Category Archives: Schools
The Berkeley Unified School Board on Wednesday night formally appointed Donald Evans as the new Berkeley superintendent of schools by approving his contract. Evans, who was has been superintendent of the Hayward Unified School District for the past two years, will take up the position on July 1.
Berkeley Unified Board President Karen Hemphill said the board had been impressed with Evans’ experience and achievements, as well as his reputation for forging fruitful partnerships and having a collaborative leadership style. In Hayward, Evans held two town hall meetings for the community every year, for example.
“When we look at his body of work, he ticks a lot of the boxes that we wanted in Berkeley,” Hemphill said.
One of Evans’ last tasks in Hayward was submitting a plan to the district to raise the achievement levels of African American students, an issue of direct relevance to Berkeley. … Continue reading »
In its 30 years of operation, the Berkeley Public Education Foundation has raised more than $12 million and channeled more than 750,000 volunteer hours straight into Berkeley’s public schools, directly supporting the district’s 550 teachers. On Friday last week, in a single luncheon, it raised another $210,000, honored a select group of educators and administrators, along with a former Berkeley High student, and also marked two significant changes to its organization.
New leadership is in place with the recent appointment of Erin Rhoades as the fund’s executive director. Rhoades, formerly a principal planner for Urban Planning Partners and the executive director of Livable Berkeley, replaced Molly Fraker on April 8.
[View a gallery of photographs of the Schools Fund Spring Luncheon by Emilie Raguso.] … Continue reading »
The Edible Schoolyard at King Middle School held its annual Plant Sale on Saturday, May 11. The event, a big fundraiser for the Edible Schoolyard, featured food, live music, student-led tours, cooking demonstrations, and plenty of plants to snap up. Contributing photographer Nancy Rubin was there. … Continue reading »
[Editor's Note: Olajuwon Clayborn's funeral will be held Friday, May 17, at 11 a.m. at Missionary Church of God in Christ, 1125 Allston Way, in Berkeley.]
Students and teachers in one of Berkeley High’s small schools were left reeling this week after a former member of their cohort was shot and killed in East Oakland over the weekend.
Those who knew Olajuwon Clayborn, 17, described him as a sweet, quiet guy, a well-dressed ladies man who was passionate about basketball, and a dedicated student despite struggles in the classroom. Clayborn attended Berkeley schools from pre-school through 11th grade; he transfered to Castlemont High School in Oakland last fall for his senior year.
“If he loved you, he loved you to death,” said best friend Lonnie Brewer, 18, a Berkeley High senior in the school’s Communication Arts & Science (CAS) program. ”He had your back. If I had an argument on the court, he’d be right there.” … Continue reading »
On Thursday, May 2, officials say two sixth grade girls, who were waiting to be picked up from King Middle School, were approached by a man who asked them to help him retrieve an item from his car. The case is being treated as a possible attempted abduction.
On Friday, King Principal Janet Levenson sent an email and a recorded message via phone-tree to the King community in which she outlined what happened: “Yesterday at 3:00pm two 6th grade girls were waiting to be picked up at Berryman and Josephine,” she wrote in the email. “A man approached them saying that his keys had fallen into his car and his hand was too big to retrieve them. He pointed to the car which had the door open and was a couple of cars up the street. One girl started to go help him but her friend realized the potential danger and convinced her that they should run into the garden for help. The mom arrived almost immediately but the man was no longer there.He was described as a white male, 5’10″, thin build, brown hair and eyes, and driving a silver 4-door vehicle with no trunk (possibly a small SUV). Please be aware of who is driving around campus and remind your students to wait in front of the school.”
… Continue reading »
The Berkeley Police are seeking the community’s help following the arrest of a suspect for indecent exposure involving two students at Berkeley High School, both juveniles.
Investigators believe there may have been additional unreported incidents and are asking that any other possible victims come forward to report the incidents, according to a statement released by BPD on Friday May 3.
The statement continues:
“On April 23, at approximately 3:53 p.m, BPD officers were called to the area of Bancroft Way and California Street following a report from two Berkeley High students who had encountered a man masturbating in his vehicle. The suspect stopped his vehicle directly in front of the victims and exposed himself. Officers searched the area and detained a man fitting the suspect’s description three blocks from the scene of the crime. This suspect was arrested and charged with indecent exposure and a probation violation. … Continue reading »
Julie Sinai, former chief of staff to Mayor Tom Bates and now director of local government and community relations at UC Berkeley, was unanimously appointed to a vacant school board seat on Wednesday night. Sinai emerged from a slate of nine candidates in a quick, non-contentious vote by the four sitting members of the Berkeley Unified School District board.
“I’ve been a parent, I’ve been past staff, I’ve been a partner,” Sinai said in her three-minute presentation at the special board meeting. Before her position with Mayor Bates, Sinai had been director of school-linked programs for BUSD. “I’m ready to help get the work done with the board.”
The vacancy was created when board president Leah Wilson resigned in March because of her appointment as Court Executive Officer for the Alameda County Superior Court. Sinai will serve the remainder of Wilson’s term, which expires in November, 2014. … Continue reading »
Ten Berkeley residents — including a former aide to Mayor Tom Bates, the former top administrator for the city of Oakland, a UC Berkeley law professor, a nuclear scientist, a Berkeley High math teacher, and a longtime member of the high school’s Safety Committee — have applied to fill the vacancy on the Berkeley Unified School District board.
The applicants are vying to fill the seat vacated March 31 by Board President Leah Wilson. The district will whittle down the list to a set of finalists by April 24. Those candidates will be invited to give a three-minute presentation to the board and the community at a May 1 meeting. The school board hopes to select Wilson’s replacement by May 8. … Continue reading »
A national search for a new Berkeley schools superintendent has ended practically right next door in Hayward with the announcement Friday morning that Donald Evans has been chosen by the School Board as its preferred finalist for the position.
Evans has been superintendent of the Hayward Unified School District since 2011, and has previously worked in Compton, Oakland and East Palo Alto. He started out as an elementary school teacher in San Diego in 1988.
Karen Hemphill, Berkeley School Board president, said Evans’ range of experiences — with elementary and secondary students, and struggling students as well as high-performers — and his long history in California set him apart from the pack. … Continue reading »
Berkeley High School Principal Pasquale Scuderi sent the following email memo out to parents at 5:05 p.m. It appears below in its entirety. To subscribe to the school email list, send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org with the word “subscribe” in the subject line.
Dear Staff and Families:
We had a sizable police presence on the southeast end of campus today (Milvia and Channing).
What we can share with you is that a robbery occurred about a half mile from campus sometime between 2:40 and 2:45 p.m. There was no weapon involved in the incident and neither the victim nor the suspect were identified as BHS students. … Continue reading »
Berkeley schools’ nationally recognized cooking and gardening programs are about to lose funding – once again. But, unlike last year, no last-minute reprieve of federal funds is expected.
Schools representatives met with about 120 parents last Thursday night at Longfellow Middle School to explain why the programs are set to lose $1.9 million of U.S. Department of Agriculture funds, and what potential solutions are being developed.
Every public school in Berkeley — from pre-school to high school — currently has either a cooking program or an edible garden, with 10 schools having both. A series of videos shown at Thursday’s meeting — kindergarteners working with knives and graters, kids watering in the garden and stuffing their mouths with greens — shows just what is at stake. … Continue reading »
Berkeley Unified School District’s board Wednesday night agreed on the procedure to appoint a replacement director for Leah Wilson, who resigned earlier this month. The board has posted an application for directors on its website, with responses due by April 15. The board plans to make an appointment at a special May 1 meeting, with the regular board meeting on May 8 as a fallback in case agreement can’t be reached.
The Berkeley city charter allows the board make an appointment within 60 days of a vacancy occurring. After that point, the County Supervisor can order a special election. … Continue reading »
Berkeley High’s girls’ basketball powerhouse, the Lady Yellowjackets, played — and lost — their third consecutive state final on Friday night, falling to Long Beach Poly, 46-28. The game was Berkeley’s record-setting 12th state final appearance.
Senior standout Rachel Howard led the Yellowjackets with 11 points and five rebounds. Berkeley was held to 23% shooting from the floor and committed 26 turnovers. It was the fourth meeting between Berkeley and Long Beach Poly in a state final: the Jackrabbits … Continue reading »