Re: DSM: Subtle Coercion?

The Booroobin Sudbury School (
Mon, 8 Jan 2001 12:02:44 +1000

Hi Connie,
We are located some distance (about 13kms) from a town and district of about
4,500. Our Assembly decided the sort of campus we wanted and decided, after
2 years of operation, long term plans for its development and use. Our
family lives in this beautiful area by choice, and have done so for over 12
years. Last year, the School's 5th year of operation, we ended the School
year with 10 Students, between 4 and 18 years, and 3 Staff. In our
relatively short life we have had to confront many things. We have had
people come and go, for a variety of reasons. Last year, we undertook a
broad PR campaign that involved all forms of media (print, TV and radio), an
Open Day each term, advertising in the Yellow Pages, informational and
fundraising street stalls, Dinners at the School for friends, writing
letters to the Editors of newspapers, delivering a paper to an international
conference, undertaking advertising in a range of publications and
sponsoring a trip to Australia by Mike Sadofsky for public appearances and
publicity purposes. We dropped the idea a while ago that we should limit
our PR to only a local audience, so do PR that is local, regional and
Australia wide. All of those things have combined to provide benefits. We
expect the Student enrolments to grow to between the mid twenties to up to
40 in the early part of our next School year. There will be applications
from 2 new prospective Staff. A number of families are moving to the area
to enrol their student children. This has only come about by researching
and making decisions democratically, and learning from those decisions to
make better decisions and the dedication and commitment of a very few
people. Our Staff have been unpaid since April 1998. Staff will be paid
very low wages in the coming year, based on what we can afford, as a
business. We charge reasonable Fees, but we also receive partial government
funding like most independent schools in Oz.
The Booroobin Sudbury School
Ph/fax +61 07 5499 9944
----- Original Message -----
From: "Connie Shaw" <>
To: <>
Sent: Monday, January 08, 2001 5:51 AM
Subject: RE: DSM: Subtle Coercion?

> Yes, I gather that happens at the larger schools, but there seem to be a
> of quite small SVM schools (or schools similar to SVM). I'm asking whether
> this same kind of "expansion" into the community can happen there as well.
> It seems not to be happening at Liberty Valley School. I'm interested in
> this question because I expect that our school will start small, and I
> to understand the factors that make it difficult for schools like these to
> grow. Michelle lost a student because of the lack of things like yoga and
> pottery--I'm guessing thats happened more than once in the smaller
> -----Original Message-----
> From:
> []On Behalf Of Joe
> Jackson
> Sent: Sunday, January 07, 2001 10:16 AM
> To:
> Subject: RE: DSM: Subtle Coercion?
> > But, for example, if a
> > student wants to learn yoga or pottery, and the school is too
> > small for that
> > to happen, would it work for the student to take a yoga or pottery class
> > being offered outside the school?
> Connie, that is a core function of what happens at the SM school. It goes
> on all the time. We have a weekly horseback riding class that happens at
> local stables. And while our yoga and pottery have taken place inside the
> school, there are plenty of other examples where students leave campus to
> learn and/or "apprentice". Sometimes they get funding for it from SM,
> times they get partial or no SM funding and have to come up with the
> balance.
> -Joe

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