> I'd love to just rent a place and go with it
> because there isn't much else we can do at this point. The trouble is
> we need 3 directors to be in the non-profit org and they don't want to
> on that kind of liability by taking a chance on renting with no students!
> It's a rock and a hard place!
I might have the perfect solution for you !
My last attempt at getting this off the ground failed partley because
I was too successful in showing the mechanism of real learning to
parents. (They all left town to search out going concerns when they
discovered I had not raised enough money, and that the time scale
was too long ie, fantasy 3 months, reality 18 months + they all have
to be involved.)
I know that the problems each community faces differ. Here are some
of ours. You may find that our solution works for you though :-)
Here in Japan, land is -really- expensive. This has been the main
stumbling block. If we go outside the city limits, you find the cost
of land goes down by only 20%-35% or so from the city prices. Even
farm land in the middle of no-where costs, and then we would be too
far from the target customer.
It is actually illegal for any Japanese parent residing in Japan not to
send their Japanese child to a school approved by the Central
Government. Approval requires using ONLY Government approved
text books, a Government approved daily time table, a Government
approved yearly time table and Government approved teachers,
ho by law MUST be Japanese citizens. MUST !
I tell you! If I succeed in getting it going here, I should dedicate myself
to flying to other locations around the world to help creat workable
Our solution. #1
There is a piece of land 100 meters from where I live. 3-4 tennis court
size, appartments all around, vacant for the last 30 years or so. Worth
$10m, we can't buy it. Renting is impossible, as the law gives too
generous rights to tennants. Why not be employed to "look after the
land". When the bank wants to build something/ sell it, they can give us
2 months notice to go. Not so secure, but ok to get started.
Our solution. #2
My "main man" and I found a hill-side town, recently developed for
nice houses, with many plots for sale. The hill overlooked the fields
just outside the city (soon to be covered with concrete though),
clean air, and the city bus service terminates 2 busses from town
right on the hill. 100 meters from the bus "turn around point" the
terraced fields rise up the hill to the forest.
We were interested in these fields, as space will be important. Too
expesive. 1 tennis court sized plot $2-3 mill. Poo. Then, we noticed
that the city govnt. had built a huge children's park, slides, swings,
climbing frames, base-ball zone, soccer zone, running track, toilets. . .
right at the bottom of the houing area.
"Ah ha!" my friend said, "The City goverment will help us after all,
to the tune of n billions of yen by providing this here facility!" YES,
we could get a plot for a small house next to / near the park, put
the school on the plot, let the kids go where they please! The cheek
of it! That one small plot though, was still too expensive. Back to the
#3 Our Solution El Suprimo
We got to joking around how the city gvnt. could provide us with all
kinds of locations, museums, parks, exhibitions , all for free. They'd
be indirectly funding a school that opporates diametrically opposite
to their ideal! . . . and then it hit us.
We'd make everything in the whole city a facility of the school,
including the beach! The idea runs like this:
because almost everything is accessable by train, bus and bike, kids
can decide from week to week where they want to put the school
the following week. If sand castles, shells and sea-weed leads them
to the beach, so be it. A week at the museum? OK, The apple orchard
in the hills? Here's the map! The zoo? The Biological gardens? Hiking in
the forest? Ohori Park? Odo Park? The park with little electric cars
for kids to drive and learn road safety?
EX CE LENT !
So where's the school? We are going to get a big bus or truck, strip it
out, put a kitchen in, a toilet, mini library and whatever else we decide
It happens that my right hand man is in the second hand industrial
equipment biz, you know, tractors, buldozers, etc. He was at an auction
a week before our revelation at which a couple of airport concertina-
busses were sold for $50 each! Now they don't come along everyday
but hardly an auction goes by without something going for a song. And
an airport bus, can you imagine the milage? too and from the airport
building along the tarmac to the plane, for ten years. It was like new.
They had never even changed the tires! But driving a concertina on
Japanese roads ???? That's tough, but the inspiration was given.
And what about a permanent site? Well, we have decided that that
-is- still important. Discusion on why later. But think of it. If the kids
need to spend 6 weeks exploring a new beach front and it's forest, ok!
Message to teachers (and parents):
Children learn in spite of us, not because of us!
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This archive was generated by hypermail 2.0.0 : Mon Nov 05 2001 - 20:24:29 EST