Understanding the Elementary Assignment System

The City of Berkeley is a community rich in its diversity. This can be measured by the various racial, ethnic, economic, educational, and linguistic backgrounds of the population that inhabits the City.

Berkeley Unified School District believes that diversity in our student population enriches the educational experiences of students.  The diversity in our schools:

  • advances educational and occupational aspirations;
  • enhances critical thinking skills;
  • facilitates the equitable distribution of resources;
  • reduces, prevents or eliminates the effects of racial and social isolation;
  • encourages positive relationships across racial and economic lines by breaking the cycle of racial hostility to foster a community of tolerance and appreciation of students from varied and diverse backgrounds; and
  • promotes participation in a pluralistic society.

To advance these values, the District’s Student Assignment Plan ensures that each school’s student population reflects the socio-economic and racial diversity within a given attendance zone.The goal of the elementary student assignment plan is to integrate our schools by utilizing (i) parent education level, (ii) parent income level and (iii) race and ethnicity.  To accomplish this goal, a diversity map that takes into consideration these three diversity factors was developed by dividing Berkeley Unified School District into three geographical diversity areas: Diversity Category 1, Diversity Category 2 and Diversity Category 3. The student assignment plan does not take into account the personal attributes of individual students.  Instead, individual students are assigned the diversity characteristics derived from where the student resides. More details on our student assignment system are available in the Administrative Regulations.

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