An independent day at a middle school in the United States could be just what the doctor ordered.
But in the case of the American School District, the idea of a day is being pushed by a group of parents, many of whom believe it’s essential for children to be left with the autonomy they deserve, according to ABC News.
The idea is being promoted by the Center for Independent Education, which advocates for more autonomy in school districts.
It’s a position that is opposed by many teachers, parents, and other educators, who feel it will lead to less learning, and more student confusion.
“When I talk to parents about independence, they often say they want their kids to have some independence of their own,” said Beth Denton, founder of the center.
“They feel like this independence is important to their children, but it’s not necessary.”
“I’ve seen kids come to school, go to lunch, play, have a little play, go home and they just get on with their lives, and they don’t have to worry about being distracted from their education,” said Denton.
“And this independence doesn’t have anything to do with being in a classroom, it has to do a lot with how you feel, and how you interact with others.”
Aitkin is an independent school, meaning it is funded by the state, not the federal government.
It receives federal funding, but the state pays for the infrastructure and staff needed to operate the school.
So when it comes to funding, the District doesn’t get a cut.
“We have a strong community, we have an incredibly supportive staff, we’re very well funded and we have a very good relationship with the federal Government,” said Aitkin superintendent Mark Anderson.
But even as the District continues to struggle financially, it’s struggling to find enough qualified staff to keep the school open.
There are currently no openings for teachers, so teachers are looking elsewhere for work.
According to ABC, the Center is seeking students who are interested in volunteering at the school to help support its efforts to open.
It’s a huge issue, and the Center says that there are several ways it can help.
It could set up a social media presence, run a blog, create a website, or help the District recruit new teachers and other resources.
Aitkins parents, however, aren’t convinced.
“They’re doing this for a reason,” said Dana Boren, a parent from Dallas, Texas.
“It’s not just to keep their kids safe, but also to provide some stability.”
Anderson said the district has been in discussions with parents about its future, but that the school’s board is not involved in any discussions.
“There is no agreement, and there is no conversation at all,” Anderson said.
“I don’t know if that’s a good thing or not.”
The Center is not alone in pushing for independence at middle schools.
The American School Association, an advocacy group for schools, is also pushing for a “free and clear day,” but says it doesn’t feel it’s a necessary solution.
“We’ve heard the stories, and we’ve seen how that has affected kids, and I think that it’s important to get some independent thinking out there,” said Jessica Stahl, the executive director of the association.
“And that is really what I’m interested in, to have this conversation, and to have a conversation about how to help students in the best way possible.”
Stahl is part of the Aitokin Parent Group, which works with parents to develop policies and guidelines to help parents and school leaders set boundaries around their kids’ time.
“Free and clear means, we are not going to let a kid do anything.
Free and clear does not mean, we don’t let them go to the movies, or do something,” she said.
But she also says there are plenty of other ways to help kids learn, and said that parents should have more autonomy over their own time.
“The freedom that we are given as parents is not something that can be taken away from us,” she added.