“Alone Together” on Our Device - Tips on Rolling Back the Tech

From the Montgomery County Council of PTAs (MCCPTA) Safe Technology Subcommittee:

 Common Sense Media released an interesting report this week that spotlights how much time kids are "alone together" on devices.


Brace yourself.

Here are a few key insights from the report followed by Safe Tech's suggestions for rolling back the tech:

The Common Sense Consensus: 2019 — Media Use by Tweens and Teens

  • "Online video viewing is through the roof: More than twice as many young people watch videos every day than did in 2015, and the average time spent watching has roughly doubled.

  • On average, 8- to 12-year-olds in this country use just under five hours’ worth of entertainment screen media per day (4:44), and teens use an average of just under seven and a half hours’ worth (7:22)—not including time spent using screens for school or homework.

  • There are substantial differences in the amount of screen media young people use based on socioeconomic status. 

  • There has been a large drop in the amount of time both tweens and teens spend watching TV on a television set.

  • Young people are more than twice as likely as they were four years ago to say that they use computers for homework every day." 

 Safe Tech De-Tech Tips

• Ditch YouTube from kids' devices. More and more parents are doing it. One parent told me her child didn't notice for weeks.

• Here's another real-world tip shared by an MCPS parent: Allow Kids YouTube only and ONLY on a television screen so you can see what they are watching. Kids are less inclined to sneak into weirdo videos when their choices are open to all in the room.

• Get devices out of the bedroom. Period.

• Curb your own device use. 

• Ask teachers for paper homework — so you can participate in the learning process, or they can do it before sports practice, or study with friends.

• Make Sundays screen-free in your house.

• Take family Tech Breaks of about 5 minutes a few times a day or evening. This allows everyone to be 'screening' at the same time and, more importantly spending time together at the same time.

Save the Date for STEM Night: Dec 5, 2019, 6:30-8:00pm


 Get your learners excited about science, technology, engineering and math! It'll be non-stop fun with interactive activities ranging from robotics and coding to Mad Science chemistry fun to engineering rig-ga-ma-rigs and much much more. Pizza and drinks will be available for purchase. Find out more at here.

 We also need volunteers (parents and middle/high school students) to help with STEM activity stations, set-up, and cleanup. SSL hours are available. Please sign up today to help make this event a great learning experience for all: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/5080B4CABA82DA57-stem

Fun Run - Racing our way to a great fundraiser!

Fun Run was a running success! Every classroom got to run laps around the field, jumping over hurdles, dashing through the tire obstacles, and just having fun.

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It’s not too late to contribute to the Fun Run! Checks and cash will be accepted through Friday, Nov 1st. Please send in envelopes to your child’s homeroom teacher. Online donations can be done until Nov 2nd. After this point, we’ll decide our winning classrooms for the block party (one class per grade level) and for the chance to egg all staff, including Mrs. DuBois, Mrs. West and Mr. Lightman.

Thanks to the BRES community for your support and for those who volunteered on the day of the Fun Run to ready the field. Special thanks to VP of Fundraising, Cindy Chung, and VP Programs, Lok Samson, for their leading efforts for our biggest fundraiser of the year. 

Fun Run Page for last minute donations here (Until Nov. 2)

Next PTA Meeting - Nov 5, Tuesday, 6:30-8:00pm


Please join us for the next PTA membership meeting. We’ll have special guests to share about how they work with our students and prepare them for success. Ms. Tracy Jeffcott, Media Center Specialist, will share available online resources and how the Media Center is used by our students. Ms. Heather Sobieralski, School Counselor, will talk about her role helping students and discuss the Share Love curriculum. 

Free childcare and light refreshments will be available.

October 31 - Halloween Parade & Fall Festival Party

Halloween Parade begins at 2:30pm and the Fall Festival Party starts at 3:00pm.

 Please do NOT have children come in their costume. They will be allowed to change at 2:00pm.

 If you would like to help your child with their costume, parents/guardians will be allowed to come to the classes starting at 2:00pm.

 Costume Rules: Students who wish to participate in the costume parade are encouraged to wear appropriate attire suitable for a K-5 school. Costumes that are aggressively scary are not permitted. Costume props that resemble weapons are also not permitted.

 If parents/guardians prefer that their child not participate in the costume parade and/or the classroom party (Fall Festival), there will be an alternate activity for students. Parents will be asked to complete a form which went home a few weeks ago.

 The students will likely walk around the bus loop and the car loop and back inside. Parents and guardians are welcome to line up anywhere along that route outside.

Welcome Mindy & Weirong, Thanks Laurie

At our Oct 1st PTA meeting, we held PTA elections for open PTA positions. We want to welcome Mindy Chong, our 2nd delegate (Marty Lizak is our other delegate), and Weirong Zhu, our new treasurer. With the deepest gratitude for our outgoing treasurer, Laurie Brooks, we wish you the very best!

Here’s some info about our newest PTA Board members:

Mindy Chong: I have a first grader and a preschooler, and work for a local nonprofit.  I am excited to be a Delegate representing Bayard Rustin this year.

Weirong Zhu: Weirong enjoys volunteering at BRES in the classroom and other volunteer positions. She is excited to join the PTA board to become more involved in school-wide initiatives that impact our kids' education and school experience. Weirong and her husband John have two wonderful daughters, Vera is in first grade CI with Mrs. Xia/Ms.Gan and her younger sister, Sara, is eager to be a part of the school family in 2020! In her spare time, Weirong enjoys traveling, cooking and spending quality time with her family. 

Professionally, Weirong Zhu holds a CPA license in Maryland and works full time as an Assurance Manager at CohnReznick.

The Arctic Adventure (Fall Book Fair) Oct 10-16


Get ready to read! The Fall Book Fair starts on Thursday, October 10th. This Arctic Adventure will have students chilled and thrilled with the selections this book fair offers. In addition, we will have evening hours for the book fair. Our Family Fun Night on Tues, Oct 15th will allow parents and families to check out the book fair in the Media Center, then they can make book-based crafts and activities in the All Purpose Room. 

Check out the Scholastic Book Fair Custom Booklist and the BRES flyer (both went home last week):

Scholastic custom booklist:


BRES flyer (English and Spanish)

If you’d like to support students’ love of reading and our school book fair, please sign up to volunteer (adults during the school day):


If you have a young person who would like to earn SSL hours at the Book Fair’s evening event, Family Fun Night, on Tuesday, Oct 15 (6:30-8:00pm), please email Trang directly at trangd@gmail.com

Please help our BRES community members in need.

We have two BRES families with significant and urgent needs and are asking for any support you can give.


We are collecting the following items:

 Family 1 

  • Grocery store gift cards (Safeway or Giant)

  • Gift cards to Target, Walmart, Kmart

  • Cleaning supplies, dish soap, sponges, laundry detergent

  • soap, lotion, woman’s deodorant, toothbrushes, toothpaste, toilet paper, paper towels

  • bath towels

  • new women’s shoes size 7.5 (but for a 9 year old)

  • new toddler shoe sizes 9

  • toys/art supplies/books for a 9 year old girl and a year old girl

  • non-perishable food items to build a pantry

 Family 2

  •  Preemie boys clothes can be new or gently used

  • Boys baby clothes 0-3 months, 3-6 months, 6-9 months, 9-12 months and 12-18 months

  • Diapers, wipes

  • Bottles, burp clothes

  • Stroller

  • Baby toys/books

  • Gift cards to Target, Walmart, Kmart, Bye Bye Baby

  • Fast food restaurant gift cards


Bigger items can be dropped off in Heather Sobieralski’s (school counselor, Heather_R_Sobieralski@mcpsmd.org) office or at the front office.  Please give gift cards and monetary donations to the secretaries in the front office.


Please donate by Sept 20. We will give everything collected to these two families in need the week of Sept 23. 

PTA Meeting - Oct 1, 6:30-8:00pm

Please join us for the BRES PTA meeting on Tuesday, Oct 1, from 6:30-8:00pm. 

  • Topic: Curriculum review and election of open PTA seats. 

  • Welcome to all. PTA membership not required.

  • Free pizza for attendees (first come first serve) & free child care by KAH.

We welcome all voices and participation from our BRES community, including from families/guardians and staff. You don’t even have to be a PTA member to attend.