Over half of survey respondents who graduated in the last ten years from a Berkshire County school felt their school supported them. Only one in ten felt somewhat or not supported. People of color felt less supported than their white peers.
Three out of four survey respondents who graduated in the last ten years from a Berkshire County school said adults noticed when they were doing a good job. As incomes drop, the percent of respondents who reported adults noticed them doing a good job went down.
Survey respondents who graduated in the last ten years from a Berkshire County school felt well prepared for college, career, military, and community service. Respondents felt prepared the most for college. Career, military, and community service had higher percentages that thought they were less prepared. Lower-income respondents reported feeling less ready across all endeavors than higher-income respondents. People of color felt less prepared for college than whites.
Among recent graduates of Berkshire County schools, internships, college counseling, dual enrollment classes, career education, and vocational education were available to at least two out of three respondents. However, those who participated in each was 10-15% lower than the availability of these experiences.
When asked about getting the most out of their high school education, only one in four survey respondents who graduated in the last ten years from a Berkshire County school reported that they had no issues. One out of three said family issues at home, and one out of four said health issues had significant impacts on their ability to get the most out of school. One out of five were impacted by English not being their first language, special learning needs, or financial constraints. One out of ten were affected by homelessness or hunger.
Berkshire Educational Resources K-12 (B.E.R.K.) is a nonpartisan coalition of local educators, business and nonprofit leaders, school leaders, and community members dedicated to strengthening PK-12 education in the Berkshires. BERK came together to address significant challenges for public PK-12 education in Berkshire County. These include long-term enrollment declines, strained school finances, and educational opportunity disparities. BERK has evolved to become the regional lead partner in developing innovative solutions to benefit the Berkshires’ 14,400 students, their families, and the Berkshires at large. BERK has also worked to develop the Portrait of a Graduate and the Berkshire Resources for Learning and Innovation. https://www.berkshireeducationtaskforce.org/
Berkshire Stem Network connects regional schools and businesses to improve science, technology, engineering, and math education and workforce development within the community. https://www.mcla.edu/mcla-in-the-community/berkshire-stem-network/index.php
The Berkshire Youth Leadership Program supports and helps students be the diverse next generation of community leaders we need; preparing them for constructive and responsible involvement in community affairs, while also thinking seriously about potential career pathways. https://1berkshire.com/1berkshire-programs/youth-leadership-program/
The Berkshire Cultural Asset Network (BCAN) serves as a professional learning network for the staff of Berkshire County cultural organizations working in education and community engagement. We define culture as going beyond established arts institutions and practices to include the natural resources and diverse creative practices that are essential components of life in Berkshire County. https://www.brainworks.mcla.edu/bcan