BAS Vision 20/20

"Learning FOR Life" Newsletter

Brighton Area Schools, together with our community, will engage every student in a quality learning experience, empowering each student to become a thoughtful, life-long learner in an environment of mutual trust and respect.

BAS Vision 20/20

Brighton Area Schools has always been known for providing a world class education and graduating high performing students. BAS graduates are leaders nationally, internationally -- and right here in Brighton. Growing up in a safe, family-oriented community and graduating from a top 3% high school (state and national) are the keys to our students' success.

While BAS is certainly proud of our remarkable past, the BAS Board of Education is fully focused on our future. Building on our tradition of academic achievement, the board is committed to ensuring that our current and future “Bulldogs” are exceptionally prepared as “Life-Long Learners” to provide leadership and stewardship in the 21st century. It is to that end that the Board of Education has designed the BAS Vision 20/20 campaign.

Vision 20/20 combines project-based Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics (STEAM) programming with a state-of-the-art innovation/collaboration center. The STEAM Center would provide over 20,000 square feet of design, exploration, and collaboration space to grow the number of students interested in STEAM fields, and better prepare them for higher education or technology related careers after high school and beyond.

BAS Vision 20/20 is rooted in a belief that all BAS students and the Brighton community would benefit from a center that brings together innovative instruction and dynamic lab space. The STEAM Center will provide technology rich, active learning labs for the sciences, engineering, arts and mathematics in a central location. The STEAM Center will also provide the high tech industrial equipment and collaboration space needed for our thriving Robotics and Science Olympiad teams, as well as design space for K-12 interactive learning sites. Construction of this STEAM Center will begin in the summer of 2020 with completion slated for 2021.

Brighton Area Schools is seeking partnerships with business, industry, and higher education in our goal to build the BAS STEAM Center. Partnerships include instructional program development, matching funds, and grant opportunities. With community support and entrepreneurial partnerships, the BAS STEAM Center will secure Brighton Area Schools' position as an innovative educational leader and enhance our contribution to our community for generations to come. To learn more about becoming a BAS Vision 20/20 partner, please contact Dr. Laura Surrey, Assistant Superintendent of Instruction at

Dr. Greg Gray, Superintendent

Brighton Area Schools

BAS Awarded 2017-18 Governor's Award for Excellence

On October 25th, Brighton Area Schools for received the Governor's Award from the Michigan Design Council! Brighton received this award for having the most participation in the Michigan Design Prize (MDP) last year. This process was facilitated and supported by Diane Tamblyn (Hawkins Kindergarten Teacher), Kim Lewicki (Academic Enrichment Coach), Gillian McColgan (Academic Enrichment Coach), Tracie Richards (Hornung Media Specialist), Dr. David Chesney (Vice President, BAS Board of Education), and Dr. Laura Surrey (Assistant Superintendent of Instruction). The MDP is an annual competition celebrating and developing exceptional Michigan industrial design talent. K- 12 grade and college/university students from across the state were invited to tackle a singular design challenge linked to Michigan and larger societal issues as actual designers solving an authentic problem.

Gary Smith, Vice President of Herman Miller was the keynote speaker at the awards ceremony. He spoke to the 2017 winners about product design and the great need for creative problem solvers in the state of Michigan.

Jeff DeBoer, Chairman of the Michigan Design Council and CEO of SundbergFerar honored many Brighton students. Smith Christie (Kindergarten student at Spencer), Isabelle Gronow (3rd grade student at Hornung), Cecilia Pruski (4th grade student at Hawkins) and Eliot Buchhop (4th grade student at Hawkins) were all grand prize winners of the Michigan Design Prize. They received a special day with an industrial designer to bring their idea to life, as well as a medal and recognition at the ceremony.
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BAS Leaders visit southeast Michigan STEM centers

This fall, BAS Trustees John Conley and Bill Trombley, along with Dr. Greg Gray (Superintendent) and Dr. Laura Surrey (Assistant Superintendent) visited two southeast Michigan technology centers. The visits were part of the district's vision to build a STEAM Center for BAS students, extracurricular groups, and community groups. The team visited the Milan Center for Innovative Studies in Milan and Jesuit High School's Science & Engineering Center in Detroit. The 22,000 square foot Milan Center for Innovative Studies is designed for collaboration, communication, presentation, creativity and research. The program offers a unique project based learning experience for Milan High School Seniors.

The University of Detroit Jesuit High School's new 40,000 sq. foot Science and Engineering Center opened in 2016 and doubles the space for biology, chemistry, and physics programs. This unique center also provides labs for engineering and for the school’s nationally recognized eco-car and robotics programs.

Both centers provided interactive and moveable collaboration space, design labs, break-out spaces, and support spaces. The tours inspired the vision for expanding enrichment and STEAM opportunities for all BAS students.

BHS Ranked in top 3% in State and Nation

Brighton High School earned the ranking of the #21 best high school in the state of Michigan, according to the U.S. News & World Report annual ranking. The honor puts BHS in the top 3% of all Michigan high schools, as well as in the top 3% in the nation. High academic participation and achievement in advanced placement and CTE programs contributed to the ranking.

Many high schools ranked higher are actually application academies or smaller schools. For such a large high school that is also among the lowest funded in the state, BHS continues to out perform expectations to earn the title of best “bang for your buck” as a Michigan school.

Brighton Area Schools and the community of Brighton are very proud of the staff and students of BHS who give 100% everyday to be the best high school in the state!

Academic Enrichment comes to all K-4 Schools

In 2016-2017, former Magnet teachers, Kim Lewicki and Gillian McColgan stepped up to design and deliver academic enrichment to accelerated learners in grades 2, 3, and 4. These two Academic Enrichment coaches chose Project Lead the Way (STEM program) to use for their first year, meeting twice weekly with each group. Students studied Computer Coding, Engineering practices, Properties of Matter, and Stability and Motion. The program was an overwhelming success with students and parents. For 2017-2018, the district has added two more Academic Enrichment Coaches (Sarah Tchoryk and Catherine Wagner), one per building. With the added coaches, students will be receiving Academic Enrichment four times a week. To learn more about the BAS Enrichment Program, visit To learn more about Project Lead the Way, visit:
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Explorers Camp Students Design K-4 STEAM Centers

This summer over 60 elementary students worked together solving a real life problem -- helping the district design our new STEAM Centers (formerly known as Media Centers). The students learned all about S.T.E.A.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics/Media) education through research, guest presenters, and a field trip to an architect firm. They designed storyboards with ideas of what should be included in the STEAM Centers and how the centers should be organized. In the end, they set up a prototype of their STEAM Center at Hawkins and shared their work with parents, staff members, administrators, and Board of Education members.

Explorers Camp teachers and parents were amazed at the growth in campers this summer. They arrived at Explorers Camp as somewhat struggling students and left just three weeks later with know-how and knowledge, able to describe and explain their storyboards and creations. The word transformation was used often when describing the changes the staff and parents saw in all of these kids.

Take a moment to look at the camp photo album. It captures the students' energy and thinking quite well. Also be sure to ask your elementary student about the new BAS STEAM Centers. The district hopes every student will be able to build upon this positive learning experience in the years to come.

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BAS Kindergarten Teacher Leads Funding for STEAM Centers

Last March, Hilton Kindergarten teacher, Amy Gallant heard about a grant program through Novi based ITC Transco that supports improving learning environments for higher quality education and enhanced learning success. Amy thought that such a grant would help Hilton build their Media Center offerings: Genius Hour, Maker-Space, and Project Lead the Way. Later when she learned that the district would be transforming Media Centers into STEAM Centers, she decided to broaden the application to include all four elementary schools. AND she enlisted the expertise and support of the four Media/STEAM Specialists and Academic Enrichment Coach, Kim Lewicki. The resulting grant application won top prize with ITC ($15,000) and may turn into a multi-year funding stream to support the BAS STEAM Centers. When asked about working on the grant with Margaret Adams, Courtney Lauer, Kim Lewicki, Tracie Richards, and Anna Wells, Amy replied, "These people were super supportive and were able to help tremendously with this grant. It was truly a collaborative effort. I am so proud to be able to do this work for Brighton Area Schools." Thanks Amy and friends. BAS is proud of all of you and especially for your dedication to our students and programs.

TEALS program proposed for Brighton High School

BAS is in the process of applying for acceptance into the TEALS program for 2018-2019. TEALS (Technology Education and Literacy in Schools) helps high schools throughout the US build and grow sustainable computer science programs. In its proven program, TEALS pairs trained computer science professionals from across the technology industry with classroom teachers to team-teach computer science. Industry volunteers and partner teachers create a ripple effect, impacting the students they teach, and the many students who will study CS in the future.

BAS Board of Education Vice President Dr. David Chesney is working with Dr. Surrey (Assistant Superintendent) and BHS Computer Science teacher, Michelle Costa to write the grant application. Computer Scientist professionals in the Brighton area will be invited to join the program in the months ahead. TEALS was started in 2009 by Microsoft employee Kevin Wang, who developed and ran the program in his spare time, and is supported by Microsoft Philanthropies.

BAS Launches K-12 Curriculum Review for 21st Century Learning

In the fall of 2016-2017, BAS launched an ambitious review of all courses, content areas, and grade levels. The review includes all curriculum materials, instructional practices, and assessment materials. Curriculum Study Groups were formed with administrators and instructional coaches as leaders. Group members include classroom teachers, administrators, parents, and students (as applicable). Over the course of last year and this past summer the study groups conducted needs assessments and aligned curriculum with state content standards and 21st Century Learning standards (for college and career).

The study groups are continuing their work this year. Some of the groups, such as Science, are far enough in their process to pilot new materials. By the end of this year, the district's goal is to have all BAS curriculum posted on the BAS website.

Happenings in BAS Curriculum and Instruction: