Strategic Impact Grant Awards

2021-2022 Strategic Impact Grants

Berkeley Public Schools Fund – Spring Round

Project, Grantee, & Award Amount

Sphere of Influence

Schools Fund Priority Funding Area(s)

Project Description

Grading for Equity at King Middle School
Janet Levenson,
King Principal

Middle School

  • Focused Academic Support & Intervention
  • Positive Racial Identity Development

The entire King faculty will engage in a guided, year-long Grading for Equity study of how their grading systems and practices, both classroom and school-wide, may be reinforcing predictable academic outcomes that fall along racial/income lines. The goal is to collectively redesign a more consistently equitable grading culture and practices moving forward.

Parent Principal Learning Circles
Ann Callegari,
OFEE Supervisor

District- wide

  • Equitable Family Engagement
  • Positive Racial Identity Development
  • Focused Academic Support &

This project is designed to build the capacity of BUSD leaders and Black/African American parents to re-shape Berkeley public schools to better serve Black students. This project first extends the TK-8 Learning Circles that launched during the pandemic year with a year 2 focus on next steps/actions for school sites. Second, it launches the Learning Circles work for the high school community.

Berkeley’s Pathway to Achieve Credentialed Teachers (BPACT) Georgia Wood,
Teacher Induction & BPACT Coordinator, BUSD

District- wide

  • Diversifying the Educator Pipeline

Berkeley’s Pathway to Achieve Credentialed Teachers (BPACT) is the district’s “classified to credentialed” pathway which supports BUSD classified staff who are working toward a teaching credential in “hard-to-fill” positions (specifically, STEM fields or Special Education). This grant supports BPACT “Fellows” education-related expenses beyond tuition (i.e. laptops, parking fees, etc.).

Helping Struggling Students do a Math 180
Eric Huang,
Math Intervention Teacher, Willard Middle

Middle School

  • Focused Academic Support & Intervention

Willard Middle School was awarded funds to purchase and launch a new math intervention program, Math 180, for math students furthest below grade-level proficiency. Willard’s math intervention team commits to implement Math 180 to fidelity so that the other 2 Middle Schools in BUSD may consider using the program the following year, based on student results.

Grading for Equity in Middle School Math
Rosa Lee, BUSD Middle School Math Teacher-on-Special- Assignment (TSA)


Middle Schools

  • Focused Academic Support & Intervention
  • Positive Racial Identity Development

This project funds 7 experienced math teacher-leaders from all 3 middle schools to dive deeply into a pilot of the research-based Grading for Equity program. These teacher-leaders will share their findings during and following their pilot year with math departments at all 3 sites, for consideration of future adoption.

IRISE Writing Support Groups
Adriana Betti,
RISE Executive Director

High Schools

  • Emotional Health & Wellness
  • Positive Racial Identity Development

RISE is an independent nonprofit that has, for years, run a wrap-around services and support program at Berkeley High and Berkeley Tech Academy for some of the district’s highest needs minority high school students. This grant helps launch IRISE, a new therapeutic writing class embedded in RISE. IRISE will engage students in exploring, writing, and publishing about current issues impacting their lives.

Silicon Valley Math Initiative (SVMI) Conference & Collaboration for Special Education Teachers Tracey Iglehart,
BUSD Math TK-5 Teacher-on- Special-Assignment (TSA)

Elem Schools

  • Focused Academic Support & Intervention

This project extends BUSD’s 5-year tradition of math professional development with the Silicon Valley Math Initiative (SVMI) to the Special Education teachers who often receive limited math training. Grant funds will support 22 Special Education and Intervention teachers in attending (and collaborating around) five SVMI “Meetings” throughout the school year.

Support Groups at CAS @ Berkeley High (Communications Arts & Sciences)
Stephanie Schaudel,
High School Wellness Teacher


High School

  • Emotional Health & Wellness
  • Positive Racial Identity Development

CAS (Communication Arts & Sciences) is a Small Learning Community (SLC) at Berkeley High. CAS piloted several affinity-based support groups during this pandemic year. This grant will continue and extend these support groups into ’21-22 with an emphasis on training group facilitators in trauma-informed practices and documenting support group implementation to share with other SLCs at Berkeley High the following year.

WritersCoach Connection (WCC) at Longfellow
Rachael Rusting,
WCC Director of Operations

Middle School

  • Focused Academic Support & Intervention

This past pandemic year, the Berkeley Public Schools Fund supported 7th and 8th graders at Longfellow to participate in the WritersCoach Connection program. WCC’s program runs 10 weeks of one-on-one writing coaching. Coaching occurs during school hours (English class) and is led by trained, caring, community volunteers.

Looking to the ’21-22 school year, BUSD is paying WritersCoach program fees for 8th graders across all 3 middle schools. This Schools Fund grant will pay for the continuation of the 7th grade cohort at Longfellow.

Chromebooks for Multilingual Program Students @ Berkeley High
Daniella Maaze, English Language Development Teacher, Berkeley High

High Schools

  • Digital Equity

This project brings digital equity to students in Berkeley High’s Multilingual Program (formerly known as English Learner Newcomer Program) by giving them use-at-home Chromebooks for the ’21-22 school year. Ongoing tech support will be provided by the BHS Tech Team and MLP staff will work to support families in accessing free home internet benefits for qualifying families. The Schools Fund is partnering with the

Berkeley High Development Group to complete this funding request.

Playground Kings Summer Camp Scholarships
Greg Williams,
Co-founder, Playground Kings


  • Social Emotional Health & Wellness
  • Diversifying the Educator Pipeline

Playground Kings Camp (PGK) is a summer camp created by LEARNS Instructional Tech Greg Williams and Oxford Instructional Assistant Brandon Luckey (both BHS grads). PGK serves primarily high needs Thousand Oaks and Oxford students. This grant will provide 9 full-summer scholarships to the PGK summer camp, which aims to empower youth and encourage them to be positive forces for helping the planet.

Preschool Family Newsletter & Kindergarten Readiness Activities
Pam Gelman,
Preschool Teacher

Pre- schools

  • Equitable Family Engagement

This grant funds the development of a bilingual monthly preschool newsletter for the parents/caregivers of all 3 BUSD preschools. Each monthly newsletter will be designed around take-home, hands-on kindergarten readiness activities that students can engage in with their families.