Tag Archives: King Middle School

Construction company fined $23K after employee death

A Cal/OSHA inspector speaks with members of the Berkeley Police Department and Berkeley Unified School District during a fatality investigation involving a construction worker at King Middle School on Tuesday afternoon, Aug. 27, 2013. Photo: Emilie Raguso
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The San Jose-based construction company that employed a man killed during a work-related accident last August in Berkeley has been fined more than $20,000 for two related safety violations authorities said led to the man’s death.

The state Division of Occupational Safety & Health, OSHA, concluded its five-month investigation into the man’s death Jan. 30, Berkeleyside learned Wednesday.

OSHA issued two citations totaling $23,200 to the Robert A. Bothman Construction in connection with the alleged safety violations, which include not keeping under “positive control” the three-axle dump truck that crushed 62-year-old Oscar Marquez of Livermore on Aug. 27 while he was working on the Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School track renovation project. … Continue reading »

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Jamie Oliver visits Edible Schoolyard with Alice Waters

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Jamie Oliver, aka the Naked Chef, who is probably best known in the U.S. for his Food Revolution TV series, visited the Edible Schoolyard at King School in Berkeley today. His host was Chez Panisse owner Alice Waters who spearheaded the creation of the internationally renowned edible program at the middle school, and founded the nonprofit Edible Schoolyard Project.

Oliver, British and originally a chef — whose empire now encompasses books, television shows, partnerships with major grocery chains, and restaurants — is also well known for his efforts to improve food education at schools. He has met Waters many times, but this was the first time he had visited the Edible Schoolyard which, he said, had inspired much of his work in schools.

“I have looked at Alice’s programs and figured out how they can translate to Britain,” he said today while observing students engaged in a cookery lesson in King’s spacious classroom kitchen.  … Continue reading »

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Authorities release name of man killed at King School

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The construction worker who died at Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School in Berkeley earlier this week has been identified by authorities as 62-year-old Oscar Marquez of Livermore.

Marquez, an employee of Robert A. Bothman Construction, had been laying asphalt for a school track project on Tuesday at 12:35 p.m. when a big rig parked on a slope rolled over him and killed him, authorities said.

The Alameda County coroner’s office said the cause of death was listed as extensive blunt force trauma.

Cal/OSHA spokesman Peter Melton said earlier this week that the agency will conduct the investigation into Marquez’s death, which could take up to six months to complete. The agency enforces worker safety and health standards. … Continue reading »

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Livermore man killed on construction site at King School

A Cal/OSHA inspector speaks with members of the Berkeley Police Department and Berkeley Unified School District during a fatality investigation involving a construction worker at King Middle School on Tuesday afternoon, Aug. 27, 2013. Photo: Emilie Raguso
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By Emilie Raguso and Tracey Taylor

Update, 5:26 p.m. Brian Bothman, vice president of operations for the Robert A. Bothman Construction company, described his employee who died Tuesday as “a great guy” who had been with the company for 25 years.

“We, all of us, are really saddened by the loss of our friend and a great employee,” he said. “We don’t know any more than anybody else knows at this point. The investigation is on-going. Our thoughts and prayers are with the friends and family of the employee. We will support them in this, and we will continue to support them as long as it’s needed.”

Bothman said he learned of the fatality in a phone call from a safety officer earlier on Tuesday. He said he could not release the man’s name because not all family members have been notified.  … Continue reading »

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King Middle School to get new field, all-weather track

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Those who have tried to use the track or field at Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School recently know that bulldozers have taken over the area, gates are locked, and temporary fencing is blocking the pathway coming from the school.

Shortly after King students left for summer, renovations began to replace irrigation and grass in the field and to make the track into an all-weather track. The plan laid out by the Berkeley Unified School Board in 2011 only involved improvements to the field, which has become uneven over time, but community members wanted to add track resurfacing to the project.

“There was a big push to get an all-weather track, and that’s what the top priority was,” said Lew Jones, maintenance director for the Berkeley Unified School District. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley school recycling gets back on track

A third-grade monitor at Oxford Elementary helps a classmate figure out what gets composted and what goes into the trash. Photo: Green Schools Initiative
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Berkeley schools are making a renewed commitment to recycling and composting after efforts slacked off over the past five years.

This year, a local non-profit, Green Schools Initiative, has worked with eight Berkeley schools, revitalizing recycling and composting programs. Green Schools was just awarded a grant for next year, so it can work with another eight schools in the fall.

According to Deborah Moore, executive director of Green Schools Initiative, recycling and composting are not only good for reducing landfill and greenhouse gases – they can also reduce the district’s spending.

“The Berkeley school district has potential to be saving $50,000 a year out of about $350,000 spent on trash pickup,” Moore said.  … Continue reading »

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Photo essay: Edible Schoolyard Plant Sale

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The Edible Schoolyard at King Middle School held its annual Plant Sale on Saturday, May 11. The event, a big fundraiser for the Edible Schoolyard, featured food, live music, student-led tours, cooking demonstrations, and plenty of plants to snap up. Contributing photographer Nancy Rubin was there. … Continue reading »

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Man suspected of trying to abduct 2 Berkeley girls

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On Thursday, May 2, officials say two sixth grade girls, who were waiting to be picked up from King Middle School, were approached by a man who asked them to help him retrieve an item from his car. The case is being treated as a possible attempted abduction.

On Friday, King Principal Janet Levenson sent an email and a recorded message via phone-tree to the King community in which she outlined what happened: “Yesterday at 3:00pm two 6th grade girls were waiting to be picked up at Berryman and Josephine,” she wrote in the email. “A man approached them saying that his keys had fallen into his car and his hand was too big to retrieve them. He pointed to the car which had the door open and was a couple of cars up the street. One girl started to go help him but her friend realized the potential danger and convinced her that they should run into the garden for help. The mom arrived almost immediately but the man was no longer there.He was described as a white male, 5’10″, thin build, brown hair and eyes, and driving a silver 4-door vehicle with no trunk (possibly a small SUV). Please be aware of who is driving around campus and remind your students to wait in front of the school.”
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Learning to write, one edit at a time

Coaches from WriterCoach Connection help more than 2,000 students in 10 schools throughout the East Bay
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By Mollie Hart

Andrea didn’t make eye contact with her writing coach right away. The 8th grader from Berkeley’s King Middle School brought out her rough draft of “An Open Letter to the Adults of our Country,” and started to read out loud, but kept her face turned away from the woman sitting next to her in the school’s designated “coaching” room.

“What did you think of the assignment?” the coach asked.

“It was okay,” said Andrea, without much enthusiasm.

Despite the young girl’s shy demeanor, the coach forged on. Soon the pair was talking about Andrea’s thesis statement, her conclusion, and how the American Revolution figured into the piece. … Continue reading »

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All Berkeley comes together, celebrates hope on MLK Day

It felt like all of Berkeley was represented at yesterday morning’s Martin Luther King breakfast celebration down by the bay.

They came from seminaries and temples, political groups, law enforcement, schools, neighborhood associations and government departments — our assemblywoman, mayor, and chief of police were there, as were many church and community leaders, councilmembers, teachers, students, business men and women, and children. (Watch the slideshow of photographs, above, by Nancy Rubin.)

On a crisp winter morning, nearly 400 local people gathered to mark Martin Luther King Day, to share breakfast and to watch together live-streaming of the inauguration of the 44th President of the United States. … Continue reading »

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Plans to put a beehive in every Berkeley middle school

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A new initiative, spearheaded by Berkeley’s Edible Schoolyard Project, aims to put beehives in the city’s three middle schools by next spring.

King Middle School’s one-acre garden, home to the Edible Schoolyard, has already jumped in having acquired a hive of Russian bees six weeks ago, under a program the organizers named Bee Experimental Education in Schools (BEES).

The idea, said Edible Schoolyard Director Kyle Cornforth, is to extend King’s existing hands-on gardening and cooking education to include learning about pollination. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley schools show gains on standard tests

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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 »

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Berkeley’s King school voted one of nation’s “coolest”

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Berkeley’s Martin Luther King Middle School is one of the “25 coolest schools in the nation” according to Scholastic Parent & Child magazine whose annual list aims to showcase public schools that inspire.

The selection — which ranges from an elementary school in Wisconsin that’s using assistive technology to untap the potential of disabled kids to the nation’s largest online public school, based in Florida — also has an underlying agenda, says Parent & Child Editor in Chief Nick Friedman.

“We want to change the conversation,” he says. “There is so much negative talk about public education in America and the need to ‘fix’ public schools. That story is covered. We want to focus on the positive.” Friedman says the editorial team works to identify aspects such as community involvement and student engagement at schools which make them models for everyone. … Continue reading »

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