Berkeley Unified School District is characterized by the talent and dedication of its approximately 800 certificated teachers. All are state credentialed, and the vast majority have clear professional credentials (meaning they have completed not only their education, but also satisfied all the post-graduate classes required by the state). Here are a few numbers, though numbers can’t convey the level of commitment our teachers possess and demonstrate in the classroom each and every day.
- Over 40% of the teaching staff boasts a Master’s or a Doctoral degree. This number of advanced degrees is well over the state average.
- The average Berkeley teacher has over 14 years of experience, again significantly above the average for teachers statewide.
- Ten of our teachers are National Board Certified, including one of the few teachers in special education to achieve this certification. This is an extremely rigorous certification process. Additional BUSD teachers have gone through the certification process and are awaiting news of their result.
We are proud of our ten National Board Certified Teachers: Kathleen Giustino, Matthew Hinckley, Juliana Jones, Susan Katz, Nancy King, Nathaniel Lewis, Benjamin Schalit, David Stephens, Marlo Warburton, Silver White.
Beginning Teachers Support and Assessment Program (BTSA)
The Berkeley school district provides quality professional development for beginning teachers who are in their first or second year of California-credentialed teaching. They are eligible, and often required by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing, to participate in the Beginning Teachers Support and Assessment Program (BTSA). For 2007-2008, approximately fifty teachers are enrolled in our district’s BTSA program.
Each new teacher is matched with one of our support providers—experienced teachers at their grade level(s) and/or subject matter. Through this partnership, beginning teachers work to create respectful and productive classroom environments, develop challenging curriculum that addresses state and local standards, and have opportunities to observe and collaborate with other teachers. Monthly BTSA seminars are held at the Oregon Street Training Center, and all BTSA participants are offered the option to attend graduate-level programs at St. Mary’s College.
Research has shown that new teachers who receive BTSA support during their first two years are far more likely to remain in the profession after five years; BUSD’s goal is to retain high quality teachers with hopes that they will provide many years of quality education to our district’s students.