Updated 2022-10-10

Berkshire Freedom Academy

Berkshire Freedom Academy is the Berkshires first self-directed education center and community hub for all branches of the homeschooling umbrella but with a focus on self-direction.
Tristan Manzolini president
click to see email
(+1) 413-413-2676
Pittsfield, MA  01201
United States


Berkshire Freedom Academy is a space where all will be welcome to learn in a safe environment free of discrimination of any kind. This space is already evolving and changing as more caregivers and children voice the things that they need. BFA will provide a location for meet ups for young families, a drop off program for unschoolers aged 5 and up, as well as a community space that will be available for classes with other professionals in the community. Berkshire Freedom Academy is joining forces with other community members to ensure that this space will be available to the marginalized population as well. While looking for grants and donations is a big focus at this point, BFA continues to network with other people in the area to gain notice, to reflect the mission, and to discuss how this space can meet the needs of the area.

SDE Optimizing Conditions

ASDE surveys all SDE communities/programs about how they provide, enhance, or align with each of the Six Optimizing Conditions for young people to succeed in SDE.  Survey answers:
  1. Responsibility – BFA will continuously meet with learners of all ages to see what they need to explore their interests as well as create their ideal environment as often as possible. Adults will be present as support for young people.
  2. Youth Autonomy – Located on a large property, BFA will provide access to the outdoors during all hours of operation. Younger children will be supervised to a degree, but older kids will have the freedom to explore on their own.
  3. Access to Tools and Technology – As much as possible, children will have access to modern technology. There will also be a kitchen available for cooking, sewing machines, carpentry tools, and more.
  4. Adult Allies – This community is an inclusive space that we hope will feel like a warm, inviting family. Adults will function as supports and guides.
  5. Free Age Mixing – At BFA, there will be children from infancy to adults into their late years available to interact with. This space will be open for all ages with no segregation. Children will have an equal voice to those of the adults and their ideas will be heard.
  6. Community – Children at BFA are the most important piece - it is why we are all here. Their thoughts and ideas will be considered as much (if not more) than that of the adults. The needs of the community will evolve and grow as needed.

If any information about this resource is out of date, please let us know.