Re: DSM: Community Fears for Child Safety

Mike Sadofsky (
Tue, 11 Apr 2000 10:55:15 -0400

I don't know whether anyone has thought long and hard about
a core city implementation of the Sudbury model. Some years
back I had some casual thoughts about such an implementation
in the concept of another campus (a boston campus) for
Sudbury Valley. I never developed the concept and don't
recall what triggered the idea at the time.

In any event, while SVS kids enjoy their 10 Acres with
adjacent 100's of Acres of conservation land with mature
trees, trails, etc., these aren't necessary elements of the

My cursory image of an East Village implementation would
include loft space built out to accommodate the usual
functions: library, young kids play area, gymnasium like
play area(s), quiet rooms, office space, arts space, kitchen
space, etc. Even some "hidden rooms," although one does
need to find ways to ensure that the facility remains clean
and legal. Out of the loft (off campus), I would think
about ways to encourage opportunities for students to make
frequent visits (even to "hang out" perhaps in local
businesses, offices, etc. Clearly this would require pre
arrangement with proprietors, and would need to be done
carefully so as to not interfere with their business
operations and perhaps even to enhance their operations in
some ways.

I'd be interested in hearing any ideas you may have already
developed. wrote:
> Thanks for the detailed reply explaining why SVS changed its open-campus
> policy.
> I live in the East Village of New York City and am wondering how children in
> Manhattan could have a Sudbury school experience. It seems to me that the
> grounds surrounding SVS are crucial for the students. The mature trees, out
> buildings, etc., give kids the opportunity to "disappear" while remaining on
> the school grounds. But one doesn't find trees for climbing in Manhattan
> school yards - or even in the yards of Manhattan mansions. There are no
> private places. Some Manhattan private schools take their students to parks,
> including Central Park, but those are scheduled exursions under the watchful
> eyes of adults. But to allow children to leave school of their own free
> will for the privacy and anonymity of Central Park, or any NYC park - I can't
> imagine the community - especially the police - would tolerate such activity.
> I imagine it would take many years of re-educating the public.
> Any suggestions on how a for-now-hypothetical Manhattan Sudbury school could
> help its students get some "space"?
> Thanks.

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