Weekly Digest: 11th Jan, 2018

Upcoming Events:
Friday, Jan 12th: COFFEE MINGLE! Bring your lovely selves.  Intruder Drill at 9:00 a.m.
– Next Week: Sign Up for PTA Classes start

See Details Below: 

– Coffee Mingle
– Community Update: Process for Budget Reduction Decisions: BUSD
– TMC: The Music Connection
– Annual Berkeley Lions Club Eyeglass Drive
– Families with incoming Kinders and Outgoing 5th Graders
– Listen Up, Berkeley!
– Wrist and Cell Phones
– Giving Campaign
– Visitor Badges
– Yard Use After School

Coffee Mingle tomorrow After Drop-off! Look for the group of under-caffinated parents by the cafetorium! Stay and chat, or drink and run.


Keep your EYES out for the Berkeley Lions Club used eyeglass donation boxes in your classrooms this winter. Every year the Berkeley Lions club collects used eyeglasses including readers and sunglasses to donate to the less fortunate. The Lions club is a 100% volunteer not for profit organization and uses every penny of its donations to help others. This year the Lions club International has already donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to hurricane relief in India, Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico. Many people have lost everything in these natural disasters, including their glasses. Can you imagine not being able to see or read on top of losing your home? Please start collecting used and outdated prescription glasses during the holidays from your family and friends. LOOK out for Berkeley Lions CLub collection boxes in your classroom after winter break.  The classroom which collects the most glasses will win a pizza party! Let’s try and beat Thousand Oaks Elementary’s record of over 900 pairs of glasses from last year! If your family is in need of assistance in obtaining new prescription glasses for you or your child, and you do not have Medical, the Berkeley Lions can help. Feel free to contact Berkeley Lions club director, Karen Roze if you are interested in volunteering with the Berkeley Lions or helping with expanding this drive in your community. Karen’s email is tlsupergal@yahoo.com.

 Community Update: Process for Budget Reduction Decisions

Note: At the time of this writing, the Governor’s January Budget proposal was just released, and the calculations below do not take into account that information. We will continue to keep the community updated as the Governor’s proposal makes its way through negotiations with the legislature and into the final state budget (usually approved in June).

A series of economic and fiscal conditions and factors are putting pressures on school district budgets across the State of California. One of these is the fact that there have been several years in which state education funding has not kept pace with expenses. Furthermore, the mandate for funding state employee pensions has risen significantly (an estimated $1.3 million annual increase for Berkeley each year through 20-21), and school districts have needed to address employee compensation after several lean years during the Great Recession (2007-2012).

In order to ensure that the Berkeley Unified School District can continue with a balanced budget that earns a positive certification from the Alameda County Office of Education, the School Board has set the goal of cutting $1.8 million in costs for the 2018-19 school year. Since a reduction in some General Fund budgets was already made for this current fiscal year, some difficult decisions will have to be made on reducing services, programs, and/or staffing.

With the School Board planning to make its final decision on budget reductions for the 2018-19 fiscal year at the Board meeting on Feb. 21, the Superintendent’s Budget Advisory Committee is working to come up with specific recommendations to make to the Superintendent.

The Superintendent’s Budget Advisory Committee (SBAC), a key forum for discussing budget issues and developing recommendations, will devote two upcoming meetings to the recommendations. The SBAC meetings are scheduled at the District office, 2020 Bonar St., at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, January 16 and Tuesday, January 23.

The School Board will include discussion of the budget at its two upcoming meetings: Wednesday, January 24 and Wednesday, February 7. The board will devote the February 21 Board Meeting to the budget and plans to take action on any cuts that may be necessary to meet the budget development timeline that ensures a balanced budget can be presented and approved by June 30. The open session of Board meetings begins at 7:30 pm. You can check the meeting agenda, which is posted late Friday before the Wednesday meeting, to get a better idea of when the topic will be taken up. Board meetings are held in the Board Room, 1231 Addison St.

Preliminary ideas for budget reductions were presented at the Dec. 5 SBAC meeting.
BUSD Public Information Office
Berkeley Unified School District

WHAT: FREE Private Piano/Vocal Tutoring for your child with The Music Connection!
WHO: Students interested in private piano/vocal tutoring
WHERE: A place where you and the tutor decide to meet.
WHEN: The application is due Thursday, February 1st; tutoring will end in May
Sign your child up for FREE private piano/vocal lessons today with The Music Connection group at UC Berkeley! We are a student run volunteer organization on campus, which gives in-class, out of class, and private tutoring to students in the BUSD district*. Teaching all different levels, we aim to inspire and engage student’s minds in the world of piano and voice and all of its grand musical offerings. Join us at no cost to get private piano/vocal tutoring by our very own passionate and dedicated tutors!
Sign up your child here – note that this is on a first come, first serve basis, and filling this out does not guarantee your child a tutor:
If you have any questions, please contact Apeksha Singh at privatepiano.tmc@gmail.com.
*Please be mindful that most of our tutors do not have cars and therefore commuting can be troublesome if you live far away. If it is hard to reach you by bus/ reasonable distanced walk, please be willing to compromise by meeting at a closer location.


To assure your incoming kinders Jefferson placement  or your preferred middle school placement you must turn in your paperwork by Feb.2 at the Admission Office.

Round one of enrollment for the 2018-2019 School Year will take place

January 2 – February 2, 2018.

Berkeley School Admissions

2020 Bonar Street, Suite 108, Berkeley, CA 94702

Tel: 510.644.6504 | Fax: 510.644.7753

Hours: Monday – Friday | 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Tuesday | 8:00 AM – 3:00 PM

Email: admissions@berkeley.net

Listen up, Berkeley!

Golden Headphones Award – We came in 2nd place in participating elementary schools for listening  to books at home over Winter Break!

Cell Phones and Wrist Phones

We have seen an increase in student wearing cellular devices on their wrists. Per  9.9. Board Policy 5131: Electronic Signaling Devices (Cellular Phones), students are asked to turn all devices off at the start of the day and they are not to be turned back on until the completion of the day. Starting Monday, we will ask all students to take devices off of their wristsand store them in their backpacks until the end of the day. If there is an emergency during the school day, families are advised to call the office at 644-6298.

Make Jefferson a Great Place for All!

Don’t forget to include Jefferson in your annual giving! A tax-deductible donation to our school means more resources to ensure that all of our kids are getting the great education they deserve. Every family’s contribution helps, no matter how small or large. Make a donation today or sign up to be a monthly donor. Put cash or check made out to Jefferson PTA in the PTA lock box in the office, or make your donation online.

Visitor Badges

Please remember to sign in at the office and get a visitor/volunteer badge each time that you come to the school in the middle of the school day (even if you volunteer all the time!). Thanks.

Yard Use After School

We know that families like to stay and play after school but we are asking that the yard is clear by 3:00 each day for JAZ and BEARS use. Thanks for your cooperation.