Berkeley’s Excellent Academic Road to Success
1701 San Pablo Avenue, Room 19, Berkeley, CA 94702
Christi Roscigno, Extended Learning Program Supervisor
Ashley Stepney, School Administrative Assistant – ECE
The BEARS program provides academic support and enrichment/recreation activities both before and after school.
- Before School: 7:00AM until the start of the school day
- After School: End of the school day until 5:45PM
- Vacation: 7:30AM until 5:30PM
We are open 240 weekdays per year that includes all of Summer break and much of the Winter and Spring breaks.
The programs are in operation at seven (7) elementary school sites: Berkeley Arts Magnet, John Muir, Malcolm X, Rosa Parks, Ruth Acty, Sylvia Mendez, and Washington. Students who attend Thousand Oaks, Emerson, Cragmont, or Oxford can be bussed both before and after school from another site within their enrollment zone.
The academic support component consists of two major elements: homework assistance and academic enrichment activities. Homework assistance is conducted daily, utilizing both small-group and individual tutoring. Academic enrichment includes daily literacy activities, group read-alouds and guided, independent reading, utilizing books aligned to student levels. Practice with technology through keyboarding programs and coding. BEARS also partners with UC Berkeley literacy tutors through the BUILD program. Tutors provide one-on-one support with reading and reading comprehension.
The enrichment/recreation component offers a wide variety of activities. These activities are offered by program staff and contracted specialists (many are shared between the BEARS and LEARNS programs). Multiple sessions are offered per year. Through our partnership with the City of Berkeley, we are able to offer our elementary school students an enhanced athletic program with organized teams of students from both the BEARS and LEARNS programs.
Staffing and Class Sizes
Each classroom is led by a Child Development Teacher (who has earned either a Child Development Teaching Permit or a Multi-Subject Teaching Credential) and an Instructional Assistant. The maximum BEARS classroom size of 28 students allows us to maintain a 14:1 student-to-adult ratio.
The BEARS program is funded through the California Department of Social Services and all families must meet income requirements and demonstrate a need for care.
Income requirements are set by the state, based on the State Median Income and family size. Families that are below 40% of the State Median Income have no cost for care. Nearly all of the students who attend during the school year are considered to be part-time students (less than 6.5 hours per day). All BUSD students are eligible to participate in the BEARS program, but families whose income exceeds the Fee Schedule limits are required to pay full cost.
Need for care requires that parents provide documentation that shows that they need services for their child. These are most commonly: a self-declaration of seeking work (temporary, summer only), work schedules, class schedules or disability. Additional time will be allotted for travel and school work.
If space in the program becomes limited, younger students are given priority over older students; however, most sites are able to accommodate all students TK-5. Concurrent enrollment in both the LEARNS and BEARS programs is allowed so students can take advantage of the BEARS morning or summer programs. Drop-in students are not allowed.
We are now accepting applications for the current school year. Enrollment is prioritized by income and family size, from lowest to highest income. Qualifying applicants are given priority over non-qualifying applicants. First priority is given to applicants referred by child protective services.
Please return all documents to Ashley Stepney at email@example.com. Ensure all necessary forms are included (utility bill, proof of income, and birth certificates for all children). The utility bill and proof of income must be from the prior 30 days.