The Berkeley Adult School (BAS) serves as a center for vital programs and services to several high-need groups including the unemployed, underemployed, and disabled, as well as immigrants and the elderly.
At any time of day, morning, noon, or night, teachers are busy serving the more than 2,149 students learning English as a second language at BAS, and the many others earning their high school equivalency diploma, working toward their Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) certification, or updating their computer skills, among other coursework.
Since 2015, the Berkeley Adult School joined a regional consortium with the Peralta Community Colleges and three other adult education programs in our region (Oakland Alameda, Piedmont) to work together to meet the broad range of needs and demand for adult education, academic studies, Career Technical Education (CTE) and the other professional training needs of the broader regional workforce. Years of severe cuts to adult school programs across the state propelled educators and administrators to develop a more coordinated and interconnected continuum of regional adult education programs.
Under the leadership of Principal Tom Reid, an educator with 30 years experience in adult education who joined BUSD right as the Consortium was forming, the Berkeley Adult School continues to be on solid footing and is beginning a twelve-month period of self-study in preparation for the WASC accreditation visit, one year from now. Reid reports that this self-study is well-timed to bring staff together to set goals tied to student outcomes and to nurture our organizational culture focused on student needs.
Positive change is already afoot with with the addition of two new key specialists on site providing direct service to students: a specialist in learning disabilities, and a “Transition Specialist” from Berkeley City College (BCC) focused on helping students continue their education and transition to BCC. There’s also a growing synergy between the Berkeley Adult School and Berkeley High School CTE programs that will make the most of hands-on learning opportunities for high school and adult school students, including those training to become EMTs.
There’s much more to learn about what’s available at the Berkeley Adult School! The school’s recently updated website is here.