March 19, 2018
A+ News

In this Edition:
  • 2020 Vision College & Career Summit
  • Family Survey
  • National Student Walkout
  • School Board Update
  • BUSD Oratorical Fest
  • Committee Meetings
  • 2018-19 School Calendar
  • Upcoming Events/Meetings, and more
2020 Vision College & Career Awareness Summit
On the first day of the 2020 Vision College & Career Awareness Summit last week, a panel of four students from Berkeley City College and UC Berkeley spoke about their particular experiences as students of color attending college. Panelists discussed how they accessed campus resources and found a community of support, as well as their feelings of validation for their effort and success and how they have embraced being agents of change to make college more welcoming for students of color. Robael Gizachew, a Berkeley High School graduate and current junior at UC Berkeley, says that it is important for high school students of color to meet college students that look like them and to hear that they too are meant for college.

“I have the privilege of being so close to Berkeley High School and being able to give back,” Gizachew says. “I really would like to see more students of color from Berkeley High School go to Cal.”

In the series of events that followed, professionals from more than ten different fields, such as medicine, performing arts, public service, Carpentry, Stagecraft, and computer engineering, shared their career paths from high school to their current career positions. Panelists discussed the varied paths that led to their current careers, life in the workplace, some of the many roles available and the job requirements in the various fields represented. 
In the panel on mental health professions, speakers included a clinician, a family therapist, a social worker and a community health advocate. They shared with students the importance of their life experiences and academic training to provide effective service.

The later part of the week-long summit concluded with a community college fair and an interactive workshop where BHS students engaged with entrepreneurs as they explored business plans and the entrepreneurial process. 

Talking about college and career got many high school students thinking and asking about upcoming summer learning opportunities. If your teen is looking for work experience, please direct your student to this page of the Berkeley High School website to get started. Applications for the city of Berkeley Youthworks program are also available.
BUSD Family Survey - We welcome your feedback!
We are seeking the input of all BUSD families on this annual family survey. The results of this survey will give the district and staff at your child(ren)'s school valuable information around family engagement and school climate.  

The survey responses are entirely anonymous. Please allow 10-15 minutes to complete the survey responses. 


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If your experiences, and/or those of your child(ren) vary, whether at one or more school sites, you can choose to do an additional survey for each child. There is an option to start again at the end of each survey submission.

Thank you for your participation. 
Annual Performing Arts Showcase Sunday, March 25, 1-3:30 pm
The Annual BUSD Performing Arts Showcase is happening this coming Sunday! Come on out and see the way Berkeley's local tax dollars for the Berkeley Schools Excellence Program are keeping music alive in our schools.
From the Blog: Snuggle Up With Math
Do your students love doing math? Do they do it cuddled up in bed? Snuggled on the couch? On the beach on vacation? In pajamas on a rainy day? I often wonder if we could universally answer “yes” to these questions if we had as many recreational math opportunities for children as we do for reading. We expect kids to read books of their choice for 20-30 min. a night and have summer challenges to ensure that their love of reading continues to develop even when not in school.

Recreational math can be beautiful and relaxing. Artwork with compass and straight edge, such as this traditional Islamic design, can be enjoyed by students (and adults!) beginning in elementary school.
Read more on how to snuggle up with math on the rest of the DigiTechTeach Blog.
Berkeley Students Joined Nationwide Walkout on March 14
Many of our students participated in the March 14 nationwide student walkout for gun control.

Students at Longfellow and Willard walked around the school campuses to publicly express their commitment to end gun violence, while students at King gathered as a whole school together on the blacktop. Additional actions included discussions during advisory, class periods and/or an assembly. The focus in elementary schools was on age-appropriate activities that emphasized being a part of creating a welcoming and supportive community, as well as on talking about how kids can create positive change.
At Berkeley High, many in the student body gathered in the courtyard by 10 am to hear multiple students speak about the students who lost their lives in Parkland, Florida and memorialize others who lost their lives to gun violence. Students moved to the football field and stood together in the rain, in the shape of a peace sign. Part of the day's call for action included students writing letters and registering to vote over the lunch period.
School Board Approves Resolutions & Hears Reports
Resolutions in support of school safety and increased funding for childcare and early education were adopted by the School Board at its March 14 meeting.

The school safety resolution called for “legislation that reduces the risk and severity of gun violence” and for the state and federal governments to invest in “wrap-around services to prevent bullying, harassment, discrimination and violence in our schools, and to provide funding for programs and staff such as counselors, nurses and psychologists that support students’ mental, physical and emotional health.”
The childcare and early education resolution offered support for the Alameda County measure on the June 5 ballot that would provide additional support for high-quality childcare and early education services for low- and middle-income families in Alameda County. It would also improve wages for childcare providers and early educators, requiring they be paid at least $15 per hour.

The Board also discussed and heard presentations regarding special education, BUSD’s Local Control and Accountability Plan, and Berkeley High health needs.

Staff reports and attachments for all items on the Board’s agenda can always be found on the district website .

More information on the next board meeting below.
Join the Kick-Off Meeting for BUSD's Sustainability Plan: 3/20
Are you passionate about the environment and sustainability? Want to make your opinions and feedback heard about a project that could make an impact on the Berkeley Unified School District for years to come? The Berkeley Unified School District’s Facilities Department is excited to announce the launch of a year-long process to create and begin the implementation of a Sustainability and Resiliency Master Plan, to reduce the environmental footprint of schools and promote environmental literacy. We welcome the input from all members of the BUSD community to co-create this Plan.

Here’s one way you can get involved:

Attend the Sustainability Master Plan Kickoff meeting on March 20th, 4-6:30 pm in the Longfellow Middle School cafeteria. You’ll learn about the benefits of going green, speak out about topics related to sustainability, contribute to the ideas of the Master Plan. Please RSVP here.

In pursuit of sustainability, Oxford teacher Jackie Omania's students show they are leading the way to a zero waste classroom. On the 90th day of school in January, they had only accumulated a small jar of waste. They've also adopted the use of cloth bags that they made for snacks and lunch and only use reusable containers in the classroom.
Look in the next A+ News for a link to our "Going Green" survey.

African American History Month Events
Lead up to BUSD Speak & Inspire Oratorical Fest
Come on out on March 22 to the Longfellow Auditorium and
cheer on the young orators in our midst.
Elementary school competition: 5:00 to 6:30 p.m. and
Middle/high school competition: 7:00 to 8:30 p.m.
Find all the details on our webpage .
Upcoming Meetings and Events
School Board Meetings
Wed., March 28, 7:30 pm

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.

BSEP Planning & Oversight Committee
Tues., March 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