Re: DSM: Any DSM in the San Diego area?

Leon Viger (
Fri, 5 Jan 2001 10:42:22 -0400

Hi CindyK!

I'd be happy to share information about starting a school in Canada. My
reply took a little time as I'm currently living about 4 lives aaagghh!
Anyway, we are extremely fortunate to be starting the school with Stephanie
and David Greenberg. David is the son of Danny and he spent all his school
age years at Sudbury Valley. There are presently three founding families
but really only Stephanie and I have any time (?) to work on it. The
start-up kit has excellent reading material, something which is imperative
to The more I read, the deeper my understanding of
the concept and WOW what a fantastic thing to offer a child.

I am very careful not to talk much, if at all, to family and friends who
just wouldn't "get it". Wasting your energy on trying to explain your
intentions will only bring you down. Instead, focus on educating yourself
and forging ahead. I was fortunate to visit Sudbury Valley and to see first
hand how the school operates and to just feel the energy. I was like a fly
on the wall for a couple of days and noticed immediately how confident the
kids were. There was no distinction between adult and child, they were all
just people, being. It felt like a beehive in motion.

We are presently looking at several sites with a realtor. There is a large
interest in the Halifax area and we are about 45 minutes outside (which is a
long drive around here), so we're looking for something that could cover
both the Valley and City. Our idea is to create a school which is not only
for our children, but for long term. Very important to know how each
founder feels about this. "Starting a Sudbury School" is an excellent book
to receive lots of tidbits like that.

As for obstacles, there haven't been many yet. Anyone in N.S. can start a
school according to the Dept. of Education. We have a lawyer and Stephanie
is meeting with an accountant today to discuss getting non-profit status. I
suggest seeking professional help instead of trying to save money. Finding
a site may pose some difficulty do to zoning. I'll update later on that.

We have had two talks with Danny presenting and another planned for
February. Also, we're starting regular "talkabouts" in our home so that
interested people can learn more. We have a mailing list and will be
sending out invitations on a regular basis.

One thing that I've read over and over again is how incredibly difficult it
is to start a school. I learned about the school about 9 months ago, and I
knew in an instant that this was for me, but now as I learn more, I realize
why previous founders have found the task daunting. We are completely
confident that a school will get off the ground as long as we continue to
meet and talk with interested people on a weekly basis.

I don't know if my words have enlightened or not (I'm also pacifying a
teething 6 mth. old at the same time so my thoughts are a bit scattered). I
can update you on our progress if you'd like. My e-mail is, but I'm comfortable with writing here if anyone
else is interested.


----- Original Message -----
From: CindyK <>
To: <>
Sent: January 3, 2001 23:01
Subject: Re: DSM: Any DSM in the San Diego area?

> Hi Lisa!
> I am from Sudbury Ontario and am just starting to get a group together to
> start up a school. I would love to hear what it's been like for you. I
> have so many questions for you. Congratulations on your school opening
> year!! How long have you been working on it? What sort of obstacles did
> you run into?
> Please email me at I'd love to hear what the Canadian
> Experience has been like!
> Hope to hear from you soon,
> ~CindyK
> > Hi!
> >
> > Lisa Viger here from Nova Scotia, Canada. I think a list of people
> > interested in starting Sudbury Model Schools (providing they really
> > understand the philosophy) is a great idea. We are in the process of
> > starting a school here in the Annapolis Valley (Fall 2001). I'm sure
> > other people in Canada would be interested in knowing about us, as this
> > new in our country.
> >
> > Enjoying the emails!
> >
> > Lisa Viger
> >

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