RE: DSM: Graduates without essential life skills

From: Joe Jackson (shoeless@jazztbone.com)
Date: Fri Nov 30 2001 - 14:54:35 EST


William,

This is an area wherein you will find practically all the schools
differing depending on the state they are in.

In order to be accredited by the state of Maryland a private school must
comply with a list of very specific requirements concerning curriculum
and structure. As we were obviously unsuccessful in gaining Maryland
private school status, we were actually told by a person at the MBE
non-public schools division that we should consider associating with a
church and becoming a Maryland Church-Exempt school.

We talked to a couple of churches including the local Unity (Unitarian?
I get them mixed up) church and couldn't work anything out. We then got
the idea to start a church of our own. The church would be very similar
to the model, wherein the church would be an umbrella organization
within which different small groups would operate. The small groups
might or might not engage in specific spiritual or worship activities,
but the body of the church itself does not endorse any particular faith,
creed or spiritual/worship activity, except for our stated creed:

"Fairhaven Fellowship exists to support the emotional, intellectual, and
spiritual growth of its members by maintaining a structure wherein
individuals and their families may conduct their own responsible search
for truth and meaning. The Fairhaven Fellowship governs and operates
Fairhaven School, a learning community based on the Sudbury model of
education. The Sudbury model is founded upon the principle that learning
is best fostered by self-motivation, self-regulation, and
self-criticism; provides a curriculum determined by the interests of
students and teachers; and holds that the opportunities and
responsibilities of governing the school is shared among students,
parents, teachers, other employees, and other representatives of the
community."

Anyway, the answer to your question is that Fairhaven School is a
Maryland Church-Exempt school accredited by Fairhaven Fellowship. We
offer a high school diploma, and have had no problems with colleges or
any other organization I know of accepting our diploma, just as they
would accept diplomas from DeMatha or the Quaker schools or any of our
other local religious schools.

-Joe

> This is a little off track of where this conversation evolved to but:
>
> Are Sudbury schools accreditted with their states and do the
> students get an equivalancy of a HS diploma. The alternative
> HS I went to gave out an official diploma even though it did
> not have the grades and tests as the rest of the public
> schools. (I know this has nothign to do with essential
> skills, but......)
>
>
> William M. Van Horn
> wmvh1@excite.com
> http://www.angelfire.com/art/inmystudio
>
>
>
>
>
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