[BHS Etree] ADMIN: December message from Principal Schweng

BHS Etree bhs at lists.lmi.net
Fri Dec 15 15:49:37 PST 2017

PLEASE do not reply to this email.

December greetings, BHS Families!

I’ve just come from watching our students’ passionate performances at the Afro-Haitian dance concert.  For the first time, our Afro-Haitian and modern dancers were joined by the BHS Jazz Band for an incredible celebration of their collective talent and spirit.  If you have not already, I encourage you to come to any of our many visual or performing arts events and see an important reason why our student body is such an inspiring group of people to be with.

I am writing not just to send greetings before our eagerly anticipated break, but also to give a few updates and pieces of information I hope you will find useful.

Instagram Account Update:

We want you to know that we have continued our work throughout the past months with several students and student leaders involved in addressing the harm caused by the Instagram account that deeply affected our entire school in September.  A number of students have met with our Superintendent, Dr. Evans, as well as school board members Ty Alper and Karen Hemphill to continue discuss how to create positive change out of a harmful incident and to better understand the possible responses available to a school in this situation.  Kiernan Rok, our Dean of Students, also continues to meet with students, both those that were harmed and those who were associated with the account, and these student voices have been a key part of us learning from this case how to better handle things like this going forward.  Many of these students have also agreed to become peer educators in helping others work through similar issues, which has been an unexpected and powerful outcome.  A common refrain amidst the many constituent groups involved (staff, parents, students, as well as the wider community), is that we continue to be transparent and clear about what we are doing both in our response and our preventative efforts.  Some of the longer-term actions such as clarifying our student conduct expectations (particularly regarding social media), and expanding our ethnic studies course offerings for all students will take time, but we are absolutely committed to bettering both our response and our students’ experience here at Berkeley High.

January at BHS:

We will return to school on Tuesday, January 2nd, 2018.  There are just a few weeks remaining in the 1st semester, with finals week being the week of January 22-26.  We will send out a detailed finals week schedule in January.  Note that there is no school on Monday, January 15th or Monday, January 29th.

Year-End Giving:

If you are able, I’d like to ask you to please consider donating to the Berkeley High Development Group’s General Fund.  Your donation is vital to its mission of supporting and enriching the academic experience of all Berkeley High School students.  A majority of their income comes from currently enrolled families, but they are running about $40,000 behind in donations for the year. BHSDG depends on your contributions to support programs that benefit all students.  BHSDG is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, so any donations are tax-deductible. You may donate online at http://bhsdg.org/wp/give, or contributions can be mailed to:


P.O. Box 519

Berkeley, CA 94701-0519

We are so thankful for all they do, with your support, to promote excellence at Berkeley High School.

I hope you all have a wonderful break and I look forward to what we have before us in 2018.


Marguerite Fa-Kaji, Jenny Fosket, and Dylan Kaufman are the parent-volunteer facilitators of the Etree; please direct any questions about the Etree to them at bhs-owner at lmi.net<mailto:bhs-owner at lmi.net>.

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BUSD 2017-2018 Calendar: http://bit.ly/BUSDCalendar

BUSD Non-Discrimination Statement / la Política de No Discriminación: http://bit.ly/BUSDNDPolicy

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