School Year: 2013-2014
Mentoring Academy’s second year included many additional developments to the school. The Board was formed, the academic program expanded, and more fully developed, budgets and financial processes are created, and an active admissions program was begun. The initial WASC accreditation visit occurred in September of that school year.
The school year began with 14 students. By year’s end, that number had grown to 21 students with a ratio of four female students and 17 male students. Staff was at nine employees with seven teachers and the addition of two administrators.
FIELD TRIPS / EXTRAORDINARY PROGRAMS
The school visited the Berkeley Rep Theater twice with visits in March and April.
Because the Founder and Director of the Academy, John Muster had been a member of the staff at Mount Wilson Observatory in the San Gabriel Mountains above Pasadena, Mentoring Academy obtained time on the 60inch research telescope. The members of the school completed an extensive exploration of the observatory and related labs.
Mentoring Academy’s first Extraordinary Program was in Year 2 when the school visited Washington D.C. and experienced the Vietnam Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial, the Washington Monument, the West Wing of the White House, viewed the Senate and House in session, the FDR Memorial, the National Gallery of Art, and the Space Museum.
The school’s first graduation ceremony consisted of seven graduates. Five were Mentoring Academy students along with the brother and father of one of the students. Although both were accomplished (one chairman of agricultural economics department at UC Davis, the other deep into research in a Davis laboratory) neither had ever obtained their high school degrees. By evaluating their transcripts and life accomplishments, Mentoring Academy was able to grant their high school diplomas and all three graduated together
MOUNT WILSON SPRING OF 2014
MENTORING STUDENTS SPEND TWO NIGHTS OBSERVING STELLAR OBJECTS ON 60 INCH RESEARCH TELESCOPE AT MOUNT WILSON OBSERVATORY
The telescopes at Mt. Wilson Observatory were the center of many of the great astronomical discoveries of the last century. When the 60 inch was constructed in 1908, it was the world’s largest telescope, only being exceeded nine years later by its 100 inch neighbor, completed a few hundred yards away.
Together, they showed us that there were many galaxies (not just the Milky Way); that the Universe is expanding; how stars are formed, and much of what is known today about the various features of our Milky Way galaxy. In addition to observing, the students were given an intimate tour of the100 foot solar telescope and the research facilities.
EXTRA-ORDINARY PROGRAM 2014: WASHINGTON, D.C.
2014 EXTRAORDINARY PROGRAM EXPLORED WASHINGTON D.C., CONGRESS, COURT, HISTORY
As part of the curriculum, Mentoring Academy makes an all-academy Spring Extraordinary Travel course that investigates important historical destinations. In the spring of 2014 Mentoring spent a week in Washington DC exploring monuments, museums, the Court and Congress. Each student was responsible for completing research on an aspect of the nation's capitol and presenting their findings to the whole school.
FIRST GRADUATION INCLUDES FATHER AND TWO SONS
Founding student, Julian Fletcher-Taylor was graduated from Mentoring Academy with his father and older brother, who had never received high school diplomas. Both followed unusual paths to academic success, but for various reasons were never graduated from high school. The father, J. Edward Taylor is a full professor at UC Davis in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics; the brother, Sebastian Fletcher-Taylor is a published researcher inthe physiology laboratory at Davis. Mentoring evaluated their academic, research, and publishing records and concluded that they more than fullfilled graduation requirements. Mentoring Academy granted their long overdue high school diplomas. For a full account of the event, click the following: