Tag Archives: Pasquale Scuderi


Lady Jackets head to Norcal championships

The Lady Yellowjackets beat Oak Ridge last night and will play in the Norcal final on Saturday. Photo: Mark Coplan/BUSD
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Berkeley High’s girls basketball team beat Oak Ridge High School 49-38 last night to earn a place in Saturday’s Norcal final against Kennedy-Sacramento. The win took the Yellowjackets record to 26-2. The team are ranked number one in Division I for Norcal and fourth in the statewide rankings.

Writing to the BHS community yesterday to encourage people to come out and support the team, Berkeley High Principal Pasquale Scuderi said: “I am incredibly proud of all of our student athletes, and have a particular affinity for the positive impact that athletics can play in the lives and development of our young women. … This is a very talented group of young ladies that are, among other things, simply fun to watch.” … Continue reading »

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Support your high school and have some fun at BHS Live

BHS Live 2011
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Fancy lunch with Robert Reich? Or perhaps you’d prefer to break bread with both Berkeley High Principal Pasquale Scuderi and Berkeley Police Chief Michael Meehan? How about a getaway weekend in an architecturally stunning home in Healdsburg or a simple “tree house” with views of Tomales Bay?

These are just a few of the many prizes up for grabs at the BHS Live auction which takes place as part of Berkeley High’s biggest annual fundraiser this Saturday, 5:30-9:00pm, at the Ed Roberts Campus in Berkeley.

BHS Live, which is organized by the BHS Development Group, raises funds for supplemental resources for all students at the school: be it to provide free after-school tutoring, classroom supplies or to allow educational field trips. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley students march to protest public education cuts

Occupy eduction on campus
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Hundreds of students in Berkeley took part in protests Thursday against cuts to public education.

On campus, a Day of Action at UC Berkeley began with teach-outs and protesters wrapping California Hall in caution tape. Many Cal students marched to Oakland to join other protesters at Frank Ogawa Plaza from where a march on Sacramento is set to depart.

Several hundred Berkeley High students left campus at 2:40 pm and converged on Old City Hall on MLK Jr Way. There they listened to performers and speakers. There were chants, including ones calling for money for schools and against wars. Some students were dancing.

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BHS head of security accused of identity theft

Berkeley High School
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Billy Keys, who headed up security at Berkeley High School and who was instrumental in formulating new policies after the spate of gun incidents at the school in 2011, has been arrested on allegations of identity theft.

Berkeley police took Keys into custody on Thursday after an investigation, according to an email sent out by BHS Principal Pasquale Scuderi Friday afternoon. Keys has been placed on administrative leave while the school district looks into the matter, Scuderi wrote.

“In an attempt to head off speculation and to be out in front of any rumors, I want to inform you of a very difficult development that has occurred within the Berkeley High School Community,” Scuderi wrote. “…BHS will continue to hold the highest expectations for all of its staff and students and place no one above consequences if and when their actions jeopardize the integrity or security of our school.” … Continue reading »

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Berkeley High renames, revamps a small school

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Berkeley High School is renaming and reconfiguring one of its so-called small schools, the Community Partnerships Academy. From next September, CPA will metamorphose into the Academy of Medical and Public Service (AMPS).

CPA’s current program is distinguished by internships with local non-profit organizations, engineering, biotech, IT, government and health institutions. AMPS will also have an intership program. The revised course offerings include a renewed focus on science with Forensic Science, Chemistry, Biological Health Science, and either an AP science elective, ROP Sports Medicine or Emergency Medical Careers. The Public Service pathway will have a new elective offering, Psychology/Sociology.

“We are extremely pleased with the evolution and new direction of one of our schools and the new pathways that the Academy of Medicine and Public Service will provide,” said Principal Pasquale Scuderi in the statement announcing the change. “With multiple analysts projecting the most notable job growth to be in health care fields over the next decade, we believe that our efforts will yield a curriculum that is relevant and applicable to the world our students will enter into upon graduation.” … Continue reading »

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How long can Occupy Berkeley last?

The scores of tents in the Occupy Berkeley encampment sit next door to Berkeley High School. Photo: Lance Knobel
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Update, 2:58 pm: The Berkeley Police Department has issued a list of calls for police services at the Occupy Berkeley camp. There have been a total of 24 reported calls since October 23rd, 16 of which can be classified as crimes (this differs slightly from the numbers previously reported by the BPD and cited in our story below). BPD believes there are crimes and other incidents that have gone unreported, as would be expected at any large gathering. BPD says some cases have involved deadly weapons, and that the number of calls has increased in the past week. Read the full list here.

Original story: Without media fanfare or loud demonstrations, the Occupy Berkeley encampment in Civic Center Park has grown to about 90 tents. As Berkeleyside reported, the “radical inclusivity” of the Occupy Berkeley gathering has created tensions. City officials and local police have adopted a policy of monitoring and tolerance, rather than threats and injunctions. City staff and police patrol the encampment regularly. But with both Oakland and San Francisco Occupy sites now closed, what is the likely future for the Bay Area’s last significant Occupy movement site? Not everybody is comfortable with its ongoing presence.

Councilmember Jesse Arreguín, whose 4th district includes Civic Center Park, has views that are echoed by other city officials. “We don’t have any plans to clear people out of the park,” Arreguín said. “I have supported the Occupy encampment from the beginning. There may come a point — I don’t believe the point is now — where we have to ask the people to go. It’s inevitable that the conversation will have to happen.” … Continue reading »

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Berkeley High concerned about Civic Park Occupy camp

Occupy Berkeley camp
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Berkeley High School Principal Pasquale Scuderi says supervising BHS students during the lunch hour and after school has become more challenging for the school with the growth of the Occupy Berkeley tent-city in Civic Center Park.

In a letter to the BHS community sent out by email Wednesday, Scuderi noted that the burgeoning camp has made it more difficult for school administrators and safety staff to keep an eye on and visually identify students among the settlers in the park, a number of whom “may not be connected to or interested in the advocacy being conducted by the actual Occupy Berkeley movement”.

Scuderi, who estimates there are now around 90 tents in the park, says there have been no negative interactions with the campers. The school currently has two administrators monitoring the park during the lunch hour. … Continue reading »

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Closure of BHS gym rattles athletes, angers parents

The Old Gym at Berkeley High School was abruptly shut this week because of seismic safety concerns. Photo: Frances Dinkelspiel
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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 »

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Berkeley High supports staffer after brutal murder

Berkeley High School. Photo: Lance Knobel
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A fund has been established at Berkeley High School to support Dinesh Kumar, the school’s day custodian, whose family was the victim of a vicious home invasion on Friday which resulted in the death of Kumar’s mother.

In an email sent to the BHS community this morning, Principal Pasquale Scuderi said that early Friday morning Kumar was shot multiple times after at least one intruder entered his home. His mother, Sushila Prasad, who moved here from Fiji recently, was shot and killed.

Kumar’s … Continue reading »

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Berkeley High Principal Pasquale Scuderi takes to Twitter

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Students may be still enjoying long lie-ins and hours of minimal activity, but for Berkeley school faculty, the vacations are all but over as they prep for the new semester.

Witness Berkeley High Principal Pasquale Scuderi who has opened a Twitter account (@bhsinfo) and is already well at ease with the medium, providing information on dates class schedules will be available, details of assessments being devised by staff — even putting out recruitment notices.

Scuderi has … Continue reading »

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Pasquale Scuderi on his first year as head of Berkeley High

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Pasquale Scuderi accepted the position of Principal of Berkeley High School one year ago this month, succeeding Jim Slemp, who headed the school for six years. Scuderi came to the district in 2006 and was formerly a Vice Principal at BHS before moving to a post in the district administration.

The position of Principal did not prove an easy one to fill, despite a national search. Few are in any doubt that running Berkeley’s only mainstream high school, which is on an open campus in the city’s downtown with a register of more than 3,200 students, is a challenging task.

Scuderi’s first year on the job has required him to deal with a slate of gun-related incidents at the school, as well as budgetary pressures, the aftermath of an at-times bitter battle over science labs at BHS, and the transition of one of the small schools into the Green Academy. There were also compensations inside the classrooms and out, including a state girls’ basketball championship game and an early morning pig roast.

Berkeleyside interviewed Scuderi on June 27. We asked him for his perspective on the past academic year, reflections on successes and frustrations, and to outline his priorities for the next 12 months. The full transcript of the interview can be read here.

Interview snapshot
* Gun incidents at BHS made headlines this year, but great learning and inspiring achievements not covered by the media happened every day on campus.
* Scuderi’s primary goal in his first year was to get into classrooms to be able to observe teaching and give direct feedback to teachers and students. He achieved this on average 1.5 days a week.
* Scuderi feels he has earned the respect of students, partly because he listens to them and takes their opinions into account.
* On safety, a renewed intensity in dealing with prevention has paid off, but there is no room for complacency.
* A focus on attendance will go some way to tackling non-permitted out-of-district students and the historic achievement gap between white and non-white students.
* Scuderi’s four focus areas for next year are attendance, assessment, instruction and program development.

Berkeleyside: Looking back at the year, what would you say were the highlights for you?

I feel I have just started to get things done in a job that has been like being in a washing machine from the beginning. There hasn’t been time to stop and reflect because the one thing the job is is constant in terms of its pace.

It was easy for people who are not part of our daily operations to just let what was covered – the weapons and such – define us. For those of us who are here every day, that wasn’t the case. We’re still sending kids to Ivy League schools and running some very creative programs.

I could point to something in almost every community that was emblematic of the great work and great teaching that was going on in all of those communities, from the bus commemorating the Montgomery boycott that AHA did, to the girls’ basketball team… The list is too long to enumerate, but I can say there was something pretty terrific happening here every day in terms of teaching and learning. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley school board considers weapons safety report

One of the inner courtyards at Berkeley High
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While Berkeley High should tighten its perimeter, enlist its uniformed police officer to patrol its edges and nearby park, have its security officers wear identifiable uniforms, and teach students about the impact of guns, it should not require students to wear a visible identification badges and use them to get on and off campus – at least not yet.

There are still too many unresolved issues on how to implement the mechanics of closing the campus and requiring ID badges to move forward quickly, school board members decided Wednesday night. The board directed Superintendent Bill Huyett and his staff to more closely examine those items and return with a more detailed and workable plan.

“We don’t have to do this by fall,” said Board member John Selawsky. “I just want to see us working on it.”

Huyett agreed that rushing into a new set of requirements might not be the best idea. … Continue reading »

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All hands on decks for pig roast feast at Berkeley High

BHS pig 2
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At the risk of alienating every vegetarian and vegan reader we have — something we definitely do not want to do — we bring you more carnivorous capers (on the heels of this story about a new gourmet butcher in Berkeley, and this story about a charcuterie business launch).

Students at Berkeley High have become accustomed to eating the fruits of the weekly Seniors BBQ Club – a popular club which, rather astonishingly for this otherwise egalitarian city … Continue reading »

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