Berryessa Union School District
December 2016

December 19, 2016 - January 2, 2017
Winter Holiday Break

January 3, 2017
School Resumes

January 17, 2017
School Board Meeting
6 pm
Board Room, District Office 

District Office
1376 Piedmont Road
San Jose, CA 95132
Phone: 1-408-923-1800
Hours: 8:00 - 4:00 pm
For Translation Assistance Please Call The District Hotline:
1-­408-­923-­1901 (Chinese)
1­408-­923­-1902 (Spanish)
1-­408-­923-­1903 (Vietnamese)
1-408-923-1904 (Tagalog)

An office assistant will get in touch with you to deliver the translation of the document.
Si desea más información en español por favor llame a la línea de asistencia en español al 1-408-923-1902 y alguien le llamará para darle un resumen de este documento. 
Xin gọi số hotline của khu học tại 1­-408-­923-­1903
và sẽ có người giúp quí vị để hiểu những điều cốt
yếu của văn kiện.
Kung kayo ay nangangailangan ng tulong sa wikang Tagalog, mangyari lamang na
tumawag sa 1-408-923-1904.

Superintendent Will H. Ector, Jr.
Protecting Diversity
Last month's election and the campaign leading up to it has elicited a range of emotions amongst our students. Now, more than ever, we feel it is the time for schools to lead the effort of encouraging positive citizenship and discussion. In adherence to our district's Vision Statement, the Board adopted the "Safe Student Resolution" at this month's Board meeting.

As a district, we want to reassure our families that our school remains a welcome, inclusive, and safe place for all students. Diversity is our strength and we expect our staff and students to respect the diverse perspectives of our community. Our counselors are committed to supporting any students who may be worried about the current political situation. We reaffirm our zero tolerance for bullying and hateful speech. Berryessa schools will serve as safe zones and provide resources for students and families threatened by immigration enforcement or discrimination.

"Berryessa Union School District will be recognized for educational excellence in a safe, innovative and inclusive student-centered learning environment, inspiring students, staff, and the community."
Updated Strategic Plan 
In November, we held our Strategic Planning meeting and workshop to review and revise our three-year goals and strategic objectives. Thank you to all of our stakeholder committee of teachers, Union members, parents, the Berryessa Citizens Advisory Council, and the Berryessa Business Association for dedicating your time and insight to creating a solid, goal-oriented Strategic Plan. We hope that you take the time to download our Strategic Plan. 
Download Strategic Plan
Encouraging a College Culture
Even though BUSD is an elementary and middle school district, student college plans are on the top of all our minds. Our schools regularly host "college spirit days" in which students participate in activities to build and encourage college dreams for all of our students. At this month's Board Meeting, we had the pleasure of receiving a first-hand report from Piedmont students who attended the ALAS (Advancing Latina/o Achievement and Success) Conference at San Jose State University last month. (Check our November newsletter for a recap of this inspiring event.) 
Like to Plan Ahead? 

Be sure to download our Board-approved calendar for 2017-2018 here so that you can plan your family vacation to coincide with school holidays. 
Healthy Holiday Parties
Healthy Classroom Party Ideas
Happy Holiday Season! As we move into the festive holiday season, the district’s Wellness Committee would like to remind our families of our Student Wellness Policy for classroom celebrations. The following is an excerpt from the policy (AR 5030):

Classroom Celebrations and Rewards
  1. Class parties or celebrations that involve food shall be held after the lunch period and shall be limited to no more than one party per class per month. 
  2. Parents are encouraged to offer healthy food and beverage choices for celebrations. Foods should be commercially purchased and devoid of common allergens, e.g., peanuts, to minimize the risk of food-borne illness and allergic reactions. 

Our Child Nutrition Services department created a list of fun and healthy alternatives for classroom celebrations.
Text Message Instructions
Text Notifications

In addition to emergency notifications, BUSD families may receive text message notification from their schools. To control your text message preferences, visit Infinite Campus Parent Portal and click on "Changing your Messenger Contact Preferences."

Emergency messages will override these preferences.

By default, texting is turned off to prevent unexpected charges from their phone provider.

DELAC Meeting Schedule
District Office
Board Room
8:30 – 10:30 am

February 2, 2017
March 16, 2017 
May 11, 2017
Please contact Lidia Vazquez for additional information at 
(408) 923-1886 or
District English Learner Advisory Committee Meetings

The District English Learner Advisory Committee (DELAC) meets regularly to advise the district governing board regarding district goals and objectives and to assist in developing a district-wide plan for the education of English Learners and the programs and services for English learners.  

Parents are invited to attend the meetings. Childcare will be provided for children 4 years and older. 

District Office Board Room
8:30 – 10:30 am
February 2, 2017
March 16, 2017 
May 11, 2017
Download 2016-2017 Calendar
Download 2017-2018 Calendar
2016 - 2017 Important Dates

· December 19 - Jan. 2 – Winter Break
· January 16 – MLK Jr. Day
· February 20 - 24 – Presidents’ Break
· April 17 - 21 – Spring Break
· May 29 – Memorial Day
· June 9 – Last Day of School for Students
BUSD School Board

2016-17 Board Meeting Dates
August 9, 2016 January 17, 2017
September 13, 2016 February 14, 2017
October 18, 2016 February 28, 2017
November 15, 2016 March 14, 2017
December 6, 2016 April 11, 2017

May 9, 2017

May 23, 2017

June 6, 2017

June 20, 2017


Narrative Writing Program Increases Engagement
Students recently completed a narrative writing unit from the new Heinemann writing curriculum. Teachers are reporting that the new writing program is increasing student engagement with writing.  Many students are writing more than they did in the past and some are choosing to write for enjoyment outside of the writing period. In December, teachers will be released to plan the second unit of study focused on writing an opinion or writing to share information, which will be taught beginning in January.
Middle School NGSS Science
Middle school science teachers will have access to STEMscopes science curriculum in December and January. BUSD is working with middle school science teachers to explore new science curriculum that supports the integrated instructional pathway. The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) Framework for teaching science was published in November 2016. Publishers will use the framework to develop new curriculum that may be available as early as 2018. In the meantime, publishers have created materials that align to the NGSS standards and BUSD is securing temporary access for teachers try out materials to prepare for eventual adoption.

Parent Review Opportunity for New Language Arts Program
The ELA/ELD Leadership Committee will be piloting English language arts and English language development programs beginning in January and ending in April 2017.  Materials are on display at the District Office. Parents may view the materials on display during normal business hours. Since the last adoption, the Common Core State Standards and the California English Language Development Standards were developed. The new standards call for an integrated approach to teaching English Language Development, meaning that language is taught throughout the day including during science, social studies, and math lessons. In addition, an interdisciplinary approach is recommended to help students make connections across the subjects and deepen their knowledge. A new adoption will give teachers resources for meeting the demands of the new standards. 
Tecnology Services Presentation
Technology Services Update

BUSD's Technology Department recently attended the 2016 F3/CETPA Legal Summit sponsored by the California Education Technology Professional Associate and leading educational-focused law firm, Fagen, Friedman & Fulfrost. The conference focused on areas of technology access for all students, and information security. In addition to receiving current legal requirements, best practices on these areas were shared. Technology Department Head Dave Johnston presented to the Board, the legal issues related to technology use and access and reviewed district actions to continue best practices in technology access and information security.

Watch this section for some exciting news in the New Year as our Technology Services will be releasing a valuable tool to increase family engagement.  
Bond Construction Update

After reorganizing efforts on the Central Kitchen, we are happy to report that the project is on schedule with expected completion in April 2017. Please read the board presentation for details on completed projects and timelines for remaining bond construction work. 
Construction Board Presentation
Measure K Parcel Tax Senior Waiver

Home-owner residents of the Berryessa Union School District who were at least 65 on July 1, 2014, or for each year thereafter are exempt from paying the $79.00 per year parcel assessment. To receive the exemption, a completed application and supporting documentation must be submitted to the Berryessa Union School District by June 30th prior to the following July 1st of each fiscal year.
  • All applications must be renewed annually to ensure eligibility. 
  • Applications may be obtained on our website ( or at the District Office
  • The completed application may be mailed or delivered to the District Office – Business Services Department. For assistance call (408) 923-1869.
Citizens' Oversight Committee Member Opportunities

As part of our obligation to the community to be accountable for the funds we get from bonds and parcel taxes, the Board of Trustees would like to invite you to apply for one of the vacant positions on the Oversight Committee. The committee meets quarterly at the BUSD District Office.

Each oversight committee ensures public funds are allocated in accordance with the original bond measure ballot terms. The committees evaluate the bond impact on students, classrooms, schools, and the district.

Applications are currently being accepted for the following vacant Measure K Oversight positions:

Parent Representative for the Morrill Middle School Family (Brooktree, Laneview, Northwood Elementary schools, Morrill Middle School)

Three Community Representatives who must reside in the Berryessa Union School District Boundaries

Certificated/CTAB Representative current employee of Berryessa Union School District

Interested in Serving?
Please download the application below and follow its instructions. Applications may also be found on our website or at the District Office. Questions about the application and selection process and the expectations of committee members may be submitted to Elizabeth Womack by e-mail at or by phone at (408) 923-1869.

Download Measure K Application
BUSD Cares
Middle School Where Everyone Belongs Leaders 

BUSD WEB (Where Everyone Belongs) leaders from all three of our middle schools. Morrill, Piedmont, and Sierramont came together to celebrate the successful beginning of the 2016-2017 school year after completing a thorough orientation program for all of our district 6th-grade students. WEB is a national middle school transition program focused on peer mentoring to work toward a comfortable first year of their middle school experience. These student ambassadors dedicated a week of summer vacation to train in the WEB program. The cornerstone of the program is that these student volunteers are held to the highest behavioral standards and serve as role models for incoming students.
Parent Education

This week, Northwood Elementary School offered a parent workshop series led by Kalpana Thatte, District Instructional Coach: "Keeping Kids Learning Over The Holiday Break and Beyond." Kudos to all our families who dedicated time to learning valuable tips and resources to encouraging a love of learning outside of the classroom. 
BUSD Innovates
Laneview Learns About Water Properties
Representatives from the Santa Clara Valley Water District gave presentations to Laneview's 5th-grade classes and two of the 1st-grade classes as a follow-up to a professional development workshop that several Laneview teachers participated in this past summer. To apply the theory and knowledge learned during the presentation, student groups were tasked to build a raft out of sticks that could float.
BUSD at Intel
Piedmont Middle School AVID program students visited the Intel Museum for an inspiring exploration of how people and technology have changed our world.
Digital Citizenship Classes 

Martha Campos, BUSD's Instructional Technology Coach, provided a presentation on Digital Citizenship to Brooktree students. Strong skills for digital citizenship and safety will help students have more fun and fewer problems using social media, video games, or any other online tools now and for years to come! Digital citizenship is the norms of appropriate, responsible technology use.
BUSD Engages
BUSD Students Perform with California Honor Choir

All three Berryessa middle schools are honored to have such a fabulous group of students selected to participated in the California Music Educators Association Honor Choir. Out of 182 students nominated, only about half were accepted to be a part of the prestigious program! Over the course of several weekends, the group will rehearse together with students from 32 other schools.

The Honor Choir will perform a concert at Chabot Community College Concert Hall on January 14, 2017, at 2 pm. 
Download Toyon Site Report Presentation
STEAM and Parent Engagement

Toyon Elementary School Principal gave a site report to the Board of Trustees at December's Board Meeting on how Toyon is using STEAM education as a connection point to increase parent engagement. The highlight of the presentation was the personal experience of a fifth grader who described how STEAM programs on coding are important to her. Toyon offers Parent Workshops on technology and social-emotional issues with topics such as cyberbullying, online safety, and facilitating healthy development in families that many parents are finding useful. 
BUSD Holiday Spirit 

Toyon Elementary School students, teachers, and parents went to see The Nutcracker ballet at The Center for Performing Arts. For many of our students, this was their first experience of going to the theater and definitely their first time seeing The Nutcracker or a ballet. We'd like to thank the Center for Performing Arts for offering half-price tickets to our school so that our students could take part in this holiday tradition. 
BUSD schools hosted events to bring the joy of the holidays to all students. Several of our schools held book fairs giving students access to affordable, popular books, and encouraging reading, which leads to success inside and outside the classroom. Raised funds will be used towards purchasing new books for the school library.
Laneview Santa Night Photo Booth
Brooktree Scholastic Book Fair
Downtown San Jose's Christmas in the Park

When visiting Christmas in the Park this holiday season, be on the lookout for the BUSD trees! Toyon, Sierramont, and Brooktree each have special trees at this annual San Jose tradition. 
Brooktree's Tree
Sierramont's Tree
Toyon's Tree
YMCA's Early Learning Readiness Program

Toyon Elementary offers the YMCA Early Learning Resources program for caregivers with children ages 1-5 every week on Wednesdays and Fridays from 10 am-12 pm in Toyon room 13. The program is free to all and any participants. 
Berryessa Education Foundation
The Berryessa Education Foundation (BEF) is a volunteer-staffed foundation that has raised over $300,000 since 1992 to supplement the District’s budget to improve our students’ educational experience.
Learn More About BEF
Contact Us
1376 Piedmont Road 
San Jose · California · 95132 
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