PTSA President’s Message
2021-2022 School Year
The last year and a half has been the most challenging time I think we have ever experienced as individuals and as a community. My heart is breaking for all of the emotional health issues our students, teachers, and families are coping with, and the loss of learning our students are dealing with. Although BHS has talented administrators, teachers, and staff members, assessing and addressing the fallout of distance learning is new territory for everyone, and the frustration is felt by us all. Our community is suffering in so many ways.
With all these challenges, last year’s BHS Parent Teacher Student Association (a PTA with students) still managed to accomplish a lot. Most significantly, we added student leadership to our executive team, and they did an amazing job! With their effort and dedication, we were able to launch a new PTSA mobile friendly website that has given the PTSA the ability to provide new information and ongoing resources for parents and students.
Our current executive team is committed to several projects as well. This year, we’re establishing a subcommittee to provide advocacy for students with 504s. We will also continue to add content to our website, advocate for equitable math instruction, sponsor student activities while providing creative outlets for them, and have Zoom meetings on topics of interest for our community.
If you want to make things happen at BHS, the PTSA will offer a leg up. The PTSA has an established presence, good relationships with staff members, and resources to utilize. What the PTSA can do now, and in the future, will depend on attracting more involvement this year. We welcome your leadership, participation, and ongoing support for our efforts. We invite you all to help address the needs of our BHS students and their families. Bottomline, we need you to help build back and strengthen our community!
PTSA President 2020-2022
2020-2021 School Year
When I moved to Berkeley in 2010 and my oldest daughter started 2nd grade at a new school, I hit the ground running to get involved in the BAM community. I became a room parent and volunteered in its PTA. Before long, I redesigned and ran BAM’s PTA afterschool program so that every child would have the opportunity to participate in enrichment programs parents brought to the school. It has always been immensely rewarding for me to know that I can make an impact in small ways. I feel it’s my responsibility to help where and when I can.
Now I’m the parent of 2 Berkeley High students and an incoming 9th grader. Over the years, I have participated in many school and district committees. I clearly understand the difficult challenges many families face. I also work for Berkeley Youth Alternatives (BYA) as its Extended Care Coordinator, primarily serving our district’s high risk youth. In a sense, these kids are my other Berkeley family, I know their parents and guardians, and year after year, I meet and communicate with their teachers, and participate in their IEPs. For over 30 years, I have worked in the field of public education providing supplemental services for students of all ages. It’s what I knew I wanted to do when I majored in Child Development in college, and it’s why I went on to get a masters degree in Human Services .
Although I was actively involved in BAM’s PTA and volunteered in King’s PTA, I have never had a PTA executive role before now. I’ll be honest with you, I did not jump at the offer to become the president of the PTSA. But last year’s president was persistent and persuasive, and what broke my resistance was the added “S”. We’re a Parent, Teacher, Student Association. But even though Berkeley High is one of the few PTSAs around, it has never had student executives or student membership before now, or at least not to anyone’s knowledge. I’ve been at this for 8 months now, and I have to say I’m loving it. I am honored to have such an amazing student executive team. They have brought talent, spirit and sincerity to the job of developing their student exec roles. They have worked diligently to help build a website that will bring value to students, parents, guardians, and educators, a social media PTSA presence to expand our reach, and what we hope will become an annual event: the PTSA Black History Month Art Contest. Now, they are exploring ideas to provide more outlets for fellow students to express their creativity and connect with each other. It’s been a meaningful mission for them during this year of distance learning and one that reveals how the PTSA’s resources offer unique paths for parents, students, and educators to work together for the greater good of our school community.
Up until 5 years ago the Berkeley High PTSA was in a state of remission and hanging on to its charter by a thread. What the PTSA managed to accomplish in the past 4 years brought us to the point where we are now. The PTSA is thriving at this moment but will only survive in the years ahead if more people participate. So I welcome all BHS students, families, and educators to join the PTSA and use your voice and your energy to make things happen!!!
Sandra Loving, PTSA President 2020-2022