September 5, 2017
A+ News Back to School Issue
We've moved to a new format for the A+ News, a biweekly community email newsletter from the Berkeley Unified School District. Thank you to readers who responded to our survey in the spring and shared ideas with us on how to make the A+ News serve you even better.


IN THIS EDITION:
  • School is Back in Session
  • Thousand Oaks Student Shines
  • Leaders in New Positions
  • Libraries Are for Everyone
  • Gardening & Cooking Curriculum & Recipes
  • What's Happening with Classroom Technology?
  • DigiTechTeach Blog
  • Upcoming Events/Meetings, and more
Superintendent & Board President Release Statement on
President's Decision to End DACA

School is Back in Session!

Students were met with enthusiasm and spruced-up classrooms, and many of them also received a cheerful in-person welcome from Superintendent Donald Evans and Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguin. Read more.

More first day photos are posted on the BUSD Facebook page .
BUSD Fifth Grader Shines at Senator's Town Hall
On stage before about 700 people, Thousand Oaks School 5th grader Isabella Sinclair led the Pledge of Allegiance in a clear, unfaltering tone. The audience joined in as she recited first in English, listened as she repeated the Pledge in Spanish, and applauded her perfect delivery!

Isabella's poised performance elicited enthusiastic appreciation from the audience assembled for the Town Hall meeting in Oakland with U.S. Senator Kamala Harris on August 30. Senator Harris was herself once a student at Thousand Oaks School.
Leaders Stepping up to
New Positions
 We begin the new school year with an impressive group of educators and leaders who have stepped up to take on new roles in our school district. 

Take a look at who's joined the district management team in a new role this year! You are bound to recognize some of them.

One of our new instructional leaders, Berkeley High School Vice Principal Carrie Berg, is seen in this photo (far right) leading BHS new teacher orientation.

Libraries Are for Everyone
And we are happy to proclaim it! We have posters, such as those seen here, up in many languages throughout our school libraries, contributing to the message that everyone is welcome, every day. Books and resources about kindness, social justice, empathy, and diversity abound - in addition to so much more. Check us out at http://library.berkeleyschools.net/. ​​


Dig Deeper: Gardening & Cooking Curriculum & Recipe Book
Every BUSD elementary school offers a Garden-Based Learning Curriculum that connects the school gardens to classroom lessons. The curriculum was developed with the expertise gained over many years of teaching in our school gardens and was designed to be co-taught with classroom teachers and garden instructors, with each lesson connecting directly to grade level standards from: Next Generation Science, Common Core State, Physical Education, and Environmental and Health Education.

Now families can dig deeper and practice at home with the support of a new recipe book based on the recipes our students enjoy!
Every preschool and elementary school student participates in BUSD's Garden and Cooking Program with classes visiting the garden every other week.
What's Happening with Classroom Technology?
The short answer: more growth!

Many of our teachers, librarians and after school staff dove into extensive instructional technology training over the summer, joining many of their colleagues as Berkeley Certified Technology Educators and Google Certified Educators . This training supports the expansion of our 1:1 Program, supplying every 4th and 5th grade classroom with its own class set of Chromebooks, and adding all 6th grade classrooms to the 1:1 initiative so that each student has access.

In addition, we are now providing 3rd, 7th and 8th grade classrooms with a Chromebook cart that is shared with just one other class. We are looking forward to exploring the many ways integrating instructional technology can deepen learning opportunities for all of our students!
DigiTechTeach Blog for Teachers
To further support technology integration in the classroom, Instructional Technology Coordinator Allison Krasnow and K-8 Technology Teacher Leader Mia Gittlen are continuing their popular blog for teachers. Their first post of the year looks at Pear Deck, a "tech" tool that a group of substitute teachers learned to use during a recent professional development session. While the primary audience for the blog is BUSD teachers and staff, there are some interesting nuggets for families as well.

Here's Cragmont teacher Claire Dugan with her students working on Chromebooks the first week.
Upcoming Meetings and Events
Back to School Thursdays in September
Back to school nights are held on the next three Thursdays in September.

September 7  - Elementary Schools
September 14  - Middle Schools
September 28  - Berkeley High School

Look out for time specific information from your child(ren)'s school(s).
Please Remember: We need every family to
School Board Meetings
September 13, 7:30 pm
September 27, 7:30 pm

All regular Board Meetings are held in the Board Room, 1231 Addison St.

School board meeting agendas/materials are posted at least 72 hours before meetings on the School Board Meeting Information page of our website.
In case you missed it
Keeping Community Strong
Superintendent Evans wrote an email on August 26 to families in response to rallies planned for Berkeley and the uneasiness many are feeling in our community. He wrote, "I want to keep our focus on education, which is one of the best antidotes to ignorance and malice...Together with community partners, we are planning a number of specific actions for the fall – workshops, clinics, courageous conversations, family days and more, with the intent to further strengthen and unite our community. " Read the full message on our website .
Career Training for BHS Students with Summer Internships
A public exhibition at Berkeley High on Saturday, Aug. 12, offered a chance to observe and celebrate the summer accomplishments of young scientists in one of the high school’s most successful career-training programs – the Biotech Academy. Read all about it on this website post .


Welcome Message from Superintendent Evans
Berkeley Unified School District | 2020 Bonar Street | 510-644-8764 | www.berkeleyschools.net