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Enrolment at alternative school drops

Students at a school built on freedom of choice may soon have no choice but to rejoin the public system if enrolment continues to plunge.

Students at a school built on freedom of choice may soon have no choice but to rejoin the public system if enrolment continues to plunge.

While far from the Hogwarts’ and Jedi academies of the big screen, Indigo Sudbury is a school for children who have difficulty learning in a public classroom. There are no classes, no curriculum and virtually no traditional rules at the school where students learn anything they choose.

Though the model of educational freedom and democratic governance is applauded by many par­ents, a move to a new location in the west end from rural Beaumont coupled with current economic uncertainty, has led to a dramatic drop in enrol­ment.

“People are tightening their belts,” said founder Nicolette Groeneveld. “At the same time, what recession times need are really creative thinkers who are confident, versatile, flexible, not afraid of change, and who aren't locked into one path. That's what our school creates.”

With only 11 children left from a class of 35 in September, staff members are diving further into the red each month.

“If this school closes, it will be an incredible shame,” said Mariel Helmers, mother of one graduate and one current student.

For more information, visit www.indigosudburycampus.com.

 
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