Re: DSM: RE: Re: Diploma

From: Karen Locke (villagespecialed@charter.net)
Date: Fri Dec 14 2001 - 14:58:12 EST


Mike et al,

It took me a while to get a copy of Village School's graduation
process. Here's a summary:

One to two years before graduation, students call together a committee
consisting of the 2 high school advisors and other adults and/or students
of their choice. Before the committee meets, the students write a report
containing an extensive summary of outcome areas met, an essay describing
learning and growth, and areas of needed work before graduating. The
committee together decides what work needs to be completed before graduation.

Olivia, one of the two high school advisors, added that students have to
answer core questions that sound very similar to SVS's: What is it that you
need before you graduate? Defend/explain the statement that you are ready
to graduate. Also, how has this school prepared you to go out in the world?

Karen

, Mike wrote:
>So does the Village School of Northfield serving students from k-12 as
>a charter school under Northfield Minnesota's jurisdiction offer a
>diploma? What criteria are used to award the diploma? How were these
>criteria developed and established?
>
>
>On Mon, 10 Dec 2001 15:51:28 -0600, you wrote:
>
> >Joe wrote:
> >>Different students want different things. Some students want to
> >>restrict the awarding of a diploma to those who have passed an
> >>evaluative process. Some students and many parents believe it is
> >>important to have a document called a diploma in order to get jobs, etc.
> >
> >I'm torn about what a diploma should mean. On the one hand, those who say
> >you need it to get a job are probably right. So in some ways it's almost a
> >civil liberties/non-discrimination case: what could a person do in high
> >school that would be so bad that a diploma and therefore future chance at a
> >job should be withheld ? If we hold that much power over someone we need
> >to take the job seriously. This would argue that we should give diplomas
> >to everyone, much as some college professors awarded A's during the Vietnam
> >war so students wouldn't be drafted.
> >
> >Another argument is that democratic schools ask students to judge for
> >themselves what they need. How do we then say "well, this is what WE think
> >you need and you haven't gotten it yet".?
> >
> >A third viewpoint is that as a member of my community I have a vested
> >interest in what others think about this school. If getting a diploma here
> >is considered a joke then probably the school will be considered a joke
> >too. I would like to be respected, and have the diploma mean something to
> >others. Therefore, I would like to have some kind of criteria, preferably
> >in line with the mission statement, that success (diploma) or failure (no
> >diploma) could be judged on. And as a write that, I feel bad because I
> >don't want anyone considered a failure.
> >
> >I think in the final result, I would like a process where each student
> >judged for him-/her-self whether he/she is ready to be independent in the
> >world. The community would suggest criteria that the students could use
> >(able to keep a checking account, hold a job, speak, write, read,
> >participate in the community), but we all know successful adults that can't
> >do each of these things. Each student could pick what criteria he/she has
> >been aiming at and talk about how well he/she has met them. The community
> >could comment and question, but only that student could truly decide what
> >"success" was.
> >
> >Karen
> >
> >
> >
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