January 11, 2017
A+ News

In this Edition:
  • Audiobooks and the Golden Headphones
  • BUSD Annual Report
  • Budget Reductions
  • Hour of Code
  • Committee Meetings
  • Upcoming Events/Meetings, and more
Audiobooks and the Golden Headphones Challenge
Many of our elementary and middle school students plunged enthusiastically into reading during their winter break.

More exactly, students delved into listening to books – collectively absorbing more than 76,000 audiobook minutes on Tales2Go. Every day during the break at least 75% of the schools had students who were enjoying audiobooks. Some days, students from every school were listening!

These students were responding to the “Golden Headphones” challenge organized by BUSD Library Services. The challenge included a competition for the schools with the most listening. Winners were announced in special flyers:

If your student(s) haven't tried the audiobooks with Tales2Go yet, you can find all the info to log on for free on the BUSD school libraries webpage.
With a thumbs up, Davey Reed, Library Media Specialist, shows support for the Golden Headphones Challenge.

Below, principal of Thousand Oaks, Jen Corn, dons the golden headphones in celebration of her students who listened to the most audiobook minutes recorded over the break.
City Residents Mailed School District's Annual Community Report in December
The Annual Community Report is mailed to Berkeley residents each year in order to share general information about the work of our public schools and the ways in which local tax funding is being used to the benefit of our students and families and the Berkeley community. Residents received the most recent edition in December that features professional development, technology, BSEP, bond funds, budget issues, Gardening & Cooking and more.

Have a look in case you missed it!
All recent reports are posted on our webpage.
Superintendent's Budget Advisory Committee Considers Budget Cuts
The Superintendent’s Budget Advisory Committee (SBAC), a key forum for discussing budget issues and developing recommendations, will devote two upcoming meetings to considering cuts necessary to balance the 2018-19 school year district budget. Meeting materials, including a working list of budget cutting ideas under consideration, are posted on this webpage .

When: Jan. 16 and 23 at 5:30pm
Where: 2020 Bonar St., Room 126 or around the corner on Addison in the BUSD Board Room.

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. Meeting agendas are posted at least 72 hours prior to the meeting.
A Little Background on the Budget Reduction Discussion

A series of economic and fiscal conditions and factors are putting pressures on school district budgets across the State of California.

In order to ensure that the Berkeley Unified School District can continue with a balanced budget that earns a positive certification from the Alameda County Office of Education, the Board has set the goal of cutting $1.8 million* in costs for the 2018-19 school year. Since a reduction in some General Fund budgets was already made for this current fiscal year, there will be some difficult decisions will have to be made on reducing services, programs, and/or staffing. More detail is provided in this website post .

*At the time of this writing, the Governor’s January Budget proposal was just released, and the current calculations do not take into account that information. We will continue to keep the community updated as the Governor’s proposal makes its way through negotiations with the legislature and into the final state budget (usually approved in June).
Admissions Season Underway

K-8 Schools
Kindergarten & Middle School Information Nights for next year's new incoming families are being held throughout the month of January.

Berkeley High School
The first round of high school registration for next year closes this Friday, Jan. 12. Berkeley High will hold an information night for incoming 9th grade families on February 7, 7pm that will include details about the new Universal 9th Grade Program. All new incoming 9th grade families should plan to attend.

Hour of Code Much More than an Hour
The coding bug spread through many classes in our schools during Computer Science Education Week (Dec. 4-10). Teachers and students used the week as the opportunity to join the international Hour of Code , billed as “the largest learning event in history.” Many of our students and teachers went well beyond the minimum one-hour in a rich variety of approaches for learning and using coding. Read more about some of the creative activities that took place in this DigiTechTeach blog post by Technology Teacher Mia Gittlen.
Upcoming Meetings and Events
Save the Date
The Superintendent's Annual State of the District Update and a Presentation on the Local Control & Accountability Plan (LCAP) will be on Wednesday, January 31 at 6:30pm at Longfellow Middle School.
School Board Meetings
Jan. 24, 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.
BSEP Planning & Oversight Committee
Tues., Jan. 30 & 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.

Berkeley Unified School District | 2020 Bonar Street | 510-644-8764 | www.berkeleyschools.net