The Berkeley School Board, at its August meeting. Photo: Mark Coplan/BUSD
The Berkeley School Board, at its August meeting. Photo: Mark Coplan/BUSD

The Berkeley schools Board of Education meets tonight (Wednesday, Sept. 17) for a closed session at 6 p.m., followed by its regular meeting at 7:30 p.m. Follow along via the Sept. 17 agenda packet.

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.

Closed session

The board will begin its Wednesday meeting at 6 p.m. with a closed session to discuss the appointment of the interim principal at Berkeley High School, as well as other items including collective bargaining, property liability claims and the evaluation of Superintendent Donald Evans. Public comment, up to 15 minutes, will be taken prior to the closed session. Details are here and on page 1 of the regular packet.

Action calendar

Malcolm X, the largest elementary school in the Berkeley district, has grown in recent years and now has 559 students. (See past coverage.) Administrators have said they would add an assistant principal when the school reached 600 students, but now the superintendent is asking the board to lower that threshold to 550, allowing the school to hire an assistant principal sooner. Fiscal impact: $99,878 (pro-rated). (See pages 22-23 of the agenda packet to learn more.)

Discussion items

The board is scheduled to receive a 10-minute presentation on Career and Technical Education for the district (pages 24-25 of the agenda). The district is working to “to develop partnerships and programs to support career and college readiness, career pathways, and Career Technical Education,” under the leadership of the superintendent. Part of the discussion will include new grant funding available under state Senate Bill 1070. Fiscal impact: $1,639,884 over two years, including $300,000 for staff and admin costs

A 15-minute presentation about how the district is implementing Common Core Standards is also planned, followed by a 45-minute discussion (page 26 of the agenda). From the agenda, “Staff will provide information on progress, existing challenges, and next steps regarding content, curriculum and instructional strategies related to full implementation of the common core. Progress reports from math and literacy leaders will also be included in the presentation.” Fiscal impact: $1,886,035 over a two-year period (SY 13-14 through 14-15)

Meeting details

The Berkeley Unified School District Board of Education generally meets twice monthly on Wednesdays at 2020 Bonar St. The entrance to the board chambers is around the corner on Addison Street. See the schedule and agendas here.  Meetings are televised on local cable Channel 33 and aired live on the radio at KPFB 89.3 FM.

Basic information about the school board is posted on its website. Board videos are posted online at Vimeo, and photographs from board meetings are posted on Flickr. Read more about the School Board on the BUSD website.

The open session starts at 7:30 p.m.

Read more Berkeleyside coverage related to Berkeley schools.

Berkeleyside reporter Emilie Raguso contributed to this post.

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Op-ed: Berkeley schools are victims of their own success (08.26.14)
Mediation between school district, staff union fizzles (08.01.14)
Glenchur named Berkeley High interim principal (06.13.14)
Bridge Program helps narrow Berkeley’s achievement gap (06.10.14)
New principals for elementary and middle schools; search continues for new head of BHS (06.09.14)
23 Berkeley students awarded BCF scholarships (06.05.14)
Chanting protesters shut down school board meeting (06.05.14)
BOSS to honor Berkeley’s ‘Rising Stars’ on Thursday (06.04.14)

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Mary Flaherty is a freelance reporter who has lived in the Berkeley area for since 1994. She earned a masters in journalism from UC Berkeley, and has reported for several local papers and copyedited for...