Menu of Student Services

The Office of Student Services is responsible for the implementation of programs and services that augment our educational programs for students and families. Our staff supports student health and welfare, family engagement, admissions and attendance, positive school climate, and school safety. We provide access to information on parent and student rights and responsibilities, school safety, alternative programs, student discipline, substance use issues, and are responsible for addressing concerns and investigating formal complaints.

Contact Us:

Susan Craig, Ed.D., Director, Student Services 
Phone: 510-644-6316    Email: susancraig@berkeley.net
Denise Diggs-Ray, Administrative Assistant II
Phone: 510-883-5224    Email: denisediggsray@berkeley.net
Aiesha Lockett, Student Welfare and Attendance Specialist
Phone: 510-644-7775    Email: aieshalockett@berkeley.net
Bob Nakamoto, Coordinator of School Based Services
Phone: 510-486-9346        Email: bobnakamoto@berkeley.net
Ann Callegari, Supervisor, Office of Family Engagement and Equity
Phone: 510-644-8991    Email: anncallegari@berkeley.net
Sophina Jones, McKinney-Vento Counselor
Phone: 510-644-6529        Email: sophinajones@berkeley.net
Francisco Martinez, Manager, Admissions
Phone: 510‐644‐6504    Email: admissions@berkeley.net

Attendance

Every minute of a child’s time at school is important. Children who are absent for even one day, or who arrive later than their classmates, miss valuable instruction time and can easily fall behind in school. They also miss important socialization time and fun with their peers.

When a student is absent from school it results in a loss of funding for our District. The State of California does not reimburse school districts for days students are absent. For 2010­-2011, Berkeley Unified School District lost over $2,000,000 in unearned income due to absences.

Our staff works with principals, teachers, students, and families to educate about the importance of regular school attendance and to reduce absences, absenteeism, and truancy.

School Climate

All of our schools work actively to ensure a positive school climate that supports student learning.

PBIS: All BUSD elementary and middle schools are Positive Behavior and Intervention Support (PBIS) schools and practice the three guiding principles of PBIS school­-wide: Be Safe, Be Responsible, Be Respectful.

Restorative Justice: The Restorative Justice model for community building is offered at Rosa Parks Elementary School and Longfellow Middle School through a partnership with Project SEEDS. Strategies for effective dialogue leading to solutions used at these schools are shared with educators across our schools.

Bullying Prevention: BUSD’s Governing Board approved an anti-­bullying policy in January, 2012. The policy can be viewed on the Complaint Procedures page. A healthy, positive psychosocial school environment enhances and increases academic achievement and pro­social development and therefore the prevention and effective disposition of bullying are fundamental to our District’s educational goals. We strive to create an environment that celebrates and respects diversity and human dignity and admonishes bullying behavior. To this end, the District has in place policies, procedures, and practices that are designed to reduce and eliminate bullying and harassment as well as address incidents of bullying and harassment when they occur. The District Anti­Bullying Committee meets regularly to review bullying prevention curriculum and strategies, monitor bullying prevention efforts, and build awareness in the community.

School Safety: In response to weapons found at BUSD high schools during the spring 2011 semester, the Superintendent established an Ad Hoc Safety Committee. Through the Committee’s efforts, an intensive review of school safety practices was undertaken. The Committee’s Board approved recommendations are available on our website.

All schools have a safety plan which is updated annually with input from staff, parents, community members, and Berkeley Police.

Student Discipline: BUSD administrators receive annual training from legal counsel regarding student discipline requirements. The District continually seeks to provide disciplinary consequences that ensure safety for all while providing guidance for students that engage in misconduct. Whenever feasible, alternatives to suspension and expulsion are implemented.

Violence Prevention Partnership with the Omega Boys Club: BUSD has recently entered into a violence ­prevention partnership with the City of Berkeley (COB) and Berkeley Organizing Congregations for Action (BOCA) called LifeLines. LifeLines is based upon the highly successful violence prevention principles developed by Dr. Joseph Marshall of the San Francisco Omega Boys Club. BUSD, COB, and BOCA staff have received extensive training with Dr. Marshall. In addition, all staff at BTA have completed Dr. Marshall’s training and have embedded the principles into the school’s culture. BUSD and Omega Boys Club staff offer a weekly violence prevention program for identified at­-risk middle and high school students and their parents called the LifeLines Academy.

Special Programs

Berkeley Technology Academy (BTA): BTA is a continuation high school for students ages 16 – 18 who are in need of credit recovery. For more information visit our website or contact the Office of Student Services.

Independent Study (IS): BUSD has a K–8 IS program for families that want to home school their children and a 9 – 12 IS program. For more information visit our website or contact the IS Office at 644‐8592.

LifeLines Academy: The LifeLines Academy is a violence prevention program that is available to students and parents by referral through Student Services only (more information above).

Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drug (ATOD) Prevention Education

The District is very concerned about the high rate of marijuana and alcohol use by Berkeley’s high school students as reported in the California Health Kids Survey taken in 2010. Information is being provided to educate and inform parents about risky teen behaviors. ATOD Prevention Education at each middle school includes ATOD Prevention Education lessons using Project Alert in science classes and school-­wide activities. Middle school science teachers receive professional development related to ATOD. Berkeley High School and BTA will begin using the ATOD curriculum Project Towards no Drug Use (TND) in fall 2012.

Parent education related to ATOD and one-­on-­one/small group intervention support and counseling for students is available at all middle and high schools. Each middle and high school has a TUPE Coordinator (BHS has two TUPE Coordinators) who is available to provide parents/guardians with further information regarding the specific ATOD related events at the site.

To receive notices about ATOD Task Force Meetings, contact Dr. Susan Craig in Student Services with your contact information. In addition, a listing of ATOD resources in the District and community is available on our department webpage: www.berkeleyschools.net/departments/student-services/.

Comprehensive Sex Education

California Education Code permits school districts to provide age-appropriate, medically accurate sexual health education (EC51933) and requires districts to provide HIV/AIDS prevention education at least once in middle school and once in high school (EC51934). BUSD middle schools 8th grade science teachers utilize Teen Talk curriculum and educational presentations from Kaiser­-Permanente are offered regularly. BUSD high schools provide education related to sexual health and HIV/AIDS prevention with the assistance of staff from the site health center.

Section 504 Eligibility

Students with disabilities (temporary or permanent) that substantially limit their ability to succeed in school may be eligible for accommodations under Section 504. For further information, please see your school administrator or counselor or contact the District’s 504 coordinator, Dr. Susan Craig, at 644­6316.

Complaint Procedure

The Director of Student Services is the Complaint Officer for the Berkeley Unified School District. All concerns and complaints are taken seriously. We value the concerns of our parents, staff, students and community and support resolution through a clearly outlined complaint process. More information, including Complaint Forms, is available online on the Complaint Procedures page and in person at:

  • Your school office
  • Student Services Office
  • The Office of the Superintendent (2134 MLK Jr. Way)