April 24, 2018
A+ News

In this Edition:
  • Romain Lettuce Advisory
  • César Chávez and Dolores Huerta Commemoration Contest & Film Event
  • Emerson Elementary, a California Distinguished School
  • Infographics in Middle School Math
  • BUSD Sustainability Plan
  • Preschool Open House
  • Independent Study Orientation Sessions
  • Upcoming Events/Meetings
  • 2018-19 School Calendar, and more.
Notice from BUSD Food Services Department Regarding Romaine Lettuce:
Due to the contamination of romaine lettuce with  e.coli  bacteria, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently published an advisory to "not buy or eat romaine lettuce at a grocery store or restaurant unless you can confirm it is not from the Yuma, Arizona growing region. " The advisory applies to all forms of romaine lettuce (whole heads, hearts, chopped, and salad mixes).

We have not served students any romaine lettuce from the Yuma, Arizona, region. The romaine lettuce we offer in our salad bars is sourced from a farm in Salinas, California. 
Sharing the Stories of Immigrants
The César Chávez and Dolores Huerta Commemoration Period is being marked by several community and school activities, including the annual student essay/poetry or poster contest and a showing of the film Dolores.

In preparation for the contest, many students are reading, talking, and writing about Reyna Grande's book The Distance Between Us (La Distancia Entre Nostotros). Students were excited to meet the author when she visited several BUSD schools on April 23 this year.

Gathering with fifth grade students in the Thousand Oaks Library, Reyna shared why she became a writer. "Sometimes you have to write the book you want to read. I couldn't find any books that focused on the immigration story from the children's perspective, what it's like when parents go away and the challenges we face," she explained. "In your heart, there's a story that you know and look for and can't find, so sometimes you have to write it yourself."
Dolores - An Award-winning Film on the Labor & Environmental Leader
Dolores Huerta is among the most important, yet least known, activists in American history. An equal partner in co-founding the first farm workers union with César Chávez, her enormous contributions have gone largely unrecognized. Dolores tirelessly led the fight for racial and labor justice alongside Chávez, becoming one of the most defiant feminists of the 20th century – and she continues the fight to this day, at 87.

With intimate and unprecedented access to this intensely private mother to eleven, the film reveals the raw, personal stakes involved in committing one’s life to social change.
Author Reyna Grande posed with fifth grade students and teachers at Thousand Oaks Elementary School, following the Q&A where she was peppered with many questions about her and her family members because they are the central characters of her book.

The deadline for student submissions in the César Chavez and Dolores Huerta Commemoration Contest has been extended to April 30.
The César Chávez and Dolores Huerta Commemorative Committee is organizing a free showing of Dolores at the main Berkeley Public Library, Saturday, April 28 from 2-4:30pm. Read more
More about Emerson Elementary, a California Distinguished School
A short visit on a Friday morning to Emerson Elementary School provided a glimpse at why Emerson Elementary has been named a California Distinguished School by the California Department of Education (CDE).

Although it’s only April, boxes of new supplies and instructional materials for the coming school year line the school office. Principal Susan Hodge, now in her 17th year as principal and 31st year working at Emerson, says that teachers shouldn’t have to worry about stocking their classrooms, wasting their teaching and prep time standing at the copy machine, or spending their own money to be sure basic supplies are on hand the first day of school.

A closer look inside the classrooms reveals students working intently (even on a Friday!), teachers engaged with kids, and lots of positive reinforcements in the halls and on classroom walls. Principal Hodge says the goal of excellence for all students at Emerson is embraced by all of her staff. “Whether it’s the bilingual clerical assistant, the custodian, or the teachers, each person working at Emerson knows he/she is part of the team and brings a sense of urgency to the work every day,” she explained.

Visual aids posted all around the school communicate a strong, positive school environment and underscore the meaning of the community affirmation shared at all assemblies: I See You. I Appreciate You. I Am So Glad You Are Here! . Positive behaviors are reinforced as students are “caught being good,” and restorative practices are used to correct student behavior when there are problems.

Principal Hodge is proud of the team she has built and points to the excellent teaching and collaborative nature of her staff as key to their success. She further credits the frequency of the direct academic interventions provided in small groups and one-on-one as well as counseling services that offer safe spaces for students.
The students also benefit from the tight relationships the staff work to build with parents and families. The foundational idea is that when kids feel safe and supported they can learn.

Infographics in Middle School Math
Eighth graders in Roald Dejean’s math classes at King Middle School studied math in the world around us by examining and creating infographics. As part of the graphing unit, students analyzed different kinds of graphs such as bar graphs, circle graphs, and line graphs. They focused on how infographics use data and graphs to present information visually. Then students collaboratively designed the culminating project with the teacher. They collectively brainstormed possible topics which included the wingspan of birds, water consumption, sports statistics, and the wage gap.

Read the full story on the DigiTechTeach blog and find out what students learned about graphing while researching education funding and trends in college demographics by gender.
Earth Day Everyday Sustainability Plan for Berkeley Unified School District
BUSD’s Sustainability Plan process is underway following a March 20 kickoff meeting attended by about 60 people at Longfellow.
 
Plan development is expected to take a year, and is intended to produce a comprehensive plan for reducing the environmental footprint of schools and promoting environmental literacy,
 
The success of the effort depends on input from the entire BUSD community. One way to get involved is by joining a Sustainability Plan Work Group.
You are invited to meet with environmental professionals and the BUSD Sustainability Plan team to delve into the goals and activities about specific topics that will eventually become part of the Earth Day Everyday Plan. Meeting schedule
Summer Opportunities Fair for High School Students: April 25
Please encourage the BHS students in your life to visit the Summer Opportunities fair on  Wednesday, April 25th from 9:00 am until 12:00 pm  on the BHS campus. The event provides a space where students can talk one-on-one with representatives from organizations offering volunteer positions, learning experiences, college class work, and employment.  This year the fair will have representatives from the Downtown Berkeley YMCA, The Bread Project, Youth Radio, and the UC Theater among many others. 
Berkeley City College will also have a table at the fair to talk about concurrent enrollment and opportunities for high school students to take community college courses during the summer session. Enrollment is now open.
Preschool Open House: April 28
Are you the parent of a preschool student, or know a family looking for a great preschool option for their child, ages 2.9 - 5 years old?

A Preschool Open House is being held on Saturday, April 28 from 10am-12pm. Come see the inside of our preschool classrooms and learn more!
Independent Study Orientation Sessions Start in May
Berkeley Independent Study serves both high school and K-8 students – providing an alternative teaching and learning format in ways that acknowledge and welcome each student’s personal, cultural and academic background.

Information on orientation sessions scheduled for May and June
Upcoming Meetings and Events
BSEP Planning & Oversight Committee
Tues., April 24, 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.



Upcoming School Board Meetings
Wed., April 25, May 9
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.

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