The Berkley School District: Building A Culture to Inspire Future Generations
By Sara E. Teller
THE BERKLEY SCHOOL DISTRICT SERVES STUDENTS FROM SIX MONTHS THROUGH 26-YEARS OLD, EARLY CHILDHOOD THROUGH ADULT TRANSITION.
Our 4,200 students enjoy a multitude of opportunities to engage with classes, programs, enrichment, fine arts, athletics and more that support all learners to realize their full potential.
Since 1840, the District has enjoyed support from everyone, including businesses and families without children attending school. Berkley’s students enjoy the diverse array of experiences and successes because of the overwhelming community support, the fantastic work of their great teachers and administrators, and the rich and vibrant environments that families create. The incredible successes Berkley students experience are possible, in part, because of the support provided at every level.
THE BERKLEY SCHOOL DISTRICT BEGAN THE 2022-23 SCHOOL YEAR with a new Strategic Plan leading the way. Our vision: Our inclusive culture will inspire, empower and lead all learners to realize their full potential and make a positive different in their future and community, will drive our work. This means we will set priorities to strengthen our District culture by listening, learning and leading. We will strive to become a place where all stakeholders feel a sense of belonging.
With our new Strategic Plan, we also adopted a Portrait of a Learner. The Portrait of a Learner identifies six traits that are critical to developing well-rounded individuals. We hope to partner with parents, guardians and the community, to prepare our students to be critical thinkers, creative, collaborative, communicators, curious and courageous while they are with us and take those skills with them when they graduate. You will begin to hear these words guiding and describing our work this year.
Superintendent Scott Francis shared, “It is my hope that through our new guiding principles, our students will find their passion and their purpose and let it empower them to make a difference in their future, their community and the world around them. My sincere thanks to everyone who shared their feedback to shape the Strategic Plan.”
The community can learn more about the Strategic Plan on the District’s website: www.berkleyschools.org/strategicplan
THE BERKLEY SCHOOL DISTRICT OFFERS A DEPTH AND BREADTH OF LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES which are unparalleled in the area. Students are nurtured and encouraged to be creative, curious, collaborative, communicators, courageous and critical thinkers. Whether it is the 26 college level, Advanced Placement classes, Calculus III or the Syracuse University Freshman writing classes, opportunities for our students to attend Oakland Schools Technical Campus, Center for Creative Studies & the Arts (CASA), or the Berkley Building Blocks infant and child care programs, or anything in between, the Berkley School District has outstanding programs and people at every level.
Classes like zoology, forensics, Encore! show choir, robotics, Sources of Strength, creative writing, film studies, diversity council, history of the Holocaust, marketing, African-American literature, computer programming and more challenge and engage students. In addition, students can explore robotics, foreign languages, student production and various music options in middle school. Many middle school students complete high school credits while attending Norup and Anderson.
While academics is a strong focus for us, developing the whole child is the reason we’re here. We offer fine and performing arts, such as band, orchestra, choir and drama. We offer art classes at every level, musical instrument instruction in 5th-grade, and have a number of other experiences like 5th-grade camp, a high school science symposium, robotics, 8th-grade college visits, the Berkley Scholars program and many, many more that let children develop and pursue their interests.
We also offer many opportunities for students to engage with athletics, including softball, baseball, football, soccer, basketball, track and field, cross-country, wrestling, swimming, volleyball, golf, tennis, cheerleading, hockey, figure skating, dance and rugby. Students can also join clubs like the yearbook team, Gay / Straight Alliance (GSA), Black Perspectives Club, Dungeons & Dragons, gaming club, robotics, and art and drama. At the high school level, students are able to join over 50 clubs of varying interests, like DECA, GSA, drama club, future teachers and more.
BERKLEY HIGH SCHOOL WAS NAMED AMONG THE “BEST HIGH SCHOOLS” by U.S. News and World Report. Berkley School District has also been named a “Best Communities for Music Education” for eleven years in a row by the NAMM Foundation. In recent years, students have been named All-State and Academic All-State for swimming, baseball, tennis, volleyball, basketball and soccer. Seven student athletes signed with colleges and universities in the 2021-22 academic year. The Berkley High School (BHS) Orchestra was one of three high school orchestras nationwide invited to play at Carnegie Hall in 2019 for the World Stride Music Festival. BHS was also the first school in the state to adopt Sources of Strength, a peer-led wellness program. The Berkley School District is incredibly proud of all of its students and the paths they are forging for themselves.
COMMUNITY & FAMILY SUPPORT
FAMILIES ARE ENCOURAGED TO JOIN THEIR SCHOOL’S SUPPORT GROUPS to stay involved with their child’s school and education. In fact, each school has its own Parent Teacher Association parents can join to have a say in the opportunities offered. Choir, Orchestra, and Instrumental Booster groups support grades 6 through 12, and the Athletic Boosters support high school athletics. The Berkley Education Foundation helps all students in all buildings through teacher innovation grants, student scholarships, elementary enrichment programs, and sending students in 8th grade on college tours.
For more information on the Berkley School District, please contact the administrative office at 248-837-8000 or visit www.berkleyschools.org