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Why I Chose Open Education

The following statements come from Barton families.  Click on the titles to see the full statement for each.

We chose Barton Open School because of the expertise and commitment of all teachers, principal and staff to educating the whole child with relevant, creative and rich curriculum.
We value the fact that starting in kindergarten and continuing through eighth grade our children create complex projects on topics that interest them; they participate in parent/student/teacher conferences by setting their own goals and evaluating their own progress; they take the lead in all-school programs, making for events that are much more chaotic than a typical adult-led event but giving opportunity to students to practice leadership roles; and they comment positively on each other?s work and question fellow students and teachers freely. Guided by expert teachers and led by a deep-thinking principal, Barton Open students learn how to think critically and participate actively in their education and community.
Why we chose Barton Open for our kids and why we continue to choose Barton Open for our kids
The community, the students, art on the walls, art everywhere, artful learning, options, ideas, buddies with uppers, sharing, Wolf Ridge, Steve, projects, the kid made gifts at the marketplace, individuals, author’s tea in Kristin’s room, invention, guest artists, looping, yoga balls for chairs, lunch in the classrooms, student author night, goal setting conferences, creativity, portfolio share, . . .
My husband and I have two children currently attending Barton Open and one who recently graduated from there.
I was quite familiar with Barton Open School twenty years ago through my work in arts education.  Because of that exposure, I had a pretty strong feeling even when our kids were small that Barton Open is where I wanted to send them to school.  Through my work I was fortunate to observe Barton students and saw youngsters who were actively engaged, asking interesting questions and making insightful observations.  They were students who were full of life and energy, yet respectful too.
Although I attended mostly Catholic schools when I was a child growing up in Minneapolis, three of my younger sisters attended Barton Open's predecessor schools in the 1970s
- Harrison Open School, and before that Bryn Mawr Open School - so I had some familiarity with open education going back a long time.  Also, my brother-in-law taught at Barton Open for approximately a dozen years - I knew he was a superb teacher, teaching a variety of interesting classes to seventh and eighth graders, involving appealing subject matter spanning multiple disciplines.  I knew I wanted my two children to grow up learning in that kind of environment, where children are active participants in their own learning. 
When looking for a school for my oldest child, my husband and I had to do a lot of reflection.
We had both experienced schools, private and public, that hadn't been good experiences. I had moved abroad after sixth grade and was so much happier in my British school than my 'good' suburban public schools. In my new school we were stimulated, engaged, had many breaks to move around and we were not graded. The teachers got to know us as  individuals and reported on our effort and progress. This was the kind of school experience I wanted for my son;
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