Another school year begins Tuesday, emerging with gusto as children and teenagers scurry excitedly along echoing hallways to the untold adventures beyond.
Here are the five things you need to know about Berkeley's new school year:
1.The whooping cough ("Tdap") vaccination is now mandatory for all students entering 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th or 12th grades. Students will need proof of an adolescent whooping cough booster shot before starting school. The vaccine can be administered by your family doctor, or through Berkeley's immunization program at the public health clinic. More information about the vaccine requirement can be found here.
2. API scores for individual schools will be released Aug. 31. Check back with Berkeley Patch to see how your child's school is trending.
3. The school board wants your input. Attend a meeting or watch the meetings live on local channel 33 or on the radio station KPFB 89.3 FM. The first school board meeting of the new school year on Wednesday, Aug. 31, will include a report on the district's AYP and API scores. There's a closed session at 6 p.m., followed by the regular meeting at 7:30. A list of meetings and agendas are available on the school district's website.
4. In its 2011 welcome back letter, the school board reminds parents that a good education begins at home: "We invite you to join us in finding ways to support your classroom teacher and/or school in reaching their goals: this could be reading with your child every night, taking a trip to the library, or exploring the Bay Area on a field trip. You can also support your child’s school by participating in school governance and/or site councils (ELAC, Safety), attending parent meetings and open houses."
5. There are a number of schools with new principals and vice principals this year, including:
- Oxford Elementary School: Jennifer Corn, principal
- John Muir Elementary School: Audrey Amos, principal
- Berkeley High School: Ashley Milton, vice principal, and Daniel Roose, dean
- King Middle: Janet Levenson, principal, and Javier Mendieta, vice principal
- B Tech: Sheila Quintana, principal
- Willard Middle School: Sonya Martin, vice principal
- Berkeley Adult School: LaRanda Marr, vice principal
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