The Fresshness of a New Year

Written By: 
Adam Altshuler

The tangible progress of our school can be seen in the culminations of our community projects and the long term preservation of our efforts. All the experiences we have had and the physical things that our energies have accrued, reflects how far we have come as a school and community.

One of the questions that we find ourselves asking often at Kindle Farm is “How does a school measure cultural progress?” That can be a vague question because it refers to so many different aspects of school culture. Progress can be observed with our students as individuals and as home room groups. It can be in relation to academics or social skills. Progress can also be observed amongst our staff. On a larger stage, progress can be noticed in an entire community or school.

So, back to the leading question on how progress is measured. Kindle Farm is considered an alternative school that increases student accesses to their education by implementing many hands on learning experiences. All these opportunities provide our students with the foundational skills to be successful contributors in all their relationships.

How does this concept relate to large scale measurable progress? At the very end of the 2014-15 school year our leadership team decided to respond to the request of our sending districts, which was to create more space for more students to attend. We responded to this request by putting up a brand new 30 foot Yurt. The space that this yurt provides has allowed for us to except six new students; most of them being students that were on our waiting list from the previous school year. It has also opened up a space large enough to house all campus gatherings, a location for IEP and district meetings to take place on the Onyon Campus and just a common space for activities and crafts. This expansion alone has upped our potential to meet the demand to serve more students and to provide space in house to strengthen the integrity of our programs.
Directly across the lawn from our new Yurt we have built an addition off the back of the Farm House building. The addition houses a space for our new walk in cooler. With this cooler we have been able to store more food and specifically the produce that we have grown on the farm. Our food program with the support of our wellness community and the food that we produce on our own Farm has increased the nutritional value and variety of the food offered at school.

On the Farm Campus we have also put down a 30 x 50 paved black top. We now have a space to get our hearts beating during a competitive game of 4 on 4 basketball.
These large scale additions would have no traction if it wasn’t for work and service that we provide on a daily basis. When we take care of the little things the big things tend to take care of themselves. The classroom lesson and curriculum are deep and well thought out to meet the needs of our students. The activities that are offered in the afternoons show a variety of the vast amount of engaging experiences that can happen on our little spot in the valley. Our Vocational program is supporting the construction and completion of these projects mentioned above.

On the cultural development side of thing we have made some new staffing arrangements. This past summer we had a productive interviewing process and we hired eight fresh experienced staff. Lance Cutler has been promoted to the Campus Supervisor on the Farm and Kendall Edkins has been promoted to our Behavior Manager on the same Farm Campus. Our new chef Patrick Carroll has been a popular guy on Campus with his knowledge and experience for making incredible meals for our Community.

This article can go on and on, because the progress that takes place at Kindle Farm is always evolving. The progress measured at Kindle Farm is tangible and creates a sense of pride that can be felt by all its community members. You never know what is coming next but it is guaranteed to be exciting.