March 12, 2019
A+ News
In this edition:
  • 2020 Vision's College and Career Week: March 11-15
  • College and Career Center
  • Career Technical Education Video
  • Black History Oratorical Fest
  • School Board Community Letter: Increase State Funding for Eduction
  • King Middle School Students Learn English Through Drama
  • Berkeley Public Schools Fund Luncheon
  • BSEP Planning & Oversight Committee, School Board Meeting, and more!
Opportunities After High School Parent Night: March 12, 6pm
2020 Vision College & Career Awareness Week  is designed to engage Berkeley’s students in college and career related activities. The goal is to create several opportunities for students to “seize their future” by participating, exploring, and making a plan for next steps as they imagine and learn about college and career possibilities.

As part of the week's events and special workshops, Opportunities After High School Parent Night is being held on Tuesday, March 12 from 6-8pm at the YMCA Teen Center at 2111 MLK Jr. Way. The evening will include a presentation about paths and opportunities available to students after high school and will provide a chance for parents to hear from parents who have walked the path to college with their own kids, with a focus on first generation college students.
Every Day is College and Career Awareness Day in the CCC
College Advising
On any given day, there's a lot going on in the College and Career Center (CCC) at Berkeley High School. Throughout the month of February, College Counselors David An and Elisabeth Sandberg presented steps in the college process to every 11th grade English class, providing students with a set of informational tools about testing, college fairs, college entrance requirements, and more to help get them started thinking about college. The college counseling team is now scheduling 1:1 appointments with each junior to talk about their interests and thoughts on postsecondary education and training and provide guidance.

Meanwhile, seniors are beginning to hear back from colleges they've been accepted to and counselors are helping them weigh their options.

In the middle of it all is Mary Jacobs, "CCC Assistant extraordinaire", who supports the counselors and meets a wide range of student needs, including providing information about financial aid and scholarship opportunities and arranging for all the college rep visits that will begin anew in the fall.

Career Exploration
Part of the path to college and/or career includes gaining exposure to the world of work. BHS Career Advisor James Dopman is a key reference in the CCC for students looking to find internships and summer work opportunities; he compiles information on this webpage, a valuable student reference .

To assist with the college and career planning process, Berkeley High School students all have access to Naviance , an online tool with a series of search functions that help students delve into the world of work and postsecondary study. Visit this webpage to learn more about Naviance's career exploration tools which includes self-exploration tools as well as a set of Road Trip Nation videos organized by career areas and personal attributes.

Eleventh grade students will soon become very familiar with using the Naviance tool for their personalized college search.
On March 7, College Counselors David An (above) and Elisabeth Sandberg (bottom left) break down the college application process and provide 11th grade parents with critical advice for supporting their student on the path ahead.
Short Video Story Takes Students Inside Career Technical Education at Berkeley High
More than 850 Berkeley High School students are now enrolled in Career Technical Education (CTE), a set of uniquely designed courses in career pathways that make school relevant and engaging by bringing the outside world into the classroom and taking students out into the world. 

This five minute video tells the story of a student, who in a chance encounter discovers the many opportunities available to BHS students. This video is being shown in 9th grade classrooms this week to increase student awareness about the range of CTE course offerings in time for student course selection later this month. Parents and friends are encouraged to share the video and engage students in a conversation about CTE at Berkeley High.
Creative and hands-on learning opportunities abound. Many CTE courses are offered within the Art Department. See more of what our students can do with art in a new student-developed video available on the BUSD YouTube Channel.
Berkeley School Board Calls for Increased State Funding for Education
The school board released a letter March 11 to the community calling on increased state funding for public education. The letter is posted on the district website .

Noting that state funding for public education places California among the least funded states in our country, the BUSD Board has been advocating with state legislators for increased funding and also recently passed a School Board resolution , with an urgent call to fully fund publlc education, and to “support wages that address California’s high cost of living for all workers serving California students.” 

While Berkeley is fortunate to have local support through BSEP, which provides lower class sizes and pays for one third of classroom teachers (as well as libraries and many other essentials), these funds are not sufficient to avoid painful budget cuts over the past two years. The Board noted that the essential funding issues cannot be solved by each district at a local level, and urged staff and community members to contact their local representatives, the Governor, and the State Superintendent of education. The Board letter shared links to a website with resources for understanding the funding crisis facing our California public schools:
26 King Students from 15 Countries Perform Their Own Shadow Plays
Balinese-style shadow theater came alive on stage at King Middle School when 26 newcomer students from 15 countries performed their original shadow plays for the King community.

The performance was the culmination of the learning and work of the students in Richard Silberg’s English Through Drama class and a two-month residency with the Balinese artist and teacher, I Made Moja, from ShadowLight Theatre in San Francisco. A video of the performance may be seen on YouTube.

"My 31 years in BUSD has seen many different teaching situations, opportunities and challenges,” Mr. Silberg said, “but this class has allowed me to combine my two teaching passions: language development and drama, like no other. I am blessed with having had the freedom to design a class that integrated the arts and language development. "

This project was supported by a special grant from the Berkeley Public Schools Fund.
Save the Date for the Berkeley Public Schools Fund Luncheon, April 19
The Schools Fund Spring Luncheon theme is "Pathways to the Future," honoring Wyn Skeels, BUSD Career Technical Education Program Supervisor , for his work in developing educational pathways at Berkeley High for careers connected to Bay Area industries and trades; and  Michael McLaughlin, BUSD preschool teacher, for his work in helping set a solid foundation for our youngest students. 

UC Chancellor Carol Christ, Keynote Speaker
Friday, April 19, 11:00 am ­- 1:30 pm
Pauley Ballroom, UC Berkeley

Come out to the UC Berkeley campus, hear Chancellor Christ speak, and let's recognize these great educators and support our public schools!

You can purchase  individual tickets or  sponsor a table.
Upcoming Events & Meetings
Berkeley Schools Excellence Program (BSEP) Planning & Oversight Committee
March 12, 2019 at 7:00pm
2020 Bonar Street, Room 126

The P&O Committee, mandated by the BSEP Measure and comprised of representatives from
every school, meets regularly to:
  • Review the implementation of the many aspects of the BSEP Measure, ranging from Class Size Reduction to Music & the Arts, from Technology to Professional Development for Teachers, and much more;
  • Ensure that BSEP funds are spent in compliance with the Measure;
  • Make annual recommendations to the School Board for the use of BSEP dollars.
The BSEP P&O meetings are open to the public and include an opportunity for public comment. More information is available on the BSEP webpage .
School Board Meetings
March 13, 7:30pm

All regular Board Meetings are held in the Board Room, 1231 Addison St., and are streamed live and archived on the BUSD YouTube Channel .

School board meeting agendas/materials are posted at least 72 hours before meetings on the School Board Meeting Information page of our website.
In Case You Missed It
Longfellow Awarded National Grant for Great Stories Club
Thanks to a grant from the American Library Association, a focus group of 8th graders at Longfellow will soon launch a weekly lunchtime book club designed to explore questions of race, equity, identity, history, institutional change and social justice.

Longfellow’s club – named the Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation Book Club – will begin March 5 and focus on the theme of “Finding Your Voice.” The gatherings will center on discussions of three books:
The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo
I Am Alfonso Jones by Tony Medina
Piecing Me Together by Renée Watson
A dynamic team of educators in our school district and partners from the Berkeley Public Library will be facilitating the discussions, including:

Longfellow Teacher-Librarian Melanie Ford
Restorative Justice Counselor Aaron Lechuga
African American Success Project Manager Kamar O’Guinn
District Library Coordinator Becca Todd
Berkeley Public Library Teen Librarian Andrea Mullarkey

Up to 70 such grants were available this year nationwide, with a focus on youth from underserved populations.
Next Year's School Calendar
2019-20 School Year Calendar Released
The first day of school for the 2019-20 school year in the Berkeley Unified School District will be Monday, August 26, 2019.

The full academic school year calendar is posted on the district calendar webpage.
Berkeley Unified School District | 2020 Bonar Street | 510-644-8764 |