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BUSD: Housing, Student Attendance

Important Information from Superintendent Stephens

A message was sent out by Dr. Stephens yesterday via School messenger regarding attendance.  In case you missed it, here it is again –

Student Attendance

California made significant changes to the laws about student attendance in the 2020-2021 school year, and although the new state law does not describe every challenge that families are facing, school attendance continues to be compulsory for students.

Compulsory attendance means that all students are expected to participate in school, including the teacher’s live daily online instruction and the completion of assignments made by the teacher. Both of these elements are expected parts of attending school and, to comply with state law, BUSD will soon implement a new attendance taking system that tracks both daily attendance in live instruction and each student’s ongoing completion of school work.

We recognize that attendance in live online instruction can be interrupted by a variety of factors, including the stability of internet service. We ask that families continue to share with their teachers the reason for an absence from an online session. At the school level, we are required to maintain our attendance communications with families, and this still involves automated attendance calls to the home when a student is absent. We will do our best to limit these calls to absences that we have no information about.

Supplemental support is scheduled by Special Education, English Language Development Teachers, and intervention teachers, and these support classes are also mandatory. 

At the elementary level, Choice Time consists of live enrichment classes like Music, Physical Education, Library, Science, and Gardening & Cooking. Student participation in Choice Time enrichment classes is highly encouraged, but may be viewed as optional. No make-up instruction can be offered for families who opt out of these enrichment classes on an ongoing basis, and periodic participation will affect your child’s learning in these subjects.

Students grades should be based on impartial, consistent observation by the teacher of the quality of the student’s work and his/her mastery of course content and objectives. A student’s understanding and work can be affected by attendance, but attendance itself is not included as part of grading.

Some families may choose to opt out of Zoom instruction entirely, and while BUSD discourages this because of its impact on student learning, it is permissible under state law that a child is considered to be attending school if she or he is only completing the teacher’s assignments. Families who elect to miss all or some Zoom sessions should understand that teachers cannot offer individual tutoring, make-up work, additional assignments, or other support beyond what the teacher provides to all students. Families who choose to opt out of Zoom entirely should contact their school principal. 

In keeping with state law about attendance, families that choose not to participate in either live or assigned school work will be dropped from the district, and will be required to re-enroll to begin attending a BUSD school again. A seat at your current school cannot be saved.

Last Chance for SSC Nominations

You can have a direct impact on your child’s education.  Join the dynamic group of parents, teachers & staff on the School Site Council, working to meet the learning needs of ALL students, improve school climate, and forge a strong Home-School Connection.  The SSC helps write our annual School Site Plan and determines funding priorities for Oxford Elementary.

Please nominate yourself here to be on the Oxford SSC ballot. It’s a two-year term and three parent/guardian positions are open on the council this year.  We meet once a month in the late afternoon.  The deadline for nominations is Friday, Sept. 11.  Contact Beth Rhine if you have questions. The first official meeting with the 2020-2021 Committee will be on October 14. 



Coastal Art & Poetry Contest

California students in kindergarten through 12th grade are invited to submit artwork or poetry with a California coastal or marine theme to the Coastal Art & Poetry Contest, presented by the California Coastal Commission.

Entries can be submitted online until midnight January 31st. For rules, contest flyer, entry form (and helpful links for teachers and students), please visit www.coastal.ca.gov/art-poetry. The instructions, flyer, and entry form are also available in Spanish. (If you need the flyer emailed instead, please let me know.)


Up to ten winners will be selected to win $100 gift certificates to an art supply store (for artists) or book store (for poets). Each winner’s sponsoring teacher will receive a $50 gift certificate for educational supplies, courtesy of Acorn Naturalists. Students may have their work featured on Commission web pages and materials, and winners and honorable mentions will be exhibited throughout the state, as conditions allow.



Bekkah Scharf (she/her/hers)


Public Education Program, California Coastal Commission


Berkeley Housing Information

Jones Berkeley is a new apartment complex at 1080 Jones Street that is now accepting applications for below market rate apartments. There are 16 available units including studios, 1 bedrooms, 2 bedrooms, and 3 bedrooms. They will accept Section 8 and other valid rental assistance program vouchers. 

The property includes:

Fitness Center, Indoor/Outdoor Lounge, Social Lounge, Package Lockers, Indoor Bicyle Parking, On-site Composting, Green Roof Spaces

 You can find information about the property / application process here.  Application due date:  10/13/2020 at 5:00pm.

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