March 3, 2009

How Big Do We Go?

Posted in Uncategorized at 4:36 pm by gary

I know there is a thought out there that we should get bigger and take on more students – not necessarily as a means to deal with our budget issues or the upcoming charter school, New Roots, but, more in response to pressure from the community.  This community might be the administration community, or, it might be all the parents and students who do not get to attend our school.  I wish we could take on the world, yet, in our little hallways – and with our little rooms, I don’t see much of an opportunity to expand.  With our construction project pending when we see the addition of two rooms (maybe, it is two) I do not see the situation being alleviated for passing in the halls, lunch time, family groups, and the day to day mission of attending to and developing relationships in the classroom.  Our concern should be maintaining and strengthening what we have.  Our school works!  That is pretty cool in itself.  If they want us to consider four kids per grade – why not five – or even six.  This all brings us to the issue that I did not want to bring up of how would we deal with more students or even the same number, who have bigger bodies (if we were transformed into a high school?)   Hey, if there is anyone who likes a shakeup every now and then, it is me.  Or maybe even us.  Is that what makes us alternative, not wanting to do the mindless walk every day?  We are here, to change the world – but, we can only embrace so many people at a time.

The photo is my sixth grade class (less than half the enrollment of that grade) and they hardly have any elbow room or space – If something spills or gets knocked – their neighbor will not be happy.  (Oh, and the dust masks – just because – because they can – and it does not interfere with their learning and participation.)6th grade art - filling the room!


1 Comment »

  1. Anonymous said,

    This is a hard issue. One of the many good things about our school, and something that is continuously effective unlike our democracy and our environmental commitment (which, as much as we value these things, there are major issues with them), is the sense of community we have. This largely has to do with the small size of our school. But many people obviously want an alternative schooling who cannot get it. You talked about four or five new students. This would not take away our sense of community much, but it obviously would not make a difference to the many people who there was still no room for either. As separate and different as we may be from New Roots, New Roots is another “alternative”, similar to us in some ways, so it will make some of the people who cannot go to LACS be able to have a needed alternative to IHS etc.
    What I think is clear, though, is that if the point of adding more students is to be open to more people, this cannot be done meaningfully without doubling the school, and then no longer having the important small community character. If less than half (instead of slightly more than half now) of the applicants did not get in, it could be considered more unfair than it is now.
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