PROSPECTIVE FAMILIES FAQ
* Note these are based on past trends and can change subject to Covid-19 State and County Guidelines.
Last modified 3/8/2021
Q: I missed the online session "Ask Me Anything!" for prospective families. Is there a way for me to get the link to the recording?
Q: What are our class sizes?
A: BCS Elementary: 18-22*
BCS Middle: 24-26*
* Note these are based on past trends and can change subject to various variables.
Q: What are some after school care options?
A: Please refer to this list of after care programs that many families at BCS have attended in the past.
Q: What is the BBC and why should I join?
A: The BBC is our school’s equivalent of a “PTO”, or Parent Volunteer Organization. The BBC plans school events, supports our teachers and staff, coordinates community building activities, and much more. Joining the BBC not only gives you a voice on how we should support the school, staff and students, but also what kinds of events we have, how we spend our budget, and a vote to elect our BBC Executive Board. The BBC partners closely with school administrative staff and the superintendent to ensure BCS is running smoothly and all programs are progressing our mission.
Q: Will I have opportunities to volunteer on campus and/or in the classroom?
A: Yes! BCS has many opportunities to volunteer on campus as well as in the classroom.
- The Hot Lunch program relies heavily on volunteers to keep our kids safe while eating and in the yard, as well as allow teachers and administrative staff to take a much deserved lunch break.
- Our Library program runs via parent volunteers as well, ensuring the library is an open option for kids to go to during lunch as well as having a wide selection of books for all readers.
- Fundraising events that raise key dollars for our school, including our Fall Family Dinner, Winter Social event, Walkathon, Book Fair etc all need one-time volunteers to help with planning, coordinating, manning stations, decorating. A lot goes into making an event fun and memorable, and we can use all the help we can get!
- These are just to name a very select few ways in which you can volunteer on campus! Stay tuned to your Classroom Ambassador emails as well as the school’s weekly newsletter, the Bear Essentials, to learn of additional ways to volunteer.
In the classroom:
- Every teacher would love the help of parents throughout the year in their classrooms. At the beginning of the year (usually Back to School Night), teachers will either have a sign up sheet where you can volunteer for opportunities like party planning, centers, reading or writing groups, or they will send out emails on an as-needed basis to recruit volunteers for activities in the classroom.
Q: Why is it important that I volunteer?
A: Many of BCS’ unique programs are only successful because of parent volunteers (eg. Hot lunch, library, school community building events)! We need all the help that we can get, and it’s a wonderful feeling to know you’re contributing to our amazing community and also helping your students grow and thrive in our programs. Additionally, seeing your learner while you’re volunteering is a win-win!
Q: What’s the difference between BBC and the Foundation?
A: The BBC focuses on community engagement and staff and student support, coordinating events such as Fall Family Dinner, Walkathon, Library, Hot Lunch, Teacher Appreciation, Summer Socials, Walk or Wheel, “What to Expect” events, monthly staff room supplies, staff lounge supplies, staff luncheon program, middle school reception and socials, parent education forums, speaker series, and more.
The Foundation is responsible for fundraising to operate BCS. They raise funds to cover approximately 40% of the school’s operating budget, including teacher/specialist salaries, school program supplies, specialty equipment, and more. They do this by having an annual campaign, an annual benefit, count-me-in parties to name a few.
Q: Does BCS have school uniforms? What do students wear on Spirit Day or for school events?
A: BCS is a public school and doesn’t require uniforms. In order to demonstrate school spirit, students are encouraged to wear spirit shirts on Fridays during BCS Spirit Days or other important school wide events. Spirit wear is just one great way to develop a strong sense of school spirit (other ways are following our six character pillars). Our spirit wear is designed by parents/students, for our students! It is comfortable and fun to wear every day. Check out and purchase this year’s spirit wear.
Q: What’s the difference between AM and PM Kinder?
A: The only difference between AM and PM K classes is the time (and teachers teaching it since there is some overlap). There are no distinct differences in class size and the Kinder teaching team all work together on their curriculum and often help each other in the classroom as associate teachers. Consider ease of pickup and drop off and what works best for your family when considering AM/PM preference. Some kids like to sleep in, and therefore PM K worked better for them. Other parents found AM worked better with their work and after school care schedule, etc.
Q: What happens if we are late to class?
A: Tardiness is the same for all classes in all grades. The teacher/school expects your student to be at school by the bell and if they are late, they'll need to go to the office to get a tardy slip before going to class. Tardies are reflected on the report card.
Q: Where do Kinders eat lunch?
A: Kindergarteners don’t have a “lunch” period, but they eat their snack at tables near the Kindergarten playground during recess.
Q: Do we pack lunch for our Kindergartener?
A: AM Kinder (8:15-12:00pm) - Lunch is not designated in the morning Kinder timeframe. Many parents choose to pack a "heavy snack" during snack time (10:40am) to tie them over until pickup.
PM Kinder (11:25-3:10pm) - Lunch is not designated in the afternoon Kinder time frame. Many parents choose to feed their student an early lunch and/or pack a heavy snack (12:40pm) to tie them over until pickup.
We have seen parents pack sandwiches, chicken nuggets, fried rice, pot stickers, fruits, veggies, cheese and crackers (just to name a few examples) into the snack box.
Q: How does afternoon Kindergarten work?
A: Afternoon Kindergarten is from 11:25am - 3:10pm. Snack time is 12:40pm. Kindergarten is on a separate schedule than 1st-5th grade and plays on their own play structure.
Q: What is the schedule on the first day (plus drop off/pick up)?
A: Schedule is the same on the first day of school. We would advise to arrive 5-10 minutes ahead of the bell to ensure you can find parking and walk to the classroom. When the bell rings, teachers will instruct the students on how they want them to line up before they enter class. Then the students walk in a line into the classroom after the teacher.
In the past on the first day of school, parents are allowed to enter the classroom with their student(s) for 10-15 minutes to help with transition. The teacher may have a fun activity planned (book reading, short craft project) for the parent and student to do together, before asking the parents to leave and wish their students a great first day.
For pickup, your teacher will bring the students out and only let your child go when they see their designated pickup person. Adults picking up can wait near the classroom, but please be mindful of other classrooms that are in session that may see or hear from their open doors and/or windows.
AM Kinder (8:15-12:00pm)
PM Kinder (11:25-3:10pm)
Q: What should we pack in their backpacks?
A: We have seen Kinders pack these items on the first day of school:
- Hand sanitizer (every class room also has hand sanitizer stations)
- Water bottle
- Snack to eat during snack time
- Hat and/or jacket (as needed)
Q: Can we do curbside drop off and pick up for Kindergarten?
A: To ensure the safety at their young age, Kindergarteners cannot utilize curbside drop off and pick up. Teachers will sign them out during pickup to their permitted guardians (from PowerSchool) at the end of the school day.
Q: Where do kids eat lunch?
A: 1st-5th grades eat lunch at covered tables. Each class sits at their designated tables and is dismissed for lunch by their teachers.
Q: How does Hot Lunch work?
A: This year we selected My Green Lunch as the vendor to provide lunch meals for those families who want to order hot lunches instead of bringing a lunchbox. Parents from each class volunteer to supervise lunch recess. Please visit our Hot Lunch page for details.
Q: What should we pack in their backpacks?
A: Suggested items to include in your elementary student’s backpacks, in addition to any materials indicated by the teacher:
- Hand sanitizer (each class room and lunch area all have been equipped with hand sanitizer stations)
- Water bottle
- Lunch (unless ordering Hot Lunch)
- Sunblock (or at least apply at home)
- Hat (as needed)
Q: What’s parking like during drop off and pick up?
First grade and up can leverage the curbside drop off and pick up line. It is critical you read and follow these traffic guidelines as city police patrols these regulations and you may get ticketed.
Q: Where do kids eat lunch?
A: 6th-8th grades eat lunch at covered tables. Each class sits at their designated tables and is dismissed for lunch by their teachers.
Q: How does Hot Lunch work?
A: Please visit our Hot Lunch page for details.
Q: What kind of sports are available after school?
A: BCS has extracurricular groups/activities that occur after school. In previous years, these have included a marathon club, running club, etc. Note these vary by school year.
Q: What is intercession?
A: Intersession occurs 3 times a year in our middle school program. During each intersession, middle schoolers engage in 2-3 week long interdisciplinary units steeped in Project Based Learning as well as Design Thinking. Learners collaborate across each grade level, receive feedback from experts in the fields they are investigating, and present their work to a broad audience at the conclusion of each intersession. The middle school team messages families quite a bit in the first few weeks of the year as to what to expect and how these experiences are structured.
Q: Does BCS have a Math Counts team?
A: This Facebook group is for parents at Bullis Charter School who have a desire to help their children improve problem-solving skills via participating in prestigious math contests including Mathcounts and the AMC series. Please contact the admin of this group if you have any questions.
Q: What kind of math competitions does BCS provide for its middle schoolers?
A: In the past, BCS has participated in Math Olympiad and Noetic. There have been a few other competitions here and there throughout the years, but those two have been the ones most consistently implemented. Future competitions are being evaluated. However, BCS does have parent volunteer-led math teams for middle schoolers. To learn more about the program, join the Math Facebook Group.
Q: Does BCS host AMC8 for its students?
A: At the moment, we do not participate in AMC8. Parent volunteer-led teams may be available. To learn more, join the Math Facebook Group.
Q: Will BCS have the same facilities/campuses this coming school year?
A: The current agreement for BCS to remain at its campuses (North and South) holds until 2023.
Q: What about after the agreement ends?
A: BCS and LASD work together to discuss options for a long term plan. These discussions are currently in progress.