January 15, 2019
A+ News
In this edition:
  • Winter BEARS Program Takes Field Trips
  • New Public Health Course at BHS
  • Speaker Series: Professor Jabari Mahiri
  • Superintendent's Retirement/Board Statement
  • BHS Construction Planning
  • 2019-20 School Year Calendar
  • BUSD's Annual Community Report
  • BSEP Planning & Oversight, Superintendent's Budget Advisory Committee and Board Meeting
State of the District Presentation and Local Control & Accountability Plan (LCAP) Update: Thurs., Jan 17
Thursday, January 17, at 7:00 pm
Longfellow Middle School, 1500 Derby St.

At this annual State of the District Presentation, Superintendent Evans and educational leaders will provide an overview of key progress indicators, student achievement, new initiatives, and an update on the Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP).

Please join members of the Parent Advisory Committee, BUSD staff, families, and interested community members for this annual update.

Childcare and Spanish interpretation will be provided.
Winter BEARS Program Takes Field Trips to Senior Center
Students attending the BEARS winter break program enjoyed two visits to the South Berkeley Senior Center and brought with them sweet holiday cheer and the gift of their presence.

Students made cards and drew pictures to give to the seniors they met during the visits. They also brought books to read to them and some of the seniors also enjoyed reading to the students.

Seniors expressed their gratitude through the sharing of handmade gifts, doughnuts, and even a few dollar bills! Needless to say, a good time was had by all!
Students Explore Public Health in New AMPS Course
In a new course for high school students in the Academy of Medicine and Public Health (AMPS), Berkeley High teacher Nick Lee prepares students with a broad foundation of knowledge and experience in public health through a close focus on food, diet-related disease, and local measures to curtail health inequities. Students explore careers in public health advocacy and policy, as well as careers in food and education that support public health and wellness. Guest lecturers engaged professionally in public health careers are invited to class and to mentor students. To engage in work-based learning, students have opportunities to work with several local organizations, including the Ecology Center, City of Berkeley Public Health, the Edible Schoolyard, BUSD Nutrition Services, BUSD Cooking and Gardening Wellness Policy Committee, and Berkeley Food Network.
Grant funding for the BUSD Gardening and Cooking Program from Healthy Berkeley is helping make this Career Technical Education class possible. You can read more about developments in Career Technical Education in the recently released Community Report.
Superintendent's Speaker Series Continues: Dr. Jabari Mahiri: Multicultural Education Beyond the Color-Bind
Please mark your calendars for the third event in the Superintendent’s Speaker Series on January 31 at 7pm . Berkeley Graduate School of Education Professor Jabari Mahiri teaches a nuanced and expansive view of diversity and identity. In particular, he designs lessons that help students think more clearly about equity, race, empathy and understanding of their own identity and people who are different from them.
At the January 31 presentation, he will share some of his research and thinking on how to create school and home settings that promote multiculturalism in a way that furthers our community conversation about equity and excellence in education.
MARCH SPEAKER EVENT: Richard Rothstein, Author of The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America Tuesday, March 5th at 4:30, Berkeley High Little Theater
Superintendent Evans July 2019 Retirement; School Board Statement
Superintendent Donald Evans plans to retire effective July 31, 2019. The School Board accepted his retirement announcement letter at its Jan. 10 meeting.

More information is available in this webpage post that includes the letter he sent to all BUSD families by email last Thursday, Jan. 11.

On behalf of the School Board, Vice President Leyva Cutler released this statement about the upcoming search for the next superintendent.
Berkeley High School Construction Planning: Theater Retrofitting and Classroom Upgrades
A Jan. 7 Community Meeting on the first phase of planned renovations of the Berkeley High Community Theater, Florence Schwimley Little Theater, and 'A' Buidling featured detailed descriptions of the many improvements planned for the visual and performing arts classrooms and communal spaces in the building as well as the main theater backstage area.

This planned earthquake retrofit and modernization would be the first major renovation of BUSD's largest building. Improvements made to the theater and building complex built in the 1940's will meet the requirements of construction on a building with historic landmark status.

More details on the facilities project webpage .
Brent McClure of CAW Architects describes the proposed renovation of the Community Theater Building at a Jan. 7 Community Meeting.
BUSD Community Report Mailed to Residents, Available Online
Last week the Berkeley Unified School District Annual Community Report was mailed to all city residents. The purpose of the report is to inform the Berkeley community about district initiatives and the use of local taxpayer funding. This year’s report focuses on recent programmatic developments in Career Technical Education, school district progress, and the upgrading of school facilities. Other topics covered include current budgetary challenges facing Berkeley Unified and other California school districts and the 50th anniversary of Berkeley’s school integration plan. An online version is available on the district website.
This four page community report includes a school data report card, a section on "money matters," and a cover letter to residents from Superintendent Evans.
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 this webpage.
Upcoming Events & Meetings
Berkeley Schools Excellence Program (BSEP) Planning & Oversight Committee
January 15 & 29, 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 .
Superintendent's Budget Advisory Committee Considers Budget Reductions
Committee (SBAC) is one of the key means by which staff and community stakeholders have an opportunity to participate in deliberations and recommendations for district budget priorities. The Committee is currently considering recommendations for budget reductions in 2019-20.

Governor Newsom's recent budget proposal for 2019-20 included some additional state funding to assist school districts in meeting state pension obligations. An analysis of how the Governor's proposal might affect budget reductions for Berkeley Unified School District in the coming fiscal year is being conducted and will be shared with the SBAC at a future meeting.

Meetings for the SBAC are currently scheduled:

January 22 & 29, 2019, 5:00pm
2020 Bonar Street, Room 126

The SBAC meetings are open to the public and include an opportunity for public comment.
School Board Meetings
January 23, 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.
Berkeley Unified School District | 2020 Bonar Street | 510-644-8764 | www.berkeleyschools.net