Re: DSM: diplomas
Mon, 12 Jul 1999 21:58:58 EDT

Sudbury Valley usually awards about 20 diplomas, give or take a few, a year.
In Mass. the state doesn't care what we do -- but the town and the
accrediting agency both do. So I suppose a totally bogus institution could
offer any ole kind of diploma it wanted, but eventually the town might say
"oh, no".

However, we have a rather difficult to get diploma, and that makes it do what
_we_ want it to do -- mean something to future employers and to universities,
etc. That is a result you couldn't get unless it was a legitimate diploma
and judged legitimate change in a student.

The military is just fine with an SVS diploma, as is every university (so
far; only 30 years!).

Each child at SVS who wishes to graduate must defend the thesis that s/he has
prepared her/himself to be an effective adult in the larger community. A
tall order!

An SVS thesis must be written and critiqued, at least once, by a committee
of the School Meeting. (Actually by many individual members of the
committee.) Then a final version is prepared, mailed to all families, and
defended orally. After that a vote is taken. Another vote a little later on
in the Spring also happens, but that one is too hard to explain in a short

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