October 16, 2017
A+ News

In this Edition:
  • Longfellow Makerspace
  • Professional Development Day
  • School & District Committee Orientation - This Week!
  • Schools Fund & Berkeley Half Marathon
  • Air Quality Updates
  • Upcoming Events/Meetings, and more
Students, parents, and volunteers spent a Saturday in September making tables for the new Longfellow Makerspace.
Longfellow Makerspace Takes Off!

The first makerspace in our school district is taking off at Longfellow Middle School! More than 35 family members, students and other community members pitched in on a Saturday to build 13 tables for the space, and others, including the Schools Fund, have generously donated directly to the project.

“Our makerspace is off to a great start thanks to your generosity – thanks for your support!” wrote lead teacher Matt Hinckley in a message to those who helped in many ways.

The newly created Longfellow Makerspace is a large, hands-on classroom equipped with tools and supplies in the school’s former cafeteria. It’s the home of an elective called Makers Lab that will enable students to develop skills in papercraft, woodworking, sewing, electronics and more. The space will be used also for STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math) projects in science and other academic classes.

The Schools Fund has been a key partner in helping to get this project off the ground, including a $10,600 strategic impact grant for needed tools and supplies. You can read more on their blog about how the makerspace has come together.
School & Committee Orientation: October 19
The annual orientation for members of school and district committees will take place on 
Thursday, October 19  at 
Longfellow Middle   School,
1500 Derby St.  
Optional dinner is at 5:30, followed by the  orientation and mini-meetings from 6:00-8:00 pm .

Be part of the conversations happening at your school and across the District! Join your school’s Site Council, English Learner Committee, or the District Planning and Oversight Committee to provide and gain new perspectives.  Read about the role of the various committees here.
Professional Development Monday: A Day of Adult Learning
On Monday, October 9, while students had the day off, all school and district staff were involved in a wide range of adult learning opportunities designed to benefit our students and families.

In the morning keynote speech for K-8 teachers and instructional staff, Joyce Dorado, co-founder and director of UCSF HEARTS Program : Healthy Environments and Response to Trauma in Schools , spoke to a packed auditorium at King Middle School about strategies to create resilient students and a safe environment at school.

“Empowerment for traumatized people comes from those moments of agency,” Dr. Dorado said. “We will look at the brutal reality, and know that we can overcome it.”

She emphasized the importance of modeling self-regulation strategies in the classroom and in the school community that will help students who’ve experienced trauma gain more access to learning in the classroom.
In one of several workshops that followed, Special Education Teacher on Special Assignment Julie Venuto (above) presented the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) framework that uses research from neuroscience to guide the use of instructional approaches that can accommodate individual learning differences and promote the successful integration of students with disabilities in the general education classroom.

Using technology to bring students’ lived experiences and voices to the classroom was the focus of another session. Allison Krasnow, who leads instructional technology integration, captured a great exchange of ideas that's now on the DigiTechTeach blog .

You can read more about the recent district-wide "PD Day" on our webpage post .
Upcoming Meetings and Events
School Board Meetings
Oct. 25, 7:30 pm
Nov. 1, 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.
Is This Your Year for the Berkeley 5K, 10K or Half Marathon?
The Berkeley Public Schools Fund is partnering again this year with the Berkeley Half Marathon to raise funds for their grant programs for Berkeley teachers. They're looking for team members to run the 5k, 10k or Half Marathon. Free registration is available!  Just click "Get Started" on the  Fundraising/Team Page   and get ready to run on November 19!
Save the Date: November 30

Dine Out Fundraiser for Gardening & Cooking Program in the Schools
On Thursday, November 30th, BUSD's Garden & 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
Board President's Statement on Vile Social Media Account
During the week of October 9th, Superintendent Evans sent several messages to families and staff about the poor air quality conditions caused by the North Bay fires, and the resulting restriction of P.E., recess and outdoor activities, including some field trips.

Along with all other Alameda County Schools, Berkeley Unified School District remained open the entire week. The most recent message was sent to families on Sunday, October 15 notifying them that school would open as usual Monday, October 16, and that air quality conditions would continue to be monitored over the coming days as the fires become more fully contained.
Special Board Session on Role of Assessments in BUSD
At a special two-hour School Board meeting on October 4, Board members, BUSD staff and other interested parties offered a wide range of views on how we assess students and how we use the results in BUSD, particularly the state tests known as SBA, or Smarter Balanced Assessments. The recorded session is available for viewing on the district's YouTube Channel .
Berkeley Unified School District | 2020 Bonar Street | 510-644-8764 | www.berkeleyschools.net