Tag Archives: Longfellow Middle School

Determined crowd demands fast action from Berkeley council; officials set meeting on protests for January

The crowd at Tuesday night's Berkeley council meeting listened closely to public testimony. Photo: Emilie Raguso
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An emotional crowd nearly shut down the Berkeley City Council multiple times Tuesday night during a public comment period that lasted the better part of four hours.

About 50 people spoke to council — and many more were in attendance — to share concerns about racial profiling as well as the actions of police on Saturday, Dec. 6, when officers used tear gas, projectiles and baton hits to control and clear a crowd that refused to disperse from Telegraph Avenue after several hours of demonstrations around the city.

Council members considered but rejected the possibility of scheduling a special meeting this month to discuss the events of Dec. 6, and how police should interact with protesters going forward.

See complete Berkeleyside coverage of the recent Berkeley protests.

Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates announced that council will hold a special meeting Jan. 17 that’s set to include a panel of experts as well as workshops for more interactive discussion of critical issues. … Continue reading »

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Protests expected at Berkeley council meeting Tuesday

2020 Vision Symposium, Oct. 11, Longfellow Middle School, Berkeley, CA. Photo: Emilie Raguso
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With two protests planned outside tonight’s Berkeley City Council meeting at Longfellow Middle School, Berkeleyside will be on scene with two reporters and will live-tweet about the events that unfold.

The best place to find live updates is the Berkeleyside Twitter feed (no account needed to view) and #Berkeleyprotests on Twitter. Berkeley City Council tweets are generally tagged #berkmtg.

See Berkeleyside’s follow-up story about the meeting.

Berkeleyside may update this post as well — time allowing — depending on what transpires. We invite community members to weigh in below, in the comments section, about what they are seeing and experiencing.

Berkeleyside has previously published an advisory from police about how neighbors can prepare for large demonstrations related to the council meeting, as well as information about meeting agendas and protest plans.  … Continue reading »

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Police warn South Berkeley to prepare for protests

Tonight's Berkeley council meeting is set to take place at Longfellow Middle School. Image: Google maps
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The Berkeley Police Department has released a warning to South Berkeley neighbors to help them prepare for expected crowds attending the Berkeley City Council meeting at Longfellow Middle School on Tuesday night.

See complete Berkeleyside coverage of the recent Berkeley protests.

Officials canceled last week’s council meeting, citing a lack of space for the anticipated turnout, and rescheduled it for tonight, Dec. 16, at 5:30 p.m. at the Longfellow auditorium at 1500 Derby St. near Sacramento Street. (There is a lift for ADA access at the northeast end of the building.) That will be followed by the regularly scheduled council meeting at 7 p.m.

Berkeleyside plans to live tweet the council meeting, as well as highlights from both protests that have been called tonight. Follow along on Twitter (no account needed). See the meeting agendas here. … Continue reading »

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‘Double header’ Berkeley council meetings set for Tuesday, 2 protests also planned

Family members of Kayla Moore say they're still fighting for justice after her death in police custody last year. Photo: Emilie Raguso
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After canceling its regular session last week, the Berkeley City Council is set to hold two back-to-back meetings Tuesday night at Longfellow Middle School.

During those events, two separate groups have announced plans to protest in Berkeley. Separately, the Berkeley Unified School District has announced a panel discussion this week, for BUSD families only, regarding police-related fatalities. It remains to be seen how protest activities might affect the scheduled city meetings, but officials say they are preparing for a large turnout.

City officials canceled the Dec. 9 council meeting after protesters announced plans to take it over and shut it down. Officials said the regular meeting location, at Old City Hall, could not handle the expected capacity, and postponed the meeting to an undetermined date just hours before it was set to begin.

See complete Berkeleyside coverage of the recent Berkeley protests.

Some activists had announced plans earlier this month to “shut down” the Dec. 9 meeting to protest decisions made by the Berkeley Police Department to teargas and fire projectiles at demonstrators who refused to disperse from Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley on Dec. 6. (Berkeleyside has submitted a lengthy list of questions to police about this incident and has been told responses are forthcoming.)

Late last week, city staff said council’s Dec. 9 agenda will be heard Tuesday, Dec. 16, in the auditorium of Longfellow Middle School, at 1500 Derby St. at 5:30 p.m. A special worksession on the Adeline corridor originally scheduled for that time has been canceled. … Continue reading »

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4 new principals appointed to elementary and middle schools, search continues for new head of Berkeley High

Cragmont Elementary School: overcrowding is an issue
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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 »

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2 Berkeley school principals move to new district roles

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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 »

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Berkeley teen photographer takes aim at New Orleans

New Orleans. Photo: Andrei Crandall
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Longfellow eighth-grader Andrei Crandall is already making headway in the photo world, despite his young age. Crandall, who is 14, was invited to join the San Diego Museum of Art’s artist guild when he was just 12, after contributing his work as part of a blind juried competition. He has also been published in Southwest Airlines’ Spirit magazine.

According to his artist statement, Crandall was born in a small city in far eastern Russia. He moved to Berkeley as a 4-year-old after he was adopted by “two moms who love to travel and take me and my camera with them.”

Crandall has taken photographs in Fiji, China, France, Spain, Mexico and around the United States. His most recent trip was to New Orleans in April. Photographs from that trip are on view in an exhibit called “The Streets of New Orleans” at The Alta Bates Community Art Gallery, at 2450 Ashby Ave., through Nov. 23. Crandall also has photographs showing at The Homemade Café, 2454 Sacramento St.

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Berkeley offers free summer lunches, snacks for youth

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Berkeley is facilitating free lunches and snacks for under-18-year-olds this summer at locations across the city.

In the Berkeley Unified School District, 42 percent of students receive free or reduced lunch during the school year, which is easily accessible when school is in session but can become difficult to find during the summer. City Councilwoman Linda Maio recently sent an email to her district asking her constituents to spread the word about the free summer lunch program.

Berkeleyside has created a map, above, that shows where the lunches are distributed. Below is a list of the dates and locations of the free lunch and snack programs. … 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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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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Sacramento Street neighbors reel from latest shooting

A piece of yellow police tape marks the spot where a woman was shot and killed while riding her bicycle on Tuesday night. Photo: Frances Dinkelspiel
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Update, 6:44 p.m.: The Berkeley Police Department has confirmed the identity of shooting victim Pamela Mullins, 50, of Berkeley. Mullins was killed in the 2700 block of Sacramento Street. According to a written statement released at 6:28 p.m.: “BPD detectives are continuing to work hard to gather information and determine a motive for this incident.”

Update, 5 p.m.: The Oakland Tribune is reporting that the shooting victim was 50-year-old Pam Mullins and that she died about 100 feet from her home. Cathy White of Oakland, who told the Tribune she was Mullins’ sister, said Mullins often rode her bike to and from her job as a caregiver, that she lived alone and had recently moved into the apartment.

Original story: The only signs Wednesday morning that a woman was gunned down Tuesday night as she rode her bicycle near Longfellow Middle School was a piece of yellow caution tape flapping in the wind, and three television news vans.

Otherwise it seemed like an average, if rainy, morning. Trucks delivered food to the school cafeteria, parents dropped off students, and stragglers rushed through the rain to make their early classes.

A woman who lives near the corner of Derby and Sacramento streets said she had heard what sounded like a shot Tuesday night but did not know a murder had occurred until she bundled her young son off to school in the morning. … Continue reading »

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Longfellow holds Hoodie Day in honor of Trayvon Martin

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Today was Hoodie Day at Longfellow School in Berkeley. Students and teachers at the middle school wore hoodies in memory of Trayvon Martin, the 17-year-old who was shot and killed by George Zimmerman, a self-appointed neighborhood watch captain, in Sanford, Fla. on Feb. 26.

The class of teacher Erin Schweng also had skittles and Arizona Tea, both items Martin was carrying when he died.

“We talked about what happened, and how what we’re doing today is just a small thing but that it shows solidarity and support,” said Schweng. “Our middle school students are young people with heart, passion, and a budding activism all their own.” … Continue reading »

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City Council looks for new Berkeley meeting space

The City Council currently meets in the Maudelle Shirek building but is looking for new meeting space.
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After looking at 11 possible locations to hold future City Council meetings, Berkeley city staff is recommending that the council select between the auditorium at Berkeley City College, the multipurpose room at the North Berkeley Senior Center, and the auditorium at Longfellow Middle School.

Those three sites are centrally located, have sufficient capacity to hold the crowds that come to council meetings, are convenient to public transit, and can be fitted with audio-visual equipment to broadcast and tape meetings, according to a report that will be presented to the council Tuesday night.

The City Council has been meeting in the Maudelle Shirek Building at 2134 Martin Luther King Way since 1909, but needs to find a new spot because the building is seismically unsafe, according to Mary Kay Clunies-Ross, a city spokesperson. The Berkeley Unified School District currently uses the building for its administrative offices, but will move to a newly refurbished building on University Avenue near Bonar in March.

The move of BUSD is prompting the City Council to move as well. … Continue reading »

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