Upattinas School and Resource Center
|Upattinas School and Resource Center|
|429 Greenridge Road
Glenmoore, Pennsylvania, Chester County, 19343
|School type||Democratic school, private school|
|Student to teacher ratio||10:1|
Lower School (K–8)
High School (9–12)
Upattinas School and Resource Center is a private, non-profit school that serves students in kindergarten through twelfth grade, as well as a homeschool resource center. Located in Glenmoore, Pennsylvania, Upattinas is a Democratic school where everyone—staff, students, parents, and board—has the opportunity to participate in school governance.
Upattinas Open Community Corporation is licensed by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania as a Private Academic School, is authorized by the Department of Immigration to grant I-20 status to non-immigrant students from other countries, and is recognized by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to issue a Home Education Diploma.
Upattinas was founded in 1971 by a group of families who believed that learning is life and that the freedom to participate in decision making is an important dimension of school. These twenty-one families made a commitment to develop a family cooperative school that would reflect such principles. At the time, a parent, Jasper Brinton, wrote these words:
"We want a school. We want an atmosphere. We believe in our children, even if we are unsure of ourselves. We want a feeling that we can live in a natural way, we want to commit ourselves to a real involved community to flourish. Our school will be an idea, not a place; a fertile playground, not a building: an organic stage. First, we want to trust our children. We want them to be self sufficient, happy with themselves, weak and strong; sensitive to the larger world. Honest. We will give our children the chance to become, we will do everything we can to try to understand them. Live with them. Ours will be a community school."
These founding families were invited to use part of Tina French-Miller's home, and meeting "up at Tina's" gave the school its name. Over time a high school program was added and new staff was hired. The school moved to the top of Valley Forge Mountain, and developed an integrated, open program. Academic studies were integrated into all kinds of activities and the arts were part of everyday life. By 1978 the school had outgrown its space and the community decided to purchase its current site in Glenmoore, Pennsylvania.
In 1983 Upattinas became active in the National Coalition of Alternative Community Schools (NCACS) and continues attending and hosting National Conferences. A resource center for home education was created in 1986. An international program became a reality shortly thereafter. In 1991 a sister school in Japan, the Nomugi Open Community School, was founded.
The Upattinas mission is "to nurture and inspire interest-driven, noncoercive learning in an open democratic community."
The staff, students, and parents believe:
- In participant controlled, noncompulsory, and noncoercive learning.
- That living is learning and that play is the basis of learning.
- There are many ways to learn and all are valid.
- In encouraging and supporting personal excellence.
- In people of all ages learning together respectfully.
- In emphasizing trust and communication rather than rules.
- In balancing individual freedom with responsibility to the community.
- In diversity and nondiscrimination.
- In nonviolent problem solving.
- That we must work for environmental renewal and global justice.
All students at Upattinas are invited to participate in the democratic governance of the school. Students are expected to attend the weekly All-School Meeting, and participation in various social and work committees is encouraged.
Upattinas High School community is an eclectic group of students and staff members who work together to create dynamic learning experiences. Students participate in decision-making, curriculum offerings, conflict resolution, and disciplinary issues. The interests of students and teachers shape the classes offered for each semester. Students are able to design a curriculum based on their interests and needs by working with their advisors and parents. Students may select from the roster of courses offered in any given semester or they may create an independent study program in consultation with their advisor. A student may choose to utilize their local community college, or other college course and learning processes suited to their individual needs.
The kindergarten through eighth grade program is designed to incorporate as much interdisciplinary and experiential learning as possible. It is an ungraded program in which students are grouped according to interest and their individual stage of development or skill. They are not coerced into participation in classes or activities. Every child contributes to decision making through discussion and helps to arrive at consensus, or uses the voting process if it becomes necessary. At times the whole group meets and participates in activities together. Ample time is given for free play and it is given equal weight in the curriculum.
- The Upattinas School and Resource Center Fund
- PA Dept of Education - Home Education and Private Tutoring - Diplomas
- A Brief History
- Mission, Vision, and Values
- Upattinas School at Greenlisted.org
- [Upattinas school brochure, 2010]
- [Upattinas school brochure, 2010]
- Upattinas School and Resource Center Official Web Site
- Upattinas blog
- GreatSchools - Upattinas
- Private Schools Report - Upattinas
- School Digger - Upattinas
- Private School Review - Upattinas School
- I WANT TO DO THIS ALL DAY - Redefining Learning & Reinventing Education - An Audio Documentary