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A+ News Edition: 
Week of June 5, 2017
BUSD Schools Provide "All Student" Restrooms
We know from personal accounts from non-binary and transgender students that the experience of using restrooms at school or other public places can be fraught with discomfort, fear, and even ridicule. It is most often the case that for non-binary students and/or young transgender people who are still trying to understand their identity,  no gendered restroom feels comfortable.

That's why during this school year, at least one all gender restroom has been identified and labeled for use by "All Students" at all of our school campuses, and on several campuses there is more than one location.

The restroom facilities are for the most part single stall, single use restrooms that offer private accommodations to any student who wishes to use them. 

Each school is working to ensure that all students know about the availability and location of the "All Student" restrooms. District staff continue to evaluate how to expand access to all gender restrooms in the future while meeting state and educational facility requirements for all the students and adults on campus.
Berkeley Schools Continue Developing Digital Citizens
Congratulations Berkeley Arts Magnet, Emerson, John Muir, Rosa Parks and Washington communities! Your five schools have earned D igital Citizenship Certification through teaching lessons adapted from Common Sense Media this year. Way to go! 

Many of the rest of the elementary schools are on the verge of completing this set of digital citizenship lessons, so keep up the good work!
Resources for Family Preparedness Plans
All BUSD families have been emailed a letter from Superintendent Evans  about the importance of family preparedness plans, with special advice for immigrant families, many of whom have concerns about keeping their families together due to the potential for immigrant enforcement actions (ICE).

Please visit our webpage to read the letter and find important resources for family preparedness plans for you to know about and share with others in the community.
District Policies & Resources for Immigrant Families
This District web page provides information on local resources for immigrant families. You can also contact the principal, family engagement specialist at your child's school, school counselor or other trusted staff member if you would like to know how schools are supporting immigrant families.

new web page  about the effort to support immigrant families in public schools across California was launched by the California Department of Education.
Notification of Non-Discrimination Policy
The Berkeley Unified School District does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, religious creed, gender, sexual orientation, gender expression, marital or parental status, ancestry, ethnic group identification, disability, medical condition, homelessness or foster status in its programs and activities and provides equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups. Discrimination based on protected class includes sexual harassment, sexual violence, and bullying. 

Please visit this webpage for all inquiries or concerns regarding BUSD's nondiscrimination policy 5145.3 or the filing of discrimination complaints.
District Meetings & Events
Brown Act Committees Open to the Public

June 6 (7:00pm)
Room 126, 2020 Bonar St.

June 14 & 28 (7:30pm)
Board Room at 1231 Addison Street

All School Board meetings are viewable live on local cable channel 33 and YouTube. (The live link is posted before each board meeting on the district homepage.) 

Records of board meetings are archived on  the BUSD YouTube channel .

Board Office Hours:
Visit this webpage for information on how to contact members of the School Board or to find out when monthly office hours are scheduled.

Last day of school: 
Friday, June 16

First day of school - 2017-18:
Tuesday, August 29

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Variety of Activities to Support LGBTQ Students and Families
June is National LGBT Pride Month, and activities have been organized at a number of schools to support LGBT (also known as LGBTQ) youth and families.

For example, on the first day of the month, Rosa Parks students participated in an LGBTQ Pride Parade and outdoor assembly while students at Jefferson participated in a Welcoming Families lesson and creation of a school Rainbow Flag.

On June 2, in a show of solidarity with LGBTQ people who often feel pressured to remain silent, Longfellow students were able to voluntarily join in a Day of Silence.

More LGBT awareness activities continue this week, including the  Malcolm X Rainbow Alliance/Rainbow Families Pride Pot Luck Party later this week.

In a related expression of support for transgender youth, several classrooms and libraries at various schools held readings of the children's book "I Am Jazz" on May 18 for  National "I Am Jazz" Day of Action . The picture book, by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings, is about being transgender and was published in 2014.
Rosa Parks teacher Lisa Billings reads "I Am Jazz" 
to her fourth grade students at the 
MOSAIC Project's outdoor classroom.
Prevent Summer Slide!
Library programs, audiobooks and other summer book ideas
With all the work our students have put in this year, they'd probably like to know about the "Summer Slide" phenomenon and the importance of students continuing to flex their reading muscles throughout the summer.  " Summer slide " is the tendency for students to lose some of the achievement gains they made during the previous school year, and research tells us that continued access to books over the summer is critical.

The Berkeley Public Library offers a free summer reading program that incentivizes students to make library visits and includes coveted rewards for students who participate. Here is a summary of the Berkeley library programs and events for kids, and here is a web page dedicated to library services for teens.

The BUSD library web page also has a plethora of reading ideas and online tools, including grade level reading suggestions. And don't miss the section on audiobooks that you can find on the Tales2go page. Audiobooks are a fun way to listen to story time at home or on the road, and all BUSD elementary school families can access this resource for free. 
Cragmont Students Celebrate Grandparents and Special Friends
Cragmont's Grandparents & Special Friends Day was a fun-filled, extraordinary experience, and fitting way to wind down the school year. With grandparents and special friends everywhere, it was a time for students to share their Cragmont world with these special people in their lives, and to show off their newfound knowledge and talents. 
The day began with an assembly of student performances that enthralled all in attendance and was especially notable for the range of student expression and performance.
King Teachers/Staff Lead D.C. Trip for 195 8th Graders
A King Middle School tradition was resurrected this year thanks to teachers Victoria Edwards and Mya Hotter, who organized and led 195 of King's 8th grade students on a five-day trip to Washington, D.C. in April. Galvanized by the idea that there is no better way to appreciate the 8th grade lessons of American history and civics than to visit our nation's Capitol and set foot in the halls of Congress, the whole King community helped support the return of this special trip.
King students visit the Martin Luther King, Jr. 
Memorial in Washington D.C.

The King students joined with students from Alaska, Montana and Oregon to participate in Close Up's middle school program. Students learned about how laws are made, visited a number of historical sites and went back in time to the center of one of America's first colonies in Williamsburg, VA. One of the highlights of the trip was the visit to the new National Museum of African American History and Culture - an especially moving experience for students, parents and chaperones alike.

A special shout-out goes to King staff and faculty members Paula Carpenter, Diamond King, Shannon Brown, David Gold, and Rachel Manandar, and to the 13 parents who made the trip possible by serving as chaperones.
Showcase of BHS Film Creativity 
While videos have become ubiquitous in the era of social media, using video to effectively tell a story capable of reaching a larger audience requires skill. This skill was on full display May 23, when a series of 16 short films produced by Berkeley High students was screened at the annual Berkeley High Film Festival.

The films included a 47-second experimental short about a guy enjoying his favorite breakfast sandwich, an eight-minute documentary about the effects of a prison sentence on a family, a music video showcasing the talents of a Berkeley High rapper and several important public service announcements about the warning signs of suicide, the importance of reading and smartphone addiction.

Under the leadership of teacher/Media Coordinator Phil Halpern (in photo), the annual BHS Film Festival showcases the work of students from across the school, and especially from the Art of Video Making and Advanced Studio Editing courses, which are available to any Berkeley High student as electives.

Students packed the Little Theater throughout the day as classes took turns for different screenings of the 45-minute festival.