DSM: When is a school a Sudbury Model school?

Jeanne Pickering (pickeringjeanne@hotmail.com)
Thu, 14 Dec 2000 00:55:09 -0000


I know that there was a discussion about this a while back and several contributors felt that the answer best took the form of a negative: "A Sudbury Model school does not...".

Another strand suggested "necessary and sufficient" conditions of:

School Meeting of students and staff
No curriculum
Jury of peers (JC)
Staff hired and fired solely by staff and students

The last one was challenged, however, as not being true for all Sudbury-model schools.

It seems to me that a school is a Sudbury school if other Sudbury schools say it is. Even then, I'm not sure how one Sudbury school "says" that another school is a Sudbury school: the only public alignment I've seen are the links lists on the web pages and not all of those are the same.

Practically, it is up to each family of parents and children to make their own decision about whether or not a school meets the criteria of the family.

We may have the opportunity to move to an area that has a school that, as far as I can tell (and I am definitely looking from afar at this point), has the characteristics of a Sudbury model school. Yet the school is mentioned on none of the links lists of any of the other Sudbury model schools.

The school is the Second Foundation School in Minneapolis, http://www.sfs.pvt.k12.mn.us.
>From the web site, it seems that there is no curriculum and there is a weekly school meeting attended by staff and students where some sort of democratic decision making goes on. There's no mention of a JC but such problems might be handled at weekly meeting, I suppose.

So, my question would be: why is this school not aligned (at least publicly) with any of the Sudbury-model schools? Is there some conflict with the Sudbury model that isn't visible on the web site? If there isn't, does it really matter (to the students and parents) if there's no alignment with other Sudbury schools?

Jeanne Pickering

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