Tag Archives: BUSD
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 »
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 »
Berkeley students on the lower end of the achievement gap made critical academic gains in the past year, according to a report released last week by the California Department of Education. The Academic Performance Index (API) for Socio-Economically Disadvantaged students rose by 21 points, for African American students by 16 points, and for students with disabilities by 11 points. API scores increased for Asian students by only 3 points and for white students by 2 points.
But a comparison of actual scores shows the achievement gap is still painfully wide in Berkeley. The API for white students in the district was 925, while for African American students it was 675. Hispanic or Latino students are steadily making gains, but at 766 points their score still doesn’t hit the state benchmark.
“For the API as a district we did see an achievement gain because our white students only showed a 2 point gain, whereas our African American students had a 16 point gain,” said BUSD’s director of evaluation and assessment Debbi D’Angelo. “But that doesn’t mean the work is done. That just means we’ve made some gains.” … Continue reading »
New principal appointments have been made for Berkeley’s LeConte and Oxford elementary schools.
Elizabeth (“Beth”) Rhine will assume the role of principal at Oxford, replacing Jen Corn, who transferred to Thousand Oaks this summer. Veronica Valerio will join LeConte as its principal after Kathryn Singh, the former principal, announced on July 1 that she would be moving to Massachusetts for family reasons.
New BUSD Superintendent Donald Evans emailed both school communities announcing the new appointments last week. … Continue reading »
Summer vacation is in full swing for most Berkeley Unified School District teachers and students, but the bargaining table between the district and its unions won’t get much downtime.
The district recently released an update on contract negotiations with its four unions.
As previously reported, the district in late May reached a tentative 2012-2013 school year contract agreement with the Berkeley Federation of Teachers (BFT), which, among other things, provides a 2.5% annual salary increase retroactive for one year, and a 2.5% one-time bonus on top of a 1% bonus given last year.
The district’s classified employees, who include school secretaries, instructional aides, bus drivers, maintenance and food service workers, received the same raise and bonus, under an agreement called a “me too” clause, which says if teachers get a raise, classified do too.
But the district’s full contract — with its roughly 600 classifed employees, who are represented by the Berkeley Council of Classified Employees (BCCE) — is far from settled, with even the salary issue up in the air. … Continue reading »
Update, 4:02 p.m.: The Principal of LeConte Elementary School announced she is resigning shortly after this story was published. In a statement issued today, Kathryn Singh said she would be moving back to Massachusetts due to family matters. BUSD Co-Superintendent Neil Smith said in a note to the LeConte community that Singh had been a great educational leader for LeConte and that “her bilingual and cross-cultural expertise served LeConte well in this year of transitions.” He continued: “I am committed to making the process to hire LeConte’s next principal as transparent and smooth as possible. The opening was officially advertised today both locally and through a well-regarded public education online search service.”
Original story: A Berkeley elementary school principal has been asked to switch schools, opening up a new head-of-school vacancy in a field which has seen several changes recently.
Jen Corn, who has been Principal at Oxford Elementary for two years, will replace Gayle Hughes as the new principal of Thousand Oaks Elementary School. Hughes announced this summer that, due to the relocation of her husband’s workplace, she will be moving to Southern California. … Continue reading »
A school district proposal to replace decades-old portable classrooms at Berkeley’s Washington Elementary and Berkeley Arts Magnet schools with a set of newer ones that are being removed from the Berkeley High campus, has been delayed for further consideration after concerns were expressed by parents at the schools.
At Wednesday night’s BUSD Board meeting, it was agreed that the plan (some of the details of which can be viewed here), that had originally been slated for approval on June 12, would be rescheduled to the Sept. 9 school board meeting.
The portables at BAM and Washington were installed in the lates 1960s as a temporary measure. In the latter case, they form Washington’s annex campus on McKinley St. across from the school’s main campus. The decision to switch them out with the BHS portables, which are 4-5 years’ old, was taken in 2011 as part of a system replacements plan funded by the 2010 $210m Measure I bond measure. … Continue reading »
The Berkeley Unified School District and the Berkeley Federation of Teachers have agreed to a retroactive across-the-board 2.5% wage increase and reached consensus on other contract negotiations for 2012-2013.
All wages, including salaries, stipends, daily rates and hourly rates for BFT members will be adjusted to reflect a 2.5% increase, effective July 1, 2012, the district announced in a statement released last night.
Teachers will also receive an additional one-time payment equal to 2.5% of his/her 2012-2013 salary. The district contribution to health and welfare benefits remains unchanged. This is in addition to the 1% bonus negotiated for all employees in the fall of 2012. … Continue reading »
The Berkeley Unified School Board on Wednesday night formally appointed Donald Evans as the new Berkeley superintendent of schools by approving his contract. Evans, who was has been superintendent of the Hayward Unified School District for the past two years, will take up the position on July 1.
Berkeley Unified Board President Karen Hemphill said the board had been impressed with Evans’ experience and achievements, as well as his reputation for forging fruitful partnerships and having a collaborative leadership style. In Hayward, Evans held two town hall meetings for the community every year, for example.
“When we look at his body of work, he ticks a lot of the boxes that we wanted in Berkeley,” Hemphill said.
One of Evans’ last tasks in Hayward was submitting a plan to the district to raise the achievement levels of African American students, an issue of direct relevance to Berkeley. … Continue reading »
Berkeley schools’ nationally recognized cooking and gardening programs are about to lose funding – once again. But, unlike last year, no last-minute reprieve of federal funds is expected.
Schools representatives met with about 120 parents last Thursday night at Longfellow Middle School to explain why the programs are set to lose $1.9 million of U.S. Department of Agriculture funds, and what potential solutions are being developed.
Every public school in Berkeley — from pre-school to high school — currently has either a cooking program or an edible garden, with 10 schools having both. A series of videos shown at Thursday’s meeting — kindergarteners working with knives and graters, kids watering in the garden and stuffing their mouths with greens — shows just what is at stake. … Continue reading »