October 16, 2018
A+ News


IN THIS EDITION:
  • Resources to Address Sexual Harassment and Bullying
  • Positive School Culture
  • Professional Development Day Highlights
  • Students Tell Stories with Flipgrid
  • Superintendent Speaker Series - Dr. Frank Worrell
  • School & District Committee Orientation & Other Upcoming Events/Meetings
Resources to Address Sexual Harassment and Bullying
With stories of sexual harassment back in national headlines serving as a painful reminder of how common the experience of sexual harassment and assault is in high school and college, on October 3, Superintendent Evans emailed a letter to all middle and high school families that reiterated the commitment of the Berkeley Unified School District to protect students from sexual harassment, bullying and discrimination. He introduced our new Title IX Coordinator, Chelsea Yogerst, and our Student Services Manager, James Wogan, and shared some valuable school, district, and outside resources that are available to our community, You can read the full letter and list of resources on our webpage .
Developing and Strengthening a Positive School Culture
Research shows that bullying behavior can be stopped when parents, school staff, and other adults in the community send a quick and consistent message that such behavior is not acceptable.

Each day our principals, teachers, and staff work on building a positive school climate so that our students feel safe, supported, and ready to learn. Welcoming Schools  and  Toollbox  are two key programs that have become an integral part of the social-emotional learning curriculum in our elementary schools. Learning what it means to "Be an Ally" becomes especially important in the later elementary and middle school years when students begin to pay closer attention to what their peers think, say and how they respond.
This video from 2017, produced by the counseling staff at Longfellow Middle School, highlights many components of the positive behavior intervention and support program that are being used effectively to develop community, build strong relationships, and support students.

In recognition of October as Bullying Prevention Month, we'll look more closely at the restorative justice work going on in our middle schools in the next issue of the A+ News.
A Day of Learning for Staff on a Day Off for Students
As part of the professional development day on October 8, employees attended keynote sessions given by Dr. Jaiya John, an internationally recognized humanitarian, author, speaker, poet, and youth mentor. Speaking with compassion in a manner that was both humble and confident, Dr. John told stories of his own challenges and low self-esteem in his youth as a way to illustrate some of the challenges our students face. To create a healing environment and humanize the student experience, he highlighted the importance of building strong relationships with students and using positive messages that emphasize each student’s unique abilities and gifts rather than finding fault with a student’s short-comings.

The full day staff development program also included specialized workshops and training opportunities on first aid, health, wellness and safety, waste management, and specialized instructional training for special education staff. Teachers broke out into specialized areas of the curriculum to work on instructional strategies in phonics, writing, physical education, science, and math as well as the arts.
Staff gathered in the King Middle School Auditorium to hear Dr. Jaiya John during his keynote session, "Equity and Shared Vision."
Students Easily Create Videos Using Chromebooks and ‘Flipgrid’
Have you heard of #FlipgridFever? If not, you may soon. Flipgrid usage in our schools is spreading!

Flipgrid is an online platform designed for school students to quickly create and capture their ideas in short videos.

Students use Chromebooks to create videos in response to teacher prompts. Steps can include drafting a script, obtaining feedback from other students, and revising and editing before the finished product is posted. It's become a fun and interesting way for students to find their voice and tell their stories.

As Ms. Gitlen writes in her Oct. 11 post on the District’s DigiTechTeach blog, “There are limitless possibilities for using Flipgrid to spark and capture student thinking.
Upcoming Events & Meetings
Talent Development for All Students:
Rising to the Challenge
Dr. Frank Worrell, Thursday, November 1, 7pm

Dr. Frank Worrell is a professor in the Graduate School of Education at UC Berkeley, where he serves as Director of the School Psychology program, Faculty Director of the Academic Talent Development Program, and Faculty Director of the California College Preparatory Academy.

Dr. Worrell studies the psychological factors and educational contexts that promote talent development. He will address how schools and districts can provide equitable talent development opportunities for all. The evening program will include a discussion with Superintendent Evans of the information presented and an opportunity to ask Dr. Worrell your questions.

This is the first event in the superintendent's speaker series, Onward and Upward.
Thursday, November 1, at 7:00pm in the Longfellow Middle School Auditorium, 1500 Derby St.

Save the Date: Dr. Prudence L. Carter, Dean of the Graduate School of Education, Dec. 11 at 7pm.

See you there!
School & District Committee Orientation: October 18
The annual orientation for members of school and district committees will take place on: 
Thursday, October 18, at Longfellow Middle School from 6:00-8:00pm (optional dinner at 5:30).

Topics for the evening will include: 
  • Committee orientation and essentials, 
  • Implications of new bylaws, 
  • Addressing the achievement gap, 
  • Parent engagement policies.

There will also be time allocated for committees to meet.

This evening is designed for members of School Site Councils, BHS BSEP Site Committee, the LCAP Parent Advisory Committee, and all other members of district and school committees and PTAs, as well as anyone who wants to learn more about how these committees function.

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Save the Date: November 15, 2018 : Superintendent's State of the District,
Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) Update, and Leadership Workshops
Superintendent Budget Advisory Committee Meeting: October 23
October 23, 5-7pm
2020 Bonar Street, Room 126

A series of economic conditions and fiscal factors continue to put pressure on school district budgets across the State of California. The Superintendent’s Budget Advisory Committee (SBAC) will hold its first meeting of this school year to begin to discuss spending priorities and the process for considering budget cuts needed to maintain a balanced budget for BUSD in the 2019-20 school year.
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School Board Meetings
October 24, 7:30pm
November 14, 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
Student Services and Title IX Leadership
James C. Wogan , LCSW, head of the Student Services Department , joined BUSD this summer and oversees a wide range of valuable supports and services for students and families, including family engagement, positive behavior and intervention supports, attendance, school discipline, supports for foster youth and homeless students, and the facilitation of complaints. Mr. Wogan serves as an important link and support provider for students, families, educators, and staff.

Chelsea Yogerst joined our team last week as the District Title IX Coordinator and Compliance Officer. Ms.Yogerst has significant experience handling confidential subject matters and emotionally charged allegations. Her most recent position was as Confidential Investigator for the NYC Department of Education Office of Special Investigations, where she worked with staff and children in difficult situations. She will coordinate our efforts to prevent harassment and discrimination , as well as lead our responses to incidents that do occur.

Both James Wogan and Chelsea Yogerst have an office on the first floor of the school district building at 2020 Bonar St. and are frequently seen out and about on school campuses.
James Wogan, Manager of Student Services
Chelsea Yogerst, Title IX Coordinator



No School:
November 12 (Veteran's Day)
November 19-23 (Thanksgiving Break)
Berkeley Unified School District | 2020 Bonar Street | 510-644-8764 | www.berkeleyschools.net