Tag Archives: Berkeley Unified School District
After failing to agree on a new contract despite three years of talking, the Berkeley Unified School District and a union representing 570 Berkeley school employees will now turn negotiations over to a fact-finding panel.
A mediator that has been working with BUSD and the Berkeley Council of Classified Employees union (BCCE) since February decided on July 29 that mediation could not bring the two sides any closer and turned the process over to a three-member panel. The main sticking point is the question of involuntary transfers. The district and union have reached agreement on many other issues, including salary raises. … Continue reading »
Kristin Glenchur, vice principal at Berkeley High for the last six years, has been appointed interim principal of BHS for the 2014-15 school year by the BUSD superintendent and board.
Glenchur’s appointment comes after a brief search for a replacement for Pasquale Scuderi, who was appointed assistant superintendent for educational services for Berkeley Unified at the start of May. When the Scuderi appointment was announced, superintendent Donald Evans said he expected to hire a new principal by the end of May.
“There wasn’t a sufficient number of applicants,” said Mark Coplan, spokesman for BUSD.
Coplan said the school district would advertise the position and seek applicants from across the country next year. … Continue reading »
Four years ago Armando Maravilla came out of Longfellow Middle school a C-student. Due to graduate from Berkeley High School next week, Maravilla is now heading to San Francisco State University, planning to study psychology.
How he got from there to here has a lot to do with the Bridge Program at Berkeley High, he believes.
The Bridge Program takes C-students from middle school – about 30 every year — and offers them summer programs, afterschool homework support, and lots of advice, nagging and hand-holding by dedicated teachers. The goal is to keep those C students from slipping, and hopefully make them B and A students.
“It felt helpful – all the advice, the summer programs, the information — how you’re supposed to talk to teachers,” said Maravilla. … Continue reading »
4 new principals appointed to elementary and middle schools, search continues for new head of Berkeley High
Four new principals have been appointed to Berkeley elementary and middle schools, and the Berkeley Unified Board has decided to conduct a second-round search for a candidate to replace Pasquale Scuderi who is leaving his post as principal of Berkeley High to become Assistant Superintendent.
The board also approved last week the appointment of a new vice-principal at Berkeley High and a program supervisor for its Extended Learning Program.
There follows information on all the new appointments, provided by BUSD.
Hazelle Fortich is the new principal at Cragmont Elementary School
Hazelle Fortich has deep roots in our district community. She has served as Coordinator for Early Childhood Program, summer school principal, interim principal at Washington, literacy coach at Washington, after-school teacher at LeConte, and teacher at Malcolm X. One of her references states: “She lives and works in Berkeley and is a committed parent, teacher and community member. Those experiences mean that she will bring the importance of family and community to any school district. As a parent, she knows the value of strong ties to families and the value of fostering all forms of diversity in our schools.” … Continue reading »
The Berkeley Community Fund has granted a record number of scholarships to students from the class of 2014 at two Berkeley high schools. Twenty-three Berkeley High and Berkeley Technology Academy graduating seniors who are now college-bound will receive support to help them succeed in school and beyond.
The students, who are all in the first generation of their families to pursue a college degree, will be honored at a High Hopes scholarships awards ceremony on June 9 at the Berkeley City Club, which is open to the public (see details and register.)
Each scholar will receive $16,000, paid over four years, and important services that help them succeed in college and graduate: a volunteer mentor to help them better navigate the challenges and demands of higher education, financial literacy training, transition-to-college workshops, and support from BCF’s College Success Coordinator. … Continue reading »
Nearly 200 union workers from the Berkeley schools shut down the school board meeting temporarily Wednesday night. The group declined to stop their impassioned chanting, forcing the board members to go into closed session for about 15 minutes. (The video, above, by Mary Flaherty, shows members leaving their posts.)
District spokesman Mark Coplan said he’d never seen a Berkeley school board shut down in 20 years of service.
The Berkeley Council of Classified Employees union represents about 570 office staffers, custodians, food service workers, instructional assistants, school safety officers, secretaries, librarians, bus drivers and others.
The union is has been negotiating a new contract for three years, and is currently working under an old one. … Continue reading »
A year ago, Kyle Evans and his family were sleeping in motel rooms and, at times, their car. Despite his circumstances, Evans focused on keeping his grades up and being a role model for his younger sister. He had to forgo various activities enjoyed by his peers, as his family didn’t have the money to pay for them. He managed to keep a positive perspective and achieve success despite the odds.
“Adversity is a chance to find the God in you,” said Evans, who has been accepted to Brown University and plans to become a doctor. “It makes you a stronger person.”
Evans is one of 20 youth who will be honored Thursday at the first annual “Rising Stars” gala, put on by local advocacy organization Building Opportunities for Self-Sufficiency (BOSS) to recognize youth for achievement in the face of adversity. The group is also raising money this week for a scholarship fund for award recipients; scroll down for details.
After several weeks of increasing youth activity, which erupted into violence in downtown Berkeley last week, police have reorganized their staffing and plan a highly visible presence downtown to keep the peace Friday.
Last Friday, hundreds of high school students from Berkeley and Oakland roved around downtown. Some of them got into fights and several youth were pepper sprayed by one juvenile during several hours of “chaos” and “mayhem” downtown.
Berkeley Police Lt. Dave Frankel said today that “The Police Department, in an effort to stem potential violence and havoc caused by high school-aged kids, has shifted resources around to ensure that there are plenty of officers on the street to deal with it. We’re not going to tolerate any unlawful behavior.” … Continue reading »
Berkeley Unified School District is promoting two of its school principals to new district-level director positions.
Longfellow principal Pat Saddler will be the director of special projects and programs, and Jefferson principal Maggie Riddle will be the director of schools, both in the Educational Services Division. BUSD Board President Josh Daniels made the announcement at the board’s regular meeting Wednesday night.
Both Saddler and Riddle will report to the district’s new Assistant Superintendent, Pasquale Scuderi, who, it was announced earlier this month, is moving to the district from Berkeley High where he has been principal for the past four years.
Pat Saddler came to Berkeley in 1999 as LeConte Elementary School principal. She was asked to take the helm at Rosa Parks Elementary School in 2005. At Rosa Parks she established an API score for a school that had not historically participated in California Standards Testing (CST), and gained 36 points over a three-year period. In 2008 Saddler became principal at Longfellow Middle School. … Continue reading »
Update, 10:50 p.m. According to Lt. Dave Frankel, Berkeley Police Department had planned a large police presence this afternoon, following two previous Fridays with what he described as “rambunctious” behavior. The police had received reports that some confrontations were expected between Berkeley High and B-Tech students.
Today’s confrontations, however, spiraled into a series of fights and other disruptive behavior by students.
Two Berkeley High students were arrested and released to their parents, one for punching someone, the other for resisting arrest and disturbing the peace. A student from an Oakland charter school was also arrested for battery via pepper spray, Frankel said. He said Berkeley High staff had been helping police.
There was no information of property damage.
“This turned into groups of people wanting to fight each other,” Frankel said. It wasn’t, he explained, a riot where property damage was an aim. … Continue reading »
Since it lost $1.9 million in federal funding last year, Berkeley schools’ much lauded, 12-year-old cooking and gardening program has been struggling to find a way to survive and continue to provide invaluable edible education to the city’s young.
The unique district-wide program encourages students to explore the value of eating fresh fruits and vegetables, getting physical activity, and knowing where their food comes from.
But the program is now “operating on a lifeline with a piecemeal budget,” said its director, Jezra Thompson.
The community has been very supportive to date and gets two new opportunities both this month and next to help.
On Tuesday May 13, you can participate in the second annual Berkeley Dine Out, when many local restaurants, bakeries and cafés will donate a percentage of your bill to the school program. Participating spots include Elmwood Café, Zut!, Cancun, Eureka!, Benchmark Pizzeria, Babette, Ippuku and Flaco’s. (See the full list.) … Continue reading »
Bike East Bay is hosting hundreds of Energizer Stations throughout the area, distributing goodie bags and “celebrating the joy of biking.” Last year over 15,000 cyclists participated throughout Bike to Work Day.
“We had a record number of children bike to school and mayors leading by example and biking to City Hall,” the nonprofit said on its website.
Many local schools are participating this year, including Berkeley High. … Continue reading »
Berkeley schools are getting an extra $2.4 million this year to help low-income students and English learners under a new state funding system. To decide how best to spend the money, the district has been working with the community for the past seven months.
Last week administrators shared the first draft of the three-year plan, which includes hiring more teachers of English as a foreign language and more reading specialists. The district is looking for feedback on the draft by this Friday, May 9.
The plan is called the Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP). It is part of a new system of state funding for schools, signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown last year, called the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF), which began this school year.
It sounds dry, but it’s a big deal, said BUSD Assistant Superintendent Neil Smith. In fact, Smith said, the LCFF is the biggest change in how California schools are funded that he’s seen in his 25-year career with Berkeley schools. … Continue reading »