BAM offers a rigorous and inspiring curriculum in arts and academics. The school community values learning experiences in all domains, and consistently pledges funds and instructional time to incorporate visual arts, performing arts, and physical education into a comprehensive education program.

BAM teachers recognize the diversity of learners in each classroom, and have committed to ongoing professional development to promote academic achievement for all students. We invest in programs, materials and services to ensure this outcome. At BAM, you will discover:

  • Highly trained literacy coaches who provide extra support to students and ongoing professional development for teachers
  • On-site counselors to support the social-emotional needs of students and families
  • Arts specialists who provide visual and performing arts instruction
  • PE coaches who support games at recess and physical education for all students
  • A Universal Learning Support Systems (ULSS) specialist who provides additional support for struggling students
  • Committed families, students and staff who work together to create an lively and engaged learning community!


In 2010-2011, BUSD implemented the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project (TCRWP) in every elementary school.  This research-based literacy program builds on each child’s strengths as a reader to help them access more interesting texts. Components of our literacy program include one on one and small group guided reading, easily accessible “just right books” read every day in class and sent home every night, robust classroom libraries, and trained UC tutors in the after school program. Leveled book boxes and lists are available to help students and parents find “just right” books.  Additional writing and spelling instructional components support reading proficiency.

Teachers assess a student’s reading level regularly and report it three times a year to parents on the report card. Literacy specialists in every elementary school team teach in classrooms, work with small groups of students, and monitor student progress toward grade level proficiency. Parent liaisons reach out to families to help support literacy development in the home.


BAM uses District-adopted materials to support standards-based instruction in math, science and social studies based on the Common Core State Standards. More info here!


1st-5th graders at BAM have science classes with a dedicated science teacher. Check out her blog here!


Students will experience productions that draw on all genres, build self-confidence and pride, and provide an integrated/cross disciplinary approach to the arts. Students will know theory, history, skill, practice and discipline related to the art form; famous artists and art history; “self as artist”; and aesthetic valuing. Example of arts enrichment:

  • Performing Arts Workshops: 1st-5th one semester; K two semesters
  • Visual Arts: K-5th 10 weeks with KALA instructor
  • Music: 1st-5th all year (BUSD music program). 4th/5th graders get instrumental music instruction twice a week
  • Gardening: K-5 (see below for more information)


BAM LIBRARIAN: Mardawn Wendt

Library hours: 9 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  All classes visit the library every week.

Library Online: The BAM Library website includes an online catalog as well as links to other fun and educational resources. Your students can access many ebooks and audiobooks from the website as well.

Check-Out Policies:

TK and Kinder choose one book per week.  1st and 2nd graders get two books.  3rd graders get three.  4th and 5th grades can have up to 5 books per week.

Overdue notices are sent by email occasionally.  There are no late fines.  If your child has lost a book, the replacement cost is listed on the overdue notice.  You may pay that amount or replace the book yourself.  About nine times out of ten, the books are usually somewhere in the house. It’s worth it to take the time to look for these books with your children. If you have paid for a book that is found, we will gladly return your money if it shows up within a month or so.


 BAM students engage in hands-on learning experiences in our gardens every other week, guided by a dedicated garden teacher. They immerse themselves in activities such as planting, harvesting, and weeding, fostering a deeper connection with nature. Students receive a taste test every class. Some examples include black eyed peas, jicama salsa, and garden tacos!

The vibrancy and diversity of our garden spaces are a testament to the  dedication of Ms. Kate Obenour, who initiated many of these projects during her children’s time at our school. Her enduring commitment to gardening at BAM has left an incredible mark on our community. You may see her at the front entrance of our school or in the poetry garden weeding or planting with a smile! 

If you’d like to learn more about the Cooking & Gardening Program within BUSD please check out our website here

Our school boasts a variety of garden spaces designed to cater to different themes and interests.

🌱Main Garden: The heart of our gardening program, the main vegetable garden serves as a multifunctional space. Here, students cultivate edibles, flowers, and instructional plants while also utilizing it as our primary teaching area. 

🪻Allen Ginsberg Memorial Poetry Garden: The BAM Allen Ginsberg Memorial Poetry Garden at the corner of Milvia & Lincoln streets is always open to the public.  In addition to flowers, it also is home to fish and frogs in the small pond.

🌼Sensory Plant Garden: Located on the TK Deck, this area features small beds dedicated to sensory plants and flowers. Here our students learn about the life cycles of plants, characteristics, adaptations and more. 

🌿California Native Garden: During the 2022-2023 academic year, the BAM Green Team revamped and replanted the raised beds in the kindergarten yard. These beds now showcase a selection of California Native Plants.

🌻 Berkeley Garden Club Natural Dye Plant Beds: In collaboration with the Berkeley Garden Club, the raised beds on Lincoln Street underwent a transformation in the 2023-2024 school year. Berkeley Garden Club thoughtfully picked plants to peak students’ interest. These beds now feature rainbow-ordered natural dye plants and pollinator-friendly species. BAM is truly thankful for their ongoing work in maintaining this space. Don’t forget to show your appreciation if you see them in the garden. Discover more about the Berkeley Garden Club’s fantastic projects here: Berkeley Garden Club.