Category Archives: Schools
Four Berkeley High student athletes have been awarded athletic scholarships at Division I universities, and, on Friday Nov. 15, they gathered with their friends and family at the Berkeley High library for their official signing ceremony.
The students, who are also all stars in the classroom, are Noah Bremer who is headed to the University of Washington to play baseball, Desire Finnie who will attend the University of the Pacific and play basketball, Lena Mayer who will play softball for UC Santa Barbara, and Naomi Overstreet who will go to Virginia Commonwealth University to play volleyball. … Continue reading »
On Tuesday night hundreds of locals turned out for A Taste of North Berkeley, a collaborative initiative held in the city’s Gourmet Ghetto neighborhood to raise funds for Berkeley Unified schools’ threatened gardening and cooking program.
The event was a success, according to the head of the BUSD program, Jezra Thompson. (Read our interview with Thompson published earlier this week in which she outlines her vision for the lauded program and spells out why it needs support).
“We were able to connect with a lot of community members and visitors, talk about the program, and get people excited about what we’re teaching the Berkeley students,” Thompson said speaking of the Taste event which saw more than 20 local merchants offer food and craft samples. … Continue reading »
Support and funds are pouring in for an 18-year-old Berkeley student who was set on fire while riding an AC Transit bus in Oakland Monday evening.
Luke “Sasha” Fleischman, a senior at Berkeley’s Maybeck High School, was sleeping in the rear of a bus heading toward East Oakland. Fleischman’s skirt was set on fire, according to a report in the Contra Costa Times.
Police arrested a 16-year-old Oakland High School student Tuesday on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon and mayhem. He could face other charges, according to the Tribune, which said he was identified through surveillance video on the bus.
Fleischman, with the help of other riders, was able to extinguish the flames but suffered second- and third-degree burns to the legs that will require significant skin grafting. The student is in stable condition at St. Francis Memorial Hospital’s Bothin Burn Center in San Francisco and has a good prognosis for recovery, according to an email sent out to the Maybeck community by the school’s director, Trevor Cralle, Tuesday. … Continue reading »
Members of the Board of Education will hold office hours in an attempt to make themselves more available to the community, the Berkeley Unified School District announced recently. Scroll down to see an interactive map of the locations and schedule.
Karen Hemphill, board president, will be at Café Leila, 1724 San Pablo Ave., on the second Saturday of each month from 10–11:30 am. … Continue reading »
On Saturday, around 200 people gathered at Berkeley’s Cragmont Elementary School to remember Joe McClain, a much-loved art teacher who died of cancer Aug. 22. He was 58 years old.
Numerous speakers shared their memories of McClain at the event, including Cragmont Principal Evelyn Tamondong-Bradley, Cragmont After-School Program Director Sara Rosenfeld, and Cragmont’s Black History Program and co-creator of S.O.C.I.A.L. Dean Woods. Several Cragmont graduates, former administrators, current students and a parent also told anecdotes about McClain, who for 15 years ran the art program at the school.
“Oh my goodness, he was the most gregarious guy,” said his fiancée, Julie Anna Bautista, speaking to Berkeleyside. “Everywhere he went he had friends. He treated everybody in the same respectful, warm and compassionate way.” … Continue reading »
Berkeley High School teacher Tamara Friedman was named a “teacher of the year” on Thursday when the Alameda County Office of Education honored 20 teachers representing 20 Alameda County districts at the 2013 ACOE Teacher of the Year Awards, held in the Castro Valley Center for the Arts.
Friedman, a Berkeley High School teacher and proud product of the Berkeley schools herself, was BUSD’s representative. … Continue reading »
Donald Evans, the new superintendent for Berkeley schools, has scheduled three community Town Hall meetings in the month of October.
Evans, who used to hold similar gatherings in his previous post as superintendent of the Hayward Unified School District, said he hopes to use the get-togethers to talk about his ideas for the city’s public schools and to hear from the community about “how to take our schools to the next level of excellence for all students.”
The meetings are in line with Evans’ self-described collaborative management approach. Speaking to Berkeleyside in July, he said: “Before I make a decision, I want to hear everybody’s voice. Some people don’t like that. But I feel like you might bring out something that I probably have not thought about that could be critical for me in making a major decision. It’s really important for me to understand why you think and how you think in terms of how we move this organization forward. … Continue reading »
The City of Berkeley shut down the swimming pool at Berkeley High School on Wednesday saying the level of chemicals in the water significantly exceeded normal operating conditions. The decision came on the heels of concerns expressed by parents that students on the water polo team were displaying alarming symptoms, including burning eyes, bleached hair, and, in some cases, the disappearance of body hair.
On Tuesday, several parents of water polo players delivered a letter to the principal describing the problems their children were experiencing and asking for something to be done. The city came in the next day to test the pool, according to Mark Coplan, public information officer for Berkeley Unified School District.
A meeting about the situation was held in the office of BHS Principal Pasquale Scuderi on Thursday, and the school’s water polo coach, Bill Gaebler, reported on its outcome to the water polo parents by email that evening. Gaebler revealed the results of the water testing which showed that an “exponentially high” pH level 0f 8.5 had been caused by a defective CO2 tank. He outlined the steps that the school would be taking to address the problem. … Continue reading »
A double header and a football scrimmage were cancelled by unseasonable rain on Saturday September 21, but that didn’t stop more than 250 people gathering at the new expanse of green at MLK Jr. Way and Derby in Berkeley to witness the dedication of the new Tim Moellering Field.
Moellering was the much-loved Berkeley High teacher and coach who died in 2011. Construction on the field began more than a year ago. The field is designed principally for use by the athletics programs at Berkeley High and Berkeley Tech.
Once the heavens had opened, the crowd moved inside to the BTECH auditorium next door. … Continue reading »
St. Mary’s College High School got the go-ahead last Wednesday for its master plan to add two buildings and renovate others. The move followed six months of mediation with its North Berkeley neighbors.
The private Catholic college preparatory high school sits on 12.5 acres, surrounded by about 100 homes in North Berkeley and Albany. Although St. Mary’s has a Berkeley street address — 1294 Albina Ave. — it actually sits on the Albany side of the line, so it was Albany’s Planning and Zoning Commission that approved the master plan and a conditional use permit.
The plan for the school of about 600 students includes:
- A new music building of 13,400 square feet, to replace the much smaller current one;
- A new campus chapel, 4,400 square feet, single-story;
- A 14,000-square-foot addition to St. Joseph’s Hall (classrooms, library and offices);
- A larger kitchen at the student center;
- A new drainage plan.
At this time, St. Mary’s has only enough money to replace the music building, according to Vivian Kahn, planning consultant to the school. That construction is not likely to begin before summer 2014, she said. The rest of the master plan could take “10 to 15 years – or more” to build, Kahn said. “They need to raise money as they go.”
It’s been a long process already: in 2006, the school submitted a larger plan, withdrew it in 2008, and submitted the current, scaled-back plan in 2011. Five public hearings were held since 2011, and five mediation sessions since last November. … Continue reading »
Berkeley students on the lower end of the achievement gap made critical academic gains in the past year, according to a report released last week by the California Department of Education. The Academic Performance Index (API) for Socio-Economically Disadvantaged students rose by 21 points, for African American students by 16 points, and for students with disabilities by 11 points. API scores increased for Asian students by only 3 points and for white students by 2 points.
But a comparison of actual scores shows the achievement gap is still painfully wide in Berkeley. The API for white students in the district was 925, while for African American students it was 675. Hispanic or Latino students are steadily making gains, but at 766 points their score still doesn’t hit the state benchmark.
“For the API as a district we did see an achievement gain because our white students only showed a 2 point gain, whereas our African American students had a 16 point gain,” said BUSD’s director of evaluation and assessment Debbi D’Angelo. “But that doesn’t mean the work is done. That just means we’ve made some gains.” … Continue reading »
The construction worker who died at Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School in Berkeley earlier this week has been identified by authorities as 62-year-old Oscar Marquez of Livermore.
Marquez, an employee of Robert A. Bothman Construction, had been laying asphalt for a school track project on Tuesday at 12:35 p.m. when a big rig parked on a slope rolled over him and killed him, authorities said.
The Alameda County coroner’s office said the cause of death was listed as extensive blunt force trauma.
Cal/OSHA spokesman Peter Melton said earlier this week that the agency will conduct the investigation into Marquez’s death, which could take up to six months to complete. The agency enforces worker safety and health standards. … Continue reading »
By Emilie Raguso and Tracey Taylor
Update, 5:26 p.m. Brian Bothman, vice president of operations for the Robert A. Bothman Construction company, described his employee who died Tuesday as “a great guy” who had been with the company for 25 years.
“We, all of us, are really saddened by the loss of our friend and a great employee,” he said. “We don’t know any more than anybody else knows at this point. The investigation is on-going. Our thoughts and prayers are with the friends and family of the employee. We will support them in this, and we will continue to support them as long as it’s needed.”
Bothman said he learned of the fatality in a phone call from a safety officer earlier on Tuesday. He said he could not release the man’s name because not all family members have been notified. … Continue reading »