An academy for learners in the 6th-12th grade
"I would like to take a moment to again thank [Mr. K and Mrs. B] for such wonderful dedication to making WGA happen. You are truly a blessing. [My son's] current success is directly attributable to the efforts of both of you. You’ve found what makes [my son] tick academically and his mother and I cannot thank you enough."
-Patrick Vadnais, parent
"In school, teachers have their own lesson plans set for each day, each week & each month. The students never get to choose what they do & do not learn. That's how schooling has been ever since kindergarten. At WGA, even though there is a lesson plan, we can learn new things each day based on what we want to learn."
"After the 6th grade, public schools should cut [all unnecessary classes] because at this point most people have an idea of what they want to do for a living. Middle school should be the years that help you figure out what it is you want to do. Then high school should helping you actually help you prepare for college. WGA is preparing me for college."
-Ryan H., student
"I've been able to learn Photoshop and Java here and other schools couldn't give me that sort of help so I'm thankful that they can listen to me and what I have to say in order to help me learn in a better way."
-Curtis V., student
"I've watched Sarah work with my son and the other students after school on many occasions and I believe she does an outstanding job.
Last year was a difficult year for my son. The transition from culture in elementary school to middle school was with very difficult on our family... most importantly very difficult on my son. By the time Christmas break was over he was emotionally down like I've never seen him before.
After January, and at Sarah's recommendation, my son began staying after to school to work on his homework with Sarah. The turnaround since that time has been incredible. He now likes to stay at school. He phones me after his last period and tells me he wants to stay (as opposed to begging me to pick him up). His attitude has changed completely, and his grades are making sharp turn upward.
I must give my son some credit for the turnaround as the willing student, but a great deal of the credit goes to Sarah.
All of the students I see in Sarah's classroom have their own personalities. Sarah figures them out and is consistently patient with all of them. She's firm, holds them accountable... but never mean, and always positive. She's got a rare touch that enables her to get these kids' minds going in the right direction.
I worked hours with my son every night... but I just wasn't effective. Since he's been spending his time with Sarah he's much more organized and focused. More importantly I feel like my boy is back to the happy kid he was before... I am very grateful for that as he means the world to me. Thanks for your help, and a GIANT KUDOS to Miss Sarah."
-Bobby Franklin, parent
"At my previous schools they did not teach sign language. I can say that I would have wanted to learn it because I would have been better now. Well, at WGA they do teach sign language, so there is no more problem."
-Sarah H., student
"My son has always been advanced in math and behind in reading/comprehension. Thanks to Mr. Kohler, my son had his best and most productive year this last year. Mr. Kohler found his strong areas and challenged him without causing frustration. As well with the areas my son was struggling with. My son’s English grade steadily rose and his writing/reading/comprehension continuously improved. I never
dreamed my son would be learning calculus & computer programming as a freshmen and have straight A’s, even in English!
As an involved parent, it is truly awesome to see my son happy to go to
school each morning and come home excited with new challenges to
work on. My son’s video game time has decreased and been replaced with
More importantly, Mr. Kohler has taught my son to think ‘outside the box’
and his learning isn’t limited to what the CA Standards say.
I truly believe our kids who are fortunate enough to take advantage of
all the opportunities available to them at WGA will be so much better off and will become our future leaders, whether being in business, government or just life in general!"
-Erin Hieb, parent
"Mrs. Barbulesco is an amazing teacher. She takes her job very seriously and makes sure that all her students reach their full potential. She always helps when a student is struggling and needs help. Her room is open all day until 6:00 p.m., which is when the school closes. She even takes her break for lunch to help students and open up a study hall. She also makes sure that all students are fully prepared to take a quiz or a test because she always reviews the day before. Her class was definitely hard but she only wants what is best for you. I know that I am fully prepared to take on the challenges of high school. My previous math teachers never have done what Mrs. Barbulesco did for me, and for that I thank her a thousand times. I have never seen a more dedicated teacher in my life and she is truly exceptional."
-Arpan S., student
"We would like to take this opportunity to thank and honor Ms. Barbulesco for the outstanding teaching and guidance that she provided to our daughter. We firmly believe that Ms. Barbulesco’s efforts and assistance were truly above and beyond the call of duty, and we very much appreciate her work on our daughter’s behalf.
Our daughter had the benefit of having Ms. Barbulesco as her math teacher in the 7th and 8th grades. From day one, Ms. Barbulesco recognized that our daughter should be provided the opportunity to achieve at a higher level and then put in place a plan to accomplish that. For the next two years, this plan included advanced course work, additional problem sets, and many one-on-one sessions with our daughter after normal school hours. Clearly, this increased Ms. Barbulesco’s workload, but she never seemed to mind. Quite the opposite, she took a certain amount of well-deserved pride in the advances, excellent grades, and outstanding scores Maria achieved on her standardized tests.
As a result of Ms. Barbulesco’s efforts, our daughter will enter high school well prepared to take advanced coursework in math and other subjects with sophomores and juniors already in accelerated programs. We have no doubt that Ms. Barbulesco’s teaching has provided an outstanding foundation for higher level subject matter and will allow our daughter to continue to succeed in new areas. Moreover, by raising both the mathematical bar and our daughter’s personal expectations for achievement, Ms. Barbulesco also taught our daughter much about focus, time management, study habits, and hard work to achieve success. These will obviously help our daughter long into the future and not just in math.
In conclusion, we very much appreciate everything Ms. Barbulesco has done on our daughter’s behalf and honor and thank her for her strong efforts and success in her teaching role. We all carry with us memories of teachers who had a strong, clear, and positive impact on our lives and achievements. Ms. Barbulesco will certainly be one of those for our daughter. We strongly recommend Ms. Barbulesco to any student interested in high achievement."
-Trish Higgins and Larry Castro, parents
"Entering 7th Grade, I didn’t know what Math teacher to expect. My 6th Grade Math teacher was really good and I wished that our 7th grade Math teacher would be good too. I had nothing to worry about.
Mrs. Barbulesco was an excellent Math teacher making sure every student understood the topic well and would push them to succeed. She explains everything in terms the student can understand and builds upon that for future use in the course. She is great at motivating students to interact in class and help them learn without any pressure. She encourages questions and comments and has a way of working with the students.
Luckily, she saw my desire to move ahead in Math and therefore, she had placed me in Advanced Math with a couple of other students. She wanted me to do well so she would spend her time after school and taught me more Math material so I could be ahead. I learned a lot of math in 7th Grade and I was delighted to hear that she would be returning as my Math teacher for 8th grade. I finished Algebra and Geometry in 8th Grade. Sometimes I felt like too much was happening and I would stress out but she was kept telling me that I will be okay and that this will help me in the future.
She has inspired me to not only to love Math but take Math to the next level and enroll in Math Classes at a junior college over the summer. I am extremely lucky and thankful for all the hard work that she put for me to achieve my goal. She is definitely a teacher that cares about her students. She didn’t only help me but she helped many students be comfortable with Math. Mrs. Barbulesco gave me confidence in my ability to do any type of math problem and to be a strong math student."
-Natasha K., student
"Mr. K relates good to his students. I have seen Mr. Kohler explain a concept/lesson and then ask [my son] if he understands it. If not, Mr. Kohler will explain it again in another way, as many ways/times as it takes until it is understood and comprehended. Mr. Kohler has a high level of patience, as well as a great sense of humor. Mr. Kohler truly cares about his students and their success."
written by Brandi Clark
I want to tell you about a woman who has made a great impact in the lives of children, and is one of the founders of a remarkable school. This school should serve as the model for education in this country. Her name is Sarah Barbulesco...
After spending time educating in high needs schools and wealthy schools, she noticed that the children were treated differently. The high school where she worked in Newark would receive recruiters from “the Army rather than the Ivy League schools”. Sarah wanted to address these issues and the achievement gap, because she believes that “all students should be encouraged to pursue their education and their dreams and be given the tools…to reach those goals.” She and Robert Kohler started the Wayne Geri Academy to educate junior high and high school students on a new level, focusing on their individual interests and abilities. “Our philosophy revolves around the principle that all students succeed better in life if they are treated as individuals.”
The state-required curriculum is followed in an advanced way, encouraging critical thinking skills and not just repetition from reading. Science is taught through experimentation, which teaches students to connect concepts to the data. Math is not assigned based on grade level, but on ability. They tailor the curriculum for each child, with additional focus on areas of interest. “These student interest courses allow students to explore potential career options as well as recreational interests that the students may have. At WGA, we give students the chance to learn about being a veterinarian or a fashion designer so that they can have the opportunity to see if this is really a path they want to pursue in college and later adulthood.”
The results speak for themselves: “Every student who has graduated from WGA has graduated via our Early-to-College program. This is a program that allows students to start taking college courses at a local junior college simultaneously with high school courses during the student's junior or senior year. They are allowed the opportunity to experience college for the first time while they still have the support of WGA. We help our students to write their first college papers and teach them successful studying methods.”
If only all of our children could experience this level of commitment, we might have a very different world, indeed.
WGA does not discriminate against applicants and students on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender, sex, physical appearance, or socio-economic status.
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