Berkshire Middle School

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Absolutely Berkshire

  • VARC   MDHHS  Staff Info  eNEWS  

     Weekly Update


    Greetings Berkshire Families:
    I have to start off by saying that the start of our hybrid learning model has been a success! The students, teachers, support staff and our families have all been awesome in the way that we have worked together to safely provide in-person learning opportunities to students while still meeting the needs of our fully virtual learners. Yes, live-streaming is certainly a challenge, but I am so proud of our teachers and support staff for rising to the challenge and continuing to grow and learn every day. I sincerely appreciate the patience and support of everyone as we work through this transitional time period of learning.

    On a related note, I also want to remind families that we are currently unable to consider any additional requests for change in cohorts or moves from virtual to in-person learning at this time. We are still able to accommodate any requests by families to move their children from in-person to virtual, but we cannot process any more requests to move from virtual to in-person until at least April 23rd. We will certainly notify families as soon as we can again consider requests to move from virtual to in-person learning prior to April 23rd.

    Finally, as we enter MLK Day weekend, I want to remind students and families that we do not have school (in-person or virtual) on MLK Day (Monday 1/18). However, we have spent time throughout this week pausing to reflect and honor the life and legacy of Dr. King. As an example, please take a moment to watch the video that stars some of our students and staff as they read excerpts from Dr. King’s famous speech I Have Been to the Mountaintop A special thank you goes out to our dynamic CSO Pam Lucken for producing the video.
    Have a great weekend!
    Jason Clinkscale
    Berkshire Middle School

    End of Quarter 2
    We have now reached the end of the second card marking period and teachers will be posting finalized grades in PowerSchool that will be available for viewing on Tuesday (1/19) after 9 am. We do not mail home report cards, except for the fourth and final card marking period.
    Time and Bell Schedule 


    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, the winter 2 sports season is coming up soon.  Currently the district is working through many things to get our next opportunity for athletics up and running.  Specifically, winter two sports traditionally include Boys Swimming, Girls Volleyball and Wrestling.  All of these sports are being affected by our current Covid situation and subsequent decisions made by the district and our league (COMSAC – Central Oakland Middle School Athletic Conference). Many schools in our league will not be offering athletics at all this season.  Those schools that are offering athletics are creating plans that will make this year’s winter 2 look different than in the past.

    • For Wrestling, the league decided to not hold a season due to Covid concerns with the close contact the sport naturally brings; as a result, there will be NO wrestling this year.
    • For Boys Swim, there will be an adjusted season where the BPS schools and Cranbrook will compete through “virtual meets” where times will be posted and compared.  We will be swimming in our own pool for each meet with an official.
    • For Girls Volleyball, the district has decided to keep competition within BPS.  We will hold a relatively normal season with tryouts and daily practice, although our games will be played only against BCS and Derby.  There are a number of reasons behind this including an inability to have bussing and a lack of consistency in safety protocols across the teams in our league.  We will also offer IM volleyball in the morning for our 6th graders.

    Registration link:  In process. Will be sent out ASAP when made available by the district.
    Safety & Social Distancing:

    • Volleyball: Being a cut sport for 7th and 8th graders, volleyball will be easy to social distance as teams will be limited to 15 participants each after tryouts.  For 6th grade IM, we will be cohorting the girls to reflect the academic in-person cohorts.
    • Swimming: With Berkshire having a 5-lane pool, the team will initially be limited to 7th and 8th grade students and we will cohort the team into 2 groups of 20 (5 lanes, 4 to a lane).  For 6th grade swimmers, please contact Ms. Borovsky in the front office to let us know if you are interested in being on a waitlist for possible spots:
      • Safety:
      • Social Distancing:
    • Physicals
      • 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.
    • Fan Attendance:
      • Swimming: In staying consistent with the district’s position of not allowing parents in our building, fans will not be allowed in.  Only those parents helping run the meet will be permitted inside and they are required to wear a mask and fill out the district’s screener.
      • Volleyball: In staying consistent with the district’s position of not allowing parents in our building, fans will not be allowed in. 
      • Streaming: we are working on a system for streaming matches / meets.
    • Start Date & Schedule:
      • Both sports are scheduled to start 1/25 – However this may change due to OCHD orders.
      • Schedules will be forthcoming from coaches after the start of the season.

    9th Grade Scheduling Timeline

    1. 9th grade recommendations will be completed and communicated to the students by Tuesday, January 19, 2021.
    2. Groves’ 9th grade scheduling forms will be sent to the students’ Gmail account on Wednesday, January 20, 2021. 
    3. Groves’ Counselors will meet with the 8th graders during Language Arts via Zoom on Wednesday, January 20, 2021. 
    4. 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.   
    5. 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

    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

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