Berkley Beat January 26, 2024

What's Inside?

  • VIP Program Visits ATP
  • Thank You, Berkley School Board
  • AMS Students Take a Deep Dive into Literature for Battle of the Books
  • Elementary Families are Invited to African American Read-In
  • Snow Day Decisions - Understanding the Process
  • Kindergarten Information for All: Information Nights, Registration & Schools of Choice
  • Travel Opportunities for 2025: The South Pacific, Japan, France and Spain
  • Did You Know Breakfast is Free for All Students?
  • Berkley Education Foundation’s 15th Annual Off to the Races Tickets On Sale
  • BHS Unified Basketball to Play at LCA - Tickets on Sale Now
  • Calendar Highlights - Orthodox Christmas Day, Orthodox New Year, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
  • How to Subscribe to the District Calendar
  • Join the Berkley Schools Family
  • Sign Up for Text Messages

VIP Program Visits ATP

On Thursday, January 18, the Michigan State Police visited the Berkley Schools Adult Transition Program for a VIP (Vulnerable or Impaired Person) event, providing students with the opportunity to have their fingerprints, photographs, and any information regarding their special needs entered into the MI State Police system. Officer Mike Ransom and volunteers led the event, conducting a Q & A session to address any questions or concerns the students may have had.

Officer Ransom shared the personal importance of the event, as he has a 23-year-old son with autism attending a similar program in Lansing. He explained how the information provided through this process can be used to assist in identifying the VIP should they become lost in the future or find themselves in a situation in which they cannot identify themselves. The students were excited about taking their photos and were very interested in the details surrounding the fingerprinting process. To learn more about the VIP Program and its importance visit the Michigan State Police website.

Thank you, Berkley School Board Members for Serving Our Community

School board members connect essential pieces of the puzzle, bringing together the vision, expertise and passion needed to support public education.

January is Board of Education Recognition Month, and we are grateful for our Board’s dedication and service to the Berkley Schools.

  • Roger Blake, President, re-elected 6 yr term November 3, 2020 (term expires 12/31/26)
  • Mike Tripp, Vice President, re-elected 6 yr term November 8, 2022 (term expires 12/31/28)
  • Keith Logsdon, Treasurer, re-elected 6 yr term November 6, 2018 (term expires 12/31/24)
  • Sarah Mountain, Secretary, elected 6 yr term November 3, 2020 (term expires 12/31/26)
  • Jason Deneau, Trustee, elected 6 yr term November 8, 2022 (term expires 12/31/28)
  • Barrie Frankel, Trustee, elected 6 yr term November 8, 2022 (term expires 12/31/28)
  • Ron Justice, Trustee, re-elected 6 yr term November 6, 2018 (term expires 12/31/24)

AMS Students Take a Deep Dive into Literature for Battle of the Books

On Friday, January 19th, Anderson Middle School 8th graders participated in the annual Battle of the Books competition. Using a tournament style bracket, students competed in teams and were asked detailed questions about nine dystopian books they have read.

All 8th grade students participate in the Battle of the Books through their language arts classes. They form their teams in the beginning of the year during the first reading unit: Dystopian Book Clubs. From there, teams read a total of nine dystopian books:

  • The Giver by Lois Lowry
  • Unwind by Neal Shusterman
  • Scythe by Neal Shusterman
  • The Testing by Joelle Charboneau
  • Legend by Marie Lu
  • Icebreaker by Lian Tanner
  • Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer
  • Lockdown by Alexander Gordon Smith
  • Among the Hidden by Margaret Peterson Haddix

ELA Teacher Erin Burke shared, “Teams enjoy collaborating as they read and really look forward to the fierce competition on the day of the Battle!”

After multiple rounds of the Battle, Team Anteaters (Brigette Conger, Margaret Overton, and Vivien Rittenberry) squared off against Team Reaping Reads (Avery Coleman, Theo Carlson, Sam Dunlap, Paige Rohda, and Cailin Weber) for the final round in the media center. After a tough final round, Team Anteaters pulled out the victory! The winning team members each got candy and a cash prize while the runner-up team members each got candy.

Elementary Families Are Invited to an African American Read-In

Berkley Schools is proud to partner with Oakland Schools to host author Don Tate for this year's African American Read-In: Genius in our Stories. Don Tate is an award-winning illustrator of numerous critically acclaimed books for children, including Swish! The Slam-Dunking, Alley-Ooping, High-Flying Harlem Globetrotters, No Small Potatoes: Junios G. Groves and His Kingdom in Kansas, Whoosh! Lonnie Johnson’s Super-Soaking Stream of Inventions, Hope’s Gift, and many others.

Berkley Schools elementary families are invited to attend a watch party at their elementary school to view Don Tate's presentation as a community from 7-8 pm on February 29. Families are encouraged to arrive 15 minutes before the start of the presentation. All Berkley Schools families who register will receive a free copy of Don Tate's latest book, Jerry Changed the Game.

Important details

  • Genius in Our Stories: 2024 African AmericanRead-In
  • Thursday, February 29, 2024
  • 6:45-8 pm
  • Attend in person at Berkley Schools elementary schools or watch via Zoom from home
  • Register online

Snow Day Decisions - Understanding the Process

Snow Days are fun for the kids but not always fun for families working to find child care. We understand all this and that’s why calling a snow or a cold day is not taken lightly. Everytime the weather looks like it might cause snowy and/or unsafe conditions, Superintendent Scott Francis participates in a phone call, sometimes many calls, with a meteorologist and local superintendents to learn what the prediction is for the weather. Based on the meterologist’s report, the superintendents stay in communication to decide if schools should stay open or close for the safety of the children. The goal is to make this decision as early as possible so families have time to make child care plans.

Here are all the things Superintendent Francis considers when deciding to call a snow day:

  1. The day’s temperature and wind chill predictions, especially when students will be outside walking to and from school
  2. Road safety, if ice and/or snow is in the forecast
  3. Timing of the snow/ice storm and if our maintenance crews, as well as the local municipalities, will be able to clear the streets and sidewalks for our students
  4. If the snow/ice storm will blanket the region and if the two-thirds of our staff who live out of District will be able to make it to work on time
  5. If our staff members who take public transportation/walk will be able to make it to work on time
  6. If ServiCar will be open to transport our students who take the bus every day
  7. If our students who are walking will have safe conditions to arrive at school
  8. If local districts will also close which could close CASA and Oakland Schools Technical Campus, where many of our students spend part of their day
  9. If we stay open, will we have enough students (75%) in attendance to count the day for school funding

In Michigan we know that the weather can be unpredictable. Here in the Berkley Schools, we would like to be open and share learning with our students every day. Sometimes, the weather doesn't cooperate, and a snow or cold day decision is made. As a walking district, with minimal daily busing, we also have to consider both the road conditions and outside conditions for our students who walk to school daily. Hopefully this insight gives you a better understanding of the decision to close school.

Kindergarten Information for All: Information Nights, Registration and Schools of Choice

While it might be hard to believe, it’s time to start thinking about Kindergarten for Fall 2024. In the Berkley School District, Kindergarten and Transitional Kindergarten information nights, enrollment and the Schools of Choice application windows happen in January and February each year. Starting early allows the District to plan staffing, class sizes and support for students before the year ends. If you have an incoming Kindergarten student this is important information to save. If you know someone who has a child who will be five years old by September 1, 2024, please share this information with them!

Kindergarten Information Nights - One School Remaining

Learn about the kindergarten curriculum, how to prepare for the big first day, enrollment options, and Kindergarten/Transitional Kindergarten readiness. All TK and Kindergarten students need to be five years old by September 1, 2024.

During the evening, families will be able to ask the Principal questions, learn more about each school and hear about the #BerkleyDifference. You do not have to be a resident to attend the Kindergarten Information Nights, they are open to all who are interested in the Berkley School District. Learn more about Kindergarten enrollment and readiness by visiting our Enrollment webpage.

  • Angell Elementary School: Rescheduled Monday, January 29, 2024 | 6:30 pm *New Date*

Kindergarten Registration for Berkley School District Residents

Berkley School District resident registration for both Transitional Kindergarten and Kindergarten begins February 5 and runs through February 16, 2024. Registration takes place entirely online, including the required document uploads. Visit the enrollment webpage to begin your registration, verify your residency through our District boundaries document and see what paperwork you need to upload to complete your registration. We can’t wait to meet our new students!

Schools of Choice Window for TK-Grade 5

The Berkley School District Board of Education has approved limited Schools of Choice (Section 105) openings (up to 150 slots) in Kindergarten through 5th grade for Oakland County residents for the 2024-25 school year. Those who are interested in attending the Berkley School District, but who do not live within District boundaries may apply.

Important Schools of Choice details include:

  • Schools of Choice application period is February 12 - March 1, 2024
  • Completed applications must be submitted online
  • No applications will be accepted after the deadline of 5:00 pm, March 1, 2024
  • Applicants will receive email notification of their student's Schools of Choice status mid to late April following the lottery
  • On the application, families will select which school they’d prefer to attend: Angell, Burton, Norup, Pattengill or Rogers
  • For current Schools of Choice families, if you have an incoming TK or Kindergarten student, please be sure to fill out this year’s application as well. Priority is given to siblings.


If you have any questions regarding the upcoming Kindergarten Information nights, please reach out to school secretaries and/or principals.

If you have any questions regarding the enrollment process, please contact the Enrollment Office at 248-837-8026 or visit the Enrollment website.

If you have any questions regarding Schools of Choice, please contact Stephanie Helterbran, Pupil Accounting and Central Enrollment Supervisor, at 248-837-8045 or visit the Schools of Choice website.

Travel Opportunities for 2025

Travel to France & Spain in Spring 2025

Students in grades 6-12 (during the time of travel) are invited to travel to France and Spain during Spring Break 2025. This trip will explore cultural experiences, local immersion, and iconic sights.

If you have any questions, contact Athena Troher at

Travel to The South Pacific & Fiji in June 2025

Students in grades 6-12 (during the time of travel), and family members are invited to join an educational travel experience to The South Pacific and Fiji in June 2025! The trip includes visits to Australia, New Zealand and Fiji. View the itinerary on the EF Tours website.

If you have any questions, contact Athena Troher at

Travel to Japan in Summer 2025

Students in grades 9-12 (during the time of travel) are invited to travel to Japan during the Summer of 2025. This trip will explore cultural experiences, local immersion and iconic sights of the country.

If you have any questions, contact Saundra Rathburn at or Tracy Burroughs at

Did You Know Breakfast is Free for All Students?

The State of Michigan has implemented a new free meal program. This means all students are eligible for a free breakfast and free lunch daily. Check with your school to find out when doors open in the morning.

NEW - Breakfast menus are now on the Food Service website. Check in to see what is for breakfast.

Berkley Education Foundation’s 15th Annual Off to the Races Tickets On Sale

  • March 16, 2024
  • 7-11 pm
  • The Kingsley, Bloomfield Hills, A DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel
  • Tickets on sale now

The Berkley Schools community is invited to the Berkley Education Foundation’s annual fundraising event Off to the Races to support the Berkley School District and fund the #BerkleyDifference.

Off to the Races will take place on Saturday, March 16, from 7-11 pm at The Kingsley, Bloomfield Hills, a DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel. Join the BEF fun: simulated horse racing, owning & naming horses, silent auction (powered by mobile bidding), vacation give-away, connecting with friends, and most importantly, funding the #BerkleyDifference. This year the food theme is desserts and late night snacks.

Tickets on sale.

Don’t miss out on all the fun. Tickets are on sale now: $50/person.

  • Bundle event tickets with Off to the Races (OTTR) Bucks for a discount.
  • OTTR Bucks pay for horse “betting” and beverages at the event.
  • Buy 10 Bucks for $20 at the event, or add them on to an event ticket for a $10 discount.

Horses on sale now.

Buy and name a horse that will race during Off to the Races! 100 regular horses ($30) and 10 golden horses ($250) are available. Horses can be purchased through the “Buy Horses” section of the website. Horses can also be added onto ticket orders! For those who can’t attend the event, buying a horse is an easy way to support the BEF.

Win a vacation.

Don’t miss the Golden Race - the last race of the night. The winner will take home a $2,500 vacation, courtesy of the BEF.

  • The prize is bigger so the stakes are higher: guests can “bet” on this race with a Golden Ticket!
  • $50 Golden Tickets can be added to event tickets or at the door.
  • Must be present to win.

Sponsorships available!

Event sponsorships, race sponsorships and prize sponsorships available for all budgets, ranging from $500 - $10,000. Investing in Off to the Races includes a variety of incentives from social media shoutouts to tickets to the event. Visit the BEF’s Sponsorship Booklet for details.

Interested in sponsoring? Email

BHS Unified Basketball to Play at LCA - Tickets on Sale Now

The Berkley Unified Basketball team is excited to invite the community to come watch the team play at Little Caesars Arena on March 17. The BHS team will play after the Detroit Pistons play their game against the Miami Heat as part of the LCA Unified Night, where three Unified Games take place after the pros play. Tickets include access to both the Pistons and Unified Game, a Unified Showcase t-shirt and proceeds from each ticket will go back to the Berkley Unified Program.

Unified sports joins people with and without disabilities on the same team. It is dedicated to promoting social inclusion through shared sports training and competition experience. It was inspired by a simple principle: training together and playing together is a quick path to friendship and understanding.


  • Sunday, March 17, 2024
  • Detroit Pistons Game: 3-5 pm
  • Unified Night at LCA: 6-8:30 pm
  • Berkley Unified (Game #3) - 8 pm
  • Little Caesars Arena, Detroit
  • Guests can attend the Unified Game only, if they choose


Tickets are mobile tickets and details will be emailed to you immediately after purchase. To access mobile tickets you must login to the Pistons App. Details can be found here:

The Fine Print

This offer cannot be redeemed at LCA Box Office. All tickets are subject to availability and handled on a first-come, first-served basis. All prices on orders received after the indicated deadline are subject to change. Refunds or exchanges will not be issued. Please provide an accurate cell phone number and email address in order to access your tickets. All tickets purchased will be available on your Pistons Account. You will receive an email once they are available.

Calendar Highlights - January

The Berkley Schools printed calendar highlights heritage months, holidays, days of observances and recognition days. In the Berkley Beat, we’ll highlight these days with more information for community learning to help us achieve the District goal of creating an environment where all staff, students and community members feel a sense of belonging.

Orthodox Christmas Day - January 7

Many Orthodox Christians in the United States celebrate Christmas Day on or near January 7 in the Gregorian calendar. It is a time to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, who is believed to be the son of God.

Orthodox Christians are estimated to number between 250 and 300 million people. The largest number of Orthodox Christians live in eastern and southeastern Europe, including Russia and Ukraine. There are also significant Orthodox Christian populations in the Middle East and in Ethiopia.

The difference in the timing of the Christmas celebrations stretches back to 1582, when Pope Gregory XIII, ruled that the Catholic Church should follow a new calendar – called the Gregorian calendar, as it was closer to the solar calendar than the Julian calendar.

Orthodox New Year - January 14

The Orthodox New Year, otherwise known as the Old New Year, is a traditional holiday, celebrated as the start of the New Year in the Julian calendar. In the Gregorian calendar, this holiday falls on January 14th every year. This holiday is observed by Orthodox Christians in the U.S., and all around the world. Learn more on the Holidays Calendar website.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day - January 15

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (MLK Day) is a federal holiday and is observed in honor of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on the third Monday in January. The day commemorates the life and legacy of Dr. King, who was a minister and leader in the modern American civil rights movement. Dr. King is the only non-president to have a national holiday. While Dr. King was assassinated in 1968, MLK Day was not signed into law until 1983 and was first observed in 1986. The official observance was written into all 50 states and federal law by 2000.

Learn more about Dr. King and the years-long process to honor him with a federal holiday in the links below.

The 15 Year Battle for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day - National Museum of African American History & Culture

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day - Britannica

2024 King Holiday - The King Center

Martin Luther King Jr. -

Did you know you can subscribe to our school and District online calendars?

Sync the online calendar to your personal device to ensure you won’t miss a thing!

The District’s online calendar system uses iCal Feeds. To access all the iCal links, visit the District’s Calendar page, and click on the red and white calendar link to the top right of the calendar that’s displayed on the page.

Use this Foxbright tutorial to walk you through connecting our calendars to yours.

Be sure to subscribe to both the District AND your school calendar to ensure you have all important dates in your device.

Join the Berkley Schools Family - Now Hiring!

The Berkley School District is hiring! We are looking for talented individuals to fill a variety of positions. Visit our website to apply and share our postings with your networks!

Now Hiring:

  • School Psychologist - AMS & Pattengill
  • Special Education Paraeducator - 3 Positions - BBB, Norup & Pattengill
  • Assistant Teacher(s) - 6 Open Positions - Berkley Building Blocks
  • Lunch Aides - Pattengill
  • Permanent Substitute Custodian - District
  • Afternoon Custodian - 2 Positions - Angell & BHS
  • Afternoon Custodian Split Position - Norup & Pattengill
  • Food Service Worker - 5 Positions
  • High School Girls Swim and Dive Program Assistant
  • High School Boys Tennis Program Assistant
  • High School JV Girls Tennis Head Coach
  • Middle School Football Coach
  • Middle School Wrestling Head Coach

Sign Up for Text Alerts

Quick Steps to Receive Text Alerts from Berkley Schools

In order to receive text messages from the District or your school, you must opt-in. Text messages will be sent out when the District closes or there is an emergency situation. Texts may also be sent from the District and schools for reminder messages during the day that are not urgent.

In order to receive text messages, every parent/guardian must opt-in each cell phone listed in MISTAR.

Steps to Opt-In

  • Text the word YES (in the message field) to the phone number 67587 (in the To field). Then you are all set!

District News Online

Want to keep up with the latest District news stories? Visit our new News page to see stories, messages from principals, weekly reminders and more. News articles posted on the District News page will also populate each respective school’s News page. Articles that don’t make it into the Beat will also be posted on our News pages, Facebook and Twitter.

Connect with us on our social channels @BerkleySchools