Brownstown Central Middle School begins school year



Brownstown Central Middle School’s staff sees the turn of the decade as an opportunity.

The theme for the school year is BCMS 20/20 V.I.S.I.O.N., which intends to help students move forward with specific purpose and direction as a school and as individuals during the 2019-20 calendar year.

On Tuesday, BCMS started the year’s journey with the first day of school as 389 students returned to class.

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During the summer months, Principal Doug McClure, dean of students Marty Young, guidance counselor Alicia McCrary, library media specialist Karen Ault and sixth grade science teacher Kelly Cunningham worked together on the V.I.S.I.O.N. project.

The V.I.S.I.O.N. acronym stands for voice, identity, self-direction, interconnection, own your power and now. 

"Our back-to-school procedures are pretty much established. It’s not different in terms of how we’re starting, but what we are trying to do differently as we enter into the new decade, we thought it would be a neat way to play on visual clarity and acuity: 20/20 vision," McClure said.

"We decided to concern our efforts on having the kids think about what they want to accomplish not only this year but in the coming years. In the next decade, they will be graduating high school, and many will be graduating college and starting families.

"As a middle school this year, we wanted to take an opportunity now to really have the kids focusing and thinking about those kids of things like ‘Where do I want to be and what do I need to do to get there?’ We’re trying to be intentional in having kids think about what they are aspiring to be. We want them to purposeful in some of the decisions they are making."

Exclusive activities for the students, such a talent show, an art contest and an essay, have been planned around the 20th of each month throughout the school year in keeping with the theme. 

Students will receive V.I.S.I.O.N. T-shirts on Sept. 20 and will be encouraged to wear them on the 20th of each month.

"In our cafeteria, we have a V.I.S.I.O.N. calendar, and we have a square for every day of the school year," McClure said. "The whole idea behind that is that we would like to build a mosaic of student pictures, awards and activities. As the year progresses, it will continue to grow as a part of our quest. We want to be intentional with each of the school days that we have this year. That is going to be kind of our driving theme.

"We want to put some excitement and fun behind the work that needs to be done. We’re hopeful that a lot of the students will participate in the contests. There will be awards. It has the potential to be very, very exciting. It’s like an onion. We’re going to keep peeling it back until we get to end the year."

On top of learning about the school’s theme and adjusting back to school life, sixth graders went through a lot of changes Tuesday. While orientation was last week, the first day of school offered some more independence for the students.

For sixth grader Gage Mull, the biggest adjustment was getting used to changing classes.

"It’s going pretty good so far. Basically, I’m just going to class and trying to not be late," Mull said. "We want to make sure we understand everything about the class. I’m pretty excited about the school year. I’m looking forward to the lockers and lunch."

Sixth grader Ellie Black looked forward to going to lunch for the first time Tuesday.

"I think the food is much better here," she said. "Switching classes and my locker are the biggest changes. I like having different teachers instead of the same one every day." 

McClure greeted the students as they entered the building and helped kids adjust in the hallways throughout the day on top of his regular duties. 

"If we can have our sixth graders go home today and say, ‘Mom, I had a really great day and there are a lot of nice people. My teachers, principals, counselors are great,’ We will have won the day," McClure said.

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