Complete Recent Thought Process of the Genesis School (really long)

Original thought: middle school/high school mainly boarding. But then you have to deal with all the boarding crap that comes from that. Rich parents without any connection to their children and kids without enough supervision.

Maybe this is too intense for middle/high school. Maybe it should be a college. But, no. There are lots of creative options in colleges…the whole point is that there are few creative middle/high schools with individual foci.

So if it is not boarding then it needs to be near a city or metropolitan area with enough people to go to the school. We could open it up to anyone and have slots for boarding students or place boarding students with teacher families since the teachers would mostly live on the property anyway.

Side note: financially teachers would probably want to own their own houses…but what about resale? Financially if teacher’s owned their own houses then they would have an investment, but if people had to be teachers to live in those houses then it would be hard to resell them. But if the school owned the houses the teachers would not have investment or equity. Idea: what if when we buy the land in the first place we put in a development to raise the money for the building of the school where the teachers could live and anyone else. Then the teachers could be encouraged to live there (maybe the school could pay the downpayment if the teachers would agree to live in the housing development near the school) and could also be able to resell their house. And maybe the school could own a couple residences for those who did not want to own their own house. Interesting, but then how would students live with teachers? Would all the houses be big enough to have boarders in? Or should the school just own the houses and sell them to the teachers? Or the school could own a couple houses to rent, teachers could live in the development, or teachers could buy land from the school and build their own house, which the school could have first rights to buy later or it could be sold to someone else outside, like some of the houses in the development. Of course all the houses in the development would be sustainable, passive and active solar, energy efficient, really cool houses too…no cookie cutter houses please. So the housing development would almost be like a co-housing development if you were involved with the school…and maybe their could be a connection with the rest of the residents and the community of the school. Hmm…that would actually lead to a few too many meetings…residential and school community decisions…yikes.

Off the side note: let’s put the school where there are lots of people and put the boarding students in houses with teachers/staff for now.

OKAY…think circles. Think community. Maybe M-Th people could rotate to do community meals for all boarders and any other staff who wanted to with the help of the fulltime kitchen staff. And maybe Sunday night could be a big community meal for all staff and all boarders and any other students who wanted to come. Maybe with some talk and discussion afterwards. Friday and Sat something could be provided for the boarders, but not be teachers so they get a break. Family time maybe. Ben reminded me this morning that people need time for their own families too. True. I get so into the community stuff that I somehow forget that I like to be alone a lot of the time. Right….

I came up with a more detailed time schedule. You see, the daily schedule and housing arrangements speak to me more about what the vision of the school is more than writing a vision statement, although I should start that too. I need to start a list of words I want to describe the school.

Insane. Yeah maybe, but, hey, I’m just building ideas here!

Anyway, Daily Schedule: from 8-12:00 M-Th would be core classes: math, literature & writing, history, and science. 12-2:00 would be siesta, a time for Frisbee, napping, studying, eating, meeting informally, etc. 2-4:00 would be Personal Focus time, during which one day per week students would be working, one-three days per week be taking a specialized course or doing independent projects. 4-6:00 would be time for sports or just the end of the day. After 6:00 sometime would be community meals. NOW, Fridays would be different. Fridays would be work/community service…however you work it, four hours of each. This would be a prep, meet with students, organize fun things, etc. day for teachers. Saturdays would be time for special trips, conferences, etc. Sundays people could go to whatever church and then maybe have a meditation time in the afternoon followed by a big community meal (maybe day students would be required to attend 6 per session or something). With talk/discussion after.

I am trying not to make this too intense. Really, honest! Oh and breakfast would be 7-8 with (optional) prayer time at 7:30.

More about personal focus time: Students can do three different things or one main thing. They have three slots per week to fill with a combination of organized focus classes, independent study, or group projects. Personal foci can be on anything! Hopefully we will have a diverse faculty with enough interests/knowledge to accommodate most things the students throw at us. For example students can write a play, make a film, conduct an experiment, research migration of birds around the school, create and install a sculpture, intern with a local business or firm, research genealogy, make a book, build a solar car, train for a race, put on a show/play, build a web site, or write about a famous philosopher. These are big to small projects (depending on what else they are doing). They can last one semester or more. Independent/group projects should be created by students and their mentor and have some system of accountability. The organized personal focus classes will be run by teachers. I might teach a class on recycled art. I might also do a class on local ecology and team up with a naturalist from a nearby preserve to help examine the ecosystem surrounding the school. I would also advise my students and help any students who needed my knowledge.

I also want the school to be really flexible. If students want to take college classes or really need to do community service on Monday morning we can work with them to make up the other work and adjust their schedule.