2022 July Principal Welcome Letter

Updated: Aug 15

BERKELEY UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT

Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School

1781 Rose Street, Berkeley, CA 94703 • (510) 644-6280



July 15, 2022


Dear King Families,

Welcome back to a new school year! I am excited to work with the King community as we reflect on the past year and make changes that support our students in new ways and through familiar routines and structures. We have a lot of new staff this year. I look forward to introducing them to you at Back-to-School Night on September 1st.


I apologize in advance for the volume of information but staying informed is critical to our partnership.


COMMUNICATION

Some information will be sent to you

  • Weekly emails and phone calls via the robocalling system.

  • Messages from our etree. The link to sign up is on the school website.

Some information you will seek out on your own

Some information you will share with school staff.

  • For classroom concerns, including grades: Contact the classroom teacher.

  • For social and emotional health concerns: Call or email the grade level counselor.

  • For student safety concerns: Call or email the grade level vice principal (VP).

  • For unresolved classroom concerns AFTER teacher contact: Call or email the grade level VP.

ACADEMICS

First Day of School

The first day of school is Monday, August 15th. First period starts at 8:45am and the warning bell rings at 8:38am. Wednesdays are minimum days throughout the year - school finishes at 2:14pm on Wednesdays. Our 7th and 8th grade bell schedule has all period days 3 times per week and block schedules 2 days per week. School ends at 3:05pm on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Zero period music classes will start at 7:45am on the first day of school. Students should meet outside the band room on the blacktop by the 6th grade plaza (back of school); no pre-enrollment is necessary.


School Supplies

It is best to wait until after the first day of school to find out what individual teachers request of your students.


Student Handbook

On the first day of school students receive the “Cobra” student planner. Please set aside time to go over the handbook with your student. This handbook contains detailed information regarding grades, attendance, classroom standards, general information, and behavioral expectations.


Lockers

We will offer hallway lockers as an option for students after the 3rd week of school. No student will be forced to use a locker. Students will only access hallway lockers before 1st period, before and after lunch, and after school. Students will also get a PE locker so they can change into their PE clothes.


STUDENT AND FAMILY SUPPORT

Welcome Fair for All Families

We will have our annual Welcome Fair on August 12th Please note the time you are requested to attend on the schedule in this packet. It will take place in or near the Dining Commons. All families are expected to attend to pick up information, including your child’s schedule for the coming year. Please do not miss this event. Students must attend with an adult. Schedules will be available in the courtyard on the first day of school in case your child forgets where to go.


Lunch

We strongly encourage families to participate in the lunch program. You can pay for meals at school or online at https://www.ezschoolpay.com. Even if you don’t plan to have your student eat a school lunch, please complete the form if you think you would qualify for free lunch. We receive funding based on that need even if your student doesn’t participate. You can also apply online at https://ezmealapp.com.


OTHER

Immunizations

We take safety very seriously and follow the legal requirement of updated school required K-12 immunizations for students. All 7th graders must have received a Tdap booster by the start of school. If your child’s record is not current your child will be excluded until you can provide proof of immunization.


Cell Phones/Smart Watches

School Board policy requires students to have their electronic devices powered OFF and put away all day in middle school. Please do not call or text your child during school hours. We cannot help students focus on academics if they are distracted by your calls, texts, and their social media feeds.. We will confiscate phones and will require you to pick up the phone the third time it is confiscated and every subsequent incident. We want students to be fully engaged in their studies.


Back to School Night

Back to School Night is September 1st and we expect to meet in person. This is one of the most important parent events of the year. It is your chance to meet your child’s teachers, hear about the classroom programs and see the whole school. Your participation is essential to understanding the expectations for the year, building relationships with teachers, and supporting your child. We need you there!


Breakfast

A free breakfast is provided daily to all students in their first period class.


PE Uniforms

Every 7th and 8th grade student is strongly encouraged to purchase a King P.E. uniform. These uniforms may be purchased online and picked up at the Welcome Fair on Friday, August 12th. Dressing in a P.E. uniform is required for 7thand 8th graders. While 6th graders do not wear uniforms, they must wear appropriate clothing for P.E. on a daily basis.


After School Program (LEARNS)

You must enroll your child in the program to take advantage of the programs offered---sports, homework help, blacktop games, and enrichment classes. The fee is on a sliding scale and no one is turned away for lack of funds. We will continue to add classes so look for updates. There is overwhelming research evidence that involvement in after school organized activities improves student academic performance, health, and safety, especially at the middle school level. The after school program begins on the first day of school.


Only students in the afterschool program may remain on campus after 3:20pm (2:30 on Wednesdays)

If you cannot pick up your student right after school you must enroll them in LEARNS or arrange an off site pickup location. Students who are not in LEARNS may not hang out on the front lawn unsupervised.


More information about the afterschool program can be found on the school website https://www.mlkmiddleschool.org/afterschool-sports/after-school-overview/


OPPORTUNITIES FOR INVOLVEMENT

There are many ways to be involved in your student’s middle school years. The PTA at King is parent volunteers trying to make a better community for all of us---and we need everyone’s help!


Sincerely,


Janet Levenson, Principal



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