Based on growing interest in the Jamaica Plain Free School, I am planning to hold an open community meeting at the Jamaica Plain Branch Library on South Street on Thursday, April 2nd from 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. for all those interested in this project. Please feel free to bring your kids, since we need their input as well!
In the meantime, I propose we use this space to create an online open classroom in which we can all educate each other about free/open schools, including the history of the free schools movement, its pedagogical underpinnings, and successful models from around the world. Everyone should of course feel free to add to the syllabus and discussion.
Finally, several people have asked me specific nuts and bolts questions about the school. I want to stress that this project is very much in the “daydreaming phase.” To create a truly democratic school will require a democratic process and so, other than the very broad idea of creating a free school in Jamaica Plain, the nuts and bolts will have to come from a deliberative process of consensus building. I created the initial posting based on the assumption that the school could only come to fruition through a collaborative, community based effort.
So I do not know where this will take us, but -- like the process of real learning -- I think that's what makes it so fun and exciting!
My partner Ken and I are the co-founders of the JP Green House, and we're very much interested in the idea of a JP Free School. Our boys are currently 7, 9 and 10. Two of them attend a Montessori school and the other is in public school in Newton. We would be interested in alternatives.
Because the JP Green House project is so much in alignment with the values of the free-school movement, we'd like to propose that the JP Green House be considered as a potential site and "hub" for the JP Free School. It is still under construction, but would be ready for use within a year. There will be a large garden, a workshop, and a community space. We are musicians, community organizers, and climate activists.
Perhaps we could build this into the discussion on Apr.2? Meanwhile, for anyone who is interested, please look at our website at www.jpgreenhouse.org to get a sense of our values and interests.
JP Green House sounds like a fantastic project and I absolutely love the idea of working together. I have uploaded a draft agenda for the forum, which I provides ample opportunities for you and Ken to share information about JP Green House and your ideas for how the house could serve as a site or hub for the school.