School Year: 2015-2016

After the previous year of transition, Mentoring Academy’s 4th year was a solid year of growth and curriculum. Classes were in place that were modular in nature and would follow the U.C. System’s A-G requirements. During the year, Mentoring Academy was approved for its 501(c)3 federal non-profit tax exempt status, which became retroactive to the school’s beginning in 2012.

 

STATISTICS

The 2015-2016 school year began with 19 students total with 6 female students and 13 male students. Of the 19, two were 8th graders. By mid school year, the school had lost one student but gained four more. By the end of the school year, an additional two students, as 7th graders, were enrolled to give them a head start on 8th grade in the fall. By school’s end, the student enrollment was at 24.

 

Staff for the 2015-2016 year consisted of two administrators, seven teachers, and John Muster as director/teacher. One teacher went on hiatus in the second half of the year to complete his degree in Europe so two different mathematics replacement teachers were employed. Ultimately, one was retained and continued on staff for the next year along with the other returning teacher back from Europe.

 

FIELD TRIPS / EXTRAORDINARY PROGRAMS

The school year began with time at the Venture Retreat near Pescadero as a chance for students and teachers to get to know each other before the start of the school year. Bonding exercises and assessments were used along with a very active and successful whale watching trip in the Monterey Bay. Also on the agenda, hiking at Butano State Park, a visit to the beach and tide pools, and apple and strawberry picking on a farm.

 

Field trips included a trip to the John Lewis glass factory for Museum Day and two trips to the Berkeley Rep theater for “The Hypocrites’ Pirates of Penzance” and “Aubergine”.

 

For the Extraordinary program, the students visited the Mt. Wilson Observatory and the Huntington Museum in Southern California in November of 2015. Hands-on observational viewing was made though their 60-inch and 100-inch telescopes.

 

In April of 2016, the students visited Costa Rica to enrich themselves in Latin America. Cultural exchanges with Costa Ricans were made through dance, music, and food. Emphasis was on an educational agenda rather than a tourist approach with the school pairing up with Eco-Teach for its itinerary. Students and teachers worked with the sea turtles on the Osa Peninsula, replanted mangroves, visited an all natural dairy farm in Providencia, met with the indigenous Boruca tribe, toured a coffee plantation, and much more.

 

The school finished a very active year with a camping retreat to the Portola Redwoods State Park where students relaxed, cooked, and continued to bond with their peers.

 

CURRICULUM

In 2015, Mentoring Academy offered a full range of courses that complied with the UC system’s A-G requirements. For Science, Chemistry, Astronomy, and more were taught. For the Arts, a comprehensive Digital Arts course. In English, classes for the 8th grade along with high school age. In the Foreign Languages, French and Japanese were taught. Classes were also offered for Health, History, Physical Education, Mathematics, College Prep, and Bay Area Cultures.

 

COMMUNITY SERVICE

Mentoring Academy provided the prepping, cooking, serving, and cleaning for the hungry and homeless during a couple Friday Dinners, a regular community service hosted in the same church that the school uses.

 

MAPS

The 2014/2015 year included the formation of MAPs, the Mentoring Academy Parents group. The addition of this parent group allowed the parents of the students, along with the staff, to have a more active role in the school to benefit the students with fundraising and other events. Helen Stavropoulos was chosen as the first president of the group.

 

75-5 BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION

In May, Mentoring Academy celebrated the 75th birthday of John Muster along with the 5th anniversary of the school with an elaborate party. It was a surprise party for John as well with students, parents, and staff able to surprise him after a year long planning process. Music, speeches, and food were part of the celebration and it was a memorable day.

 

GRADUATES

For Year 4, Mentoring Academy had six graduates; two from the 8th grade and four from high school. The graduates were accepted by U.C. Santa Cruz, Northwestern, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, University of Southern Oregon.

AUTUMN 2015

The Fall 2015 semester has begun at Mentoring Academy. Located in Oakland, California, Mentoring Academy is the Bay Area High School designed to meet the unique needs of individual students by uniting the power of personal mentoring with the most effective, individualized courses available today. Learn more at www.mentoringacademy.org

AFRICAN MASKS

A selection of Mentoring Academy Director John Muster's African Masks.  Located in Oakland, California, Mentoring Academy is the Bay Area High School designed to meet the unique needs of individual students by uniting the power of personal mentoring with the most effective, individualized courses available today. Learn more at www.mentoringacademy.org

IDENTITY MASKS

Identity Masks from Mentor Karen Rhein's Health class. Located in Oakland, California, Mentoring Academy is the Bay Area High School designed to meet the unique needs of individual students by uniting the power of personal mentoring with the most effective, individualized courses available today. Learn more at www.mentoringacademy.org

HALLOWEEN SEASON

The Halloween Season is in the air at Mentoring Academy.  Located in Oakland, California, Mentoring Academy is the Bay Area High School designed to meet the unique needs of individual students by uniting the power of personal mentoring with the most effective, individualized courses available today. Learn more at www.mentoringacademy.org

PORTRAITS

In the Digital Arts class, students are learning to using digital cameras and experiment with Portraits.  Located in Oakland, California, Mentoring Academy is the Bay Area High School designed to meet the unique needs of individual students by uniting the power of personal mentoring with the most effective, individualized courses available today. Learn more at www.mentoringacademy.org

DIGITAL ARTS

In the Digital Arts class, students learn to use a variety of computer software along with expressing themselves creatively. Currently, students are learning how to use a digital camera.

 

Mentoring Academy is the Bay Area High School designed to meet the unique needs of individual students by uniting the power of personal mentoring with the most effective, individualized courses available today. Learn more at www.mentoringacademy.org

TRAVELING TO MT. WILSON

In November, Mentoring Academy traveled down to Southern California to Mt. Wilson to visit the telescopes at the observatory. In this first slideshow, we see the Students & Staff venture on up the mountains to their destination.

 

More slideshows each day this week showing their Adventures to Mt. Wilson and more featuring many photos by the students themselves. Enjoy!

THE HUNTINGTON

While in Southern California, the Mentoring Academy students made a visit to the Huntington, a unique blend of a library, artworks, and botanical garden. Here are some of the works from the library.

 

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BOTANICAL GARDENS

The Huntington also features a very impressive Botanical Gardens, which gave many of the students an opportunity to take photos. Here is a slideshow of those best photos.

LA CANADA INN

While on the retreat to the Mt. Wilson observatories, the students and staff stayed at the La Canada Inn. Here is a look at their stay there including activities and BBQing.

MT. WILSON TELESCOPES

There are several telescopes at Mt. Wilson that the Mentoring students had access to including a 60-inch and a 100-inch scope. Students were able to view and even photograph such celestial objects as Orion. Here are some images from a couple of their viewing nights.

EINSTEIN'S FOOTSTEPS

Albert Einstein had made a visit to Mt. Wilson during his lifetime and the Mentoring students got a chance to follow in his footsteps....and sit in his chair.

 

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JOHN LEWIS GLASS

In February, Mentoring Academy visited John Lewis Glass in Oakland to see how glass is made, shaped, and used to create anything from works of art to industrial projects.

WINTER QUARTER AT MENTORING

As we reach the end of the Winter season, we look back at some of the images from the past few months.

OCTOBER COMMUNITY DINNER

Describe your image.

1/23

On October 1st, 2015, Students, Parents, and Teachers gathered at Mentoring Academy for the first Community Dinner of the year. See the slide show  for a look at the night.