Posted to: Albany

Wanna Know About East Bay Schools?

I am at the Berkeley Board of Realtors and learning about the plans for WCCUSD, AUSD, BUSD.

Major topic across the board? How to close the achievement gap.

Did you know that…

– 92% of Albany High kids go on to college

– all 3 districts have “academy” schools which teach vocational skills. WCCUSD has 21!

– all 3 districts have “edible gardening” programs in the elementary schools

– WCCUSD has a partnership with Holy Names University where SAT’s are not a factor for admission

– Albany High will be starting their own student-run student store to teach business skills

– El Cerrito High School has an auto shop that both AUSD and BUSD high school students use

-El Cerrito High School has a renowned theater

– WCCUSD has the largest funding available for rebuilding of all 50 schools

– gone are the days of wood shop and sewing- now it is digital photography and IT

– All districts have Title 1 schools which means free and reduced lunch paid for by federal funds. There is additional support for parents, tutors, etc. 36% of students in kindergarten @ BUSD and 52% in middle school are title 1 students. WCCUSD has the largest percentage.

– Chevron is the biggest supporter for WCCUSD.

– Berkeley High has “small learning communities” which provides flexibility in choices for students- half of the high school students participate.

– BUSD has an elementary lottery system- 80% of students get their first choice. They use a green bus system to transfer the students from one end of Berkeley to the other. All elementary schools are offering the same programs and same support so there isn’t a better school than the other.

– teaching kids to think is more important than test scores: the new Common Core program will force the districts to refocus the teachers to bring technology into the classroom.

– WCCUSD has brought in a Scholar in Residence to help strategize special Ed needs and differentiated instruction. Portola Middle School will start this.

– Portola Middle School will be rebuilt within 3 years.

– closing the academic gap requires bringing in additional support, NOT dumbing down the curriculum

– El Cerrito High School has an Ivy League tract program

– Berkeley has 3 Berkeley-run preschools, but anyone can attend

– Berkeley has a universal preschool screening tool to check for kindergarten readiness

– Transitional kindergarten exists in all districts

– Spanish Emersion program in Berkeley: half of students are Spanish program and half is English. In kindergarten the classroom starts out as 90% English and 10% Spanish; over the course of the year it switches. Le Conte has this program.

– Albany is considering a mandarin-English bilingual program.

– School districts do not care about being a US Citizen

– Berkeley high school is an open campus

– Cooking and gardening program in Berkeley just lost its funding, Berkeley is now seeking community grants and support

– After school programs are much more uniform and offer homework support, enrichment and fun

– Vote YES for all parcel taxes so schools can continue to provide smaller class sizes, music, and art.

– COMMUNITY SUPPORT will make or break the schools. Keep supporting!

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