Our School Needs to Radically Change.
Regardless of whether one thinks the school is high or low performing, it is not holding onto students. Children on the Bolinas Campus have lost roughly half their classmates. The current 6th grade, down to 5 kids, has lost 71% of its once enrolled students.
What can to be done?
- We can reimagine the traditional grade level structure and turn our small size into a strength. Maria Montessori and others have proven the benefits of this.
- We would thereby turn our rare Pre-K to 8th public school into a notable demonstration project, a destination.
- Doing so would encourage people to stay here, and move here, because of the school.
- We would be leveraging our our unheard of student teacher ratio, funding per student, and our small size.
- We would leverage our exceptionally rare location and proximity to one of the most vibrant cities in the world,
- The school board, and community, can embrace a bold vision, and find a full-time, proven visionary leader, who can help execute that vision. They would replace our part-time superintendent, and support our current principal.
How can this be done?
- Embrace Student Agency, Growth Mindsets, and Mastery Based Teaching.
- As mentioned, reimagine the traditional grade level structure and turn our small size into a strength.
- Replicate the Mastery Based success of the Lindsay Unified School District (in the Central Valley), and Windsor Locks School District (in Connecticut).
- Partner with, or become an experimental site for, a cutting edge progressive “sister” school that is already re-imagining education – such as the Khan Lab School.
- Khan Lab School, an experimental school serving ages 5-16+ in Mountain View, is the most well known laboratory school in the country. And their kids could use some time in nature!
- Offer them our unusually small size and agility as a Pre-K to 8 public school, while we will benefit from their leadership and integration with both their students and staff.
- Bring new, positive educational influences into the community. Adopt their best practices and the key parts of their curriculum.
- Develop world class “big idea” projects in Bolinas and Stinson Beach that will attract individuals and families to the community.
- Nurture notable educational projects, and turn these two towns into centers of learning and discovery.
But what about housing?
With 120 single family homes (116 non locally owned) in Stinson Beach, and another 27 in Bolinas, now in the short term rental (STR) market, STR regulation is our best bet for quickly re-establishing a long term rental market. Precedents have now been set by many other coastal communities with less acute housing problems. We simply need to work together and act. Sensible regulation such as that now Santa Monica, Monterey, Pacific Grove, and San Francisco could open up a few dozen family sized homes.