February 12, 2019
A+ News
In this edition:
  • John Muir Opens African American History Month
  • Schools Fund Brings Science Fairs to Every Elementary School
  • BHS Soccer Teams Celebrate Winning Season
  • Professor Jabari Mahiri Discusses Moving "Beyond the Color-Bind"
  • Richard Rothstein, March 5, 4:30pm
  • 2019 BUSD Family Survey
  • BHS WASC Accreditation!
  • Free BreathMobile Visits to Serve Students with Asthma
  • BSEP Planning & Oversight Committee, School Board Meeting, and more!
Everyone Had a Part at John Muir Elementary's Assembly Launching African American History Month
Always the school's most popular assembly of the year, families crowded in to the John Muir auditorium on Feb. 1 to enjoy presentations of poetry, song and dance to launch African American History Month. 

The performances were culminations of weeks and even months of study on the Civil Rights Movement, the Harlem Renaissance and similar topics. As first grade teacher Yorda Weldeghiorgis reminded the crowd, African-American history is, quite simply, American history. 
The second graders began the show with a rousing Soul Train dance entrance, getting the audience clapping along and into the spirit. Kindergartners then sang "This Little Light of Mine" with matching dance moves, and 3rd graders helped all feel more courageous by reciting Maya Angelou's "Life Doesn't Frighten Me." The first grade classes sang "Little Liza Jane" – originally the tune of the African folk song "Funga Alafia" – accompanied by body percussion, and fifth graders closed the show with a powerful performance of Langston Hughes' "Let America Be America Again." 
John Muir students recite Langston Hughes' Let America be America Again.
More Science Mysteries Being Solved in Our Schools Thanks to Schools Fund - Lawrence Hall of Science Partnership
Fish and other wildlife were dying, but why? Maybe the nearby cattle ranch? Acid rain? Car oil leaks? Something else?

All the 5th graders at Malcolm X were put on the case as part of a science project in collaboration with the Lawrence Hall of Science. 

The young detectives measured pH and phosphate levels, compared old and new photos, poured water on different parts of a model of the fictional town to see where it drained.

At the end, the impact was reflected by the student who exclaimed, “I want to be an environmentalist now!”

Thanks to the Schools Fund and a generous donor, the Lawrence Hall of Science is bringing a "Science Festival" to every one of our elementary schools.You can read more about the kind of engaging science adventures our students are having in a Feb. 4 blog post by the Berkeley Public Schools Fund.
Students become environmental detectives during the Lawrence Hall of Science Festival.
Varsity Boys and Girls Win League; Strong Winter Soccer Season All Around
The Berkeley High Boys Varsity Soccer team clinched the West Alameda County Conference (ACC) league title and the Girls Varsity team took the win for ACC league in a dramatic victory over Bishop O'Dowd. Both teams anticipate an exciting NCS post-season.

JV Boys Soccer team is finishing up a great season as well with a 20-1 overall record and JV Girls were undefeated in league season with an 8-0-2 record.
Congratulations to all the players and coaches for a great season all around!
Above, Junior Varsity teammates celebrate a strong season while the Varsity Girls team, below, swarms together as only Jackets do.
Professor Mahiri Discusses Moving "Beyond the Color-Bind" at Superintendent's Speaker Series Event
Dr. Jabari Mahiri opened the third speaking event in the Superintendent’s Speaker Series on January 31 talking about what he likes to call a “communiversity.” He shared his belief in the exponential value of “bringing the University into the community and the community into the University” in ways that can create rich exchanges, bring progress on shared goals, and improve conditions for the future of young people.

As a professor in the UC Berkeley School of Education, Dr. Mahiri shared the work he is doing with educators and students to think deeply about how we discuss identity and race.

Professor Mahiri says that we must work to dismantle a classification system that victimizes people of color and assigns privilege to whiteness and instead promote and embrace the science and beauty of human variation. He argues that relying on the color of someone’s skin, or a simplistic categorization that attempts to define a person’s identity by race, prevents us from being able to solve the most complex problems we face as a society and to create a sustainable future for our young people.
Read more on our webpage post about the event.

Dr. Mahiri invited the audience to look into the Othering & Belonging Conference organized by the Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society happening in Oakland in April.
Richard Rothstein to Speak at Berkeley High School: March 5 at 4:30pm
Please mark your calendars for the fourth and final speaking event in the Superintendent’s Speaker Series with Richard Rothstein on March 5 at 4:30pm at Berkeley High School in the Little Theater.

Richard Rothstein, author and Distinguished Fellow of the Economic Policy Institute , will join Dr. Evans in the final event of the Superintendent's Speaker Series to look at how government actions, practices and policies interacted historically to create a powerful system of residential segregation in every metropolitan area in the U.S., and how African American students in our nation's public schools were particularly disadvantaged. Among other insights, he'll help the audience think about constitutionally required laws and new legal frameworks that can be used to redress the segregation of neighborhoods and schools.
MARCH 5th SPEAKER EVENT: Richard Rothstein, Author of The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America
WASC Accreditation - Positive for BHS!
Berkeley High School is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). Accreditation is key to the validation of the educational program and to the transcripts and diplomas of our students. After an intensive process of review of the high school’s programs, and a campus visit from the (WASC) accreditation team, BHS received a six (6) year accreditation with a 1-day mid-term visit, the second highest accreditation term that a comprehensive high school can be awarded.

A “6 year free and clear,” the only rank higher, is very rare for a school as diverse and large as ours, so this is in step with what most successfully operated comprehensive high schools receive. The WASC report also affirmed the high school’s self-identified growth goals to continue to structure additional supports for students in math and for math instructors, examining data with school- wide processes, and continuously improving mental health supports for kids. The WASC team added the long term goal of a more cohesive technology plan throughout the school. The team will return in 3 years to assess progress toward goals.  

Kudos to Principal Erin Schweng, WASC Coordinator James Dopman and the entire BHS staff for this achievement!
Go Jackets!
Please Participate in the 2019 BUSD Family Survey!
BUSD's annual Family Engagement and School Climate Survey is open and we’d like to hear from you! 

The purpose of this survey is to give school site staff and district leaders valuable and actionable feedback to improve school climate and increase opportunities for parent and family engagement. Thank you for taking the time to participate and share your feedback!
BreathMobile to Visit Berkeley Schools
T he BreathMobile – an “asthma clinic on wheels” with doctors, nurses and staff that specialize in asthma – will visit several school sites during the next four months offering asthma evaluations, treatment and education at no charge.

Children aged 3 months to 18 years are eligible, and a student with a parent present can be seen at any site, not just the school site where the student is enrolled. Parents can call 510-763-1880 to schedule an appointment.
Here’s the schedule, during school hours generally from 9 a.m to 3 p.m.:
Tuesday, Feb. 12, Franklin Preschool
Friday, Feb. 22, Sylvia Mendez Elementary
Tuesday, March 19, King CDC
Wednesday, March 27, Sylvia Mendez Elementary
Tuesday, April 16, Franklin Preschool
Tuesday, May 14, King CDC

Please check the district website for school addresses.
Upcoming Events & Meetings
Berkeley Schools Excellence Program (BSEP) Planning & Oversight Committee
Feb. 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
Feb. 20, 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
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.
Does your student like contests? Would they like to help be a part of banning flavored tobacco products?

The Alameda County Tobacco Use Prevention Advisory Board is hosting a contest for 6th to 12th graders in the county to create a public service announcement (PSA) aimed at banning flavored tobacco products in their communities. 
Submissions are being accepted in three categories:
  • Poster/Graphic image
  • Audio
  • Video
The deadline is March 22. Prizes for winning entries include gift cards valued at $25 to $100.
Berkeley Unified School District | 2020 Bonar Street | 510-644-8764 | www.berkeleyschools.net