I spent a year as an intern @SVS. I get their theory about kid-motivated learning. It's not put into practice here. Students have to ask for instruction and resources repeatedly, and often don't get it. I saw lots of video game playing. I saw a 4yo girl wandering alone outside with no pants on, NO ONE keeping an eye on her. For SVS to work, you'd need dynamic, inspiring, talented staff. All the art teacher did for half the day was take attendance, obsessively. Not a glance at the kids in the art room.* She spent the second half of the day hunting kids down to harass them if they had too many absences. Compliance with state attendance requirements = accreditation for the school = $. They don't mind keeping kids rule-bound if it means more $. *(working with kids + following THEIR interests is very different from IGNORING them). One staff member proudly told me of his schoolboy memory of stabbing his teacher in the hand with a pencil. This place is not an example of the SV philosophy in action. This place has become a safe, profitable harbor for lazy, elderly ex-hippies with Daddy issues, and sociopaths, to sit around and neglect your kids' intellectual development.
I think that in order to really appreciate SVS, you need to evaluate what values and assets you want your student to have when he/she leaves. If he went to a conventional high school, I might expect my student to have good grades, to excel, or at least survive in a competitive environment, to have acquired a great deal of information on a range of subjects, etc.. I want my son to go into the world prepared to ask questions, explore, self evaluate, self initiate, to have confidence, know what it takes to truly master a skill or a subject, and how to work well with others. I believe that these skills and perspectives prepare students to create lives that are full and prepare them well for anything they want to do. You can always take a course, but these are formative years for learning to become lifelong students.`
best school ever!!!!!!! i go here and everyone loves it! we have a lot of fun being outside and all, but we also will ask staff to help us with academics too. like a bunch of kids my age are taking math with a staff, for example. if you're thinking of sending your kid here, DO IT!!!!!!!!!!!!
Overall this is a wonderful school in so many ways. We are free to roam the beautiful campus as much as we want, and really just do whatever we want as long as it's the right thing to do. It's a place where you can decide to do whatever you want, while teaching us common sense. Maybe we aren't as academically intelligent as the other schools, but every kid there has mounds of self-confidence- thats whats important for life, in my opinion.
you are free to do what you want like music/computer/games/ and realize what growing up really is, there are music rooms, computer rooms basket ball courts big two fields for many types of fun games. this is where you really want to grow up and and study when you feel comfortable. so much to do i can't even think of it, for me im a musician(guitarist) we have concerts here in the barn where every one shows there acts and everyone loves to attend parents/and family's.
Our kids have been attending this school for a number of months now, and I have to say it has been the single best school experience they (and we) have had. In the course of an unstructured schooling experience, my single-minded son has expanded his interests to include pottery and music, while the kids have learned self-regulation, self-reliance, and most important--that there is always someone there to help them learn whatever it is they wish to learn. I have never seen my sons happier, and we as parents are thrilled to have found such a flexible--and yet introspectively rigorous--environment.
This school is great. The kids love it. It requires a lot of trust in your kids, because there are no required classes or activities. It is really up to the kids to figure out who they want to be and what they want to do with their time and their school. You shouldn't go there expecting anyone to try to teach your kid. It is up to the kid to learn whatever they are interested in. The socialization skills that develop because of the unlimited interaction with other kids and adults is great. It helps kids learn to be members of a real society and also to be responsible for their behaviors.