A t a time when the U.S. education system is failing under the burden of the ill-conceived No Child Left Behind program, it is crucial that we create alternative school models, all across the country and around the world. AERO has decided to pour more of its energy into supporting the creation of a spectrum of new learner-centered alternative schools including home school resource centers. Join us in this campaign and start your own school! There is no better time than now!
The goal of our fifteen week school starters’ course is to help educators assess the feasibility and find the resources required to turn the dream of a school into a sustainable and nurturing educational environment. The course will prepare students to undertake the planning necessary to open a learner-centered school.
The course is designed to address practical as well as philosophical issues pertinent to the process. This includes clarifying the educational vision, building a suitable educational model, mastering the governance techniques, fundraising, legal set up and student and staff recruitment.
Start date: October 15, 2012
Classes end: January 25, 2013
All course materials (i.e. book chapters, articles…) are provided online free of charge. You will not need to purchase books. A free copy of How to Grow a School by Chris Mercogliano, Turning Points Ed. by Jerry Mintz & Carlo Ricci, and a DVD of an AERO conference School Starter’s workshop will be mailed to you upon enrollment and receipt of payment.
Unit 2: Clarifying educational vision
Unit 3: Different kinds of governance
Unit 4: Building a community around the idea of starting a school
Unit 5: Legal requirements of a school
Unit 6: Finding or building a school environment
Unit 7: Financial basis of the school, including fundraising, budgeting and insurance issues
Unit 8: Recruiting teachers and students
Unit 9: The first days of school
Unit 10: Recap and Action Plan
What former participants have said
What an amazing, diverse group of people! I told my husband last night that I feel that I’ve found my tribe, in a way. It’s really the first time in my life that I’ve been surrounded by people who are thinking about all of the things that I am, who are concerned about the same things that I am, who are passionate about the same things that I am, who are dedicated to putting their thoughts into action like I am. It is truly wonderful! –Mary
This class has helped me spell out my ideas and put them out there in a safe place that is supportive and helps me see what potential they have. This class has also inspired me to discuss my vision more with others (in person) and let people know not only what I feel is necessary in education, but WHY I feel it is so necessary. I have developed more confidence in articulating my vision and by doing so, have gotten lots of valuable feedback and support in surprising areas. It is quite an exciting time for me seeing all of the ideas I have been playing around with in my head for so long finally come out and take shape into something that seems a little more realistically feasible each day! –Katie
I do feel the course has assisted in getting closer to my goal of opening my school. I have learned a great deal from the topics and the questions/comments posted by the collective group. I have a new sense of confidence and peace about this process. I do not see it as such a big thing now. I am already open for school everyday for my children and now I am just including some others with a little different twist. –Marianne
This course has been spectacular– it really has opened many doors for me and made a *major* step in the right direction for me opening my school– both in what it has taught as well as in the people I have met. –Alex
This course has been immensely helpful. Among other things, I’ve discovered that there is a considerable body of literature on the subject of alternative education, but the literature is NOT readily available. You won’t encounter it as required reading in teacher preparation courses. You won’t find it in most public libraries. One thing I could do, I suppose, and it would be tax-deductible, would be to purchase the available materials from The Education Revolution website and DONATE them to the library. — Robert
Course fees will be returned at a rate of 90% if withdrawn by 5:00pm eastern standard time October 15th, 50% if withdrawn by 5:00pm October 31th, and 0% after 5:00pm October 31st.
Withdrawal notice must be sent by United States Postal Service certified mail or you may contact us by e-mail or phone. Certified letter must include your full name and contact details, indicate your desire to withdraw, and must be post marked by the withdrawal deadline dates.
E-mails must be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org and the phone number is 516-621-2195. If you elect to withdraw via these two methods, you must do so a full 48 hours prior to withdrawal deadlines.
If you have not received confirmation within 24 hours of cancellation, you must send the certified letter. If you are not a resident of the United States, your withdrawal notice should be sent by mail and e-mail. It must still be postmarked by the withdrawal deadline. Any questions regarding this policy should be sent to the above e-mail.
Jerry established and for eighteen years ran Shaker Mountain School (VT) – free school based on the principles of Iroquois democracy. He is the author of No Homework and Recess All Day and is currently Director of Alternative Education Resource Organization (AERO).
Chris is the author of How to Grow a School: Starting and Sustaining Schools That Work, In Defense of Childhood, Teaching the Restless, and Making It Up as We Go Along and long time director at The Free School in Albany. See www.chrismercogliano.com for a complete bio.
Schools we have helped start
Brooklyn Free School (NY, U.S.A.)
Manhattan Free School (NY, U.S.A.)
Little Lake Learning Community (Ann Arbor, MI)
Freedom To Grow Unschool ( Athens, FL)
Community Green Charter School (Charter, FL)
Lifetime Learning, Coral Springs
Ridge and Valley Charter School (NJ, U.S.A.)
Wellspring School (NJ, U.S.A.)
Nahoon Montessori School (New London, South Africa)
Voyagers Learning Center (NJ, U.S.A.)
Village Free School (OR, U.S.A.)
Missoula Community School (MT, U.S.A.)
Celebration Education (CA, U.S.A.)
Harriet Tubman Free School (NY, U.S.A.)
Foundations School (CA, U.S.A.)
Espacio A (PR, U.S.A.)
The Discovery School (ME, U.S.A.)
Shenendoah Valley Community School (VA, U.S.A.)
Forest School (ON, Canada)
The Central Coast Village School (CA, U.S.A.)
Wheels of Life School (WA, U.S.A.)
The School Without Walls (FL, U.S.A.)
The Journey School and Resource Center (VT, U.S.A.)
Wildwood School (BC, Canada)
The Watershed Learning Center-Circleville (NY, U.S.A.)
Ashuelot River Free School (NH, U.S.A.)
The Whole School Limerick (ME, U.S.A.)
Home Life Academy (TN, U.S.A.)
Open Path Homeschooling Resources, (VT, USA)
Pono Learning, New York
Liberty Learning Center (TX, U.S.A.)
Laura Austin Achievement Center (NY, U.S.A.)
Beacon Academy, Lafayette (IN, U.S.A.)