Tag Archives: Berkeley Unified School District
This past Thursday, February 19th, Berkeley teachers visited businesses across the city as part of our annual “Teachers Across Berkeley” event. We brought them a new placard to join or replace last year’s model — designed by King Middle School teacher Julie Searle. This year’s placard features a quilt motif and the sentiment that Berkeley and its teachers are “United For Our Children.”
The dedication of Berkeley teachers is no secret at this point. From Transitional Kindergarten to Berkeley High … Continue reading »
Diane Wade Bernard passed away peacefully on Nov.12, 2014 at the age of 84, surrounded by loved ones in Berkeley, California.
Diane was born in Long Beach, California in 1930, the daughter of Merle and Elouise Wade. She grew up in Riverside, California, and graduated from Riverside Polytechnic High School in 1948. She attended UC Berkeley and graduated in 1952 with a BA in early childhood development.
During her high-school and college years, Diane was very active in athletics and other … Continue reading »
When Jolie Gobler, an eighth-grader at King Middle School in Berkeley, left school at the end of the day Wednesday last week she was surprised to see people right outside campus assertively passing out religious pamphlets to students, titled “Our Savior Jesus Christ.”
They were working from a van, parked on Grant Street by the school. Messages painted on the van read: “Seek the Lord Jesus” and “Holy Bible” in English and Spanish.
Gobler was also a little irked. She wrote Berkeleyside: “They were shoving (the pamphlets) in to students’ hands. I asked one of them what they were doing at a public school preaching about religion. They replied they were informing students about Jesus and said that if we believe in “our savior” we would be forgiven for our sins.”
Eventually, Gobler said, a vice principal came out and talked to the apparent missionaries, a response she felt was slow. “It would be great to find out… what the school administration will be doing to make sure something like this doesn’t happen again,” Gobler wrote.
This is because passing out religious material outside a school is perfectly legal, as long as the activity isn’t on school property, said Mark Coplan, Berkeley Unified School District spokesman. … Continue reading »
Feds launch civil rights investigation into Berkeley School District’s response to sexual harassment claims
The federal Office for Civil Rights has launched an investigation into whether the Berkeley Unified School District inadequately responded to sexual harassment claims at Berkeley High School, thereby creating a “hostile environment on the basis of sex.”
Failure to adequately respond to sexual harassment claims is a federal offense under Title IX, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in any federally funded educational program. The Office for Civil Rights, which is a sub-agency of the Department of Education, opened the investigation after receiving a complaint letter in December from Heidi Goldstein, a parent of two Berkeley High School students. The office’s investigation was launched in late January. … Continue reading »
Every kindergarten and first grade teacher in the Berkeley Unified School District will soon have the opportunity to buy $100 worth of books, thanks to an offer made by Mrs. Dalloway’s bookstore and the best-selling author James Patterson.
The bookstore at 2904 College Ave. applied for a grant from Patterson to distribute gift certificates to teachers. It learned this week it had gotten $8,500, according to Marion Abbott, one of the store’s owners. That means 85 teachers will get $100 apiece.
“It’s very exciting,” said Abbott. “Unlike some book stores that are putting in new floors or buying vans, we are putting the money into teachers’ hands. I think it is really going to make a difference.” … Continue reading »
The Berkeley School Board voted unanimously Wednesday on a two-year stop-gap solution to handle overcrowding in schools in the coming years.
Although the discussion for the long-term solution, which involves replacing the Berkeley Adult School with an elementary school, was not discussed by the Board, the issue drew over 200 people, including over 100 BAS students and faculty members holding signs in solidarity.
Read more about school enrollment issues on Berkeleyside.
Over 20 Berkeley residents and students spoke during the public comments, providing a wide spectrum of opinions in support and against the BAS relocation proposal. Board president Judy Appel announced there will be a town hall meeting on February to allow more people to speak.
“We’re not in a position to talk about the long-term solutions,” said Superintendent Donald Evans. … Continue reading »
The Berkeley schools Board of Education meets tonight, Jan. 14, for a closed session at 6 p.m., followed by its regular meeting at 7:30 p.m. See the Jan. 14 agenda packet here. (It’s a large file that may take time to load.)
The board is expected to decide how to handle overcrowding in the schools in the coming three years.
The meeting begins at 6 p.m. with a closed session to discuss recruitment for a Berkeley High principal, the superintendent’s performance evaluation and litigation. The board does not always get to all items on the closed session agenda. Public comment, up to 15 minutes, will be taken before the closed session.
The final part of a four-part discussion on enrollment and capacity is scheduled (p. 51 of the meeting packet). Berkeley schools’ enrollment is expected to increase by about 250 students in the next three years. Over the past three months the school board has considered about a dozen options to accommodate more students. Read past coverage here. … Continue reading »
The Berkeley school district is seeking the community’s input as it ramps up its search for a new principal for Berkeley High School.
The high school is inviting parents and stakeholders to attend a meeting in the BHS Library on Tuesday Jan. 13 to share their thoughts about the leadership skills they believe are needed for the school.
The high school has been without a permanent principal since Pasquale Scuderi stepped down at the end of the last academic year, and took up the position of Berkeley Unified’s assistant superintendent for educational services. Scuderi was principal of Berkeley High for four years. … Continue reading »
On Wednesday, Dec. 17, the Berkeley Unified School District held a Black Lives Matter forum for the district’s middle- and high-school students, as well as their families.
Conceived and organized by Charity DaMarto, BUSD’s supervisor of Family Engagement and Equity, and Director of Student Services Susan Craig, the event was held to discuss what the school community could do to respond to the social justice issues underlying the recent court decisions in the Ferguson and New York police killings of Michael Brown and Eric Garner.
Watch the whole forum in the video below. … Continue reading »
By Ann Krueger Spivack
While students in Sean Keller’s fourth-grade class at Jefferson School tie broken toys onto a wire mesh panel, Colleen Mahoney is talking about LEGOs. Mahoney nods to a red LEGO brick that one student picks up from a table.
“In 2012, 45.7 billion LEGO bricks were produced. That’s more than 5 million bricks every hour. Right now you could give every person on the planet eighty LEGOs and you’d still have LEGO bricks left over.”
Students stop working to listen to Mahoney, and it’s clear they’re considering how much plastic humans create on an hourly basis, and what this means for the planet. This lesson is a first step in teaching children about plastic, where it comes from and where it goes. Where plastic goes is of particular concern to Mahoney, the founder of A Kid By Nature, the nonprofit group sponsoring this lesson about plastic’s impact on the environment. Mahoney explains what motivates her to bring environmental projects such as this one into classrooms, without any cost to the schools. … Continue reading »
With two protests planned outside tonight’s Berkeley City Council meeting at Longfellow Middle School, Berkeleyside will be on scene with two reporters and will live-tweet about the events that unfold.
See Berkeleyside’s follow-up story about the meeting.
Berkeleyside may update this post as well — time allowing — depending on what transpires. We invite community members to weigh in below, in the comments section, about what they are seeing and experiencing.
Berkeleyside has previously published an advisory from police about how neighbors can prepare for large demonstrations related to the council meeting, as well as information about meeting agendas and protest plans. … Continue reading »
The Berkeley Police Department has released a warning to South Berkeley neighbors to help them prepare for expected crowds attending the Berkeley City Council meeting at Longfellow Middle School on Tuesday night.
See complete Berkeleyside coverage of the recent Berkeley protests.
Officials canceled last week’s council meeting, citing a lack of space for the anticipated turnout, and rescheduled it for tonight, Dec. 16, at 5:30 p.m. at the Longfellow auditorium at 1500 Derby St. near Sacramento Street. (There is a lift for ADA access at the northeast end of the building.) That will be followed by the regularly scheduled council meeting at 7 p.m.
Berkeleyside plans to live tweet the council meeting, as well as highlights from both protests that have been called tonight. Follow along on Twitter (no account needed). See the meeting agendas here. … Continue reading »
After canceling its regular session last week, the Berkeley City Council is set to hold two back-to-back meetings Tuesday night at Longfellow Middle School.
During those events, two separate groups have announced plans to protest in Berkeley. Separately, the Berkeley Unified School District has announced a panel discussion this week, for BUSD families only, regarding police-related fatalities. It remains to be seen how protest activities might affect the scheduled city meetings, but officials say they are preparing for a large turnout.
City officials canceled the Dec. 9 council meeting after protesters announced plans to take it over and shut it down. Officials said the regular meeting location, at Old City Hall, could not handle the expected capacity, and postponed the meeting to an undetermined date just hours before it was set to begin.
See complete Berkeleyside coverage of the recent Berkeley protests.
Some activists had announced plans earlier this month to “shut down” the Dec. 9 meeting to protest decisions made by the Berkeley Police Department to teargas and fire projectiles at demonstrators who refused to disperse from Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley on Dec. 6. (Berkeleyside has submitted a lengthy list of questions to police about this incident and has been told responses are forthcoming.)
Late last week, city staff said council’s Dec. 9 agenda will be heard Tuesday, Dec. 16, in the auditorium of Longfellow Middle School, at 1500 Derby St. at 5:30 p.m. A special worksession on the Adeline corridor originally scheduled for that time has been canceled. … Continue reading »