Tag Archives: Berkeley Unified School District
A recent state report that includes fitness test results for Berkeley students in three grades shows the district’s ninth-graders falling far short of county and state benchmarks.
Berkeley Unified School District officials said last week, however, that the results actually are an indicator of a more holistic approach to health, rather than a sign that Berkeley teens are out of shape.
The 2012 Physical Fitness Test Results, released in mid-November, were given to 1.3 million fifth-, seventh- and ninth-graders statewide; they make up more than 93% of all students enrolled in those grades in California public schools, according to the state Department of Education. … Continue reading »
Every year, dozens of Berkeley High School students produce a holiday meal extravaganza for some 300-500 homeless or low-income people and families in the Berkeley community. As well as preparing and serving a warming meal, the school offers clothing, books, shoes, toys, blankets and provides entertainment.
The annual Holiday Meal will take place on Saturday, Dec. 15, and the school needs donations. So far the organizers, the BHS Student Leadership Team, have collected almost $1,000 and over 500 pounds of food, but the goal is to reach 10,000 pounds of food before Dec. 14. … Continue reading »
Students in Berkeley schools are reporting declining substance use rates and decreasing exposure to violence, according to responses to a biennial survey administered across several grade levels, and at Berkeley Technology Academy, in January.
The survey data came with a range of caveats, but Student Services Director Susan Craig and Evaluation and Assessment Director Debbi D’Angelo told the board and co-superintendents that the results are “promising” and “reveal a change” in a pattern of “exceedingly high use rates” for marijuana and alcohol. … Continue reading »
Families from a range of Berkeley school communities packed the Berkeley School Board meeting last week to speak out about the importance of the district’s gardening and cooking programs in the face of financial changes that could threaten the efforts in the future.
Parents used school PTA email lists before the Nov. 14 meeting to ask supporters to attend the session to show their commitment to the programming.
According to an email sent to LeConte Elementary School parents, “Currently, 14 of the 18 school sites in Berkeley receive a total of $1.9 million each year in federal funding for nutritional education through the Network for a Healthy California. These funds are expected to starkly diminish if not totally disappear as soon as next year or in the very near future.” … Continue reading »
A new school has come to the Berkeley hills. The German International School of Silicon Valley (GISSV) has settled into the landmarked Hillside School, a site that for many decades was owned and operated by the Berkeley Unified public school system.
The school, which welcomes both German and non-German speaking families, moved from its former location in Kensington which itself was established in 2007 as the second satellite of the original school which was founded in Mountain View in 1999. A San Francisco satellite opened last year.
The private school in Berkeley currently has 70 students, kindergarten through fifth grade, but will add a grade every year until it becomes a K-8 school, according to Birgit Cronin Marketing Coordinator at GISSV.
Cronin said the purchase of the property was in process, and restoration and repair work to the playground in particular was carried out over the summer. First classes were held there on Aug. 13 and a grand opening ceremony took place on Nov 3. … Continue reading »
Four engaging one-act plays by Thornton Wilder, the three-time Pulitzer prize-winning author, give us insight into Wilder’s view of the ways in which American families live and struggle — for better or for worse. Add a terrific cast and wonderful direction by Barbara Oliver, and these plays come alive. Whether written in the 1930s or the 1960s, the Wilder Times one-act plays remain creative and fresh.
The first two plays, both written in 1962, Infancy and Childhood, show us what deficient parents we’ve had and what flawed parents we are to our children. Infancy and Childhood were written for Wilder’s Plays for Bleecker Street at the Circle in the Square Theater in Greenwich Village, where they were directed by the great José Quintero. Then and now, Wilder’s plays experiment with the private thoughts of his characters. … Continue reading »
A recently published report suggests that 600,000 youth concussions occur yearly in the U.S., about double the 300,000 commonly estimated. The figure is extrapolated from a survey out of Massachusetts that found that 3,000 youth athletes from 164 schools suffered concussions last year.
Schools and parents try to take measures to protect their kids from potentially devastating concussions which happen across many sports, including, but not limited to, football, soccer and boxing. But, especially in football, the only true shield is to prevent the contacts that lead to the concussions in the first place. Even helmets don’t actually protect the brain. … Continue reading »
Noah Shreiber and Isaac Lomprey, both sophomores at Berkeley High School, believe too many people are stuck in a political rut and aren’t particularly open to exploring other people’s perspectives. They decided to do something about it and formed the Diverse Political Views Club at the school. Now they’ve just pulled off their first coup: organizing a student-moderated mayoral forum on campus. All six of Berkeley’s wannabe mayors have said they will attend the forum, which takes place on Monday Oct. 29 at the BHS Library, 7:00-8:00 p.m., and is open to anyone who would like to know more about their potential local leaders. We caught up with Lomprey to find out more about what drove the pair to become so politically engaged.
You’re both sophomores at BHS in the Academic Choice school. How did you get to know each other?
Noah and I first met through our moms when we were very young, but later we got to know each other at summer camp, and started really being friends after we were in the same freshman biology class.
Why did you decide to form a Diverse Political Views Club?
We formed this club because Noah and I found that too many people are stuck in their own political ideologies and don’t dare to consider other viewpoints beside their own. … Continue reading »
The California Department of Education yesterday released its 2012 Accountability Progress Report, which show significant gains for Berkeley schools on both the state Annual Performance Index (API) and the federal Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP). (Details of both district and individual school results for API and AYP can be seen on the state’s Accountability Progress Reporting site.)
Berkeley Unified School District had an overall growth of 19 points for a district-wide API of 810. Each of Berkeley’s elementary and middle schools exceeded the statewide API target of 800 or above. Berkeley High School, which went years without having enough students take the test to get an API, had a 19-point growth for a school API of 734, which was above the school’s target growth for the year. Only 30% of high schools in California exceeded an API of 800.
“I think these results are evidence that Berkeley is on the right track, that we’re making a difference for our kids,” said Co-Superintendent Neil Smith. “I think particularly looking at achievement all across elementary reading was a real strength for the district. Where we still have a lot of work to do is the high school.” … Continue reading »
What are you doing for lunch on Friday? One option is to head to Caffe Venezia and join a group of local business players who, for the second year running, have set themselves a goal of raising funds for the Berkeley High Development Group while enjoying good Italian fare and convivial conversation.
Architect Charles Kahn (Kahn Design Associates) co-founded BHSDG Business Partners last year with David Mayer of Mayer Laboratories. Mayer had been asked to take over “business outreach” for the Berkeley High School Development Group and he was stunned to find that, historically, only a few thousand dollars had been made available annually in direct donations to the group. He resolved to accept the assignment only if he could significantly improve the results.
“Berkeley High School is the only public high school in our community — we rely upon it for the education of our children and our employees’ children,” says Kahn. “We recognize it is in our self-interest to support Berkeley High.” The group also recognizes that the school has a national reputation for academic excellence, diversity and social enrichment. … Continue reading »
The Berkeley Unified School District Board has announced that it will hold a special meeting tomorrow, Tuesday Sept. 18, at 8:30pm at its new offices at 2020 Bonar Street.
The agenda at the closed meeting includes discussing the appointment of a new superintendent, a subject that has caused heated debate in the community over the past couple of weeks. At its Sept. 12 meeting, the board said it would be slowing down the recruiting process to continue doing due diligence on Edmond Heatley, who recently resigned from his post as Superintendent of the Clayton County, GA, school district, and is the only candidate in the running. The agenda also includes collective bargaining, student expulsions and conference with legal counsel. As is customary, the board will hear public testimony for 30 minutes before going into closed session.
The Board’s previously scheduled meeting on Wednesday this week will go ahead as planned, in the Old City Hall at 2134 Martin Luther King Jr Way, beginning at 7:30pm, although its agenda has been revised to reflect the addition of the new meeting.
It was California Coastal Cleanup Day on Saturday and locals of all ages turned out in the hundreds to help keep Bay Area beaches and waterways clear of trash.
The annual cleanup, orchestrated by the California Coastal Commission, is the state’s largest volunteer event. When combined with the International Coastal Cleanup, organized by Ocean Conservancy and taking place on the same day, California Coastal Cleanup Day becomes part of one of the largest volunteer events in the world.
A group of Berkeley High students joined dozens of volunteers down on the Berkeley Marina to clear garbage, and also made note of what they found. … Continue reading »
Berkeley Unified School District looks set to name Edmond Heatley as its new Superintendent, pending agreement on his contract.
Heatley is currently Superintendent and Chief Executive Officer of Clayton County Public Schools, a school district near Atlanta, Georgia.
BUSD says they have narrowed the field of candidates down to one and that is Heatley. Once due diligence is completed, the Board will be in a position to formally offer Heatley an employment contract.
Heatley announced his resignation from his post yesterday, saying he was leaving for an unspecified post.
“The board believes we have our superintendent,” said Board President John Selawsky. “We just need to fill in the details.”
Selawsky added that even though the appointment is not confirmed, the board wanted the community to know that they are in the final stages of finding a replacement for Bill Huyett, who recently retired.
A district team, headed by School Board member Karen Hemphill, is today in Georgia completing a site visit in Clayton County Public Schools where Heatley is superintendent. The visit consisted of interviews with school board members, parents, teachers, staff, district administrators, union leadership, and community leaders. Selawsky said Hemphill had reported that the visit went well. … Continue reading »