September 19, 2018
A+ News

  • Sylvia Mendez at Sylvia Mendez School
  • Universal 9th Grade: The Hives
  • Mock Newbery Taking Off
  • Teachers Build Tech Credentials Over Summer
  • Local Parent Resource
  • BHS Back to School Night & Other Upcoming Events/Meetings
Sylvia Mendez (center) speaking at the event in her honor is on stage with Superintendent Donald Evans and her sister Sandra Mendez Duran. Below are two scenes from the day's events.
Sylvia Mendez Welcomed at
Sylvia Mendez Elementary School

There were many smiles and warm hearts among children and adults alike on Friday, Sept. 14, as the newly named Sylvia Mendez Elementary School welcomed its namesake for a day of celebrating her legacy and the school’s new name.

“I am so happy!” exclaimed the beaming Ms. Mendez, 82, during the day filled with activities and celebrations to welcome Sylvia Mendez and to honor the education icon and school integration advocate.

In 1947, when Sylvia was 8 years old and forced to attend an inferior school for children of Mexican ancestry in Orange County, Ms. Mendez was at the center of the lawsuit, Mendez v. Westminster , that led to segregated schools being banned in California. Her case paved the way for Brown v. Board of Education in 1954 and school desegregation nationwide.

What's the Buzz about Berkeley High School's Universal 9th Grade Program?
This year's ninth grade students at Berkeley High School are in the first class of the new "Universal 9th Grade." Rather than beginning freshman year entering one of the high school's small learning communities, 9th grade students are now grouped into seven houses, which are being called HIVES. On average, there are 120 students in each hive who share four core teachers for math, English, social studies, and physics.

With the goal of promoting relationship building and instilling core values in the 9th grade community of students and faculty, each of the seven hives has been named after one of the seven core values that the U9 is rooted in. In the first weeks of school, students have been engaging in lessons related to the core values; all of the values are being integrated into the daily classroom practices of each hive.

Berkeley High School Universal 9th Grade Core Values 2018-2019

Hive 1: Growth
Commit to personal and academic growth through authentic learning.

Hive 2: Integrity
Tell the truth and keep your word; Demonstrate the courage to be your most ethical and most authentic self.

Hive 3: Voice
Present convictions with consideration of your impact; Listen with an open mind and resolve conflict peacefully.
Hive 4: Justice
Commit to becoming the agents of social change who disrupt and dismantle systems and structures that prevent all of us from reaching our full potential.

Hive 5: Empathy
Value others, celebrate diversity, understand differing beliefs and behaviors; Reject actions that hurt or offend others, and practice forgiveness.

Hive 6: Respect
Treat each other with dignity. Exercise self discipline. Honor personal and physical boundaries.

Hive 7: Leadership
Take responsibility for ourselves and ownership for the success of all members of our community; Lead the way in embodying all of our core values.
Mock Newbery Library Program Bursts into Elementary Schools
Reading is the "talk of the town" among our 4th and 5th grade students with this year's Mock Newbery lunchtime book club program bursting onto the stage. The students at Jefferson and Rosa Parks have already gotten started, and the program at all the other elementary schools will surge forth the week of September 24.

The Mock Newbery is lead by the library media specilaist at each elementary school . More information and details on this year's reading selection available here:  Berkeley Mock Newbery .
Jefferson students gather in the school library for the 2018-19 Mock Newbery Program Launch.
Teachers Earn Tech-Savvy Credentials Over the Summer
An impressive total of 67 BUSD teachers, Instructional Assistants and counselors devoted part of their summer to becoming Google Certified Educators or Berkeley Technology Certified Educators.

Such professional development helps support our 1:1 initiative – one Chromebook per student. Our schools are now 1:1 in grades 4-8, while grade 3 is 2:1, with two classes sharing a cart of Chromebooks.

Resources in Our Backyard: The Greater Good Science Center
Looking for new ways of thinking about your role as a parent? Wondering how to best support your child to become self-reliant and confident? Then you might be interested in the latest research being talked about at UC Berkeley's Greater Good Science Center.
You can check out their website and sign up for email newsletters tailored to your areas of interest: /
Upcoming Events & Meetings
High School Back to School Nights
Berkeley Technology Academy:
September 20, 5-7pm

Berkeley High School:
Activities for Berkeley High's Back to School Night start with food trucks on campus organized by the PTSA at 5pm, followed by a Resource Fair in the Food Court at 6:30, and the first classroom visits beginning promptly with the bell at 7:00pm. (Zero period classes will meet at 6:45pm.) More information is on the BHS webpage.

Berkeley Independent Study:
October 4, 5:30 - 7pm
School Board Meetings
September 26, 7:30 pm
October 10, 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 . Check our homepage for the link to our live stream when board meetings are in progress.

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
Nutritious Meals in Our Schools
Our schools offer healthy meals every school day. Breakfast is free for everyone, and nearly 40% of our students are also eligible to receive lunch at no cost through the free/reduced price meal program!

We're asking every family to consider filling out the free/reduced price application in hopes that more students can benefit from the free lunch program. Information about eligibility is on the form.

Free/reduced price school meal application:  

Check out the Nutrition Services menu calendar  (with beautiful art by a BHS alum) for information on daily menus, including some delicious recipes!

Lunch charges for those who pay are $4.00 in elementary schools, $4.50 in middle schools, and $5.00 in high schools. Signing up for a paid account is done at the

All of this information and more can be found on the Nutrition Services webpage .
Please Complete a School Free/Reduced Lunch Application!
Additional state and federal resources come to our school district based on the number of students who qualify.
Qualifying students may also receive additional benefits.
Berkeley Unified School District | 2020 Bonar Street | 510-644-8764 |