Berkeley High School. Photo: Lance Knobel

Berkeley High School is renaming and reconfiguring one of its so-called small schools, the Community Partnerships Academy. From next September, CPA will metamorphose into the Academy of Medical and Public Service (AMPS).

CPA’s current program is distinguished by internships with local non-profit organizations, engineering, biotech, IT, government and health institutions. AMPS will also have an intership program. The revised course offerings include a renewed focus on science with Forensic Science, Chemistry, Biological Health Science, and either an AP science elective, ROP Sports Medicine or Emergency Medical Careers. The Public Service pathway will have a new elective offering, Psychology/Sociology.

“We are extremely pleased with the evolution and new direction of one of our schools and the new pathways that the Academy of Medicine and Public Service will provide,” said Principal Pasquale Scuderi in the statement announcing the change. “With multiple analysts projecting the most notable job growth to be in health care fields over the next decade, we believe that our efforts will yield a curriculum that is relevant and applicable to the world our students will enter into upon graduation.”

Berkeley High students are in one of six “small learning communities”. Academic Choice and Berkeley International High School are the two largest programs. In addition to AMPS, the other schools are the Green Academy (formerly the School of Social Justice and Ecology), Communication Arts and Sciences (CAS), and Arts and Humanities Academy (AHA).

The small schools were established in 2003, with help from a $1 million grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

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Lance Knobel (Berkeleyside co-founder) has been a journalist for nearly 40 years. Much of his career was in business journalism. He was editor-in-chief of both Management Today, the leading business magazine...