On Saturday, Dec. 15, more than 15 Berkeley community stakeholders met for a retreat at Berkeley Technology Academy to discuss the next eight months of strategic action planning to change the campus culture to reflect more of the school’s mission with Village Connect, a San Leandro based non-profit.
“I just think it’s great that so many people showed up from so many sectors of this school community. Especially given just how small the school is and how challenged the student body and the families of those students are. These are some of the most disadvantaged schools and families in this area. The fact that you had this many people show up from the broader community to actually affect positive change here for ( the students) is very inspiring as a teacher is in¬credibly inspiring,” said Fred Werner, teacher.
Berkeley Technology Academy, founded in a holistic philosophy education is as an alternative school designed to meet the needs of students aged 16- 18 years old, who may have chal¬lenges with attending Berkeley High School as stated on the school website. B-Tech, emphasizes the importance of healthy relationships between staff and students, as well as families and community members in building a complete education. The curriculum focuses on UC/ CSU “A-G” requirements for graduation and students are held to rigorous college-preparatory academic standards. It’s a great move to partner with a Village Connect to re-imagine and re-emphasize the roots of the school during the time of looming budget cuts within the Berkeley Unified School District. The school has also had a change in leadership with the newly appointed principal Heidi Weber.
“How can we expect a student to excel academically if their life is disarray?” said founder Gaylon Logan of Village Connect.
Village Connect believes that it takes a whole village to raise a child and a family. Their mission statement is “to build the capacity of people to become more self-aware and self-directed resulting in sustainable positive transformation.”
During the retreat, teachers, students and community partners broke into smaller groups to assess the assets of BTA culture and the areas that can improve to meet the needs of its students. B-Tech provided breakfast and lunch during the retreat. More than five students were present