Tag Archives: Berkeley Unified School District
The San Jose-based construction company that employed a man killed during a work-related accident last August in Berkeley has been fined more than $20,000 for two related safety violations authorities said led to the man’s death.
The state Division of Occupational Safety & Health, OSHA, concluded its five-month investigation into the man’s death Jan. 30, Berkeleyside learned Wednesday.
OSHA issued two citations totaling $23,200 to the Robert A. Bothman Construction in connection with the alleged safety violations, which include not keeping under “positive control” the three-axle dump truck that crushed 62-year-old Oscar Marquez of Livermore on Aug. 27 while he was working on the Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School track renovation project. … Continue reading »
The family of the young man who died of an apparent suicide at Berkeley High School on Monday told Berkeleyside this week they were not sure how he had ended up there, and said he had been struggling in recent years with drug addiction.
Authorities identified the 21-year-old as Michael B. Hamilton, whose last known address was in Placerville. Police said Hamilton’s family is based in Oregon.
Hamilton’s mother, Erma, shared a photograph of her son with Berkeleyside on Thursday.
She said his family in Oregon is struggling with his death, and isn’t sure why he chose Berkeley High as the place to end his life.
She said he had been dealing with drug addiction over the past few years, adding, “He had an extremely hard hand of life. He was my shining star filled with some darkness!” … Continue reading »
UPDATE, Feb. 18, 3:55 p.m.: Berkeley Police say the young man who committed suicide on the Berkeley High campus was 21-year-old Michael B. Hamilton. There is nothing to suggest that the death wasn’t a suicide, said BPD Officer Jennifer Coats. Hamilton does not appear to be have connection to BHS, she added. Hamilton’s family, who are in Oregon, have been notified of the death. Hamilton’s last address was in Placerville.
ORIGINAL STORY: A man was found dead on the Berkeley High School campus on Monday, Feb. 17, when the school was closed for Presidents Day holiday.
Berkeley police said they responded to a report of a possible suicide at Berkeley High at approximately 2:14 p.m. on Monday.
BPD and the Berkeley Fire Department responded to the scene. A male, who appeared to be in his early 20s was discovered and it appeared he had hanged himself, according to a statement released by BPD at around 8:30 p.m. Monday. … Continue reading »
Berkeley High School celebrated National Letter of Intent Signing Day 2014 on Wednesday with a signing ceremony for Berkeley High football player Michael Lazarus. Lazarus was awarded an athletic scholarship at a Division I university, California State University, Fresno.
The young man’s mother, Neesa Lazarus, is also part of the Berkeley Unified School District family, working at John Muir Elementary School and Berkeley High as an American Sign Language interpreter, said Mark Coplan, school district spokesman. … Continue reading »
When we first sent our two sons to Berkeley public schools in the mid-1970s, the debate about education was a little heated. Neighborhood schools were out, busing was in. Tracking of any kind was a no-no. It seemed to some that in the name of equality, folks wanted to drag everyone down to the lowest common denominator. One by one, friends and neighbors were pulling their kids out and going private.
We stuck with Berkeley. Our experiences were mixed: some … Continue reading »
A citywide initiative proponents hope will close the achievement gap in Berkeley public schools appears to be working, though significant disparities remain, according to data presented Tuesday night in a special session before the Berkeley City Council and School Board.
The 2020 Vision for Berkeley’s Children and Youth — called “2020 Vision” for short — is a broad collaboration dating back, in its earliest form, to 2008, and is designed to chip away at the achievement gap among racial groups in Berkeley schools by the year 2020.
According to organizers, African-American and Hispanic students consistently perform “significantly below their peers on state and district standardized tests and other measures that predict academic success, such as chronic absence, truancy, suspension, and dropout rates. By some measures, the disparity in the academic performance of Berkeley students along race lines, commonly known as the ‘achievement gap,’ is one of the widest reported in California.” … Continue reading »
The cooking component of Berkeley schools’ highly regarded cooking and gardening program may soon be eliminated for financial reasons, and the future of the entire program in middle and high schools is also at risk.
The Berkeley Unified School District board was scheduled to hear details of the proposal in a presentation titled ‘Re-envisioning the Cooking and Gardening Program’ at its regular meeting this evening. However the item has been postponed to a future, as yet undefined date, according to director of the cooking and program, Jezra Thompson.
Under the proposal, cooking classes would be eliminated for the 2014-15 academic year. The focus of the program would then center on gardening for pre-kindergarten through third grades. Gardening programs for middle school and high school students would be eliminated.
A major reduction in funds has prompted the need to re-evaluate the program and jobs will also be lost as a result. … Continue reading »
When gun violence in the school’s neighborhood forced LeConte Elementary School to go on lockdown earlier this month, second grade teacher Pamela Diebel and her colleagues weren’t able to lock their own classrooms, and students in bathrooms and hallways missed the announcement on the loudspeaker. But the next campus in the district to go on lockdown may not face the same challenges.
The Berkeley Unified School District will immediately begin to implement a nearly $2 million school safety improvement plan approved by the school board to install new PA systems, increase the use of surveillance cameras, conduct armed intruder training for staff — and replace classroom locks so that the doors can be bolted from the inside.
“All of those improvements were ones we desired,” said Diebel. “I would’ve liked to be able to lock my door from inside.” … Continue reading »
Just weeks after an agender student was set on fire in Oakland while riding an AC Transit bus, the Berkeley Unified School District has adopted new policies to protect those who are transgender, gender fluid, or do not identify as male or female.
The school board adopted the new policies, which will go into effect immediately, by a 5-0 vote at its meeting on Wednesday Dec. 11.
The new rules will allow people born into one sex but who identify with another to use whatever bathroom or locker room they prefer. They can join the athletic team of their choice and dress however they want. They can use whatever pronoun they prefer to refer to themselves. … 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 »
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 »
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 »