DSM: [SVS Discussion Board] How do you start a Sudbury school?


Scott Gray (sdg@sudval.org)
Mon, 17 Apr 2000 03:56:09 -0400 (EDT)


IRA WEST <ijkwest@earthlink.net> sent this to the list. It was bounced
because, sometimes, our anti-spamming efforts prevent legitimate users
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--Scott David Gray
reply to: sdg@sudval.org
http://www.sudval.org/~sdg

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Mon, 17 Apr 2000 00:41:27 -0400
From: IRA WEST <ijkwest@earthlink.net>
To: discuss-sudbury-model@sudval.org
Subject: Questions about Sudbury Valley School

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Hello,

I am interested in exploring the possibility of organizing a Sudbury
Valley-style school in Los Angeles County, and a few questions come
immediately to mind:

   * How do you find like-minded individuals efficiently, without
     spending a ton of money on outreach? Seems there is only a limited
     amount of networking and schmoozing you can do in the circles you
     know.
   * Is this viable in an urban/suburban setting? In Massachusetts, you
     have acres and acres of land, a pond, woods, etc., which I bet was
     acquired fairly cheaply back in the '60s. In LA County, land is
     quite expensive, and probably impossible to obtain unless donated.
     Would rental of a large house do?
   * In the same vein, I would worry about the ramifications in an urban
     environment of allowing four-year-olds to roam at will. What
     happens when the police pick up a kid for truancy? Even if the
     parents agree that it's ok to wander around, I can imagine the bad
     press when people start screaming about irresponsibility and
     danger...and call to shut down the school. What strategies do you
     use?
   * Finally, the essay about teachers letting go certainly struck a
     chord. Having taught in the public schools for years, I've always
     thought (a la John Gatto) that I was putting on a show, with too
     little involvement from the kids. And I could see the dangers of
     forcing new concepts on kids who weren't ready (from veganism to
     sustainability...and then being called an "ecofreak"). But it's
     nonetheless true, I think, that kids need to be aware that these
     ideas are out there, and that certain adults are well versed in a
     subject and available to help. And if an adult is passionate about
     that subject, it will come out anyway. At school, for instance,
     whether I'm supposed to be teaching history or government or
     English, I basically teach what I'm interested in at the moment,
     whether it's feminism, deep ecology, voluntary simplicity, or the
     benefits of a plant-based diet...none of which come under the
     heading of an approved class. So my question is, how much would I
     have to submerge myself...or would I? After all, kids want to find
     out about what's out there, and why people become activists, and
     they love to engage in debate as a way of understanding the world.

Thanks for your help!

Ira West
ijkwest@earthlink.net

1220 Moncado Drive
Glendale, CA 91207

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Hello,

I am interested in exploring the possibility of organizing a Sudbury Valley-style school in Los Angeles County, and a few questions come immediately to mind:
 

Thanks for your help!

Ira West
ijkwest@earthlink.net

1220 Moncado Drive
Glendale, CA 91207
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