Tue, 28 Mar 2000 23:39:29 EST
My name is Robert Murphy.
I'm the attendance clerk at the fairhaven school, (a sudbury-model school in
I'll begin by admitting that this is just one or two facets of the answer,
but here are my thoughts.
In Massachusetts, children are legally required to attend school, and that 5
hours/ day is a state requirement.
But I think, that if part of the attendance requirement is to protect the
school itself, then that is not unreasonable. If a parent, or child were
interested in homeschooling, or unschooling, or NOT schooling, that's all
very well. But that is not fairhaven schooling, and we would not want our
school to be accountable for that child's failures, or success...
We trust our kids. (I mean our students, although staff with children of
their own probably trust them too.) But kids have to be around enough to
experience the program, to buy into our school's culture, to be a part of the
school, before they become "ours".
t would seem to defeat the purpose of the school, if, by and large, it were a
place that students didn't attend. (Or worse, attended only when they had
nothing better to do.) The commitment has to go both ways.
Once students have established their commitment to the model, (i.e. taken
responsibility for their own learning, and to a certain extent for their part
in safeguarding the school's continued existence, they are given more lee-way
with regards to off campus activities, (including participating in classes or
activities offered at other venues, field trips, internships,
More freedom comes with more responsibility (and vice versa). To me that is
at the heart of the sudbury model.
best of luck with your questions,
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