Special Meeting
Berkeley USD
June 17, 2020 5:30PM
Zoom Webinar

1. Call to Order - 5:30 PM
Quick Summary / Abstract:

The Presiding Officer will call the meeting to order at 5:30p.m. before the Board Recesses to Closed Session.  The Special Meeting will convene by 7:00 p.m. 

2. Closed Session Public Testimony
Quick Summary / Abstract:

Persons wishing to address the Board should fill out a green speaker card.  Cards turned in by 5:xx [15 min before closed session] p.m. will be given priority. Speakers will be randomly selected based on topic and position, with BUSD students generally given priority. Public Testimony is limited to 15 minutes with a 3-minute limit per speaker per topic although the time allotted per speaker may be reduced to 2 minutes at the discretion of the President. 

3. Closed Session
Quick Summary / Abstract:

The Board may recess into Closed Session before or after the public meeting under the authority of the Brown Act (including but not limited to Government Code section 54954.5, 54956.8, 54956.9, 54957, 54957.6, as well as Education Code section 35146).  Under Government Code section 54954.3, members of the public may address the board on an item on the Closed Session agenda, before Closed Session.

3.1. Collective Bargaining - Government Code Section 54957.6(a) (District Negotiator: Samantha Tobias-Espinosa
3.1.1. Berkeley Federation of Teachers (BFT)Confidential agenda item.Was edited within 24 hours of the Meeting
3.2. Public Employment (Government Code Section 54957)
3.2.1. Professional Development, CoordinatorConfidential agenda item.
3.2.2. PrincipalConfidential agenda item.
4. Call to Order - 7:30 PM
5. Approve Special Meeting Agenda of June 17, 2020
6. Report on Closed Session
7. Open Session Public Testimony (1st Opportunity)
Quick Summary / Abstract:

Persons wishing to address the Board should fill out a green speaker card.  Cards turned in by 7:15 p.m. will be given priority.        

Speakers will be randomly selected based on topic and position, with BUSD students generally given priority.  Public Testimony is limited to 30 minutes with a 3-minute limit per speaker per topic although the time allotted per speaker may be reduced to 2 minutes at the discretion of the President. 

8. Union Comments
Quick Summary / Abstract:
Representatives from each union are given the opportunity to address the Board on any issue, 5 minutes per union. (Order rotates).
9. Committee Comments
Quick Summary / Abstract:
Representatives from District committees that include members of the public are given the opportunity to address the Board on any issue.  5 minutes per committee.
10. Board Member and Superintendent Comments
Quick Summary / Abstract:

Board members and the Superintendent are given the opportunity to address any issue.  

11. Consent Calendar - approval requested
11.1. Acceptance of Gifts/Donations


TO:               Brent Stephens, Ed. D, Superintendent
FROM:         Pauline Follansbee, Assistant Superintendent of Business Services
DATE:          June 17, 2020
SUBJECT:   Acceptance of Gifts/Donations

The Board may accept and utilize on behalf of the District gifts of money or property for a purpose deemed to be suited by the Board. The following donations have been presented to the District:

  1. Berkeley Public Schools Fund donated $1,141.73 to pay for Math Professional Development & Coaching for Special Education Teachers.
  2. Bright Funds donated $200. to Thousand Oaks School for the Principals Discretionary Fund.
  3. Your cause Employee Giving Campaign donated $150. To Thousand Oaks Principals Discretionary Fund.
  4. Berkeley Public Schools Fund donated $1,475.97 to Valerie Gutwrith for “Dance Teacher PLC” to fund bimonthly meetings, teacher observations, cross-and intra-site collaboration, and cross-discipline advocacy for BUSD dance teachers.
  5. Berkeley Public Schools Fund donated $237.09 to Mariah Castle “Peer Learning Community for BUSD Theater Teachers”.
  6. Berkeley Public Schools Fund donated $707.87 to pay for “Building Community with a Visual Impairment & their Families”.
  7. Berkeley Public Schools Fund donated $2,927.27 to pay for “Math Task Forces 2019-20”.



Accept the donations to the District and request staff to extend letters of appreciation. 

BP 3290

The District received a total of $6,839.93 in donations

11.2. Approve expenditures for Chromebooks


TO:            Board of Education
FROM:          Jay Nitschke, Director of Technology
DATE:           June 17, 2020
SUBJECT:    Approve expenditures for Chromebooks

The district has provided Chromebooks to teachers for their use. In the age of Distance Learning, with frequent video conferences, the current set of teacher Chromebooks are underpowered for video conferencing, and their often small screens make it difficult to see students in Grid View.

This purchase will replace all certificated teachers’ Chromebooks, including non-classroom teachers. The new devices have powerful processors, 8GB of memory, as well as USB-A, USB-C, HDMI, and headphone ports.

The funding for this purchase is from the Technology section of the Facilities Bond.

This purchase is made under the WSCA and NASPO Contract Number MNNVP-133.

Public Contract Code: 20111
Board Policy 3310

$506,814.44 to be paid for by the Technology section of the Facilities Bond.  Costs are contained within the technology budget.

Approve the resolution to purchase teacher Chromebooks.

11.3. Approval of 2020-21 School Plans for Student Achievement


TO:      Board of Education      
FROM:        Natasha Beery, Director of BSEP and Community Relations                      
Baje Thiara, Associate Superintendent for Educational Services
DATE:        June 17, 2020
SUBJECT: 2020-21 School Plans for Student Achievement


The California Department of Education requires every school participating in school-based categorical programs to have a Board-approved School Plan for Student Achievement (SPSA) that must be revised annually based on current student data. The Principal at each BUSD school site worked with School Site Councils (SSCs) to develop a comprehensive plan for their school, including the allocation of BSEP Site Program funds.

The Berkeley Public Schools Educational Excellence Act of 2016 (Measure E1 of 2016) allocates 10.25% of the available revenues annually for School Site Programs:

The School Site Council (as described in Section 8.C) shall develop recommendations to allocate these revenues for the personnel, services and materials required to deliver effective and equitable opportunities for student engagement, enrichment, and achievement. (Section 3.B.iii)

The total 2020-21 district (non-donation) budget for these site plans is $3,555,003. BSEP Site Program funds provide $3,156,140 in regular year allocations to all schools in the district, and Title I funds provide $398,863 to schools eligible for federal funding. BSEP Site Program funds were allocated based on a per-pupil amount of $305 (a significant increase from the $285 per pupil allocated in 2019-20). The site allocations for 2020-21 are described in Appendix A. The site plans also allocate carryover BSEP Site Program funds, totaling an additional $380,665.

Strategic use of resources permits the funding of key elements in the plans. For example, each elementary school site is asked by the district to contribute funding for .25 FTE for a Literacy Coach from either BSEP or Title I site funds, while other district-wide BSEP funds contribute .75 FTE per school to round out a full-time Literacy Coach position at each elementary site. Similarly, in 2020-21, all three middle schools will use site funds to increase Counseling FTE, above the level provided by district-wide BSEP funds.

SSCs begin the annual planning process with a review of student data from previous years. In addition, SSCs also gather community feedback by conducting staff, family, and student surveys. After reviewing that data and feedback, as well as the District’s LCAP-aligned goals, specific site fund allocations, and centrally allocated positions and programs, each SSC developed an action plan which identified strategies to address school needs, using Federal Title I funds (if applicable), BSEP Site Program funds, and any other available resources such as grants and PTA donations.

For PreK-8 schools, in addition to standard site plan expenditures such as academic and enrichment staff and materials/supplies, many sites continue to support mental and behavioral health needs through funding counselor salaries or counseling contracts. An increasing number of sites are also allocating funds for Math support and instruction.

Berkeley High School’s BSEP Site Committee worked in partnership with the BHS SSC to develop their BSEP Site Program fund budget. As the School Board approved a revision to the BHS Committee Bylaws in the 2019-20 school year, beginning in 2020-21 a single combined committee will undertake this work on behalf of Berkeley High.

Appendix B contains each school’s Site Budget summary, which include allocations of all known site resources for the 2020-21 school year. It is important to note that due to the COVID-19 school closures, significant unknowns remain for many BUSD schools. PTA fundraising was significantly disrupted and several schools will wait until the Fall to determine what resources may exist from donations to support site-specific goals. Additionally, several sites have opted not to allocate priorities for BSEP carryover funds, preferring to leave that work to the 2020-21 SSCs based on needs that emerge as the crisis continues to unfold through next school year.

The Consolidated School Plan document includes plans to expend Site Program funds for Early Childhood Education, each elementary and middle school, as well as Berkeley High, Berkeley Technology Academy and the Independent Study Program. All elementary and middle schools use a standard template, which includes:

•     Cover page including the Purpose and Description of the Plan

•     Surveys

•     Classroom Observations

•     Analysis of Current Instructional Program

•     Standards, Assessment, and Accountability

•     Staffing and Professional Development

•     Teaching and Learning

•     Opportunity and Equal Educational Access

•     Parental Engagement

•     Stakeholder Involvement

•     Resource Inequities

•     School and Student Performance Data

•     Planned Improvements in Student Performance (goals, strategies, and proposed expenditures, annual review and analysis)

•     School Site Council Membership

•     Signed Recommendations and Assurances

•     Attachment – School Site Budget Summary

Early Childhood Education, Berkeley Technology Academy, Independent Study, and Berkeley High each use their own site plan formats to summarize site spending, but these still include proposed site fund expenditures, School Site Council membership, signed Recommendations and Assurances, and an attached School Site Budget Summary.

The School Plans comply with the basic legal assurances for Title I as well as BSEP/Measure E1 of 2016. The Plans have been reviewed by Educational Services. The staff believes that each site has an understanding and ownership of its plan and has identified strategies to increase the performance of all students while accelerating the achievement of those who have not been succeeding in school. 

A summary of the 2020-21 School Plans’ allocations of BSEP Site Program Funds was presented to the BSEP Planning and Oversight Committee for review on June 2, 2020. Appendix C contains comparisons of BSEP Site Program Fund expenditures between school sites, across spending categories, and over several years. The 2020-21 Consolidated School Plan Binder is linked here, and contains the full School Plans for each site and program, as well as each site’s budget summary and associated appendices. Once approved by the Board, the Plans will be posted online on each school’s BUSD website.

Education Code 52850-52863
Berkeley Public Schools Educational Excellence Act of 2016 (Measure E1) Section 3.B.iii.

Approximately $3,935,668 in BSEP and Title I Site Program Funds.

Approve the 2020-21 School Plans for Student Achievement.

Appendix A
Appendix B
Appendix C
12. Action Items
12.1. Public Hearing for and Approval of Tier 1 Reductions for 2020-21Was edited within 24 hours of the Meeting


TO:      Brent Stephens, Ed.D., Superintendent
FROM:            Pauline Follansbee, Assistant Superintendent 
DATE:            June 17, 2020
SUBJECT:     Public Hearing for Preliminary Budget for Fiscal Year 2020-21 and approval of Budget Reductions

Staff is presenting the Preliminary Budget Report for fiscal year 2020-21 to the Board for discussion. A Public Hearing on the preliminary budget will also take place. The 2020-21 budget must be approved by the Board prior to July 1, 2020.  The 2020-21 Budget and any adjustments required, will be presented for approval by the Board at the next board meeting to be held on June 24, 2020. The following certifications may be assigned:

  • •Positive: assigned to any district that based on current projections will meet its financial obligations in the current fiscal year and two subsequent fiscal years.
  • Qualified: assigned to any district that based on current projections may not be able meet its financial obligations in the current fiscal year and two subsequent fiscal years.
  • Negative: assigned to any district that based on current projections will not be able to meet its financial obligations for the remainder of the current fiscal year or the subsequent fiscal year.

Staff prepared the preliminary budget, along with assumptions using the School Services of California, Inc. Dartboard and Fiscal Crisis and Management Assistance Team (FCMAT) Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) Calculator, which provides school districts critical economic indicators for budget projections. Multi-Year projections along with other analytical reports are provided under separate cover. 

Uncertainty about the 2020-21 Budget

The Governor’s May Revision proposes $14 billion in budget reductions that would take effect, but then be triggered off if Federal Funds materialize to replace the proposed reductions.

The Legislature’s version flips the presumption, and instead includes the anticipated federal funds in the budget, but then establishes trigger solutions that take effect should the federal funds not materialize.

The Legislature confirmed that they are not going to be able to reach an agreement with the Governor before the June 15th deadline for having a budget bill ready.  The two leaders said that they will pass their version of the budget on Monday June 15th in order to meet the Legislature's constitutional deadline but will continue meeting with the Governor to reach an agreement in time to enact a new budget by July 1st.

Preliminary Budget

The preliminary budget is based on the Governor’s May Revise and contains the following documents for review and consideration by the governing board and will be presented by staff:

  1. 1. Assumptions
  2. 2. Variance Report
  3. 3. Comparative Reports
  4. 4. District certification of Preliminary Budget
  5. 5. General Fund Summary and Restricted and Unrestricted formats
  6. 6. SACS Forms Including Forms 01-67 and Form AI – Average Daily Attendance
  7. 7. General fund Multi-year projection using the MYP software 

This Preliminary Budget along with the Multi-Year indicates the District will be able to meet its financial obligations in the current and subsequent two fiscal years, after implementing board approved budget reductions discussed below. Therefore, staff is presenting the Preliminary Budget to the Board with a positive certification.

The 2019-2020 Estimated Actuals (budget) are also included with the Preliminary Budget, and includes adjustments made since 2019-20 Second Interim Budget.

Approval of Budget Reductions

Staff presented tiered budget reductions to the board for consideration at the June 10, 2020 meeting.  Staff will be presenting tiered budget reductions for approval at this meeting.  Budget reductions are necessary to have a balanced budget and a positive certification. 

Education Code Section 42100 – 42134 et seq.

Approved budget reductions will be implemented to balance the budget.

Staff is requesting the board approve budget reductions as submitted or propose additional budget reductions if needed.  The Preliminary Budget for 2020-21 is being presented to the Board for information.

BUSD 2020-2021 Budget Reduction List, June 17, 2020
13. Discussion Items
13.1. First Reading of 2020-21 Budget
Budget Report
14. Information Items
14.1. School Renaming Process and Timeline


TO:                    Brent Stephens, Ed.D., Superintendent
FROM:               Natasha Beery, Director of BSEP and Community Relations
DATE:                June 17, 2020
SUBJECT:         School Renaming Process and Timeline

On June 10, 2020, the Berkeley Unified School Board approved Resolution No. 20-064 in support of Black Lives Matter. The resolution included a commitment to engage in a renaming process for Jefferson and Washington Elementary Schools, in accordance with current Board policy.

The current Board Policy 7310, Naming of Facilities, and the accompanying Administrative Regulation were successfully implemented in 2017-18 for the renaming of Le Conte Elementary School, which became Sylvia Mendez Elementary School by unanimous vote of the Board on May 23, 2018.  At the conclusion of the process, the Superintendent had the option to propose changes to either the policy or regulation before embarking on another such endeavor. No such changes were proposed.

The Board has now directed that staff launch a process for Jefferson and Washington schools, prioritizing and if possible expediting the work for Jefferson Elementary first, as there was a prior effort in 2005 that ended in a 3/2 Board vote, as well as a subsequent request from members of the Jefferson community in 2017 that was put on hold in order to complete the process for the former Le Conte, now Sylvia Mendez Elementary School.


Concerns have been expressed about the length of time necessary to complete a renaming process. The process for Sylvia Mendez took 16 months, but it was initiated by petition, which took time to discuss, develop, distribute and review, and included committee work creating additional decision-making and engagement tools, which for the Jefferson process could be adapted rather than created de novo. A more streamlined process is therefore proposed here, with the possibility of an immediate launch in June and a conclusion as early as October or November.

The following summary and timeline will take less time, but still provides meaningful opportunities to engage the community in suggesting, learning about, and considering a new school name that creates a sense of unity, belonging, and pride for all students and families.

First Step - Recommendation to Rename and School Meeting(s) - June

The current policy requires the Board to agree to rename a school before selecting a new name, (unlike the policy and process involving Jefferson School in 2005, for which the Board had to debate a proposed new name as well as whether to abandon the prior name at the same time). The Resolution recently adopted by the Board has already indicated a desire to change the name, which means the process in this case can begin right away. Staff is now required to conduct a review of the present name, including holding a meeting with school employees and families of students enrolled in the school. While ordinarily this might be difficult to do at the end of a school year, it is anticipated that during this time of shelter-in-place, it will be possible to hold an online meeting with good attendance.

An online meeting with the Jefferson Community, perhaps using Thought Exchange, to be held as soon as possible, could be focused on sharing the Board rationale for the name change, provide an explanation of the process and timeline for renaming, and gather some thoughts about the change from the community. If launched immediately, this could perhaps be concluded in time for a report to the Board by June 24 or July 1, before the Board’s adjournment for the summer.  It may make sense to also hold a June meeting with the Washington community as well, so that both schools can be officially “de-named” at the same time, allowing the focus to be on renaming during the school year.

Advisory Committee Formation - July/August

The next step is the creation of an Advisory Committee. Over the summer, a diverse and representative committee of about 9 people would be composed to work constructively with the current process. An initial meeting or two over the summer would be useful to get to know each other and understand the work ahead, and review and adapt the naming criteria used in the Mendez process. An outstanding facilitator made a difference in the Sylvia Mendez work, and having such support could really help this process again.

Community Meetings - late August or early September

The current AR requires three community meetings - one to explain the process, one to solicit names, and one for feedback on names. The first community meeting would be held in the early fall to explain the renaming process and get community feedback on the Advisory Committee’s name selection criteria.

Name Suggestions and Advisory Committee Review - September

A second meeting is required to solicit suggestions for names. In addition, a call for suggested names could go out community-wide (as for Sylvia Mendez) or just to the school or district-wide.  The Advisory Committee would review the suggestions received (for LeConte there were 118 names), and vote, first through a straw poll to get down to the top 10-12, then discuss in a meeting to get to top 6 names.

Feedback on Top Names - October

The third required meeting is to share the top names with the community and get some additional feedback, which could be done again through Thought Exchange.  At Sylvia Mendez, the general meeting was supplemented with separate meetings with PCAD, ELAC, PTA, SSC, and school staff, to each discuss and vote for their top 3 choices.

Optional Student and Family Education and Engagement - Oct/Nov

In 2018, the Advisory Committee suggested supplementing the name selection process with an educational component for students, families and staff to learn about the top names before they were asked to officially rank their top 3 names. Staff worked with the school librarian and other volunteers to find or create age-appropriate materials, so that over a period of three weeks, the entire school was discussing and learning about two or names per week before being asked to vote on their top 3 choices.

The educational process, while it did add time, turned out to be key, as by engaging students in learning, recognizing histories that aren't often told, and opening minds to the idea of multiple possibilities, consensus was built toward the idea of many good choices, rather than contention over a top choice. 

Summary and Preparation of Selection to Board - November

Staff will create a summary of the results across groups for review by the Advisory Group, who would discuss and vote on a top choice or choices. In further consultation with the Superintendent and Principal, a top choice would be presented to the Board for Board discussion and vote to rename.  Note that in 2018, one top choice was to honor the indigenous people of this area, which involved consulting with tribal representatives of the Muwekma Ohlone to obtain permission. The tribal engagement required a longer process than the 2018 decision-making timeline allowed.  Time was also needed to locate and contact the descendants of other top choices (the Tape family, early advocates for school integration, and Ruth Acty, first African-American teacher) and potential honorees themselves (Sylvia Mendez and Dolores Huerta), so it is important to remember to include time to obtain permission and approval if individuals or groups are involved.

Celebration and Inauguration of a New Name for Jefferson - January

The Jefferson Elementary School renaming process could thus be concluded before the end of the calendar year.  There are additional components to renaming a school, including implementing the new name in signage, as well as in internal and external systems, and planning a community celebration, all of which could potentially occur sometime around the beginning of the New Year. 

Washington School -  January or May

The work with the Washington School community could begin in 2021, when staff, Board and community are ready to engage. It could begin right away, or wait until later in the spring to be completed the following fall.

While both school timelines can be streamlined, the school renaming process can and should take some time to inspire thinking about meaningful choices, create opportunities for community engagement, and build consensus toward a meaningful outcome. Even under our current shelter-in-place circumstances this should be possible, and indeed may present an opportunity for building community in a time when we are divided by our circumstances, but unified in our intent to address the symbols and the structures that uphold racial inequities and injustice.


15. Open Session Public Testimony (2nd Opportunity)
Quick Summary / Abstract:

Persons wishing to address the Board should fill out a green speaker card.  Cards turned in for the earlier open session public testimony will be given priority.  Speakers will be randomly selected based on topic and position, with BUSD students generally given priority.  Public Testimony is limited to 15 minutes with a 3-minute limit per speaker per topic although the time allotted per speaker may be reduced to 2 minutes at the discretion of the President.

16. Extended Board Member and Superintendent Comments
Quick Summary / Abstract:
Board members and the Superintendent are given the opportunity to address any issue.  
17. Adjournment

Published: June 12, 2020, 7:23 PM

The resubmit was successful.