An alternative to mainstream education |

An alternative to mainstream education

Dear Editor:

For several months, my eighth-grade daughter and I have been exploring educational alternatives to the local conventional high schools in preparation for next fall. Americans often think there is only one way to learn: Students go to school eight hours a day for 13 years, absorbing academic standards and advancing when they pass proficiency tests.

Perhaps your family also is thinking that this system is not the best way for an avid learner to excel academically and become a lifelong learner. The standardized curriculum available in conventional schools does not inspire innovation and curiosity in many children. Kids who are passionate about outside academic pursuits and extracurricular activities often don’t have time for those because of the homework load they are assigned. This large homework load infringes on important family time. High-level learners yearn to be in an academic environment where all students are as engaged and curious as they are.

There is an educational alternative, one that provides all of the components teens need to transition to college and career. Students need to earn important “real world” experiences, mentoring and internship opportunities that help them determine a career path. Students 14 and older can earn many transferable college credits inexpensively at the local Colorado Mountain College while they are in high school so that they can enter a university with an idea of a declared major and a clear path to a career.

After much exploration, we have created an educational experience that we think many families will be interested in. If you feel your eighth- to 12th-grade child would thrive in a learning environment that provides high-level academics and extracurricular activities, participation in Socratic seminars, public-speaking lessons, mentoring/internships, CMC classes and an opportunity to pair with other avid learners in a nurturing environment, then you and your child should attend the alternative high school information meeting from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Basalt Public Library. If you have questions prior to the meeting, contact me at 970-927-4627 or

Stacey Craft


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