Tag Archives: Bill Huyett
Last week’s sudden closure of Berkeley High’s Old Gym puzzled and angered many student athletes and their supporters. Last night, at the Berkeley Unified School District board meeting, Superintendent Bill Huyett apologized for the disruption, but said that his decision was forced by the unsafe condition of the building.
“We do recognize the problems that have been put upon the [football] team,” Huyett said. “I don’t think anybody wanted this to happen, especially in this way. It happened very clearly out of a lack of information on my part.”
Huyett said that he had spoken to the BHS football team and coaches after practice on Wednesday to apologize.
The superintendent was responding at the school board meeting to Richard Boyden, a parent of a current member of the Yellowjackets. … Continue reading »
The unexpected and abrupt closure of Berkeley High School’s Old Gym this week has thrown some of the school’s athletic programs into turmoil.
On Monday, members of the football team were told they could not go into the locker room in the Old Gym to suit up for practice or to retrieve their belongings. Since then, the team has not had a place to change, store personal items, use weights, or watch films to prepare for upcoming games.
“It has caused a lot of confusion and it is having an effect on how we practice,” said one member of the varsity football team who did not want his name used. “It has a detrimental affect on the team.”
The abrupt closure on Monday October 3 came about because Superintendent Bill Huyett only recently learned of reports that the structure may not be seismically safe, and decided to take action.
“I am a very prudent and cautious person when it comes to student safety,” said Huyett.
Huyett was referring to an engineering study included in a 2006 environmental impact report that raised – but did not answer — questions about the seismic stability of the Old Gym. The structure was built in 1922 based on a design by architect William Hays. In 1929, an addition housing what is now known as the Warm Pool was added. The complex is slated to be torn down in 2012 and replaced with a $35 million, three-story building that holds 15 classrooms, a new gym, and a fitness center. … Continue reading »
The discovery on Saturday of a stash of school records in a dumpster on the Le Conte Elementary School playground has prompted the Berkeley Unified School District to initiate an investigation into how school documents are stored and discarded.
“We need a clear policy and higher security,” said BUSD Superintendent Bill Huyett.
The long-running case concerning alleged sexual harassment by Berkeley High counselor Anthony Smith came to Federal Court today in San Francisco and now looks likely to be settled by the school district.
Judge Maria-Elena James considered the Berkeley Unified School District’s motion to dismiss the federal suit against Smith, the district and Superintendent Bill Huyett (the full text of the suit is here). The judge denied the motion to dismiss three state law claims in the suit and dismissed a claim of negligence without prejudice, providing an opening for the plaintiff to refile with a more specific complaint of negligence.
Berkeleyside broke the news that Smith had been accused of sexually harassing a junior at BHS in April 2010. In September 2010, at the beginning of the student’s senior year, a temporary restraining order was granted ordering Smith to stay at least 100 yards away from the student. An out-of-court settlement was reached on the restraining order in October, when Smith agreed to stay at least 50 yards from the student. The federal case considered today seeking unspecified damages was filed in April this year. … Continue reading »
The Berkeley Unified School District is dropping its efforts to place a school for expelled students inside the Berkeley Adult School on San Pablo Avenue.
Superintendent Bill Huyett thinks “the District has other more pressing issues and needs that require staff time,” according to a press release that was sent out at 12:40 a.m. Sunday “The District will continue to encourage the Alameda County Office of Education to locate services for expelled students in the northern part of the county.”
HAYWARD — Nine teenage boys and one teenage girl sat grouped around a set of desks arranged in a rectangle. Their eyes were focused on another boy standing in front of them, who was reading from his report on the effects of marijuana.
“People are introduced to marijuana usually by their friends, older sister or brother, or someone they know,” said the speaker, who looked up from his paper to flash a smile at his classmates, who then started to talk.
“You are doing very well,” said Annie Green, the teacher, who, without missing a beat, turned to the class and told them to tone down their chatter. “Save your comments for later,” she said. Green then turned her attention back to her standing student and started to probe some of the points he made in his presentation, particularly what marijuana does to pregnant women.
The scene could be one from any Bay Area high school with its mix of restless students and a teacher trying to tamp down their chatter. But this didn’t happen in an ordinary school. It took place recently at the Hayward Community School, a school run by the Alameda County Office of Education for students who have been expelled by their own school districts for truancy, bad behavior, repeated suspensions, and violent acts like carrying a weapon to school. Some may have served time in juvenile hall.
Nestled in the back of the bright yellow Eden Youth and Family Center on West Tennyson, right next to a pediatric clinic, a day care center and a day labor program, the Hayward Community School serves 64 of Alameda County’s toughest students, those, who, despite repeated chances, could not make it at their own high schools. They have been sent to the community school to sit out their expulsions, which may range from a semester to a year.
Four of the students at the Hayward Community School live in Berkeley, and soon, in the 2011-2012 school year, students like them might be able to attend classes in their hometown rather than have to travel to Hayward. The Alameda County Office of Education and the Berkeley Unified School District are proposing to create a small community school inside the Berkeley Adult School on San Pablo Avenue near Virgina. … Continue reading »
The final numbers haven’t been completely crunched, and the legislature hasn’t passed the budget yet, but the fiscal situation for the Berkeley Unified School District for next year looks much better than previously thought.
Gov. Jerry Brown released his “May revise” budget on Monday and it contained an unexpected $6.6 billion in new revenues. Brown applied $3 billion of the money to K-12 education, which means BUSD won’t have to cut as much as $330-$700 per student, the numbers … Continue reading »
Dozens of teachers and staff from Berkeley schools are planning to leaflet local BART stations Tuesday afternoon to get out the word that planned state budget cuts will decimate the school system.
The 4 pm leafleting, and a planned march in San Francisco on Friday, are part of a week-long effort called “State of Emergency” to pressure lawmakers into extending expiring taxes. Governor Jerry Brown wanted to place tax extensions on the June ballot to close a $26 billion budget gap, but couldn’t get the Republican support he needed to do so.
“If you believe the funding is inadequate for public education, the practical way is to extend the taxes we have in place,” Bill Huyett, the superintendent of Berkeley schools, told a group assembled Monday for a hearing on the BUSD budget. “Your job is to talk to your legislator or if you know a legislator who is in a Republican district, talk to them.”
“We need to get the word out,” said Josh Daniels, a school board member. “I can’t urge you enough. Don’t just walk away. Talk to your friends, your neighbors, your fellow staff. Get them involved.”
Without the tax extension, BUSD is facing a $3.7 million deficit for fiscal year 2012. That translates to a drop of at least $330 each student, although the numbers might get even worse. There is a chance the state will slash $700 from each student, according to Javetta Cleveland, the deputy superintendent for business. … Continue reading »