Let’s do a quick Q&A edition this week. Here are answers to a couple of questions I’ve received over the last two weeks or so.
So where is the high school going to be?
So just to clarify, we haven’t signed anything and it will take another couple of months to determine if the site we are investigating is going to work out. Here’s what I can tell you so far: The site is located in the tri-cities of Grand Haven / Spring Lake / Ferrysburg, and is fairly central to all three communities. It’s bigger than we need in the first year (and potentially a little bigger than we even will need at full capacity) – but, there is the possibility of co-locating with another interested tenant and we are exploring how that could work out. It offers the possibility of leasing rather than purchasing and could be made ready for use as school at minimal investment. If all these stars align (minimal renovation to meet code, lease versus buy, and sharing the space) this would all help to keep our start-up costs much lower. That reduces our fundraising burden AND it means more of the money we will need to raise can directly impact our future students – purchasing the furniture they will work in, the technology they will leverage, the books and materials they will use, etc… and less of it needed just to update mechanical aspects of the building itself.
[From a student]: I heard we’ll be able to try out different jobs at your school. Could I try out being a photographer?
I actually get this question a lot (well, fill in any of a dozen different careers at the end!) And my answer is usually both liberating and scary for teens. The liberating part is that they don’t have to worry that their interest won’t be “on the list” because we (the adults in the building) aren’t going to be picking out internships for the students. The scary part is, they will be. But as I told this young lady on Wednesday, we’ll help with all the preparation necessary to identify, approach, and secure an internship and they definitely CAN do it.
There were a few good articles lately all relating to how traditional grading practices get in the way of actual learning. From author Stephen King, “That fearlessness always comes when a kid is writing for himself, and almost never when doing directed writing for the grade.” And another piece on how tough it is for students to work for learning, as opposed to doing work for a grade.
Do you have a question I didn’t answer today? Just reply to this email and I’ll respond either personally or in the next TGIF (or both).