Everyone can do math! 
Rebecca Burke, Berkeley math coach and King math teacher, loves to share her excitement for the website, youcubed.org, and the work of Standford Mathematics Professor Jo Boaler. Burke points to a short paper by Boaler that explains how scientists' understanding of ability and learning has changed, and what we now know to be true about math achievement. Professor Boaler cites five recent and important findings supporting the idea that everyone can be good at math:
  1. All students can achieve at high levels;
  2. Students' ideas about their ability determine their learning pathways and math achievement;
  3. Mistakes and struggle are extremely important for learning;
  4. Mathematics should be dissociated from speed;
  5. Teachers messages are hugely powerful.

Math coach Rebecca Burke encourages parents to consider taking a simple and free online course to explore the new research ideas on mathematics learning and student mindsets that can transform students' experiences with math.  

 

Burke's basic message to teachers and parents alike is pretty simple: "Let's have fun with math, and encourage everyone to believe they can do math. There is no such thing as a math gene."

Fire Chief Encourages BTA Students to Follow Their Dreams
BTA Principal Quintana welcomes Oakland Fire Chief Deloach Reed

Oakland Fire Chief Teresa Deloach Reed visited with Berkeley Technology Academy (BTA) students to talk about the opportunities in and the rewards of public service, and to encourage students to follow their dreams. She shared with students how both she and Berkeley's recently retired Fire Department Chief Debra Prior achieved "firsts" as African-American female fire chiefs in the United States. Read more...
Super Science Saturdays Program Expands 
Building excitement about science, technology, math, and engineering ("STEM") for our youngest students is the goal of the expanding pilot program, "Super Science Saturdays". Each Super Science Saturday is filled with STEM-related, hands-on learning through assemblies, learning stations, design centers, as well as coding and other tech skills practiced on Chromebooks for the 224 students enrolled from six Berkeley schools.

New state LCFF supplemental funding directed at strengthening engagement of our high need students, and a second year of grant funding from the Berkeley Public Schools Fund, have made the expansion possible.

Program staff has been chronicling the learning and fun over the past many weeks; now you can e xperience some of the excitement by following  weekly updates here.
State Testing Resources for Parents
The Smarter Balanced Assessment (SBA) is now underway, and schools are on a rotating schedule for students using the new online assessment tool in grades 3-8, and 11. (This year the California Standards Test (CST) in Science continues in its traditional paper and pencil format for students in grades 5, 8, 10.)

Resources continue to be developed to help teachers, students, and families transition to the new state testing program. You can find the informative slide presentation from the SBA parent workshop from April 9th and other helpful information on our SBA webpage.
Oxford
Oxford teacher Jackie Omania receives the Green Educator Award
Teacher receives "Green Educator" Award
At Oxford's Friday morning community meeting, long-time Berkeley teacher Jackie Omania shared her Green Educator Leadership Award with the community that helped her reduce waste and promote the health of the environment. Over the last several years, she has enlisted more than 100 students to participate in Green Team student activities - performing skits about the 4Rs (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Rot), serving as waste monitors at lunch, as well as motivating parents to start both a book and Halloween costume exchange, and realize the beauty of reuse.

Ms. Omania has been one of Berkeley's leading teachers with the Green Star Schools Program, through a partnership between our school district and the Green Schools Initiative. More here...
Berkeley Public Schools Fund's Annual Luncheon  
What do teachers John Fike, Matt Tsang, and Naomi Washington-Diouf all have in common? You are invited to the School Fund's Annual Luncheon to find out.