The Berkeley Buzz

The Official Parent Newsletter of SIG-Berkeley

First Friday Notes

We have had an excellent week here at SIG Berkeley. We currently have 113 residential students and 20 commuters participating in classes, activities, study tutorials, and friendship building. We thank all of you for allowing us to spend time with your children this summer and we hope they will find it fun and exciting as well as educationally beneficial. Here at SIG we pride ourselves on addressing the various needs of our students including academic enrichment, social development, and emotional intelligence. Our deans come from a variety of fields with a wealth of expertise including teaching, counseling, and coaching. We invite parents who have questions and concerns to call us directly at 510-642-3390. --Dr. Denise Drain, Site Director


UpComing Activities: July 21 - 27, 2013

During the evenings this coming week we will all participate in a number of activities. On Sunday, our students will be entertained by a group: Comedy Sports. Monday, our students will participate in Counselor Activities in which their counselors design and lead an activity the students will enjoy. On Tuesday we have the SIG Mini-Olympics. Wednesday, our staff faces off with the seniors in the Staff Brain Bowl. Students always look forward to our Thursday activity: SIG Iron Chef led by Wendy, our Student Activities Dean. Friday is Casino Night and Saturday will be our next field trip: Six Flags Discovery Kingdom. We have a busy week planned and know your student will be excited to tell you about their activities when they return home.

Field Trips for Residential and Extended Commuter Students--Saturday, July 20th

Saturday is our first field trip. Our students begin their morning with breakfast; then board buses to the California Academy of Science where they can walk on a living roof, lift off in the all-digital planetarium, explore natural history, wander through a 4-story rain forest, "dive" into the 500,000 gallon aquarium, and visit the remote islands of Madagascar and the Galapagos.

After their visit to the Science Academy, they will head to Fisherman's Wharf where they will don their jackets to enjoy lunch, shopping, and sightseeing. They will be entertained by street performers such as magicians, mimes, musicians, jugglers, clowns and fire-eaters. Students will have an opportunity to shop in some of the many unique shops along the wharf.

At the wharf, there will be spectacular views of Alcatraz and Angel Island and a chance to meet some of the many sea lions who make their homes at the wharf. You can see them cavorting, eating and basking in the sun--and can hear them barking from blocks away.


Senior Priviledges

We started introducing Senior Privileges. As students continue to show responsible behavior and punctuality, they will continue to earn more privileges. As director, my main concern is your child's safety. Behaviors that create unsafe situations will result in a student losing his/her senior privileges. We all want our students to become more independent. However, if your child loses his/her privileges, we will notify you for your assistance in motivating your child to honor the guidelines of the program.


Tomorrow (Saturday), seniors will have their first dinner off campus. They will be given money and will be escorted by their counselors to a site off campus to purchase their dinner. After dinner, we have planned a special Senior Only movie (PG rated) for their entertainment. Sunday is a day they can sleep in and have some extra "free time" before beginning their scheduled activities.


Beginning Monday, seniors will walk with their counselors to breakfast where they will sign up for recreation hour activities and get directions for the day. They will be allowed to go to their classes on their own, checking in with their counselors after lunch for announcements from the student newsletter (The SIGnal) and before dinner at Residential Time. During the evening hours, they will be escorted to their tutorials and events by their counselors. We consider this a safety issue and do not feel comfortable allowing students to be unescorted after dark.



Mark Your Calendars

We at SIG would like to invite you to two upcoming events: Our Parent Visitation Day and the Closing Ceremony.


Parent Visitation Day

We invite you and your student to attend the morning portion of Parent Visitation Day (on July 28th) in the Rec Room. From 9:00am to 11:00am, you will have the opportunity to meet your student’s instructors at our Parent-Teacher Meet and Greet and learn about your child’s academic experience with SIG. Please note: For administrative and organizational reasons, please do not arrive before 9:00am.

You are welcome to take your child off campus for the day and enjoy some of the local sites. Please return your child to campus by 5:30pm, in time for dinner and the evening activities.

If you are unable to join us this day, please don’t worry! We have plenty of activities scheduled to entertain the students on campus throughout the day.



Closing Ceremony

The Closing Ceremony is on August 3rd at 9:00 am at Anna Head Auditorium. At the Closing Ceremony, you will get to hear about your child’s unique, three-week SIG experience from the Director, the Residential Dean, the Academic Dean, the Student Activities Dean, and other members of our residential and administrative staff. Please join us to celebrate the experiences, accomplishments, and memories of your child’s time with us.


Protocol for Parent Visits to Campus

Many parents have asked about stopping by to see their children or dropping off things for the students. SIG policy states that parents are not allowed in the dorm or the classrooms for safety reasons. Parents should come to the SIG office directly. We are located in the lower level of Towle Hall. We will have a counselor bring your child to the office so you may talk to them or sign them out. If you want to take your child off campus, you need to show identification and sign out your child. If you want your child to leave with someone other than a parent or guardian, you must have that person listed in our system. If you would like to add someone to your pick-up list, please send us an email or a written note listing the people who are allowed to pick up your child.