February 6, 2018
A+ News

In this Edition:
  • 2018-19 School Calendar
  • African American History Month
  • State of the District Presentations
  • Professional Development Day
  • WE CARE Employee Awards
  • Tech Skills with Buddies
  • Committee Meetings
  • Upcoming Events/Meetings, and more
John Muir Students Celebrate the Start of African American History Month
John Muir Elementary School's auditorium had a standing room only crowd for the popular all school assembly event that brings out the community every year for the kick-off of African American History Month.

Under the instruction of long-time dance teacher Valerie Gutwirth, second grade students traveled in pairs to open the assembly with a lively "Soul Train" dance line from the doors to the stage. Part of the morning program included fourth and fifth grade students performing mini-dramas that highlighted significant people and moments in history, while another performance included a rendition of "We Shall Overcome" with verses in English, Spanish, Arabic, and Sign Language. First grade students closed out the show singing "This Little Light of Mine," and lead the entire auditorium in singing the last verse together.

Check the events calendar at your child's school to learn more about how you can be a part of African American History Month Celebrations in BUSD!

Find out about:
BUSD's First Districtwide Black History Oratorical Fest Competition - March 22

Theme: Speak & Inspire
Grades 3-12

Information about how to participate and who to contact at your school site is available on our webpage .
Superintendent's State of the District Presentation
Berkeley Schools are experiencing many exciting developments and student successes, alongside budget challenges and inequality in student progress that need close attention, Superintendent Evans said in his State of the District presentation last week.

The State of the District Event included a presentation by Dr. Patricia Saddler on the district's Local Control Accountability Plan, indicators of progress, as well as areas of concern that are being addressed.

If you'd like to know more, two slide presentations, and a video of the first hour are available on our webpage.
Following the presentations, attendees chose between two workshops: What is the California Dashboard? and Committee Leadership Roundtable.
Preschool Open House and Tours
Come learn about preschool and early childhood development programs in the Berkeley Unified School District.

Open House:
Saturday, February 10, 2018, 11am - 1pm
Find the details on this flyer.

Preschool tour times are several mornings in February and March.

For details, to RSVP, and find out more about our early child development programs, visit this webpage .
BUSD Preschool Students Enjoy World Read Aloud Day
Excitement and curiosity filled the air this past week as our preschoolers welcomed special visitors to their classrooms for World Read Aloud Day. One such visitor was Human Resources Executive Assistant Carol Pacheco who read the sweet picture book about friendship and inclusion, Strictly No Elephants that was gifted to every classroom . Celebrated in 27 countries, our preschool read aloud day was organized by District Librarian Becca Todd.
Six Classified Employees Recognized with “WE CARE” Awards
Congratulations to the six recipients of BUSD’s 2017 WE CARE service awards.

This year’s honorees are:
Lyzanna Chairez , School Board Executive Assistant
Rodney Hill , School Custodian, Oxford
Neesa Lazarus , Instructional Assistant, John Muir
Roxana Machthon , Cook, Central Kitchen
Heber Santos , Instructional Assistant, BHS
Ma’lika Upshur , Payroll Specialist

Recipients are chosen by BUSD management for demonstrating the WE CARE values of W illingness, E mpathy, C onsistency, A ptitude, R esponsiveness and E ffectiveness in 2017.

The awards have been presented to 64 employees since their inauguration in 2012.
This year’s awards were presented to the staff pictured above on Jan. 29 at the Classified Staff Meeting held in the King Auditorium.

School secretaries and staff enjoyed a chance (below) to connect at this annual staff meeting.
Professional Development Day Brings Teachers and Staff Together
While students had the day off for Monday, January 29, teachers and staff across the district were engaged in a range of skill building and learning opportunities of their own. The focus for many of the district's elementary teachers was on math. The morning began at the Berkeley Adult School with a keynote speech from Dr. Kyndall Brown, the Executive Director of the California Mathematics Project, on “Social Justice and Mathematics Education.” Dr. Brown engaged teachers with action steps that promote classroom beliefs and structures, curriculum and instruction, and partnerships with families that make math accessible to every student.
Later in the morning, K-5 teachers participated in grade level groupings to take a deep dive into the components of differentiation, knowing the math curriculum and knowing the students.

In the afternoon, trainers from the Silicon Valley Math Initiative held a workshop focused on increasing student talk and engagement while teaching Common Core Math.

Meanwhile, all K-5 science teachers gathered for the day at at Malcolm X School to work on science curriculum activities, including Engineering is Elementary kits, and coding.
Tech Skills with Buddies
Although the Chromebook carts primarily live in third through fifth grade classrooms at the elementary level, second grade students are being introduced to technology and building foundational tech skills. Some second grade classes are even buddying up with fourth and fifth graders.

Check out our popular DigiTechTeach blog to read more about how technology is boosting students’ learning in Berkeley.
Superintendent's Naming Advisory Committee to Review Suggestions for LeConte Elementary School
An advisory committee has been formed to work with the Superintendent and community to solicit and review potential new names for Le Conte Elementary School. The Naming Advisory Committee members include parents, staff and neighbors of the school. You can find more details about the work of the committee as well as an online form open for receiving school naming suggestions until February 15 on our webpage.
Upcoming Meetings and Events
School Board Meetings
Weds, Feb. 7, 7:30 pm

Board Meetings are held in the Board Room, 1231 Addison St, unless otherwise noted.

School Board Members hold office hours at convenient cafe locations in the city.
Board President Josh Daniels:
Vice President Judy Appel:
Third Saturday of the month, 10am
Ty Alper:
Last Sunday of every month, 3-4:30pm
Beatriz Leyva-Cutler:
Thursday, Feb. 8, 4:30pm
(usually first Monday of the month)
Karen Hemphill:
Second Saturday of the month, 10:30am

School board meeting agendas/materials are posted at least 72 hours before meetings on the School Board Meeting Information page of our website.


School Board to Consider Budget Cuts
The upcoming school board meetings will also include discussion of budget cuts (Jan. 24 and Feb. 7), with decisions scheduled for the Feb 21st meeting.
BSEP Planning & Oversight Committee
Tues., Feb 13, 7:00pm

Berkeley Schools Excellence Program (BSEP) P&O Meetings are held at 2020 Bonar Street on the first floor of the district offices in Room 126.

This is a Brown Act Committee and meeting agendas and minutes are posted on this webpage.
The BSEP Planning and Oversight (P&O) Committee, comprised of representatives from each school, meets regularly to review the implementation of Measure E1 of 2016, and to ensure that the annual BSEP funds ($29 million) are spent in compliance with the Measure.



2018-19 School Year Calendar Released
First Day of School is MONDAY, August 27, 2018
Berkeley Unified School District | 2020 Bonar Street | 510-644-8764 | www.berkeleyschools.net