June 5, 2018
A+ News

In this Edition:
  • Summer Reading & Library Program
  • Students Take Bridge to College
  • English Fluency Recognition
  • Sylvia Mendez Elementary School
  • Universal 9th Grade Program Update
  • BUSD is hiring!
  • Independent Study Orientation Sessions
  • Upcoming Events/Meetings
  • 2018-19 School Calendar, and more.
Summer is a Great Time for Reading
During the school year, all of our children are learning and growing, and summer is a fun time to keep those reading skills active and strong! Families can make a huge difference by encouraging children to read over the summer. Here's some quick advice from the district literacy folks:
  • Read aloud with your children.
  • Make reading joyful.
  • Let children's interests drive reading choices.
  • A little every day makes more difference than a lot all at once.
  • Create some some screen-free time--it makes a difference!
You can also visit your school's virtual library and gain access to audiobooks and ebooks through the BUSD Library Services webpage.

Several other easy and fun learning ideas to keep young kids reading, writing, doing math, and interested in the sciences over the summer are found on this google document, as compiled by Thousand Oaks teacher Kathleen Marte.
Berkeley Public Library Summer Reading Program -- All Ages!
Want to travel to faraway lands? Sail the Seven Seas? Jump into the future or take a trip into the past? Blast off to Pluto? Get a book, audiobook, or an e-book for a road trip? Or just dive deep into your own imagination? Explore somewhere you’ve always wanted to go? Reading takes you everywhere!

Adults, teens, and kids of all ages can read for prizes and everyone gets a free book from the Berkeley Public Library just for signing up! (while supplies last)
Students Take Bridge to College!
The intense feeling of personal accomplishment and family pride that comes with graduation season was on full display at the annual Bridge program graduation that took place last week in the Berkeley High School Library. As this year’s cohort of Bridge students smiled, hugged and honored their hard work, all twenty-six seniors did so knowing they held a coveted college registration in hand! As they prepare to head off to places such as UC Riverside, UC Santa Cruz, several California State Universities, as well as Berkeley City College, receiving the ceremonial “Bridge” sashes formalized this rite of passage -- for just about all of them, these seniors will be the first in their family to go to college.

Eight years ago, Berkeley High Bridge was one of the first initiatives to be launched in the Berkeley public schools as part of the 2020 Vision For Berkeley’s Children and Youth . Under the leadership of BHS teacher Jessie Luxford and with funding from the district’s Local Control and Accountability Plan and a city grant, the program has evolved into an effective four-year academic skill building and college preparation program that currently serves 119 students in the 9th-12th grades.

One of the unique elements of the program is the personalized support provided to each student by a Berkeley High School “Bridge” teacher and college-aged mentors who are part of the Bridge team that meets most days after school over four years as students work to secure their college-going future.
Bridge students are quick to share the limelight with their teachers, as is evident in this recent text message from a student to her Bridge teacher: “I probably would have dropped out -- seriously, you made a way for me to be successful. You help me in so many ways. You don’t realize I’ve never had anybody besides my mom be so invested in my education like you.”
98 Students Earn English Fluency Classification
Berkeley public school communities enjoy a rich linguistic diversity. Once a year we celebrate all of the English learners who have earned English fluency as defined by the California Department of Education during the current school year.

This week 98 English learner students in our K-12 schools who speak more than 20 different languages will be recognized for achieving English fluency. This is a meaningful milestone for each of these students, their families, and the teachers who have helped them along the way!
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Sylvia Mendez Elementary School
A milestone in the history of Berkeley school names was achieved May 23 when the School Board unanimously agreed to rename the former Le Conte Elementary School in honor of education advocate and civil rights icon Sylvia Mendez (seen in her visit to BUSD in this 2017 photo).

Read the full story on our webpage.
Jefferson Students Use the Legacy of Harvey Milk to Find Their Voice and Welcome All
The life and legacy of Harvey Milk, the first openly gay politician in California and a leader of the American Civil Rights Movement was celebrated on May 22 at Jefferson Elementary School. Students learned more about the legacy of Harvey Milk through school wide lessons about family diversity and read alouds of PRIDE: The Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag  by Rob Sanders.
Many of the classes participated in art projects about what the flag means to them, culminating in a PRIDE bulletin board where students posted messages that welcome all.
Universal 9th Grade at Berkeley High School
At the School Board Meeting on May 23, Berkeley High School Principal Erin Schweng and U9 Lead Teacher Hasmig Minassian presented an update on the implementation of the new Universal 9th grade program approved by the board last year. Starting this coming fall, 9th grade students at Berkeley High will enter into 9th grade "hives" rather than a specific learning community, which will from now on begin in the 10th grade. The board presentation included a report on resource allocation, the LEAP class design and recruitment, and an update on the process of hiring teachers. The slide presentation is available on the board webpage and the video archive is on the district YouTube page starting at the running time of 2:02:30. The Universal 9th Grade program is described in more detail on this webpage.
Berkeley Unified is Hiring!
Do you know someone who might be looking for a rewarding opportunity to join our school district? If so, please tell them Berkeley Unified School District is hiring!

We are hiring in a wide variety of areas - technology, transportation, teaching, facilities, food service, administration, office support, and more. We offer great benefits along with the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of our diverse students and families!

It takes a village to run our schools and serve our students and families!
Join us! You can find more information with links to the job listings on our webpage.
Upcoming Meetings and Events
BSEP Planning & Oversight Committee
Tues., June 5, 7:00pm

Berkeley Schools Excellence Program (BSEP) P&O Meetings are held at 2020 Bonar Street on the first floor of the district offices in Room 126.

This is a Brown Act Committee and meeting agendas and minutes are posted on this webpage.
The BSEP Planning and Oversight (P&O) Committee, comprised of representatives from each school, meets regularly to review the implementation of Measure E1 of 2016, and to ensure that the annual BSEP funds ($29 million) are spent in compliance with the Measure.



Upcoming School Board Meetings
Wed., June 13, 7:30 pm

Board Meetings are held in the Board Room, 1231 Addison St, unless otherwise noted.

School board meeting agendas/materials are posted at least 72 hours before meetings on the School Board Meeting Information page of our website.
School Board Members hold office hours at convenient cafe locations in the city.

2018-19 School Year Calendar
First Day of School is MONDAY, August 27, 2018
Berkeley Unified School District | 2020 Bonar Street | 510-644-8764 | www.berkeleyschools.net
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