New Country School: An Experimental High School

In most cases, it is unheard of and actually thought to be an even a crazy idea. Think of it- a high school with no principal, no teachers, no bells, and no student desks. Now do you think that I am really crazy?

It is happening. A new experimental school has opened in Henderson, Minneapolis. The school, New Country School, was developed by Dee Thomas and her coworkers. The idea began fifteen years ago. The main drive behind the school was to change the high school scheduling of classes and bells. Thomas felt it ridiculous to constantly be interrupted by a bell signaling the change of classes. She noted that when individuals go to work, they do not break their job up into sections by subject. Everything is united. This was her goal for the school.

The typical school set-up has the office at the entrance. Anyone visiting the school will find the secretary and principal’s office up front. The classes will fill the remaindered of the building. Thomas believes that this leads to the assumption that the office area and principal are the meat of the building, the heart of it. The teachers come next and then the students. I will have to admit that this is the typical set-up for most schools.

At New Country School, there is only one room. Visitors walk into an open entrance hall upon entering the building. The entire student population (124 students) is in one room. Each student has an office desk. The typical student desks are not seen. Each student has a computer at which to work.

The structure of listening to a lecture or to a teacher is not there. The students can move around and change tasks as they please. There is no office to send students to or reasons for students to leave the room. The adults in the room are called the advisors.

Check for continuing articles about this new experimental school!

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