November 13, 2017
A+ News

In this Edition:
  • Counselor Field Trip
  • Career Technical Education
  • Digital Citizenship
  • Le Conte School Name Change
  • New District Complaint Form
  • Committee Meetings
  • Dine out for Gardening & Cooking Program
  • Upcoming Events/Meetings, and more
High School Counselors Take a Field Trip
With the support of state education dollars for Career Technical Education (CTE) and expanding partnerships, some exciting new career-friendly and technical coursework is being added at Berkeley High. This year the Introduction to Robotics Engineering course is being offered as a 7th period class and next year a new “ f ab lab ” is expected to be ready in the “H’ Building to allow carpentry, stagecraft, and electronics courses to be offered during the school day.

Recently, a group of high school counselors who work with students on course selection and the post-secondary planning process, went on a field trip to see career professionals in action and learn about specific career pathways and possibilities. In the morning, they visited and toured the Carpentry Training Center in Pleasanton and learned about the pathway students can take to become carpenter apprentices. In the afternoon, they bused over to the EBMUD (East Bay Municipal Utility District) Water Treatment Facility in Orinda where they were met by young electronics engineers, graduates of Los Medanos College Electronic Tech program, who are well on their way to fulfilling careers.
Counselors returned feeling more informed about career and college pathways available to students and how to advise them on the appropriate steps they can take in high school to be ready and able to take full advantage of the college and career opportunities at their fingertips.

More information about the development of CTE programs in the district is available from a recent board presentation .
From the DigiTechTeach Blog...
According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, children ages 8-18 now spend 9 hours each day on media and technology To ensure our students take to heart how to be safe, responsible, and respectful online, we are proactively incorporating digital citizenship curriculum in grades 3-8.

In fact, Berkeley Unified is now a Common Sense Media Digital Citizenship Certified District after nearly every  3rd-5th grade  classroom carved out time for at least three digital citizenship lessons last school year–that’s 300 lessons in 96 classrooms for 2,500 students. This year all three  middle schools  are launching a digital citizenship curriculum.

Read more on the blog about how Eric Silverberg, an elementary library services teacher, and other Berkeley teachers are making sure our students are smart digital citizens.
Name Change to Le Conte Elementary School Recommended by Superintendent
Following a series of discussions and outreach to the Le Conte Elementary School community about the history of the school and the origins of the school name, Superintendent Evans is making a recommendation to the School Board at this week's Nov. 15 meeting to discontinue the name of Le Conte Elementary School. If the Board approves the recommendation, the Superintendent will create an advisory committee to recommend a new name to the School Board.
A brief summary of the process so far is on our website.
New District Complaint Form
This past spring, Dana Clark was hired in the role of District Compliance Officer and Title IX Coordinator. Since then, she has been leading the effort to simplify the district complaint process. As a result, a new complaint form is now being used. More information is on the district website .
While the ideal approach to addressing a parental or employee concern or issue is to first communicate directly and seek to resolve it by working with those most closely connected with you or your child at the school site, a formal complaint process is available for any parent, student, employee or resident who wishes to initiate a formal complaint at the District level.
Upcoming Meetings and Events
Superintendent's Budget Advisory Committee (SBAC)
Nov. 14, 5:30-7:30 pm

SBAC meetings are held at 2020 Bonar Street on the first floor of the district offices in Room 125.

General information about the SBAC as well as meeting agendas and notes are posted on this webpage .
The work of this committee is to consider the district's budget priorities along with projected revenue in order to make recommendations on budget reductions when necessary. As a result of increasing pressures on the General Fund, including state retirement mandates (PERS/STRS), the SBAC is currently discussing possible General Fund budget cuts for 2018-19.

BSEP Planning & Oversight Committee
Nov. 14
7:00 pm new member orientation 7:30pm official business

BSEP P&O Meetings are held at 2020 Bonar Street on the first floor of the district offices in Room 126.

Meeting agendas and notes are posted on this webpage.

Admissions Season Begins

Wednesday, Nov. 15 - Fall Information Night for Incoming 9th Grade Families, 7-8pm, Berkeley High School

Saturday, Dec. 2 - Kindergarten Fair,
10am-1pm, Le Conte Elementary School,
2241 Russell St

All students must be re-enrolled in the Berkeley Unified School District at the transition to 6th and 9th grades. More about the admissions process on our website .
School Board Meetings
Nov. 15, 7:30 pm
Dec. 6, 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.
Save the Date: November 30

Dine Out Fundraiser for Gardening & Cooking Program in the Schools
On Thursday, November 30th, BUSD's Gardening & Cooking Program partners with local restaurants throughout Berkeley for a food-filled day and night in support of garden and nutrition education. Dine Out at participating businesses and support our 13 educators and over 7000 students at 17 school gardens and 5 kitchen classrooms. Dine Out at one of the participating restaurants and a percentage of your check will go to programs for kids! Our list of participating restaurants is growing and can be found  here .
You will find more about our Gardening & Cooking Program on our webpage .
In Case You Missed It
New Curriculum in Middle School English Classes
Strong teaching and effective teacher collaboration very often depend on common instructional goals for students. This premise helped drive the process this past spring of adopting Inquiry by Design (or "IBD"), a new curriculum for the middle school English Language Arts classes.

As the first quarter of the school year comes to a close, English teachers in grades 6, 7, and 8 are finishing up the first "microcourse" of the newly adopted Inquiry by Design curriculum which focuses on students "developing a reading life" by creating a text-based culture in the classroom. Students are exposed to different genres and teachers use diverse teaching and engagement strategies to lead students to dig deeply into the text.

Other key elements of the Inquiry by Design curriculum include "microcourses" focused on "developing a writing life" as well as on interpreting text and forming an argument.

We'll post occasional stories in the A+ News as this new curriculum unfolds in all three of our middle schools. In the meantime, you can learn more about the new curriculum on our webpage , or maybe ask your middle school student what they've been reading in class.
Berkeley Unified School District | 2020 Bonar Street | 510-644-8764 |