June 29, 2020
A+ News
At the conclusion of this unprecedented school year, it seems fitting to remember all that has happened and so many who have stepped up to help. In this short video produced with the Berkeley Public Schools Fund , you’ll hear the story of this year through voices from around the BUSD community, including Board Members, educators, District staff and leadership, Schools Fund staff, students, and community volunteers.  
Fall 2020 Planning; Important Dates This Summer
District leadership continues to work closely with City of Berkeley Health Officer Dr. Lisa Hernandez to plan for Fall 2020. Superintendent Stephens will present the District's latest thinking about Fall 2020 to the School Board at a special July 15 School Board meeting.

The District is committed to transparency regarding planning for the 2020-21 school year. Right now, no one can be certain about the extent to which COVID-19 will be present in the Berkeley community later in August. While City of Berkeley and State Health Orders related to COVID-19 have been loosening up over time, a widespread outbreak or concerning surge in California, or locally in Berkeley, could lead to more restrictive orders.

Stay up to date this summer with COVID-19 news from the City of Berkeley Public Health Division.

Follow BUSD on Twitter for updates and news this summer.
BUSD is under the jurisdiction of the City of Berkeley Health Officer and also follows guidance from the Alameda County Office of Education, in addition to following health and education guidance from the state. Here is some other recent state guidance that is helping to inform planning for Fall 2020:

School Guidance 




Important Dates

July 15: School Board Meeting

July 16: Communication to families summarizing the Fall 2020 plans discussed at the July 15 School Board meeting.

July 20 - August 14: Periodic updates to the BUSD community regarding Fall 2020.
Hello Summer!
Summer Meal Services
Berkeley Unified School District will continue to provide Free Grab and Go Meals to youth aged 18 years and younger from June 15th through August 14th. 
Meal bundles will include breakfast and lunch, fresh fruit, milks, entrees and sides.

Meal Pick Up Schedule
Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 11:00 a.m. 1:00 p.m.

NOTE: Meal distribution sites will be closed this Friday, July 3.

Meal Distribution Sites
All Sites Are Wheelchair Accessible

Washington Elementary School
2300 Martin Luther King Jr. Way
Tables will be set up on Bancroft and MLK Jr. Way.

Rosa Parks Elementary
920 Allston Way
Tables will be set up under the portico.

Longfellow Middle School
1522 Ward Street
Tables will be set up between Sacramento & California.

Willard Middle School
2425 Stuart Street
Tables will be set up near Telegraph.

Berkeley High School
1980 Allston Way
Tables will be set up in the breezeway on Milvia near Kittredge St.

Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School
1781 Rose Street
Enter on Grant and drive onto the basketball courts.Tables will be set up at the front doors of the Dining Commons.

Produce boxes will also be available at all meal distribution sites on Wednesdays, thanks to a generous donation from Bay City Produce. 

The Berkeley Food Network (BFN) will be partnering with BUSD for food bag distribution to BUSD families at meal distribution sites on the second and fourth Friday of each month. The next distribution occurs on Friday, July 10.
BUSD will continue to provide free grab & go meals on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays throughout summer break.
The Gardening and Cooking Program continues to operate a food pantry with BFN on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month from 2:30 – 4:00 pm at Berkeley Technology Academy, located at 2701 Martin Luther King Jr. Way. Fresh produce and herbs are provided from our school gardens. The next Food Pantry occurs on Tuesday, July 14. Community members can pick up fresh produce, protein and eggs, frozen prepared foods, and packaged goods there.

Please wear a face covering when picking up meals. 
Just some of the approximately 350 lbs of produced harvested from BUSD gardens since school facilities closed.
The Ed Hub Is Open This Summer; Books Available
Berkeley Public Schools Fund will continue to operate the Ed Hub throughout the summer. Gently used books are now available to any Pre-K through 8th grade students.

The Ed Hub will also provide:
  • Books bags for preschool-8th grade 
  • Summer Grade Level packets in English and Spanish
  • Chromebook Exchange
  • School Supplies for (Elementary) Summer School Students

Ed Hub Summer Schedule
Monday, 12:00 - 2:00 pm
Wednesday, 3:30 5:30 pm
Friday, 12:00 - 2:00 pm *
*Closed July 3

The Ed Hub is located at the Berkeley Adult School. Please enter on Curtis Street between Virginia and Francisco St.

Community members are invited to bring donations of high quality books to the Ed Hub, especially Spanish language books and graphic novels for preschool-8th grade, in new or gently used condition. 
Volunteer Task Runners, like SanSan Kwan pictured here, are available to deliver meals and Ed Hub supplies to families who can't get to these sites.
The Berkeley Schools Volunteers (BSV) Task Runners are a dedicated group of 50 who have been at the ready by their email, willing to do last-minute pick-ups of supplies, Chromebooks, or meals and then deliver them - following strict BSV safety protocols - to BUSD families who can't otherwise access the meals sites or the Ed Hub for pick-up themselves. Task Runners will continue to operate during the summer.
18 Rosa Parks Third Grade Students Get Published in Berkeley Publications
All 18 of the third graders in Margot Pepper’s class at Rosa Parks who wanted to become published writers were able to do so. Their Opinion Pieces about changing the world were recently featured in the Berkeley Times and the Berkeley Daily Planet. Although these pieces were written while the students sheltered in place, publication has allowed their voices to be heard widely throughout the Berkeley community.

Ms. Pepper cautioned the students that getting published can be challenging and requires perseverance. “I reminded them that I had gotten almost a hundred rejection slips before I could get my books, articles and poems published,” she recounted.

Student writer Maryam Sabri has also had a poem accepted for publication in the educational anthology Muslim American Writers at Home: Stories, Essays & Poems of Identity, Diversity & Belonging. She is the only child featured in this forthcoming book of Muslim writing on identity. Maryam is now collaborating on a book with friends--a book they would like to see published one day. She hopes to be a world traveler and use her writing to help people think of Tunisia with the same fondness they do of France.
Rosa Parks 3rd-grade students wrote Opinion Pieces that were recently published in the Berkeley Times and the Berkeley Daily Planet.
Students learned in a Zoom class meeting that their Opinion Pieces would be published.
Rising 4th-grade student Maryam Sabri will have her writing published in an upcoming anthology.
Berkeley High School Science Teacher Glenn Wolkenfeld Chosen 2020 Outstanding Biology Teacher by National Association
Longtime Berkeley High School (BHS) science teacher Glenn Wolkenfeld will be honored in Baltimore, MD this November as the recipient of the National Association of Biology Teachers' 2020 Outstanding Biology Teacher of the Year Award for the state of California. The award recognizes those teachers who have gone above and beyond the typical demands of classroom teaching to help encourage their students to obtain their highest level of excellence when it comes to mastering the complicated field of the biological sciences.  

When the COVID-19 Pandemic forced school facilities around the country to close, Mr. Wolkenfeld offered free subscriptions to his Interactive AP Biology curriculum platform to any teacher or professor who needed it. He reports that over 1,300 teachers and 12,000 students wound up using it to finish learning biology during the spring of 2020, and to prepare for the AP Biology exam.

Mr. Wolkenfeld’s YouTube Channel, ScienceMusicVideos , which uses music to teach science, has more than 100,000 subscribers. His musical science videos have been viewed more than 12 million times.
Berkeley High School Biology Teacher Glenn Wolkenfeld was recognized with the 2020 Outstanding Biology Teacher of the Year Award.

Glenn Wolkenfeld's YouTube channel has more than 100,000 subscribers.
When asked what inspired him, Mr. Wolkenfeld was quick to answer. “I teach with fantastic colleagues who are inspirational to me,” he said. “I love teaching biology because the issues it addresses are so important: surviving this pandemic or figuring out solutions to climate change and global warming are all about biology."
Goodbye Oxford,
Hello Oxford at West Campus!
On June 25, Oxford Principal Beth Rhine, Superintendent Brent Stephens, School Board President Judy Appel, and Vice President Ty Alper toured West Campus, the future home of Oxford Elementary School at West Campus. Led by Executive Director Facilities John Calise, the tour was a comprehensive walk-through of the site as work continues to ready the campus for students in August 2020.

In late 2019 the District received a geotechnical report indicating an increased risk of landslide activity at the former campus and acted quickly to modernize the unused West Campus School site in order to move the Oxford school community there in time for Fall 2020.

Upgrades, including new finishes throughout the school, carpeting, fresh paint, sinks in every classroom and a large new library, are on schedule to be completed before school begins. When completed, outside modernization will include an artificial turf field, two play grounds, an outdoor learning area, outdoor seating, a peace path, sundial, garden area, and an "enchanted forest."
Superintendent Stephens and Oxford Elementary School Principal Beth Rhine donned hardhats for the West Campus tour.
Looking out from the all-new servery equipment at the beautifully refurbished gym floor. Lunch tables (in blue and orange) are 28 feet long when pulled out from the wall.
The Oxford at West Campus library is almost ready and includes two conference rooms.
Thanks to the Berkeley Public Schools Fund and Well Over 600 Staff and Community Volunteers!
Since our school facilities closed in March 2020, the Berkeley Public Schools Fund and its Berkeley Schools Volunteer program, along with BUSD staff, stepped up to help students, families and staff with a wide range of needs.They solved problems together, and invented new ways of doing things.

Whether launching and staffing the Ed Hub, collecting books for a book drive, sending volunteer task runners out to do meal deliveries, or organizing tech wellness volunteers, the Schools Fund and the Berkeley Schools Volunteer community helped the district pivot to distance learning in remarkable ways!
BUSD Students Continue Environmental Work During Shelter-In-Place
T he Oxford Heirs Alumni Middle School Chapter of Heirs to Our Oceans has been working hard to support the roll out of the new law they helped pass in the city of Berkeley as elementary school students. This law, called the Disposable Free Dining and Litter Reduction Ordinance, went into effect January 1, 2020. Prior to COVID-19 these students spent weekends out on the streets talking to the community about the law and encouraging support of the city's new reusable cup program called Vessel.
 
These students entered their efforts in two contests and were chosen for both. They spent 3 days in February at a fully paid for trip to the International Youth Symposium with Algalita at the Ocean Institute in Long Beach. This yearly gathering brings youth of the world who are fighting plastic pollution in their communities together to explore solutions. The students also made it to the semi-finals of the National Geographic GeoChallenge called Tackling Plastic Pollution with their public speaking and advocacy project. Unfortunately, COVID-19 forced the cancellation of the event. 
 
Since the Shelter-in-Place Order, the students, under the leadership of Heirs to Our Oceans chapter leader and 5th grade Oxford Elementary School teacher Jacqueline Omania, have continued to meet online and include environmentally minded youth in France, Scotland, the Bahamas and Trinidad as well as Florida and New York City. More youth from BUSD schools are joining as well. 

Fifth grader Sam Domingo, a rising environmentalist, was recently asked to appear on a post-screening panel for the film The Story of Plastic . Sam was the only child on the panel. To learn more about Heirs to Our Oceans please contact Jacqueline Omania .

The students have also created videos in an effort to help further their cause.

Pre COVID-19, student environmentalists spent weekends talking to the Berkeley community.
Students planned their community action project with leaders of the Plastic Pollution Coalition.
Fifth-grade student Sam Domingo was the only student panelist after a recent screening of the film The Story of Plastic.
Oxford Staff Dances In Celebration of Summer
Schools found creative ways to virtual say goodbye to students at the end of this school year. Watch as Oxford educators dance to “We Got a Brand New Dance,” and look for Principal Beth Rhine in costume in this Oxford Summer Send Off video.
Events and Meetings Online
School Board Meetings
July 1, 2020, 7:00 pm
July 15, 2020, 7:00 pm

All Board meetings are now held via Zoom. Details on our webpage .


School board meeting agendas/materials are posted at least 72 hours before meetings on the School Board Meeting Information page of our website.