As a person who attended public schools from K-12, I only knew of boarding schools as being expensive alternatives to private schools. In my suburban community outside of Los Angeles, I only heard of children “being sent away” to boarding schools because they were “problem children.” However, I never really understood the positive impact a boarding school could have on students and the community the school creates. Until watching the movie Waiting for Superman, the concept of a public boarding school never once crossed my mind. As the movie shows, the Seed School of Washington D.C. is a public charter school serving the community and surrounding neighborhoods.
Similar to other charter schools, the Seed School operates on a lottery system when space permits. However, the Seed School is unique- it is a boarding school, free of cost to those who attend and it is located within D.C., close to the students’ friends and families. Students are permitted to go home on the weekends to spend time with their family, and during the week every student is involved in various extracirricular activities and experiences that they would never have access to without the Seed School.
As a supporter of many charter schools across the country and especially in New York City, I truly believe that New York City would benefit from creating a charter school that is a boarding school and is within the five boroughs of NYC. Having the boarding school within the City’s limits allows for students to remain part of their communities while being safeguarded from the streets of their communities. The concept that the Seed School created not only would benefit all students, but would be especially beneficial to students who need an alternative to public education– maybe they have dropped out of school or are in foster care or are court-involved. By having the option to attend a free boarding school, NYC would not only be promoting and providing education, but would also be supporting and serving the children of New York in a much more comprehensive way.
For more information about the Seed School please visit: http://www.seedschooldc.org/