DSM: RE: mandatory attendance

Tom Spackman (spack@channel1.com)
Wed, 29 Mar 2000 09:59:57 -0500

Dear Granny Pitt
Great to hear from you! I'm a mom of two Sudbury Valley children
who attend the Framingham School. It's my understanding that the
required 5-hour per day attendance requirement is a State Regulation,
and therefore something put into practice from the beginning, and not
from negative experiences.

>From my own personal observation, it doesn't seem to pose a problem
to most children. I have younger children who want to be on campus
as many hours as possible. When they become teens, I expect they will
want to wander off campus to explore the surrounding community. They are
allowed to do this, but they must sign in and out of school every day.
There are instances of children taking this policy to such an extreme that
it no longer made sense to be considered Sudbury Valley School students.
It's my feeling that they need to be on campus a great deal in order to
gain from the "whole" experience. Otherwise, why bother?

Laurie Spackman

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-discuss-sudbury-model@sudval.org
[mailto:owner-discuss-sudbury-model@sudval.org]On Behalf Of
Sent: Tuesday, March 28, 2000 10:45 PM
To: discuss-sudbury-model@sudval.org
Subject: DSM: mandatory attendance

I'd like to introduce myself. My name is Stephanie, and I'm a radical
unschooling grandmother. I have learned recently about the existence of
Sudbury model schools, and am influenced by the view that unschoolers may be
overly influenced/pressured by well-meaning, supportive parents and so could
benefit by enrollment in a democratic school. I can appreciate that a
democratic school could mean even greater freedom for an unschooler to
blossom. However, I am disturbed by the attendance policy at several of the
existing Sudbury model schools.

In examining web-sites of various Sudbury schools, I see that several have a
mandatory attendance requirement of five hours per day to ensure commitment
to the school and to prevent the school from becoming a social hall for
unschoolers. Does such a requirement exist at the Sudbury Valley School in
Framingham? To me, it indicates a lack of trust - a lack of total
to the Sudbury philosophy. Were such attendance requirements born out of
negative experiences or were they created "proactively"?

I live in Manhattan, and there is no Sudbury model school in the greater New
York City area. Is anyone out there interested in a New York/New Jersey


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