Enrolling New High School Students


Questions Frequently Asked by New BHS Students and Families – March, 2014 (PDF)

Berkeley High School’s Fall Information Night for incoming 9th grade families (2015-16) is scheduled for Wednesday, November 12th, 2014 in the Berkeley Community Theater located on the BHS campus. The event will start promptly at 7:00 p.m. While we welcome everyone, the evening will be of particular interest to those who are new to the Berkeley Unified School District. This event is an introduction to the school and in the past has featured a panel of current students, one of the College Advisors, and a Q and A with the Principal.

BHS Winter 9th Grade Information Night will be held in the Community Theater (located on the northside of BHS Campus) on February 11, 2015 from 7-9pm This is not a repeat of the Fall Information Night.  During Information Night, representatives from departments and our learning communities will make presentations and be available to answer questions. The evening will start promptly and parking can be challenging.  Please plan accordingly.

Winter Information Night is an important step in learning about Berkeley High’s many elective choices and learning community options so students can make an informed decision about Berkeley High School. All incoming students should plan on attending the Winter Information Night on February 11, 2015 (7-9pm).  Please note, all students must be accompanied by an adult. Spanish translation will be available.  There will be no make-up for this event. Course Catalogues and Choices Brochures for the 2015-2016 school year will be provided on this night.

General Information on Enrolling at Berkeley High School

BHS Choices Brochure gives you an overview of the range of possibilities for students in the six learning communities that make up Berkeley High School.  This BHS School Profile 2012-13 also gives a snapshot of our comprehensive high school and student success.  Visit the BHS webpage for more information about the high school.

For Current BUSD Students:

8th Grade Students, already enrolled in BUSD, will be automatically enrolled at Berkeley High. There is no need for students from King, Longfellow, or Willard to contact either the Admissions Office or Berkeley High School.   Following the Winter 9th Grade Information Night there will be parent evening meetings at King, Longfellow, and Willard.  A BHS administrator and counselor will go to the Middle School sites to meet with parents and gather student course and learning community requests. These meetings are for parents from BUSD middle schools only. During the school days following the parent meeting, BHS counselors will go to the Middle Schools to gather course and learning community requests.

Schedule for 8th grade parent orientation meetings at each of the three middle schools for continuing BUSD students (Spanish translation is provided):

Longfellow: TBD

King: TBD

Willard: TBD

For non-BUSD Students:

Families coming from non-BUSD schools must enroll in the District before they can make learning community or course requests. Enrollment is a two-part process: enrollment and school registration. Following enrollment with this district, students may register for classes and learning communities.

Step 1. Winter Information Night (Date to be determined: Feb. 2015, 7-9pm): All incoming families should plan on attending: Currently enrolled in the BUSD and new to the BUSD.

Step 2. Enrollment (coming from non BUSD schools only):

New students enrolling in high school are required to complete two steps before registering at Berkeley High School: pre-enrollment and enrollment. No high school registration for 2014-15 will take place before February 18, 2014.

All current BUSD middle school students and newly admitted students enrolled by February 24, 2014, will enter the BHS lottery at the same time and be given the same priority in the BHS lottery.  If you have not been admitted into the Berkeley Unified School District by February 20, 2015, you must do so after March 20, 2015 by visiting the Berkeley Admissions Office from 8:00-4:00. Students who are admitted into the District after the February deadline will be in the second round of the lottery.

Pre-enrollment will be made available here online in February, 2015.  If you do not have web access or have questions, you may use a computer on the BHS campus at the Parent Resource Center.

Enrollment: Parents/Guardians of non-BUSD students who wish to attend Berkeley High School (BHS) must come to the Berkeley Unified School District Admissions Office between Feb. 16 and 20, 2015 to be admitted to the District before officially registering at Berkeley High School.  Please bring the following documentation/information on the day assigned by last name below:

1. Student’s original birth certificate (we will make a copy)

2. Three original proofs of Berkeley residency

3. Proof of immunization from health care provider

4. Transcript from current school or latest report card

5.  BHS Registration Packet

  • The registration packet is available to be picked up at the Berkeley High School front desk.  You may also pick up a copy at the Admissions Office when you come to enroll your student.  Please plan to spend 30 to 45 minutes completing the BHS Registration Packet.  (You will also need to bring contact information for doctors, dentist and emergency contact information.)

In order to minimize wait times, we advise new families to adhere to the following schedule:

Last Names: Please come to Admissions on…
A-F:     TBA    8:00 – 12 or 12:45 – 3:00
G-L:     TBA  8:00 – 12 or 12:45 – 3:00
M-S:    TBA    8:00 – 12 or 12:45 – 3:00
T-Z:     TBA    8:00 – 12 or 12:45 – 3:00

If you are unable to make your assigned day we will accommodate you during that week; however, adherence to the schedule will help us manage the volume of students we must process and allow us to serve all families in a more efficient manner.

The enrollment deadline for Berkeley High School to participate in the first learning community assignment lottery is February 24.  Students who have not been admitted to BUSD by the February 20, 2014 deadline can apply to the District and Berkeley High School for enrollment again after the second high school admission round starting March.  Another lottery run will take place for these students and they will be placed in a learning community based on space available.

Whether you are already enrolled in a BUSD middle school or are a non-BUSD student enrolling in the district in February, you will enter the BHS lottery at the same time. As long as new families are enrolled in the District by the February 2014 deadline, you will be given the same priority in the BHS lottery.

Enrollment is complete when you receive an enrollment receipt and have submitted a completed BHS registration packet.

Step 3: Learning Community Requests and Course Selections:

Students who have been admitted to BUSD, and have completed the enrollment process as described above by the February 2015 deadline, will indicate learning community preferences and input course requests in the BHS Library starting at 6:00 p.m. on three different dates in march TBA:

TBA   (Last Name A-L)
TBA    (Last Name M-Z)
TBA   One makeup session for anyone who missed their assigned date.

Please bring your confirmation of enrollment and a copy of your transcript. If you cannot make your assigned night, we will accommodate you in one of the three sessions, but please try to attend during your allotted time. We will mail home a computer print-out of the choices made by the student during the registration session.  Any corrections must be returned within one week.   Actual student schedules with teacher and room assignments will be picked up during registration/orientation the week before school starts.

More Information on Learning Communities and Choice Process

Berkeley High is divided into five learning communities. Two are large: AC and BIHS. Three are smaller:AHA, AMPS,and CAS. Assignment is by lottery but students may indicate a preference. Incoming 9th grade students will have an opportunity to list their preferences in the spring when they sign up for classes. King, Longfellow, and Willard 8th grade students will do so during the day at their middle school. Students coming from non-BUSD schools will do so at an evening meeting in March 2014 (if they have registered with the BUSD by Feb. 24, 2013). (See below for students who register after Feb. 24.)

All student requests will be mailed home to their parents/guardians for approval.

Your child may list as many as five or as few as two learning communities. Students MUST list AC and BIHS, the two large programs, in the order they prefer. If the student only wants AC or BIHS then s/he only lists those two.

If s/he wants one of the smaller learning communities (AMPS, AHA, or CAS) s/he lists the small schools desired, in the preferred order, and then finishes off with AC and BIHS, in the preferred order. The student may list one of the smaller communities followed by AC and BIHS; two of the smaller communities followed by AC and BIHS; or three of the smaller communities, followed by AC and BIHS.

Lottery results are mailed in late May or early June.

If you miss the lottery and register late spring or in the summer, you will enter a second or third lottery. There is no final cut off date for enrollment at Berkeley High School. When you have established residency, please go to 2020 Bonar Street to start the process of registering and enrolling at the high school.

Freshman Orientation

The Freshman Orientation was held on Thursday, August 21, 2014 (check back here in the Spring for the 15-16 orientation date).  During orientation students will meet administrators, pick up their class schedule, textbooks, picture ID, and locker assignment.  In addition, there will be campus  tours and an activity fair.  The first day of school is Wednesday, August 27.

World Language and Math Placement
Berkeley High offers five world languages: Spanish, French, Kiswahili, Mandarin and Latin.  New-to-BUSD students who wish to enroll in in a level other than beginning must take a placement test that will be offered Saturday, April 19, 2014 at 9:00 a.m.

There is no language placement test for students who enroll in the beginning level of any of the five languages. Placement for Longfellow, King, and Willard students currently studying French or Spanish will be determined by their current teacher.

Math placement will be determined by teacher recommendation, grades in current math class, and a math placement test. All incoming New-to-BUSD 9th grade students must take a general placement test.   These tests, along with an optional honors math level test, will be given in the BHS library at 3:00pm on Tuesday, April 8 and Monday, April 14. There will be a make-up test date on Monday, April 21.  Current BUSD students who are interested in enrolling in an honors math level have the option to take the honors test on April 15 at their school site

Content on the Math Placement Test: the Algebra content covered by the placement test is the California content standards for Algebra 1 which can be found online at:  http://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/tg/sr/documents/rtqalg1.pdf

All current 8th grade math teachers should submit a placement recommendation for their students. BUSD kids receive automatic recommendations. For New-to-BUSD students, we are requesting the teacher fill in a short online questionnaire no later than the third week of April, 2015. More details will be posted in February, 2015.

Wondering about how to participate in the music course offerings?

The course catalog posted on the BHS webpage provides information about the range of courses available.  Please review the catalog for a full reading of the music offerings.  Several music courses require auditions.

Additional music course requirements and audition information is hosted on this google document.

High School Tours:

The “touring season” for prospective students runs from October to March. The small group tours leave the Front Desk at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday through Friday and 10:45 on Mondays. The tours are by reservation only and last a little over an hour. The tours walk by classrooms–many of which have open doors –but they do not go into rooms for observation. The tours are not “orientation tours.” There are student-led tours for our incoming students in August during registration/orientation.  Prospective students are welcome on the school day tours but ONLY if accompanied by their parent or guardian.

Tours are by reservation only.  To sign up, please email bhsoutreach@berkeley.net  Please indicate several days that work for you and the number of people in your party.

Many people have asked if they could visit Berkeley High on their own or if their student could “shadow” a current student. This is not possible. The school is focused on the education and security of our currently enrolled students. We are simply too large a school to accommodate unsupervised visitors.

BHS etree – Berkeley High has a listserve which posts the Student Daily Bulletin, College Advisors Bulletin, news and volunteer opportunities. The parent-run effort works closely with the administration in order to insure accuracy. To subscribe to the BHS etree please send an email to bhs-request@lmi.net with one word only in the subject line: subscribe.

If you have any questions about this process, please contact Lisa Sibony, BHS Volunteer Coordinator, at lisasibony@berkeley.net.