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

From: Amanda Phillips <aphillips_at_law.harvard.edu>
Date: Fri Dec 1 13:27:00 2006

 

I understand the concern, but I found this part odd: "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?"

 

I'm confused because it seems that there's a process that the kids created
to decide if they want to work with a non-staff person at school: the kids
initiate a request, the kids deliberate on that request, and the kids decide
whether to fund it or allot space for it or whatever. Who's "not trusting
the kids enough" in this context? The kids?

 

If there is any hesitancy to use outside resources for more learning
opportunities (and I don't really know if there is), isn't the hesitancy on
the kids' parts? And if so, isn't it appropriate for them to make that
decision?

 

Amanda

 

 

 

  _____

From: discuss-sudbury-model-admin_at_sudval.org
[mailto:discuss-sudbury-model-admin_at_sudval.org] On Behalf Of Ann Ide
Sent: Thursday, November 30, 2006 2:50 PM
To: discuss-sudbury-model_at_sudval.org
Subject: Re: [Discuss-sudbury-model] Parents on campus

 

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 Fri Dec 01 2006 - 13:25:03 EST

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