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Yale Fellows
Teachers Rastrullo (left) and Hamai (right) on campus at Yale

Kudos for two teachers at Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School -- Akemi Hamai (8th-grade science) and  Jacqueline Rastrullo (6th-grade math/science and AVID). They are among 52 teachers from across the nation selected this year to be  Yale National  Fellows

As part of the fellowship, they spent  July 11-22 at Yale attending seminars and conferring with other educators, and also each developing a curriculum unit:  "Genetic Engineering and the Potential Effects on Evolution" by  Ms. Hamai, and "The Future of Energy" by Ms. Rastrullo.

The  Fellows are part of the  designed to strengthen teaching in public schools, in part by developing Teacher Institutes in areas with high-need schools. Living at  Yale was a thrill in itself, said Ms. Hamai: "It was like being at Hogwarts."

Tune in to this week's board meeting, Sept. 21 at 7:15 p.m. to hear more about our Yale Fellows at King. 
(Meeting information below.)

Check out the district website for helpful back-to-school information, and throughout the year for regular updates, school calendars, and news about our schools. Here are a few useful links:

Free and Reduced Lunch Form
Please help us qualify for state and federal funds available to serve our students. We need every family to complete a Free and Reduced Lunch Form.
District Meetings & Events

Google Calendar
Brown Act Committees Open to the Public:
Thurs., Sept. 22, 4-5:30 p.m.
Berkeley Unified School District
Room 126, 2020 Bonar St.

Sept. 21 (7:15 p.m.)  
Oct. 5 (7:30 p.m.)
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 .
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Let us know what you think of this edition, or what you'd like to know more about! 
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The Year of The Reader Opens with Mock Newbery Book Club Launch
This year for the first time, each elementary school is launching a Mock Newbery Book Club and kicking off Berkeley Unified's Year of The Reader . The Newbery Award is the most prestigious literary award for children's literature in the United States, awarded annually by the American Library Association

In our local version, 4th and 5th grade students bring their lunches and enthusiasm to school libraries where they meet informally each week to check in with other readers and discuss books on the nomination list. Participants must attend the four mandatory meetings to be held over the course of reading the entries in preparation for submitting their "Mock Newbery" nomination in late January. You can read more about how it all works and what books made the reading list here.  

We encourage parents/guardians to follow along!

In the next issue, we'll tell you about Battle of the Books launching in Berkeley public middle schools.
What's New in Tech?
Our schools are in the beginning stages of a three-year plan to improve the integration of technology in classrooms to improve student learning and foster increased student engagement.
The first phase of the program is concentrated on upper elementary grades: third through fifth. Over the summer, 68 teachers became Google Certified Educators and another 32 received extensive professional development aimed at increasing teacher use of GAFE ( Google Apps for Education) tools in the classroom.

Each student in grades 4 and 5 has a personal Chromebook to use during the school day. In grade 3, teachers share with the teacher next door. 
Allison Krasnow, a long-time Berkeley math teacher who was named this year to be the Instructional Technology Coordinator for the district, and who was also recently selected to be a  Desmos Fellow , says "All three parts of the program fit together: expanded professional development for teachers, Digital Citizenship being a part of the school culture, and having a Chromebook in students' hands."

New Leaders in BUSD
A new school year. Another impressive group of educators and new leaders working in our school district. 

Be part of the conversations happening at your school and across the District!  Join your school's Site Council, English Learner Committee, or the District Planning and Oversight Committee to provide and gain new perspectives. Read about the role of the various committees here.
How can you benefit?
  • By gaining a broader and deeper understanding of District programs and initiatives;
  • By hearing new and different perspectives in your community;
  • By learning the different ways your talents can contribute to the school community;
  • By using/acquiring collaboration and leadership skills.
Contact your school principal and nominate yourself to a committee today!

School gardens are up and running! Learn all about our work with students in the garden  on our webpage.