Berkeley Unified School District has a long history of uplifting the many voices of our beautiful, diverse community. We believe that the richness and diversity of our schools are our greatest asset, and that each family’s unique cultural and linguistic identity makes our classrooms more vibrant and compelling. Drawing from this richness to create programs based on affinity is one powerful way that we support all our students. The targeted approaches you’ll find on these web pages uplift everyone by creating affinity-based spaces that advance our shared goals for a just and fair school district.
In this section of our BUSD website, we’re proud to share information with our families and community about these affinity-based programs. Here, you’ll find resources for African American, Latinx, English Learner, AAPI, Special Education, and Indigenous families and students. Information about the ongoing evolution of BUSD’s Ethnic Studies program can also be found here.
These pages are dynamic; we hope you’ll check back frequently. We also hope that you’ll find support, solidarity, and inspiration in this diverse array of resources and programs. Berkeley Unified School District is your home.
About These Affinity-Based BUSD Programs and Partnerships
The Puente Project is a national award-winning program that has helped tens of thousands of educationally disadvantaged students enroll in four-year colleges and universities, earn degrees, and return to the community as leaders and mentors to future generations. Begun in 1981, Puente combines accelerated instruction, intensive academic counseling, and community leadership opportunities. The Puente Project helps to prepare educationally underserved students for college admission and success through its combination of accelerated instruction, intensive academic counseling, and opportunities for community leadership. Puente is open to all students.
CPA/College Bound programs empower scholars and their families to navigate the educational system and have the choice of attending college. 100% of our scholars graduate from high school and have the choice of attending college while their parents learn to successfully take back control of their households while ensuring educational success for their scholars.
Project 2 Inspire
From the California Association of Bilingual Educators (CABE)
CABE’s Parent and Family Engagement Program is focused on working with CABE’s partners from school districts and county offices to provide parents with the best opportunities and resources to help their children succeed in school. To achieve this goal, CABE’s Parent and Family Engagement Program provides high-quality education, resources, and leadership development to ALL parents. P2I offers professional development for district and school administrators, parent involvement coordinators or liaisons, and other family engagement professionals on researched based strategies and effective practices.
Multilingual Learner Master Plan Revision
The current Berkeley Unified School District’s English Learner Master Plan was created in 2013, with the purpose of documenting Berkeley’s system for enrolling, identifying, placing, serving, and monitoring our English Learner (EL) students throughout their enrollment in BUSD. Over the past eight years, there have been changes at the federal, state, and local level in regards to EL students. In 2015, a new ELD Framework was introduced, and the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) was passed. In 2018, the new English Language Proficiency Assessment for California (ELPAC) was introduced. The creation of a new Multilingual Master Plan that includes these important changes will allow BUSD to better identify and articulate how we serve our English Learner students and their families.
The STEM STEPS for Success program is a family membership program that provides culturally relevant academic enrichment programming and resources for African American families. Families with students in the 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th grades who identify with the cultural experiences and traditions of African American people.
African American Success Framework
Currently in development during the Winter and Spring of 2022, the African American Success Framework will be a written document that expresses the district’s and community’s view of the strengths, opportunities, and challenges present for African American students; and the “theory of change” that leads to a coherent set of decisions about eliminating barriers to success. The African American Success Framework is still being defined over the course of the Winter and Spring of 2022, and your input is critical!
Young, Gifted, and Black
Young Gifted and Black is a program of E4E Arts, the not-for-profit arm of Edutainment for Equity. The group is led by experienced educators who combined have over 100 years of experience in youth and curriculum development, public education, non-profit administration, strategic planning, and program development and especially in the education of African-American children. Additionally, each of the leaders is an award-winning artist and/or educator, whose individual and collective works have been honored the world over.
CCEIS Education Partners Meetings to Address Significant Disproportionality into Special Education
The California Department of Education (CDE) has identified approximately 130 local educational agencies (LEAs) as significantly disproportionate based on race or ethnicity with respect to the identification of children with disabilities; the identification of children in specific disability categories; the placement of children with disabilities in particular educational settings; or the incidence, duration, and type of disciplinary actions, including suspensions and expulsions.The Comprehensive Coordinated Early Intervening Services (CCEIS) Plan studies the data, identifies root causes, and addresses the areas of significant disproportionality through an action plan that targets a relevant student population. The purpose of the CCEIS plan is to improve academic outcomes for the identified group in general education and to decrease the overrepresentation into special education. BUSD has overidentified Black/African American Students three years in a row in the disability categories: Other Health Impairment, Specific Learning Disability and Intellectual Disability. The CCEIS Education Partners are composed of parents/guardians with students currently enrolled in BUSD, teachers, site administration, district-level leaders, and the larger community. These partners meet quarterly to review the root causes of significant disproportionality based on qualitative and quantitative data and work collaboratively to identify activities that can disrupt these outcomes for African-American students. BUSD will be expected to create a new plan every year it continues to be significantly disproportionate.
Ethnic Studies supports all learners in understanding and critically analyzing systems of oppression, power, and privilege both within ourselves, within our communities, between communities, and institutionally. By confronting the truth of what has happened and continues to happen to historically marginalized peoples, we begin to heal ourselves, our families, and our communities. Ethnic Studies is rooted in love for self and community by inspiring learners to take action from a place of knowledge and care in order to transform our present and future so that we may all be liberated from oppression and racism. BUSD’s Ethnic Studies website can be found here.
Superintendent’s Monthly Meeting with Latinxs Unidos
Latinxs Unidos de Berkeley is a grassroots community organization that looks to advocate, empower, and bring representation to the needs Latinos, Latinas, and Latinxs living and working in Berkeley. More information about the group can be found at this website.
Family Guides to Heritage Months
Arab American Heritage Month
Filipino American Heritage Month
Indigenous Peoples Heritage Month
Additional BUSD Resource Pages