January 23, 2017
A+ News

In this Edition:
  • Middle School English Language
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Day Student Awards
  • Teen Reading Ideas
  • Admissions & Enrollment Events/Deadlines
  • State of the District Event
  • Naming Advisory Committee: LeConte School
  • Alternative Program Restructuring
  • Budget Reductions
  • Committee Meetings
  • Upcoming Events/Meetings, and more
English Language Arts in Our Middle Schools
Have you been wondering how our middle school teachers are getting kids to read more than a cell phone text or write more than a Snapchat? You can find some of the answers in this new video just out.

This year all of Berkeley's middle school English teachers are working together to implement the district's newly adopted English curriculum, Inquiry by Design .

Willard teachers Benjamin Jackson, Denise Milner-Torres, and Chloe Smith volunteered to share their experiences teaching the new curriculum and invited us into their classrooms to capture the teaching and learning in action.
Don't miss this video!
Next Generation Awards: HIghlight of M.L.K. Jr. Day Breakfast
Seven BUSD students were presented with “Next Generation Awards” at the 7th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Breakfast on Jan. 15, the King Birthday holiday.

Each of the students was selected for being a leader on social justice issues and received a California State Assembly Certificate of Recognition signed by Berkeley’s two state legislators, Sen. Nancy Skinner and Assemblymember Tony Thurmond. As a recognition for their leadership, the high school honorees received scholarships, while the middle school honorees received gift certificates to Pegasus Books.

Also announced at the event by Steering Committee member Tasha Henneman is a contribution of $1,000 for the Berkeley Promise , a newly established scholarship initiative for Berkeley public school graduates.

The annual King Celebration breakfast has become a popular annual gathering attracting many community leaders and hundreds of other people to honor King’s legacy.
This year’s honorees are:
De’Azhane Adams, Berkeley High School

Terriona Young, Berkeley Technology Academy

Nishat Sheikh, Berkeley Independent Study

Mehki Crossland, Longfellow Middle School

Joshua Jones, Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School

Ray Cole III, Willard Middle School

Ny’Aja Roberson, Willard Middle School
Admissions Season Underway

K-8 Schools
The K-8 enrollment deadline of Friday, Feb. 2, for the first school placement lottery for the 2018-19 school year is fast approaching. More details on the Admissions Office Webpage

Berkeley High School
Berkeley High will hold an information night for incoming 9th grade families on February 7 at 7pm that will include details about the new Universal 9th Grade Program. All new incoming 9th grade families should plan to attend.
Encouraging Teen Reading with Goodreads and Pinterest
F rom our DigiTechTeach blog
“It’s no secret that many teens love social media,” writes teacher-librarian Mary Ann Scheuer in her post about harnessing teens’ engagement with social media to foster enthusiasm for reading.

Read about how the social media sites Goodreads and Pinterest are being used to engage readers at Berkeley High in Mary Ann’s post on our DigiTechTeach blog .
Restructuring of Alternative Programs: Berkeley Technology Academy and Independent Study
The School Board unanimously approved a restructuring of Berkeley Technology Academy (BTA) and the Independent Study (IS) program that will place the two high school alternative programs under a single administrator this coming fall.

The restructuring means that BTA will operate as a continuation high school, and some positions will be consolidated and shared in a single management and support structure.
Both BTA and Independent Study students will receive added benefits, including access to developing CTE classes, A-G coursework, and/or concurrent enrollment.

The restructuring was presented and approved on Jan. 10. The presentation is available on the archived YouTube stream of the meeting and starts at time mark 1:35.
Superintendent's Naming Advisory Committee to Review Suggestions for LeConte Elementary School
An advisory committee has been formed to work with the Superintendent and community to solicit and review potential new names for Le Conte Elementary School. The Naming Advisory Committee members include parents, staff and neighbors of the school. You can find more details about the work of the committee as well as an online form open for receiving school naming suggestions until February 15 on our webpage.
Upcoming Meetings and Events
Superintendent's State of the District Event:
January 31, 6:30 - 8:15
Join Superintendent Evans for this year's State of the District Event! Learn more about:

Professional Development ~ Student Achievement ~ Budget Challenges
Berkeley's Local Control & Accountability Plan
Workshop Sessions on: School Committee Leadership &
California's Data Dashboard

Superintendent's Budget Advisory Committee Considers Budget Cuts
The Superintendent’s Budget Advisory Committee (SBAC) members will consider their recommendations for budget cuts necessary to balance the 2018-19 school year district budget. Meeting materials, including a working list of budget cutting ideas under consideration, are posted on this webpage .

When: Jan. 23 at 5:30pm
Where: 1231Addison St. in the BUSD Board Room.
A Little Background on the Budget Reduction Discussion

A series of economic and fiscal conditions and factors are putting pressures on school district budgets across the State of California. More detail is provided in this website post and in the board agenda packet (Item 13 & 14) for the Jan. 23 Wednesday night's meeting .
School Board Meetings
Jan. 24, Feb. 7, 7:30 pm

Board Meetings are held in the Board Room, 1231 Addison St, unless otherwise noted.

School Board Members hold office hours at convenient cafe locations in the city.
Board President Josh Daniels:
Vice President Judy Appel:
Third Saturday of the month, 10am
Ty Alper:
Last Sunday of every month, 3-4:30pm
Beatriz Leyva-Cutler:
Thursday, Feb. 8, 4:30pm
(usually first Monday of the month)
Karen Hemphill:
Second Saturday of the month, 10:30am

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 to Consider Budget Cuts
The upcoming school board meetings will also include discussion of budget cuts (Jan. 24 and Feb. 7), with decisions scheduled for the Feb 21st meeting.
BSEP Planning & Oversight Committee
Tues., Jan. 30 & Feb 13, 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.



In Case You Missed It
City Residents Mailed School District's Annual Community Report in December
The Annual Community Report is mailed to Berkeley residents each year in order to share general information about the work of our public schools and the ways in which local tax funding is being used to the benefit of our students and families and the Berkeley community. Residents received the most recent edition in December that features professional development, technology, BSEP, bond funds, budget issues, Gardening & Cooking and more.

Have a look in case you missed it!
All recent reports are posted on our webpage.
Berkeley Unified School District | 2020 Bonar Street | 510-644-8764 | www.berkeleyschools.net