Berkley Beat February 2, 2024

What's Inside?

  • AMS Students Learn About the Holocaust in Honor of Holocaust Remembrance Day
  • BHS Basketball Teacher Appreciation Night
  • 63 Artists Participated in PTSA Reflections Art Contest - 16 Advance to State Level
  • Bond Work Update - January
  • Elementary Families are Invited to African American Read-In
  • Community is Invited to a Community Chat with Superintendent Francis
  • Kindergarten Information for All: Registration Begins Next Week & Schools of Choice
  • Travel Opportunities for 2025: The South Pacific, Japan, France and Spain
  • 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 - Black History Month & Groundhog Day
  • How to Subscribe to the District Calendar
  • Join the Berkley Schools Family
  • Sign Up for Text Messages

AMS Students Learn About the Holocaust in Honor of Holocaust Remembrance Day

On Friday, January 26, Anderson Middle School students learned about International Holocaust Remembrance Day, a day that commemorates the date when the Auschwitz concentration camp was liberated in 1945. During the morning events, students participated in lessons in Homeroom in recognition of Holocaust Remembrance Day.

6th grade students watched several documentaries that contained historical events and personal stories from Holocaust survivors and veterans who liberated the camps. They also completed a lesson learning about the Holocaust. Principal Mike Ross shared, “There were certainly parts of these documentaries that were emotional as students listened to the experiences of survivors and liberators along with seeing images and videos showing the horrific conditions humans were subjected to during this dark period in history.”

The 7th grade lesson focused more on antisemitism and why a tragedy of this level was allowed to occur. Students learned about propaganda, scapegoating, and fear tactics used by the Nazis that influenced so many to be bystanders. The 7th grade lesson also focused on Upstanders, those who resisted the Nazi regime and took action to help save those targeted for extermination.

8th graders listened to guest speaker, Linda Cohen, author of the book, Sarinka, which is based on the story of Ms. Cohen’s parents who were both Holocaust survivors. She shared how both of her parents escaped and lived in hiding from the Nazis for years until they were allowed refugee status in the United States and who helped them escape. Ms. Cohen also shared with students what it was like to grow up as a child of Holocaust survivors. At the end of her presentation, Ms. Cohen stressed how dangerous hate can be and how important it is that people get to know each other and accept their differences. Mr. Ross shared, “At a time when antisemitism is elevated around the world, it is more important than ever to educate our students on our past so that these atrocities never happen again and we can work towards living in a world of acceptance and unity.”

After the morning’s lesson, students wrote a reflection of the day’s events in their social studies classes. In addition, Media Specialist Rachel Aytes put together a reading list and book talk about the Holocaust and students were encouraged to check out books from the Media Center to learn more.

BHS Basketball Teacher Appreciation Night

On January 30, Berkley High School Freshman, JV and Varsity girls basketball teams hosted a Teacher Appreciation Event where student-athletes had the opportunity to personally invite and express gratitude to educators who have positively impacted their academic journeys as students and players. Girls Basketball Coach Clay Shaver shared the importance of this event and its theme around "OPPORTUNITY." He highlighted the significance of seizing the chance to convey appreciation.

During the event players went one by one publicly expressing their gratitude for their chosen educator with gifts and heartfelt words. Coach Shaver gave special thanks to Athletic Director Taylor Horn and parent volunteer Angie Church for their supportive roles in handling the event logistics. Church, a dedicated parent volunteer, emphasized the importance of showing gratitude, sharing, "Even when we appreciate people in our lives, we don't always say it."

The event showcased a commitment to recognizing and appreciating the vital role educators play in the lives of student-athletes. Coach Shaver emphasized this connection, saying, "Since high school athletics is an extension of the classroom, recognizing the educators as part of 'our team' was the obvious piece."

63 Artists Participated in PTSA Reflections Art Contest - 16 Advance to State Level

This year, the Berkley Area PTSA Council participated in the 2023-24 National PTA Reflections art contest. The goal of the program is participation in and appreciation for the arts. This year’s Reflections theme was “I am hopeful because…” Students of all ages were invited to create visual art, dance or literature connected to the theme. Berkley PTAs used independent judges to evaluate all entries and chose 16 to move on to the State level.

On Wednesday, January 31, all artists who submitted their work were invited to a Reflections celebration at Berkey High School. 120 guests including 30 artists were in attendance to celebrate the creativity of Berkley Schools students.

In total, 63 students submitted for judging at the local level in the categories of literature, visual arts and dance.

Congratulations to the following students who were moved on to the State level judging:



  • Gigi Karavouzis: 4th grade, “My Place”

Visual Arts

  • Penelope Levine, 1st grade, “Love, Care, Togetherness”
  • Zoe McKeogh, 5th grade, “Wishing”
  • Lucy Meloche, 2nd grade, “The Joy of Nature”
  • Clare Pinch, 1st grade, “Dreams”
  • Phoebe Price, 3rd grade, “Let it Grow”



  • Maeve Roesser, 6th grade, “The Green Hill”

Visual Arts

  • Oli Blake, 8th grade, “I Am Hope for What The Next Generation Can Create”


Visual Arts

  • Chance Eaton, 5th grade, “Sports are Awesome!”
  • Marlee Eaton, 2nd grade, “Teachers and Friends”



  • Sophia Banyai, 4th grade, “That's Hope To Me”
  • Sawyer Sabo, 4th grade, “Wish Away”
  • Layla Watteny, 4th grade, “H.O.P.E.”

Visual Arts

  • Charlotte MacDonald, 5th grade, “A New Man”


  • Peyton Peasley, 5th grade, “Keep Climbing”
  • Katarina Rudowyj, 2nd grade, “Sunshine Sprinkles Down”

The 2024-2025 Reflections theme will be announced this spring and will include a photography category in addition to visual arts, dance and literature.

Bond Work & Sinking Fund Project Update: January 2024

With the passing of the August 2023 Bond, Berkley Schools teams are busy planning for upcoming construction projects. The Bond passage also allowed the District to dedicate Sinking Fund dollars to additional projects outside of the Bond scope to continue the work of updating facilities.

These monthly Bond & Sinking Fund updates will be maintained on the District’s website. See below for updates on the Phase 1 projects that are taking place in 2024 and 2025.

Project Updates


District-wide Furniture Purchase - Bond

Design teams are meeting to plan for a District-wide classroom and media center furniture upgrade in Fall 2024. The District vendor, MovePlan completed the inventory of all District classroom and media center furniture. MovePlan assessed the condition of all furniture and assigned a grade to each piece. Now they are building a database for the District to utilize to sell, donate or dispose of the existing furniture. Design teams also continue to meet to talk about feedback from the pilot classrooms to narrow down the selections for the final furniture purchase. Feedback meetings will continue through February.

Hurley Field Turf, Track, Lights & Parking - Bond & Sinking Fund

Phase 1 of the Hurley Field construction is part of a larger Bond and Sinking Fund project. It includes: turf, track, relocating discus and shot put, expanded parking and new lighting.

Parking update: A District team continues to refine plans for the expanding parking at Anderson with the City of Berkley and Spalding DeDecker (engineering and surveying firm). The new plans will redesign entrance and exit points, a drop off and pick up outer loop and doubling the available parking spaces. This work will be completed during the track/turf construction this spring and summer.

The BHS spring track and field season will take place at Ferndale High School while construction happens at Hurley Field.

Phase 1 (Burton, Pattengill, BHS) - Bond

Design team meetings are complete for the Berkley High School’s Performing Arts and Science teams as well as the Burton and Pattengill new multi-purpose/cafeteria additions. The architects will now take feedback from the design teams and create refined drawings and plans as the team gets closer to the bidding phase.

The District Field House design team has one meeting left to share needs and design ideas for the new field house. Design teams consist of building staff, District staff, architects and construction management team. These teams are led by Stantec, the District’s architects, and a core team of Berkley Schools Administrative staff.

Maintenance Building - Sinking Fund

The new Maintenance building will be located at the Administrative Offices site in Oak Park, at the end of the parking lot, just north of the Norup playground. The design drawings have gone out to bid. The Bond Maintenance building team will review the bids once the bid window is closed and select the lowest qualified bidders. After the bidders are selected, they will be presented to the Board of Education for approval so work can begin. The timeline includes the building being completed by late Fall 2024.

Traffic Flow - Sinking Fund

The District engaged with Spalding DeDecker to complete a traffic study at Burton, Pattengill and Rogers to see if any additional parking or parking flow could be achieved. The design teams are reviewing the proposals and renderings with building staff.

Baseball/Softball Fields - Sinking Fund

The District will be adding a new home varsity softball field on the Tyler Field, just north of Berkley Building Blocks. The design team, along with Foresite Design, is working on design details and a construction timeline. This new varsity field will include lights, dugouts, concession area and a permanent outfield fence. The work will also include an outdoor restroom location near the field. An additional softball/baseball practice field will be added to Tyler Field in coordination with the City of Oak Park as well.

Planning and discussions are continuing for baseball field upgrades.

Technology - Bond

New interactive flat panels and new classroom sound systems have been installed in all classrooms at Burton and Pattengill. This is the first wave of new Bond technology to be installed. Next up, new clocks will be installed at both buildings during Mid-Winter Break. The Technology team is working with the District vendor to plan out the timeline for the rest of the school installations as well.

Weekly Meetings

The District teams participate in weekly meetings with Stantec (architecture, engineering, design), McCarthy & Smith (construction management), and SES (engineering and mechanical systems) to plan timelines of construction, prepare bid documents, as well as pour over details of the scopes of work. Each project has a standard sequence of work: design phase, project cost estimating, bidding for contractors, awarding contracts, construction phase (demolition and building) and finally, project completion.

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 American/Read-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

Community is Invited to a Community Chat with Superintendent Francis

Superintendent Scott Francis will host community chats this semester. Community members are invited to share thoughts about the Berkley School District at this informal community forum on the following dates:

  • Thursday, February 15, 8:30-9:30 am. Topic: Bond & Sinking Fund Facility Updates
  • Monday, May 20, 5:30-6:30 pm. Topic: TBD

All Community Chat events will be held at the Berkley Schools Administrative Offices, 14501 Talbot, Oak Park. Refreshments will be provided.

Kindergarten Information for All: 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 Registration for Berkley School District Residents - Begins Next Week

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 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

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 - February

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.

Black History Month

Black History Month is an annual celebration of achievements by African Americans and a time for recognizing their central role in U.S. history. Also known as African American History Month, the event grew out of “Negro History Week,” the brainchild of noted historian Carter G. Woodson and other prominent African Americans. Since 1976, every U.S. president has officially designated the month of February as Black History Month.

Other countries around the world, including Canada and the United Kingdom, also devote a month to celebrating Black history. Read more on the origins of Black History Month on the History Channel website.

Take time to learn more about Black History and attend events by visiting the following resources:

Groundhog Day

Groundhog Day is a tradition observed in the United States and Canada on February 2 of every year. It derives from the Pennsylvania Dutch superstition that if a groundhog emerges from its burrow on this day and sees its shadow, it will retreat to its den and winter will go on for six more weeks; if it does not see its shadow, spring will arrive early.

Since 1887 a groundhog in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, has been the center of a staged appearance each February 2. In what has become a media event, the groundhog “Punxsutawney Phil” is the center of attention of television weathermen and newspaper photographers.

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:

  • Middle School Main Office Secretary - Norup
  • 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 - Angell
  • 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