Select Import > Import File.
    8. The Google Drive item will be submitted directly to the Assignment for your instructor's review.
    Comments (-1)

Contact Us

  • Administration    

    Jason Clinkscale
    Assistant Principal
    Julie LaBurn
    Grade 6th Grade /7th Grade A-L
    Assistant Principal
    Michael Babcock
    8th Grade /7th Grade M-Z

    Main Office Staff

    Principal’s Secretary
    P. VanFaussien
    Main Office Receptionist
    W. Borovsky
    Clinic/Attendance Secretary
    H. Dacey
    Attendance Reporting
    248-203-4700 ~ (Option # 2) 

    Counseling Office

    A. Battle
    Last Names M-Z:
    R. Hardeman
    Last Names A-L:

    Department Contacts

    Cafeteria Manager