Berkeley High School: Academy of Medicine & Public Service (AMPS)
- AMPS was formerly know as Community Partnerships Academy (CPA)
Re: How can I get more information about the BHS small schools?
CPA has been great for our own bright but undisciplined child. The classes have been challenging and every freshman core class can be taken as a honors option for even more challenge. Students can take AP classes in the big school or take college credit classes at Vista through a special partnership. The teachers have generally been quite good - our son's math teacher is one of the major authors of the IMP project based math curriculum and is wonderful - at teaching and at providing structured feedback for students and parents (homework packets and graded and then must be signed by parents every week!!). And, CPA has one of the best freshman seminar history teachers at BHS.
In addition to providing academic rigor, CPA really sees school as a partnership between teachers, administration, parents, and students. Most teachers are very responsive and the administrative staff, especially Flora Russ is AMAZING. I don't think its possible for a kid to fall through the cracks and the small community environment also helps to counter the ''big school'' distractions. Our son also likes the community involvement emphasis. And we are excited about some of the internship possibilities - ranging from Children's Hospital where students as observers do the same rotation as 3rd year medical students as well as volunteer - being lawyers in the binding peer Youth Court based in Oakland -KMEL Radio - and the Cheeseboard (this was a student interested in culinary school). I think the real world connection helps students visualize the ''why'' of school and makes classwork more relevant - also helps students get a sense of what type of professions/careers they may be interested in.
CPA is in its first year as a small school - this is a great opportunity to be part of its evolution. The CPA website should be up and running soon - check it out - in addition to general info - it's going to have weekly homework assignments!!!