Don’t forget your jacket! Why Sudbury Valley School makes sense to me.

When I arrive with A at Sudbury Valley School, I often have try to convince him to put on a jacket before we walk to the school from the parking lot. Depending on the day, it’s a tough sell. But see, the thing is… I can’t really blame him. Logically this happens primarily on those border-line days where I myself wouldn’t necessarily see a need to wear a coat, so why should he? But still… usually my thinking is… yes, but later maybe he’ll wish he had one! But 1) if that turns out to be the case, and he cares, then surely he won’t be so casual about passing on the jacket offer in the future! And 2) as we walk to the school building on days like this (usually in the late fall or late winter) one often sees about 1.2 million other kids who are wearing even LESS clothing than A, or, if it’s a rainy day… out in the rain completely soaked, but loving it. Obviously the kids aren’t exactly suffering from their (chosen) lack out outerwear.

In other words, Time to get over it… the jacket is MY issue, not his. Kids People learn fast, so if he needs a jacket, he certainly knows how this works.

And it gets better… on days when it is REALLY REALLY cold, the school has a strict policy of the under-8 kids needing to check in with a staff member before going out and the kids know it because there is a huge sign on the front door… and anytime there is a sign on the front door A of course asks “what does that sign say?” These are the days when basically no one in their right mind goes outside anyway, but it’s a good policy, and of course, like all other school rules/laws/policies, it’s one the School Meeting (think… New England-style Town Meeting) came up with. (Consent of the governed!)

I mean, how awesome is THAT?! This place just makes sense.


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