February 21, 2018
A+ News

In this Edition:
  • 2018-19 School Calendar
  • Forest School for Transitional Kindergarteners
  • Superintendents' Message on Parkland, Florida
  • JazzGirls Day
  • BUSD Oratorical Fest
  • 2020 Vision College & Career Week
  • Committee Meetings
  • Upcoming Events/Meetings, and more
Transitional Kindergarteners Head to the Forest
Several times a year some of the district’s youngest students can be found in the middle of the forest in Tilden Park, hiking along the Wildcat Creek, collecting leaves and acorns, observing worms and lizards, and singing a song dedicated to the land which the children call home.

This year the students in the Transitional Kindergarten (TK) program at the King Childhood Development Center (CDC) participate in what they call “Forest School,” part of the TK curriculum that aims to encourage students’ curiosity for exploration using all their senses in a natural setting.
This year’s Forest School program is an expansion of the classroom pilot program that began at King CDC in 2016, which was inspired by the TK Forest School program at LeConte. Students have already enjoyed four of the seven trips to Tilden Park scheduled this year, each with more challenging hikes and more extended creek play.

Watch the video slideshow below - you'll feel like you were there with them!

According to Marguerite Talley, one of the three TK teachers at King CDC who organizes and leads students in the forest, the program is designed so that the young students engage in similar hikes and outdoor activities with the level of depth increasing over the course of the year. Students learn to observe and inquire about changes they see in the environment and practice using journals to jot down seasonal changes they see in the plants and on the trails. Read More
Feb. 15 Letter to Families from Superintendent Evans and Associate Superintendent Scuderi
Dear Community,
Our hearts are breaking, yet again, at the news of so many lives lost in a school shooting, this time in Parkland, Florida. In the midst of our shared sorrow, there is of course a great deal of concern about what can be done to prevent and respond to these repeated tragedies.

We want you to know that we were already in the midst of a review of our emergency plans, and Associate Superintendent Pasquale Scuderi has planned meetings with the Berkeley Policy Department and key district staff to review and strengthen our site-protection and safety strategies, including our facilities protections and our armed intruder plan.

A majority of our BUSD staff have already received training in armed intruder preparedness, using the ALICE protocol – Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate. Each school site is required to hold regular fire, earthquake, and lockdown drills to provide students and staff practice with procedures.

The full letter in English and Spanish is online on our webpage.

Online Resources for Families


JazzGirls Day - Free Jazz Workshop for Girls 10-14 at Berkeley High this Saturday
JazzGirls Day, hosted by BHS Jazz, is this coming  Saturday, February 24, 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. , at Berkeley High School in the Berkeley Community Theater. (Registration begins at 12:30 p.m.)

JazzGirls Day is an afternoon of music workshops including jam sessions and an all-group concert led by professional female musicians for girls aged 10 to 14. The event is free; preregistration is not required.

More information on our webpage .
African American History Month Events Lead up to BUSD Speak & Inspire Oratorical Fest
Find all the details on our webpage .
Berkeley Symphony Joins Young Musicians to Make Music in the Schools
Tomorrow is the first two in a series of six "I am a Performer" Concerts sponsored by the Music in the Schools program of the Berkeley Symphony. Each year the program rotates among the schools, and this year the concerts are happening at Malcolm X, LeConte, Jefferson, Washington, Oxford, and Berkeley Arts Magnet. This short video is a beautiful tribute to the importance and value of music education and highlights the awesome experiences for our students who are able to take center stage together with Berkeley Symphony's musicians.
2020 Vision College & Career Summit Week: Tuesday, March 13 - 16
During the Annual 2020 Vision College & Career Week activities from March 13-16, there will be a variety of events across the school district designed to reflect the dynamism of the college and career path, build awareness and give students a chance to learn from the college and career experiences of others. Stay tuned for more details in the next A+ News.
Upcoming Meetings and Events
School Board Meetings
Weds, Feb. 21, 7:30 pm

School Board to Make Decision on General Fund Budget Cuts

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

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 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

BSEP Planning & Oversight Committee
Tues., Feb 27, 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
First Day of School is MONDAY, August 27, 2018
Berkeley Unified School District | 2020 Bonar Street | 510-644-8764 | www.berkeleyschools.net