If you mean by a sense of community that a Sudbury school allows for the
possibility for individuals to care for themselves while remaining respectful to
the needs of the entire group, I would say that sometimes it does fulfill that
need for individuals and sometimes it doesn't. I don't believe it is a fault of
the democratic structure, since the guidelines ensure that everyone has a voice.
It is the general will of the majority though, that sometimes can make some
members feel like outsiders (in my opinion and experience). I am interested in
why and why not this is (and isn't), and would very much like to hear more on what
the priority is for folks in Sudbury schools to work towards this "sense of
community" (since the individual rights seem to be so emphasized).
Bruce Smith wrote:
> The sense of community I feel at Alpine Valley School is one of the things
> I most cherish, not just about my school but also in my life in general. I
> am a staff member, and not a parent, but the feeling of belonging and
> support has been consistent, gratifying and, at times, almost overwhelming.
> >From everything I've observed, the students and parents here also perceive
> and value the community we share.
> In School Meetings, sometimes a speaker will disavow responsibility for
> others' behavior or happiness. While some may find that frustrating, let me
> point out that (in my opinion, at least) all students' first responsibility
> _is_ to themselves, to learn who they are and how to act responsibly on
> that knowledge. Our students do, by and large, feel a very strong sense of
> responsibility for the welfare of the school.
> Finally, it's just as likely as not that someone at a Sudbury school would,
> any given time, undertake a project designed to enhance the larger
> community. If Ann hasn't witnessed such an activity at SVS, that of course
> doesn't mean it didn't/doesn't happen, there and elsewhere.
> At 10:29 PM 12/4/01, Ann Ide wrote:
> >Here's another question of mine. I've only been at SVS since April 2000.
> >In my limited exposure to kids at school I haven't been able to tell if
> >they develop a sense of community- a feeling of belonging to a group of
> >people that you can trust and you feel cares about you and you care about
> >them;people you can count on for support if needed. I can observe small
> >groups of friends that feel that way about each other; but does it expand
> >larger than that? Does it include parents at all? Do parents feel it
> >(that's another issue/topic- but one I care about.). Do kids learn to care
> >about others outside of school? I felt a bit sad that I didn't see or
> >hear of any activities to help others after Sept. 11 (or at any time for
> >that matter). I only see activities to take care of selves. Maybe that's
> >age appropriate? Any thoughts?
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