This page will continue to grow as we receive more inquiries and think of more info to share!
Can my child attend one day?
No. Students enroll for both Wednesday and Friday. We streamlined some aspects of the school so that we can focus on learning and growing as an organization in our pilot year. That said, we are interested to hear the schedules families prefer so that we can grow in response to community needs. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to provide feedback.
My child has special needs. Can they attend Wild School?
We are fully committed to serving young people who are neurodiverse. We are working closely with a special education consultant to understand the supports we can offer to young people with special needs while also maintaining a self-directed,outdoor learning space. During family enrollment meetings, we will discuss the supports and tools needed by young people with special needs and work with our consultant to figure out what is possible. We will be transparent and clear when our program cannot provide a safe learning environment for a young person.
Will masks be required indoors and outdoors?
It is difficult to make definitive policies around Covid-19 because it is a novel virus and new information is consistently discovered. Our policies will always be informed by the most relevant research, scientific consensus, and current guidance from public health officials. We commit to being transparent and communicative about how Covid-19 policies are determined and if any policy changes are necessary during the school year. We anticipate that masks will be required indoors in the fall.
What happens when it rains and snows?
Wild School @ FDR Park believes there is no bad weather, only inappropriate gear. Each family will receive a suggested gear list to ensure young people have what they need to stay comfortable. We’ll have designated indoor space in the mornings and a large event-style tent with walls and a heat source for the afternoons. Our program will remain open for most weather. We’ll follow the School District of Philadelphia’s calls for closure for inclement weather.
Is the 5-12 age requirement flexible?
No. All enrolled students will be ages 5-12 on September 1, 2021. We streamlined some aspects of the school so that we can focus on learning and growing as an organization in our pilot year. That being said, we plan to expand our program (enrollment size, space, and ages) as quickly as we can while also staying true to our vision.
Is Wild School for homeschooled students?
Yes, Wild School is for homeschooled students who are directing their own learning. We will be hosting homeschool paperwork events to help families file the necessary legal paperwork. End of the year homeschool evaluations will be available for free for all Wild School families.
What are the ways that Wild School is promoting racial equity through organizational practices?
One way that we are promoting racial equity is by prioritizing the applications of BIPOC facilitators. In order to grow a racially equitable program from the ground up, we know that we need people with different perspectives in leadership to co-create the program at every level. Our staff need to represent the families enrolled both in the day to day work and in steering the vision and goals of the program overall.
We are prioritizing the enrollment applications from BIPOC families. SDE spaces have traditionally served white families, and we want to intentionally disrupt that narrative.
We are always looking for more ways to align our values with our practices and welcome community feedback at .
How is Wild School centering social justice in its programming?
Our community will do the work together around antiracism, equity, and inclusion, so we can truly create a safe and inclusive space for any family interested in joining our school community. White families in our community will be asked to attend monthly anti-racist discussion meetups where we will read, unpack, listen, and grow together. These meetings will center around the “Decolonizing R.E.P. (race, education, parenting) Practices Resources Guide” designed specifically to meet the needs of our organization by Maleka Diggs, owner of Eclectic Learning Network. BIPOC families are absolutely welcome to join but not required to attend. We’ll support the start up of a BIPOC affinity group that meets at the same time if there is interest.
We’re intentionally partnering with organizations across Philadelphia who center social justice to support our program’s offerings, to offer Wild School families opportunities to support other organizations already invested in specific work, as well as to serve as accountability partners.
Offerings will naturally include social justice themes and practices because social justice is the wide lens through which we, the facilitators, understand the world. For example, our location will inevitably lead to conversations, questions, and observations about the natural world- natural occurrences, human interferences, issues of access and representation, and the intersection of power, race, responsibility, agency and more.
Our program disrupts the earliest power imbalance that young people experience-- between themselves and adults. Our staff work tirelessly to notice their inherent power in interactions with young people, and we work to relinquish that power so that children can be in charge of their lives and their learning.
Our equity fund is created to counter inequitable income distribution. Our sliding tuition scale allows us to meet families where they are at. We are currently applying for 501C3 status, which will increase our fundraising ability with the goal of our sliding scale tuition sliding to zero.
How are parents involved?
While parents are able to drop off their young people for programming on Wednesdays and Fridays, we know that raising free people takes a village, and we envision families supporting the school in a number of ways.
Families are invited to share their passions with the school community through offerings + sharing resources
Families will become members of Friends of FDR and will volunteer throughout the school year.
Families will collaborate with staff around antiracist work, environmental stewardship, and growing as conscious and respectful adults in the lives of the young people we are supporting.
Families are encouraged to support our fundraising goals so we can offer accessible programming to more families