A+ news masthead
Superintendent's District Update and Workshops
January 12 - Save the Date!
Superintendent Evans will give a "State of the District" Update, followed by  w orkshops on:

School Needs Assessments, 

Facilities Plans, 

Inclusive & Effective Committees, 

and Linking Goals with Resources

Thursday, January 12, 6:30 pm.
Longfellow Middle School

Please  follow this link to RSVP for this event. Members of school and district committees and any other interested parents, students and staff are encouraged to attend! 
New Board Policy on Undocumented Students
The Board unanimously approved a policy at its December 7, 2016 meeting to protect undocumented students. You can find the full policy here.

The Board also gave direction to District staff to circulate the policy widely, and develop a plan for training staff on implementation of the policy. The Board will receive an update on these efforts at its January 11 meeting, at which time the Board will also consider a Board Resolution that re-affirms the District's commitment to protecting all students, regardless of their race, religion, ethnicity, or immigration status.
The Year of the Reader Webpage has useful links and winter break reading ideas!

Admissions Information 

Information on elementary school visitations and kindergarten and middle school information nights can be found starting here.
Admissions Information: Berkeley High School
Go Jackets!

The enrollment timeline for Berkeley High School's incoming 9th graders for 2017-18 has been moved up. Please visit our website for information on how to enroll your incoming 9th grade student at BHS and the Berkeley residency documentation required for registration

The deadline for ALL current BUSD 8th graders and students new to BUSD to register for 9th grade and participate in the first learning community lottery is January 13, 2017.

Save the Date: Berkeley High School Winter Information Night for Incoming 9th Grade Families
Wednesday, Feb. 8, 7-9pm
BHS Community Theater

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, national origin, 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 filling of discrimination complaints.

Dr. Susan Craig is currently serving as the Interim Title IX Coordinator.
District Meetings & Events

No School: Winter Break, Dec. 19-Jan. 2. School resumes Tues., Jan. 3, 2017.

Google Calendar
Brown Act Committees Open to the Public:

LCAP Parent Advisory Committee
Thursday, Dec. 15, 6-8:30pm
2020 Bonar Street, Berkeley Room 126 

Jan. 11 (7:30pm) & 25 (7:15pm)

School Board Meetings are held in the Board Room at 1231 Addison Street.

All School Board meetings are viewable live on local cable channel 33 and on  the BUSD YouTube channel .
Give us your feedback on the A+ News

Let us know what you think of this edition, or what you'd like to know more about! 
Send an email to:

Teachers use  Story Workshop  to Engage Young Students
Thanks to special funding from a Schools Fund Strategic Impact Grant and other grant funding, fourteen of Berkeley's preschool and transitional kindergarten teachers and our Early Literacy Coach attended a specialized training in Portland, Oregon (photo above) to develop their practice of using artistic and inquiry-based learning to promote language development and support children to see themselves as storytellers and authors. 

T his on-going professional development work is based on the research of authors such as Donald Graves, Lucy Calkins, Ellin Keene, Karen Gallas, and Katie Wood and is built on the foundations of the Reggio Emilia Approach to education which values the child as strong, capable and resilient, and rich with wonder and knowledge. 

The teachers prepare the Story Workshop environment by setting up spaces and providing materials to inspire and entice children. Story Workshop taps into the natural curiosity of young children and gives them various creative mediums to put their stories together. 

This week, all preschool and transitional kindergarten teachers will receive a basic set of creative materials to support their use of Story Workshop in the classroom. The  students will be developing language and literacy skills as they use clay, paint, props, or blocks to imagine and tell their stories.
"Materials like blocks, paint, water, sand, colored pencils, and collage become the vehicles for the children's stories." - Inji El Ghannam, Transitional Kindergarten Teacher
Next Parent Champion Series Workshop Saturday, Jan. 21
The BUSD Office of Family Engagement and Equity is hosting a series of parent/guardian/family workshops.  The purpose of the series is to empower parents to use their social, economic, and parent capital to leverage the parent voice for strategic action so that students of color achieve better academic outcomes.
Who:     Parents/Guardians/Caregivers
When:   3 more Saturdays in the new year
               Jan. 21, March 4 & April 29
Time:     9:30 AM - 12 noon  
Where:  BUSD Board Room, 2020 Bonar Street                   (entrance on Addison St.) 
Enriching childcare, snacks, attendance incentives & awards will be provided

Session 2 - Jan. 21, 2017 will cover:  The mindset, values, and skill-sets of "educational parenting"; how to navigate in schools and districts.

At a recent Parent Champions workshop, parents/guardians read historical excerpts of U.S. laws, policies and practices that hindered the educational progress for people of color, the accomplishments of people of color despite the obstacles, and the ongoing civil rights advocacy for equitable educational outcomes in the United States.
BHS Annual Holiday Meal Welcomes and Feeds 215
A big thanks to the students, staff, volunteers and contributors who made this year's annual BHS Holiday Meal for those in need another success. The Saturday event was organized by student leader, Zoey Horowitz, and the holiday meal committee.
This year's meal was dedicated to former BHS chef Will Harris, who passed away in early 2015 and who "graciously gave his time and energy to this event to make it happen much more smoothly than it ever would have without his presence," according to the BHS student leadership.
Research Symposium for Berkeley Families and Educators
The Schools Fund Keeps on Giving
The Berkeley Public Schools Fund has announced this year's Classroom Grant recipients, awarding 338 of a record 391 grant applications. Every year the Schools Fund supports a wide range of teacher projects and enrichment, enhancing the educational experience for our students at every school. You can take a look at the full list of classroom grants  here . The Schools Fund's 2015-16 Annual Report is also now available, detailing how it provided over $800,000 in direct grants and program support in our schools last year.