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EDITACSTA-BuzzHeinrich2From Buzz Heinrich, Head of School:

I welcome your interest in The Academy and encourage you to visit our home in the Elmwood neighborhood of Berkeley. Throughout its long history, The Academy has encouraged its students to recognize their full potential as learners through a challenging and stimulating curriculum. Our teachers expect high-quality work built upon a foundation of strong skills and a habit of thoughtful inquiry and discovery. Our students delight in creating their best work and understand that in doing so, their self-confidence grows, as does their resourcefulness.

In our vibrant classrooms, our teachers use the Socratic, or Constructivist, approach. Our teachers employ an interplay of questions-hypothesis-answer-refinement-explanation that is a crucial element of learning. It asks that teachers listen carefully to each answer, question again and make certain the answers are supported by evidence and logic. Each student constructs knowledge based on experience, evidence, and the input of other students. This method allows students to develop a sense of ownership in their knowledge and beliefs, and gain confidence in their abilities to solve problems of ever increasing complexity. The Socratic method is uniquely effective at The Academy because we have dedicated and experienced teachers and small classes, giving students many opportunities to refine and express their ideas.

The Academy’s foundation of high expectations is supported by a nurturing and warm community environment. True friendships are built across multiple grades and our students learn how to listen, cooperate and stand firmly on their own beliefs. Laughter and the sounds of happy and engaged students fill our classrooms, halls and playground. I look forward to meeting interested families and students at one of our Open Houses or during a visit to our school.


Buzz has over thirty years of experience teaching and leading independent schools. He has been the Head of School at four schools including Prospect Sierra, which Buzz led for seventeen years. Buzz holds an M.A. in International Relations from the University of Texas, Austin, and a B.A. in American Studies from Connecticut College.

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Why The Academy?

  • Exceptional teachers
  • Small class sizes
  • Challenging academics
  • Prepares students for success beyond 8th grade
  • Students share a love of learning
  • Vibrant and supportive community

Now Accepting Applications

The Academy is now accepting applications for the 2018-19 school year.

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