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BHS Small Schools: Green Academy
Note: Green Academy was previously known as School for Social Justice & Ecology
As you consider the various learning community options at Berkeley High, I would highly recommend the Green Academy (formerly SSJE). I have a BHS Sophomore who's in his second year in the Green Academy and we're both very happy with the program and his teachers. The Green Academy is the third-largest learning community at BHS with 285 students and growing, but is small enough that your student will have a real sense of community.
The Green Academy utilizes a Science and Math based curriculum that prepares students for college and the growing green careers field. The course offerings meet all of the UC/CSU requirements, and include AP offerings in Environmental Science, Physics, Calculus, Statistics, American Literature and Composition in the 11th and 12th grades. The Green Academy also offers electives in all four years, which enables students to choose from the myriad of Arts, Humanities and World Languages courses offered at BHS.
I have found my son's teachers at the Green Academy to be dedicated professionals with a real passion for their subject areas and a commitment to creating a more environmentally sustainable and socially just world. I am also very impressed with their availability and willingness to work with me when my student has struggled at times. Please feel free to contact me if you'd like more information, or to go to the Green Academy website @ http://sites.google.com/site/greenacademybhs/ Matthew
Our daughter, currently an eigth grader at MLK, is trying to decide on her second choice of school at Berkeley High School. Her first choice is definitely Academic Choice. Her second choice was BHIS (International School), but she has now begun thinking seriously about the School of Social Justice and Ecology. Are there any parents and/or teens out there who participated in this school last year and can share their experiences with us? My main concern is that I have heard rumors that some of the small schools, including SSJE, might not be as challenging as either Academic Choice or the International School, and, while I have no problem with any direction she might choose to go in, I definitely know that she won't be happy in a program that doesn't challenge her academically. At the same time, I am aware that rumors can be entirely misleading. Can anyone give us some insight into what life at SSJE might be like for a motivated and intellectual incomng ninth-grader? Many thanks! anon.
Great teachers, a committment to community-building, and a strong social-justice component make this a special addition to BHS. Spending four hours a day with the same group of students can difficult, especially in the first semester, but this also forges important bonds between students, and between students and teachers. There is an active parent group that meets monthly. You can contact me for more info. goldhams
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