BUSD Board Resolution 21-031

IN RECOGNITION OF THE BERKELEY PUBLIC SCHOOLS FUND OFFERED BY THE BERKELEY UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT 

WHEREAS, The members of the Berkeley Unified Public School District (BUSD) wish to thank the staff and Board of Directors of the Berkeley Public Schools Fund for their unparalleled and extraordinary efforts to harness community members to support the students served by BUSD during the COVID-19 pandemic; and 

WHEREAS, The Berkeley Public Schools Fund is an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization created in 1983 by Berkeley parents and community leaders to address the diminished resources for public school classrooms created by Proposition 13; and 

WHEREAS, The Berkeley Public Schools Fund is the only nonprofit organization that serves the entire District, pre-K to high school and is funded entirely by contributions from individuals and businesses in the community. The Berkeley Public Schools Fund supports BUSD students through grants for teachers, training and matching volunteers with teachers, and for specific purposes designated by fiscal sponsorship arrangements; and 

WHEREAS, When the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in the “Shelter in Place” order in March 2020 that closed schools and disrupted the lives and learning of BUSD student and families, the Berkeley Public Schools Fund immediately partnered with the Office of Family Engagement and Equity to begin to address the needs of struggling students and families; and 

WHEREAS, The Berkeley Public Schools Fund has harnessed the time and energy of more than 1,000 community volunteers during the pandemic to meet emerging needs of students and families; and 

WHEREAS, Starting in March of 2020, the Berkeley Public Schools Fund began providing weekly financial assistance payments to struggling families as identified by the Office of Family Engagement and Equity and continues to do so for a total of $380,000 to date; and 

WHEREAS, The Berkeley Public Schools Fund created the Ed Hub drive-through in April 2020 to address the Digital Divide, distributing computers and other learning materials and supplies to students and families and to date has served 8,850 students through the Ed Hub, including distributing over 5,000 Chromebooks, 2,700 bags of school supplies, 1,200 bags of books, 700 learning packets, 500 hotspots; and 

WHEREAS, The Berkeley Public Schools Fund addresses food and shelter insecurities in coordination with the Office of Family Engagement and Equity through task runner volunteers who pick up and deliver urgently needed meals, groceries, school supplies, and technology for students and families, and grocery drivers who deliver bags of groceries from meals distribution sites for families in need; and

WHEREAS, The Berkeley Public Schools Fund organized a Tech Wellness team in April 2020 to reach out to families and ensure that students could access online lessons, organized a Laptop Refurbishment team that converted technology donations from the community to remote learning student resources, and organized a Tech Support team that continues to help families overcome technological obstacles; and 

WHEREAS, The Berkeley Public Schools Fund trained their classroom volunteers to become distance learning classroom volunteers. More than 250 classroom volunteers now give their time weekly to support students and teachers in online learning; and 

WHEREAS, The Berkeley Public Schools Fund developed a middle school Zoom Mentors program, partnering with the Cal Public Service Center, to pair over 160 UC Berkeley students one on one with struggling middle school students to provide academic support and create a “near-peer” connection; and 

WHEREAS, The Berkeley Public Schools Fund provides access to literacy resources through the Books Team that launched a book drive at the Ed Hub to help sort, level and bag books for students, collect book donations, and coordinate volunteers to distribute library books to students at individual schools; and 

WHEREAS, The Berkeley Public Schools Fund organized volunteers to assemble arts and science materials for students K-8; and 

WHEREAS, The Berkeley Public Schools Fund paid for Summer 2020 STEM programming through a donation from Wareham Development; and 

WHEREAS, The Berkeley Public Schools Fund initiated a partnership with Sonic Internet to offer free fiber network internet service to all BUSD students, launched in February 2021; and 

RESOLVED, BY BERKELEY UNIFIED PUBLIC SCHOOL DISTRICT, we thank the Berkeley Public Schools Fund staff and Board of Directors for their significant contributions to help students and families adapt to unforeseen and challenging barriers presented by the COVID-19 pandemic and distance learning. 

RESOLVED, that a suitable copy of this resolution be presented to the Berkeley Public Schools Fund as a symbol of our thanks, esteem and respect.

APPROVED AND ADOPTED by the Board of Education on the 17th of February, 2021 by the following vote: 

AYES:

NOES:

ABSENT:

ABSTAIN:

 Approved by Julie Sinai
Clerk, Board of Education
Berkeley Unified School District