Half of Berkeley High School’s 3,000 students will be in “small schools” of 200 to 250 pupils by the 2005-2006 school year, according to a much-anticipated reform package unveiled at the Board of Education meeting Wednesday night.
The document, developed by 17 administrators, parents, teachers, students and union officials known as the Small Schools Advisory Committee, lays out an application process for parents and teachers interested in creating a small school and recommends a new administrative structure for the revamped high school.
Under the policy, still in draft form, small schools could have a specific theme or function as a smaller version of the high school. They would be required to develop accountability measures, recruit a racially diverse student body and provide students with a “passport” so they could take courses outside the small school.
Board members raised a number of concerns around admissions policies and the legality of mandating a racially diverse student body.
The advisory committee will meet next week to discuss possible changes and, if all goes according to schedule, the board will take a formal vote on the policy May 21.
The policy, in its draft form, can be viewed on the Berkeley Unified School District’s Web site, www.berkeley.k12.ca.us.