Tag Archives: Rosa Parks Elementary School
Fifth grade students from Rosa Parks Elementary School in West Berkeley took home four of the top ten spots in a regional math competition Saturday, besting a field of more than 90 students from public and private elementary schools throughout the Bay Area. Rosa Parks student Ben Roberts took home the top prize, a Kindle Fire HD.
The Ninth Annual MathMatters contest was held in Oakland at Bay Tech High School on Nov. 17. The contest is held annually in five different states and, according to its website, aims to “stimulate interest and achievement in mathematics among elementary school students and to provide recognition of outstanding young mathematicians, their dedicated teachers, and schools.”
Five girls and five boys from Rosa Parks participated in the competition, answering 15 challenging math problems in only 30 minutes. To prepare, the Rosa Parks students had voluntarily given up recess three days a week for a month to practice with Mary Martin, a Rosa Parks fifth grade teacher who served as their coach. … Continue reading »
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 »
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 »
Sharon Danks and her colleagues around the world are doing their best to combat so-called nature deficit disorder in today’s children, many of whom are growing up with competing demands such as “screen time,” and other barriers to a romp in the park such as safety concerns or access issues.
Danks, a planner and partner with Bay Tree Design in Berkeley, recently co-founded the global group International School Grounds Alliance to address an increasingly sedentary and risk-averse generation of young ones who, it is feared, are becoming disconnected from their natural environments. Some children, shuttled from school to home to other indoor activities, simply don’t spend much, if any, time in the great outdoors.
The nascent organization, with members in Australia, Canada, Germany, Japan, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States, want kids to experience the fun and games of outside play. … 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 »
The Berkeley Unified School District is planning a major expansion to Jefferson Elementary School in 2013, but the plan to add new offices, classrooms, and a gleaming new library has drawn criticism from some parents.
The school district does not have enough space in the north zone for a projected increase in enrollment and is adding the new buildings to meet future demand, according to Mark Coplan, a spokesman for the district. A 2009 demographic study done by Davis Demographics determined the district needs room for 1,264 students but only has space for 1,180 pupils, according to school district documents.
The current $5.4 million plan, designed by WLC Architects, would create five classrooms in a new two-story building, another two-story structure that would house offices and a new library, and upgrade some of the existing facility. The district will hold a community meeting about the expansion on Thursday March 22 at 6:30 pm at the school. … Continue reading »
Sharon Danks, an environmental planner and founding partner of Berkeley’s Bay Tree Design, is a leader in transforming asphalt playgrounds into kid-friendly places replete with ponds, plants, and places to play.
This video, produced by Erika Brekke for OnEarth magazine, shows Danks’ transformation of the grounds at Rosa Parks Elementary in Berkeley. It’s a wonderland for kids with tree stumps to sit on, rocks to climb on, ponds to study, and vegetables to eat. The teachers use the outdoor space in parts of the curriculum, too, the video shows. … Continue reading »
In the course of her travels researching her new book Asphalt to Ecosystems: Design Ideas for Schoolyard Transformation, Sharon Gamson Danks was struck by two things: First, the United States is a world leader in school food gardens and Berkeley is firmly at the epicenter of that movement.
And second, the U.S. lags far behind other countries when it comes to building green schoolyards with eco-friendly aspects beyond a produce patch — in other words spaces that encourage play with potential risk. We’re talking less asphalt and metal structures, and more nature nooks and shaded ponds.
An environmental planner, Danks and landscape architect Lisa Howard run Bay Tree Design in Berkeley, which specializes in designing ecological outdoor play spaces. They incorporate ideas Danks picked up from her playground adventures overseas. … Continue reading »
It was 10 am in the morning of February 17th and Jesus Mendez was just returning from the bank when he felt someone press the cold nub of a pistol into his back.
“Give me the money,” a second man said as he stepped in front of Mendez and leveled another gun at him.
Mendez, 48, the owner of Mi Tierra Foods on San Pablo Avenue and Addison, handed over the brown duffle bag containing the $30,000 in cash he had just withdrawn to run his store’s check cashing operation. The two assailants grabbed the bag and fled.
“It all happened so quickly,” Mendez said Tuesday sitting in the back office of his store. “It was very suspicious the way it happened. I went to the bank, came back, and as soon as I got out of my truck they came out of nowhere. How did they know I had so much money? Were they watching me? Was it someone who came and cashed checks?” … Continue reading »
It was easy to follow Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s travels around Berkeley on Wednesday and Thursday by following Twitter. She visited some classrooms at Rosa Parks Elementary School on Wednesday, presided over a moot court competition at Zellerbach Hall on Wednesday night, visited the law school on Thursday, walked through Berkeley’s downtown and had lunch at Chez Panisse.
Here is a recap of Sotomayor’s movements as seen through the Twitter accounts of various Berkeleyans.
@latinageek She’s so cute! Shut up, she so is. :-D ~Justice Sotomayor visits Rosa Parks Elementary
@woonster Justice Sotomayor visited the boys’ school today – very inspiring: http://tinyurl.com/4drlqwd
@weezus Sorry I put my kids on the school bus this am and missed Sonya Sotomayor at Rosa Parks School in #Berkeley.
@berkeleyside Justice Sotomayor visits Rosa Parks Elementary http://bit.ly/gdXIFs
@paulraber So cool! Justice Sotomayor drops in on a Berkeley elementary school. http://bit.ly/em1Bhz
@californiamag Supreme Count Justice Sonia Sotomayor is on campus. Guess that explains the Homeland Security vehicles.
@blondedove85 Meeting Justice Sotomayor-coolest thing at law school so far. Got to ask her a question! She was SUPER nice. And wise.
@mattkrupnick MT @BerkeleyLawNews: Moot court competition with Sotomayor sold out: 2,000 tickets, more than 2x previous competitions.
@KALWinformant: Zellerbach hall filling in anticipation of Sotomayor, who will be presiding over law school competition
@Moshyin Uuuuugh, they wont let me in to the sonia sotomayor thing! ><
@closnai Waiting to see Justice Sotomayor. Only a few feet away!! Soo effing excited.
@EzekielSF: Wow. This UCBerkeley Moot Court competition is intense! And Justice Sotomayor is definitely grilling the participants. #UCBerkeley
Supreme Court Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor paid a surprise visit to Rosa Parks Elementary School in West Berkeley this morning. Sotomayor is in Berkeley to judge a moot court competition at the University of California Berkeley Law School, Boalt Hall, this evening. The competition has been moved to Zellerbach Hall because of the demand for tickets.
Sotomayor chose Rosa Parks because two children of law school dean Chris Edley and his wife, Maria Echaveste, attend the school, and she heard about its commitment to diversity and its Spanish language immersion program. Sotomayor is the first Hispanic Supreme Court justice and the third female justice.
The children only found out this morning that Sotomayor would be visiting, but they had been studying her career since the two classroom teachers had been informed of the visit. In the first class the justice visited, the children performed a play about Rosa Parks. Sotomayor then shook every student’s hand before answering questions. … Continue reading »