September 4, 2018
A+ News Back to School Issue

  • School is Back in Session
  • In Solidarity with Immigrant Families
  • New Leaders in New Roles
  • Nutritious School Meals
  • Rosa Parks Students Speak Their Minds
  • DigiTechTeach Blog
  • Back to School Nights & Other Upcoming Events/Meetings
School is Back in Session!

It's been a great start to the school year! We hope you enjoy this short video that we sent out to families last Friday so that all in our community can share in the excitement of our students and staff at the start of this new school year.

There are also some first week photos posted on the BUSD Facebook page . Check them out and follow us!

In case you missed Superintendent Evans' Welcome Letter to families, you can find it on our newly revamped website.
In Solidarity with Our Immigrant Families
As a new school year begins, we want to reaffirm the commitment of the Berkeley Unified School District to protecting the right of every student to attend public school, regardless of immigration status of the student or of the student’s family members.

Immediately following the last presidential election, the Berkeley Unified School District Board of Education adopted an official policy that provides protections to immigrant families and affirms the right of undocumented children to a public education. This right has also been upheld by the United States Supreme Court in a case called  Plyler v. Doe .

At the June 27, 2018 Board meeting, the School Board approved a revised version of that policy in order to take advantage of best practices and guidance from around the state. An overview of the updated policy, as well as English and Spanish versions of the full policy ,   are accessible on the District website .
New Leaders in New Roles
 We are fortunate to have an excellent roster of leaders in new roles as we begin our new year. Some are new to the District and others are BUSD colleagues in new roles:

  • Sumeyye Cardakli, Berkeley High 9th Grade Math Coordinator
  • Pauline Follansbee, Assistant Superintendent, Business Services
  • Jan L. Hamilton, Executive Director of Special Education
  • Alicia Magallanes, Principal, Transitional Kindergarten
  • Kamar O’Guinn, African American Success Project Manager
  • Jacqueline Parker, Principal, Thousand Oaks School
  • Tammy Rose, Vice Principal, Berkeley High School
  • Heidi Weber, Principal, Alternative Programs
  • James Wogan, Manager of Student Services
  • Stacey Wyatt, Principal, Longfellow Middle School
New Longfellow Principal Stacey Wyatt introduces herself and welcomes parents on the first
day of school.

You can read mini-bios of leaders who've joined the district management team in new roles this year!
Nutritious Meals in Our Schools
Our schools offer healthy meals every school day. Breakfast is free for everyone, and nearly 40% of our students are also eligible to receive lunch at no cost through the free/reduced price meal program!

We're asking every family to consider filling out the free/reduced price application in hopes that more students can benefit from the free lunch program. Information about eligibility is on the form.

Free/reduced price school meal application:  

Check out the Nutrition Services menu calendar  (with beautiful art by a BHS alum) for information on daily menus, including some delicious recipes!

Lunch charges for those who pay are $4.00 in elementary schools, $4.50 in middle schools, and $5.00 in high schools. Signing up for a paid account is done at the

All of this information and more can be found on the Nutrition Services webpage .
Please Complete a School Free/Reduced Lunch Application!
Additional state and federal resources come to our school district based on the number of students who qualify.
Qualifying students may also receive additional benefits.
Rosa Parks Students Speak Their Minds in Sunday New York Times
A full page in the kids’ section of the Sunday New York Times Aug. 26, 2018 was devoted to the opinions and photos of students who were in Lisa Billing’s fourth grade class at Rosa Parks this past June.

You can read the students’ ideas on banning trans fats, paying kids to go to school and a host of other topics, such as longer recess, affordable housing and eradication of parent anger over video games.
We're a Common Sense Digital Citizenship School District!
Common Sense Media, a national nonprofit dedicated to helping kids and families thrive in a world of digital media and technology, has recognized BUSD as a Digital Citizenship Certified District for the second year in a row.

Students in our 11 Elementary and 3 Middle schools participated in a rich curriculum designed to help students navigate the digital world safely, responsibly and ethically. Throughout the year, our district instructional technology teachers, library media specialists and classroom teachers led discussions and activities on topics such as public and private information, copyright and creative credit, talking safely online, evaluating online sources, gender stereotypes online, cyberbullying, and much more.

This work, along with teacher training on technology integration, is an important complement to our district’s 1:1 Chromebook initiative. Providing technology alone is not enough; teachers and students need to be engaged in thoughtful discussions about how to use technology in meaningful ways to enhance learning.

Let's All Commit to the 4 R's - Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Recover
Did you know that around 9 million tons of plastic trash ends up in the ocean every year, and that it can take up to 1,000 years to decompose?  

Let's work together to be environmentally responsible adults and help students learn these practices too. Consider following these tips for a Zero Waste Lunch and help students learn proper sorting at home by reminding them what can be composted and recycled.

The Berkeley Unified School District has undertaken a year-long process to write a comprehensive Sustainability and Resiliency Master Plan to reduce the environmental footprint of schools and promote environmental literacy that is fundamental to a high-quality 21st century education. In addition to addressing the urgency of climate change, the Plan will have numerous benefits that range from saving money to increased hands-on and science and nature-based learning opportunities.

The complete Sustainability and Resiliency Master Plan is scheduled to go to the School Board in November. If you’d like to be involved more deeply in our planning and education efforts find out more on our webpage .
Upcoming Events & Meetings
Back to School Thursdays in September
Back to school nights are held on three Thursdays in September.

September 6  - Elementary Schools
September 13  - Middle Schools
September 27  - Berkeley High School

Look out for time specific information from your child(ren)'s school(s).
School Board Meetings
September 12, 7:30 pm
September 26, 7:30 pm

All regular Board Meetings are held in the Board Room, 1231 Addison St and are streamed live and archived on the BUSD YouTube Channel . Check our homepage for the link to our live stream when board meetings are in progress.

School board meeting agendas/materials are posted at least 72 hours before meetings on the School Board Meeting Information page of our website.
Berkeley Unified School District | 2020 Bonar Street | 510-644-8764 |