State of the District Presentation & Parent Workshops

Berkeley Schools are experiencing a time of many exciting developments and student successes, along with budget challenges and inequality in student progress that need close attention, Superintendent Evans said in his State of the District presentation last week.

Among the successes he noted are improved 3rd grade reading proficiency as measured by the Teachers College Reading & Writing Project (TCRWP) assessment, growth in the percentage of English Learners reclassified as fluent in English, lower suspension and absenteeism rates for most students and a larger proportion of students overall who are graduating and are UC/CSU eligible.
The success, however, is not evenly distributed with substantial gaps between student sub-groups, he said. He also noted that “long term” English learners in our schools for more than five years are not progressing to English fluency at growing rates and specialized interventions are needed to better serve these students.
He also highlighted many positive developments, including the expansion of CTE (Career Technical Education) opportunities, as well as a program to support BUSD classified staff who want to become teachers. He was also pleased to note the substantial increase in Chromebooks for students and enhanced sustainability initiatives such as the plan to replace paper towels with blowers in restrooms.

Dr. Evans spoke of the upcoming inauguration of the “Universal 9th Grade” program at BHS. “It’s really an exciting time,” he said. “This is a big change for Berkeley High.”

He said he strives to keep the big picture in mind, while seeking to make sure that we address all students’ needs.

“Your children are our children,” he said to the parents in audience at the District Board Room. “When you go home, you think about your child. When I go home, I think about 10,000.”

“When I look at BUSD,” he continued, “I see the success. But I don’t [just] focus on the success. I focus on what we can do better.”

The State of the District Event included a presentation by Dr. Pat Saddler on the district’s Local Control Accountability Plan, indicators of progress, as well as areas of concern that are being addressed.

More information can be found in Dr. Evan’s slide presentation. Following Dr. Evans, BUSD’s Director of Programs and Special Projects Patricia Saddler gave two presentations –  on our Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) and on the California Dashboard assessment of BUSD.

A recording of the State of the District presentation is available on the BUSD YouTube Channel.

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