Berkeley School Board primer: English Learner master plan and increasing enrollment are on the agenda

The Berkeley School Board, at its August meeting. Photo: Mark Coplan/BUSD
The Berkeley School Board meets Wednesdays twice a month. Photo: Mark Coplan/BUSD

The Berkeley schools Board of Education meets tonight (Wednesday, Oct. 8) for a closed session at 6 p.m., followed by its regular meeting at 7:30 p.m. Follow along via the agenda packet.

The board will discuss the district’s English Learner Master Plan. It will also begin a four-part process of addressing the challenges of increasing enrollment. (Read more about school enrollment issues on Berkeleyside.)

Closed session

The board will begin its Wednesday meeting at 6 p.m. with a closed session to discuss collective bargaining, employee dismissal and the evaluation of Superintendent Donald Evans. Public comment, up to 15 minutes, will be taken prior to the closed session. Details are on page 1 of the regular packet.

Discussion items

The board is scheduled to receive a 10-minute presentation on the English Learner Master Plan for the district (pages 57-58 of the agenda). A discussion of 35 minutes is budgeted. From the agenda: “The Master Plan for English Learners is an attempt to outline for parents, staff and the community the options, opportunities, and outcomes BUSD is focused on providing for all students who are learning English as a second language.”


The board will also hear a 15-minute presentation on enrollment and capacity, followed by a 45-minute discussion (pages 59-60 of the agenda). School Board President Josh Daniels said tonight’s session “will focus solely on understanding the data — solutions are not the focus. The next meeting (in November) will focus on identifying possible solutions. The third meeting will focus on the pros and cons of each solution, and the final meeting will be to decide what we need to do for Fall 2015.”

Other school board news

At the Sept. 17 meeting, the board approved hiring an assistant principal for Malcolm X Elementary School, the largest elementary school in the district. Shortly after the approval, Principal Alexander Hunt said he expects a new assistant principal to be in place by mid-October.

Meeting details

The Berkeley Unified School District Board of Education generally meets twice monthly on Wednesdays at 2020 Bonar St. The entrance to the board chambers is around the corner on Addison Street. See the schedule and agendas here. Meetings are televised on local cable Channel 33 and aired live on the radio at KPFB 89.3 FM.

Basic information about the school board is posted on its website. Board videos are posted online at Vimeo, and photographs from board meetings are posted on Flickr. Read more about the School Board on the BUSD website.

Read more Berkeleyside coverage related to Berkeley schools.

Related:
Op-ed: After fatal stabbing, be the change in South Berkeley (10.08.14)
Outcry after Berkeley High abruptly cancels physics lab (10.06.14)
After 3 years of negotiations, Berkeley school district and union reach tentative agreement (10.03.14)
Op-ed: Less shoot-from-the-hip, more planning for schools (09.18.14)
School Board primer: Leadership at Malcolm X and BHS, career training, common core (09.17.14)
State-mandated kindergarten program explains perceived student numbers squeeze (09.05.14)
Op-ed: Berkeley schools are victims of their own success (08.26.14)
Illegal enrollment is boon and burden to Berkeley schools (04.08.14)

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