I love Freedom Academy. I’m not ashamed to admit that. The fact is, that when my oldest (5th grade now) was getting ready for kindergarten, I was worried about some of the unfortunate things that can happen in public schools.
Personally, I’m a product of public school (judge for yourself if that’s good or bad) and I know there are meaningful, positive things that happen there.
The reality is that, when Freedom Academy came along, I realized this was a chance for our daughter to have the best chance for an exciting, challenging education. Freedom Academy had a reputation of being an innovative school with great teachers and a great curriculum.
I was amazed at the parent-teacher involvement at Freedom that first year. I remember being amazed that a parent could help out with things like school drop-off or grading papers. I learned that Freedom Academy is successful because the coordination and partnership between the school and community was vibrant and coordinated.
Since then, I think some of that same “bootstrap” mentality and resulting energy and vitality has been lost, and I can see why–a brand new building, excellent and capable teachers, and stuff just seems to happen whether you are involved or not! It’s simple to stand back and just watch the “magical” things that these great teachers and volunteers put out for us.
Our school, like our children, is growing up and as it matures, there are some new ways of thinking we should consider just like how the same tactics to get a wide-eyed first-grader to listen just won’t work on a sophisticated, eye-rolling fifth-grader! (yes, I have personal experience!)
This is one reason I am running for Governing Board election this year.
I feel strongly that some of the growing-pains our school is experiencing can be addressed through better communications between parents, teachers and administration (enabling parents to see where they can assist), better focus on enabling our teachers to have the support they need, focus on supporting new and struggling students and their families, and to ensure the financial security of our school through sustainable fundraising.
I believe that, if we are not careful, we may lose much of the significant momentum we have already gained here, and the reputation of our school may change from being an extraordinary opportunity, to a lost opportunity.