Tag Archives: Malcolm X Elementary School
Berkeley School Board primer: English Learner master plan and increasing enrollment are on the agenda
The board will discuss the district’s English Learner Master Plan. It will also begin a four-part process of addressing the challenges of increasing enrollment. (Read more about school enrollment issues on Berkeleyside.) … Continue reading »
The board will consider adding an assistant principal at Malcolm X Elementary School. The board is also slated to discuss career training efforts in the district and get an update on common core standards, including progress so far, expenditures and challenges. … Continue reading »
When the Berkeley school district added two new kindergarten classes – one to Cragmont school and one to Malcolm X — just before school began, some parents were concerned about what impact the move would have on the schools, which, they said, were neither spacious nor overstaffed. In an opinion piece published on Berkeleyside, Joshua Room, former President of the PTA at Malcolm X, asked why the district couldn’t plan ahead better. Quite a few readers agreed with him.
In fact, this year’s incoming kindergarten class is smaller than last year’s class. The squeeze is instead coming from the fairly new – and growing — transitional kindergarten program, required by state law. And the BUSD admissions office said it was well aware of the crunch coming.
“I knew we needed more classrooms back in February,” said Francisco Martinez, district admissions director. But over the course of the spring, plans about where to put the transitional kindergarten classrooms went through several shifts. … Continue reading »
I am a proud graduate from, and enthusiastic supporter of, the Berkeley public schools. I am a lifelong resident of Berkeley, and have chosen to raise my family here. I love the school that my children attend, and have had nothing but tremendously positive experiences with all of the teachers and staff that have been involved in their education and care.
But Berkeley elementary schools are experiencing unprecedented problems with student population growth. In recent years, the number of students … Continue reading »
When we first sent our two sons to Berkeley public schools in the mid-1970s, the debate about education was a little heated. Neighborhood schools were out, busing was in. Tracking of any kind was a no-no. It seemed to some that in the name of equality, folks wanted to drag everyone down to the lowest common denominator. One by one, friends and neighbors were pulling their kids out and going private.
We stuck with Berkeley. Our experiences were mixed: some … Continue reading »
So many new students have unexpectedly enrolled for kindergarten for the 2013-2014 school year that the Berkeley Unified School District has to add three new kindergarten classrooms.
BUSD has seen steady growth in enrollment in recent years and had projected for larger numbers of kindergarten students, but an additional 66 students unexpectedly signed up, according to a letter sent out this week and signed by Superintendent Donald Evans and Neil Smith, assistant superintendent for educational services. … Continue reading »
A mobile asthma clinic designed to keep kids in school and out of the hospital debuted Thursday at Malcolm X Elementary School in south Berkeley.
The Breathmobile, a 33-foot-long Winnebago RV, drew inquisitive looks and questions from students throughout the day. The vehicle was parked in the school courtyard to offer easy access to families that signed up for its first day ever in Berkeley. The program, which provides free asthma and allergy treatment, has ties to ongoing city-wide efforts to target the achievement gap and bring more accessible healthcare to a high-risk population.
Dr. Washington Burns of the West Oakland-based Prescott-Joseph Center for Community Enhancement brought the Breathmobile program to the East Bay in 2009. It began in Emeryville and has since expanded to serve 18 sites around the Bay Area. It’s the only one of its kind in Northern California, according to Burns’ staff, though there are also about a dozen other Breathmobile RVs that operate across the nation. … Continue reading »
As the academic year winds to a close this week there is welcome news for next year. Schools are to get a one-year reprieve on the funding front from the federal government for the gardening and cooking programs at three of Berkeley Unified School District‘s elementary schools.
Earlier in the year it was feared that the schools — Malcolm X, Rosa Parks, and Washington — were going to lose these federal funds, due to failure to meet existing guidelines that require a school to have at least 50% of its students enrolled in the free and reduced-lunch programs.
In April — following a series of school board meetings where parents and community members made an impassioned case for the importance of keeping such curricula — the BUSD Board voted to authorize funding up to $350,000 for edible programs at the three elementary schools in question for the following year.
Now comes word that won’t be necessary. The Network for a Healthy California, the state program that administers the federal monies to local school districts, recently informed the BUSD of its intention to extend the funding for an additional year, according to Leah Sokolofski, program supervisor for the BUSD Cooking and Garden Nutrition Program. The scope of work and budget must remain the same at each school, and no additional schools will be able to use the funds, noted Sokolofski in an email sent to school principals on Tuesday. … Continue reading »
About 75 people rallied on the corner of Telegraph Avenue and Derby Street in Berkeley Sunday afternoon to convince the City Council to put a pool bond measure on the November ballot.
Holding signs that read “Save Willard Pool,” and “Honk if you like to swim,” the group of students, parents, and community members yelled, chanted, and encouraged people to sign a petition that called for the reopening of Willard pool, which was closed and filled with dirt in 2010. (The petition is also posted at Change.org.)
“I would like to see Willard Pool open again,” said Amelie Melde Fontenay, a parent of a Willard School student. “My only son got here just in time to see the pool filled in with dirt. I don’t think it’s fair that the other two (middle) schools have pools and Willard doesn’t.” … Continue reading »
Late last night, the Berkeley Unified School District School Board voted to authorize funding up to $350,000 for three elementary schools — Malcolm X, Rosa Parks, and Washington — that were in danger of losing their gardening and cooking programs for the next school year.
The move came as welcome news for all those involved in the programs and anyone who champions teaching children to eat, grow, and cook their greens.
“The Board showed a remarkable commitment to edible education by continuing to fund the garden and cooking programs at Malcolm X, Rosa Parks, and Washington next year,” said Leah Sokolofski, who supervises the program for the district. “The decision is dependent on the district receiving Network for a Healthy California funding. We are still waiting for more information to be released about the Network funding. The district’s current Network contract continues through September 30, 2012.” … Continue reading »
This week, Berkeley parents and community members rallied to find ways to secure funds to save the gardening and cooking programs at three local elementary schools.
The programs at Malcolm X, Rosa Parks, and Washington, whose combined budgets are $372,000, are threatened because, under existing guidelines, the schools no longer qualify for federal monies as they have fewer than 50% of their students enrolled in the free and reduced-lunch program.
At a meeting at Malcolm X on Monday night, about two dozen people representing the three schools and the South Berkeley community hashed out ideas to find money in the short-term — and discussed the bigger-picture concern of making these programs sustainable, as well as available to all BUSD students over the long haul. … Continue reading »
Three of Berkeley Unified School District‘s elementary schools — Malcolm X, Rosa Parks, and Washington — are in jeopardy of losing their entire cooking and gardening program funds beginning in October this year.
Under existing guidelines, the schools will no longer qualify for federal funding because they have fewer than 50% of their students enrolled in the free and reduced-lunch program, according to Leah Sokolofski, who supervises the program for the district.
Berkeley has an international reputation for its edible schoolyards, where public school children of all economic means learn what it takes to grow a radish and sauté some chard. Such funding cuts to the program, whose total budget is $1.94 million a year, would represent a significant setback in the city’s pioneering efforts to date.
School gardening and cooking champion Alice Waters, whose Chez Panisse Foundation helped fund the Edible Schoolyard at Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School, expressed dismay at the potential budget cuts to programs. “It’s inevitable cuts will come — people think these programs are dispensable and the state of California is in a financial crisis — but it’s a tragedy,” she said. … Continue reading »
A series of public meetings and workshops with teachers, administrators and classified staff took place over the last four days as part of the search for a new Berkeley schools superintendent to replace Bill Huyett, who is retiring on June 30.
Carolyn McKennan and Maggie Carrillo Mejia, from search firm Hazard, Young, Attea and Associates, led the meetings and workshops which will be used to draw up the profile for the new appointment. McKennan and Carrillo Mejia will present the profile to the Berkeley Unified School District board at its meeting next Wednesday. … Continue reading »