Re: [Discuss-sudbury-model] Parents on campus

From: Ann Ide <ann.ide_at_rcn.com>
Date: Thu Nov 30 14:55:00 2006

Danny,

With all respect, I agree with what you said that it is written in the policies ( "it may be 'in the books' (policy and textbooks"). I only said it was "our experience and perception", not fact, that it seems different in actuality. This is our 7th year, and the only non-staff instruction that I have been aware of (and, of course, I'm not aware of everything) have been piano and dance. I have also heard of kids who have left Sudbury schools for want of more instructional opportunities, of voiced frustration with the difficulty of it all (one student even mentioned it in her thesis), and my own kid's resignation about it.

Once again, just sharing my perception and experience. As a parent, I can't be aware of everything that goes on day to day. That's part of the design, but unfortunately it has its potential consequences. I'm not saying I expect to know everything, just that you need to understand what I have available to draw my perceptions from.

This in no way means we do not value what is available and happens at school. It's wonderful! I still question what seems to me to be a hesitancy to utilize parents and outside resources for more learning opportunities when they are desired. I just don't believe that our kids are as vulnerable to possible mixed messages that people fear might happen. Don't Sudbury kids develop very strong minds of their own? Don't some show up because they already have them? I find it hard to believe they can be so easily manipulated or mislead,or whatever the concern is, by non-staff adults. And people that aren't received well can be asked not to return. Maybe we're being overly protective and not trusting the kids enough in this context! We can let them climb huge beech trees, venture off-campus, etc. but not let them decide if they want to work with a non-staff person at school?

If some schools can be successful doing it, why can't all of them?

Ann Ide
  ----- Original Message -----
  From: dannyasher_at_aol.com
  To: discuss-sudbury-model_at_sudval.org
  Sent: Thursday, November 30, 2006 11:02 AM
  Subject: [Discuss-sudbury-model] Parents on campus

  Ann Ide wrote in a recent post, "At SVS, it may be 'in the books' (policy and textbooks) that kids will be supported in following their interests. But in our experience and perception, if the staff don't have the skills in an area of desired interest, then you pretty much have to pay more money ( and coming up with tuition is hard enough for many) to take a class outside of school, or do it 'on your own'. It seems to take an inordinate amount of commitment and effort to try and get something going otherwise. I fear that this makes it discouraging to explore something with a real human being, versus just reading about it."

  I have no problem with people venturing any opinions at all about various aspects of the model, whether or not I agree with them. But I have a problem when statements are made are contrary to fact about any particular situation - in this case, about what happens at Sudbury Valley when "the staff don't have the skills in an area of desired interest." In fact, the school has a long-standing stated policy, adopted as an educational policy by the Assembly many years ago, concerning this subject - to wit, the school will support, to the best of its financial ability, any interest, even if it requires outside expertise, if the subject matter concerned is one that is supported in the general community of traditional schools. (Examples: Spanish classes; French classes - before Denise Geddes joined the staff; assistance in establishing a music studio - before Mark joined the staff; and so forth.) If the subject! matter concerned is one that is outside the range of subjects generally covered in traditional schools, the school will, on a case by case basis (by determination of the School Meeting, or by determination of an agent designated by the School Meeting, such as the Source Corporation), consider whether to allot space in school for that enterprise and, if so, how much and when, and whether to charge for the space and the overhead associated with the space; and the instruction will have to be paid for by the participants, privately. (Examples: Martial Arts instruction, private piano lessons, and, currently, dance classes.)
   

  Daniel Greenberg
  Sudbury Valley
   

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Received on Thu Nov 30 2006 - 14:54:08 EST

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