Re: DSM: 1st meeting advice?

From: Podway / Van Dertol Family (
Date: Fri Apr 20 2001 - 12:03:31 EDT

Laura & Allan,

We too are in the midst ... in southern california. Our school is also a bit of a hybrid. We are just beginning the process of inviting others into the picture - planning our first public meeting, although we have a few families (10) that completely understand the philosophy. we'd love to see your vision statement.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Allan Saugstad" <>
To: <>
Sent: Friday, April 20, 2001 8:46 AM
Subject: Re: DSM: 1st meeting advice?

> Laura,
> I too am in the midst of helping facilitate meetings about opening a school here
> in the outskirts of Vancouver, Canada (although our model is a little different
> from SM ).
> What we have found is quite interesting and has provoked great discussion.
> First, I think you should be prepared to discover that there will be a very wide
> range of perspectives and understandings regarding the idea. Most parents I have
> talked to don't fully understand what the SM is all about - and it is a long,
> difficult process to educate them. Acceptance of where they are and patience in
> letting the model evolve I think is key.
> What has worked for us is to work with a small group of people who do understand
> it and develop a group vision of what you want the school to look like and go
> from there. It's a great process to go through! I can share our vision statement
> with you if you like.
> What also has worked is to appeal to parents as parents. We have talked a lot
> about the aspects of trust and respect, and have related that to the parenting
> we have done since our children were born. This they CAN understand, and if they
> see the school as a way to extend that, support that, and continue that, they
> will be supportive of the idea. We avoid, if we can, trashing the system.
> Negativity is rarely productive nor inspiring.
> What we have also found is that there are two camps of people (with many
> somewhere in between). On one side there are homeschoolers who usually have a
> grasp of the concept but are hesitant about sending their kids off somewhere or
> having them subjected to institutional expectations - if you have any. On the
> other side, the bigger side, are the parents who really value school and want to
> send their kids somewhere, but feel that regular school is a little too cruel -
> they just want a kinder alternative. Be careful with this group because many of
> them still want their child to "have to" learn.
> The homeschoolers need to see the value of the community of learners their
> children will be a part of and the resources which will be available to them,
> and the other group needs to know that their children will have many
> opportunities to flourish.
> It's a fascinating process, I am finding. We have a big meeting on April 30th
> and who knows how it will go? I am interested to hear more about how yours is
> going and I will fill you in if you want on how things are going here,
> especially after the 30th.
> Allan
> Alan or Laura Gabelsberg wrote:
> > Hi all. Laura here. I am in the process of planning my first "information"
> > meeting of people interested in forming a founding group to start a new
> > Sudbury school in Houston and I thought now would be a good time to see what
> > advice you folks on the list might have along those lines.
> > So far I am viewing the purpose of this meeting as pretty informal - the
> > purpose being to meet, to network, and to determine the level of interest in
> > forming a founding group, and lastly to decide what steps may need to be
> > taken next.
> > I plan to talk very simply about what I know of the SVS model and what may
> > be involved in forming a founding group. I also thought about opening up the
> > meeting agenda for ideas from the participants if there is enough time, or
> > maybe just a Q & A session.
> > I am open to hearing any suggestions anyone may have on how to run an
> > effective FIRST meeting like this (or how NOT to run one!) The meeting is
> > planned for May 19th and so far I think it will have a good turn out. The
> > local ads I have placed don't come out until May 1st and I already have
> > appx. 20-30 coming just from word of mouth. So it may be a fairly large
> > group of people if the ads bring out a good response as well.
> > Thanks in advance for any tips or thoughts on this subject.
> >
> > Laura Gabelsberg
> > Citizens for Enlightened Education

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