Guide to the Exploring Family School Records

Finding Aid Authors: Scott W. Woods.
© Copyright 2007 Special Collections & University Archives. All rights reserved.
2007-12-06
5500 Campanile Dr. MC 8050
San Diego, CA, 92182-8050
URL: http://library.sdsu.edu/scua
Email: scref@rohan.sdsu.edu
Phone: 619-594-6791

Guide to the Exploring Family School Records 1969/1983

Special Collections & University Archives

Overview of the Collection

Collection Title: Exploring Family School Records
Dates: 1969-1983
Identification: MS-0107
Creator: Exploring Family School
Physical Description: 5.00 linear ft
Language of Materials: English
Repository: Special Collections & University Archives
5500 Campanile Dr. MC 8050
San Diego, CA, 92182-8050
URL: http://library.sdsu.edu/scua
Email: scref@rohan.sdsu.edu
Phone: 619-594-6791

Historical Note:

Founded by parents dissatisfied with the public school system, the Exploring Family School (EFS) was San Diego's first institution for alternative education. EFS ran from 1969-1983 and provided a K-12 education. The school was founded under the assumption that structure is detrimental to the learning experience. Students were not graded, and were not exposed to competition within the classroom. Instead, teachers developed a more interactive approach with both parents and students, flexible enough to foster the child's emotional, academic and social needs.
Courses were structured around each student's individual interests, ranging from creative writing, biology, statistics, poetry, painting, politics, architectural design, music, photography, and Chicano studies. The diverse ethnic, cultural, and socioeconomic backgrounds of the students allowed for a flexible curriculum centered around personal experience.
Upon Exploring Family School's founding, there were thirty students ranging from age five to sixteen. The faculty consisted of three teachers, an administrative coordinator, a curriculum coordinator, and regular educational volunteers. As the staff grew, EFS adopted a full time coordinator, basic skills teacher, and program advisor. The school was financially supported by tuition ($65/month), donations, and scholarship assistance. Students were not turned away if they were unable to pay the tuition. Instead, they would develop a payment plan that would fit his or her family's financial situation.
While EFC was considered to be a "free" school, there was a great amount of careful consideration about the student population. The school wanted a diverse ethnic and socioeconomic population; one third of the students were the children of professors and lawyers, one third were children of people on welfare, and one third were the children of blue collar workers.
Exploring Family School ceased operation in 1983.

Access Terms

This collection is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.

Genre/Form of Material:

Organizational Records
Publications

Geographic Name:

San Diego (Calif.) -- Intellectual life -- Sources

Topical Term:

Exploring Family School (San Diego, Calif.) -- Archives
Exploring Family School (San Diego, Calif.) -- History -- Sources
Free schools -- California -- San Diego -- History -- 20th century -- Sources
San Diego (Calif.) -- Social life and customs -- Sources

Administrative Information

Conditions Governing Use:

The copyright interests in some of these materials have been transferred to or belong to San Diego State University. The nature of historical archival and manuscript collections means that copyright status may be difficult or even impossible to determine. Copyright resides with the creators of materials contained in the collection or their heirs. Requests for permission to publish must be submitted to the Head of Special Collections, San Diego State University, Library and Information Access. When granted, permission is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical item and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder(s), which must also be obtained in order to publish.  Materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials.

Conditions Governing Access:

This collection is open for research.

Preferred Citation:

Identification of item, folder title, box number, Exploring Family School Records, Special Collections and University Archives, Library and Information Access, San Diego State University.

Related Materials:

Campus Lab School Records

Arrangement of Materials:

I. Board and Committee Minutes
II. Staff Notes and Yearbooks
III. Publications and Information
IV. Underground and Radical Ephemera

Scope and Contents

The Exploring Family School collection documents the founding, curriculum, and thirteen year operation of Exploring Family School (EFS). It consists of board minutes, executive files, newsletters, budget reports, staff notes, and curricula pertaining to the operation of the school. The collection also includes correspondence with other free schools and some countercultural ephemera. The collection is organized into four series: Board and Committee Minutes, Staff Notes and Yearbooks, Publications and Information, and Underground Radical Ephemera.
The Board and Committee Minutes series (1969-1979) documents the school's curriculum and budget.  This includes correspondence from both students and parents concerning the maintenance, faculty, and personnel in the institution. It includes an incomplete series of EFS newsletters, ranging from volume one to five, and a file titled "one of a kind archive materials," which provides a detailed description of school curriculum and the Summer Awareness Program. The majority of material ranges from the mid to late 1970's. It is arranged alphabetically.
The Staff Notes and Yearbooks series (1973-1983) includes handwritten notes by faculty and EFS yearbooks from the late 70's to early 80's. This series includes information about term planning, class schedules, strength and weakness reports, and budgetary reports. The yearbooks contain student photos and a statement of purpose from the school administrators. Highlights of the series show creative student work, poems, cartoons, and political commentary. Also included are fliers providing insight into the political implications of EFS. This series is arranged chronologically.
The majority of the Publications and Information series (1970-1974) includes newsletters and articles from other alternative schools. Most of these publications provide information about the current condition of the public school system, and alternative approaches to education. Highlights include articles about developing an alternative curriculum, correspondence from the Free University Movement, and alternative education ephemera.
The fourth and final series, Underground and Radical Ephemera (1974-1977), includes publications with similar ideologies to those of EFS. This includes publications form San Diego State University, The San Francisco Express, and socialist, communist, and antiwar organizations. Noteworthy documents include socialist fliers and literature, newsletters providing EFS's position on the Vietnam War, implications about ending the war, and environmentalist literature.

Detailed List of Contents

 

Board and Committee Minutes

Box 1, Folder 1

Board minutes November 30, 1970

Box 1, Folder 2

Board minutes June 1972 - July 1973

Box 1, Folder 3

Board minutes August 1973 - November 1974

Box 1, Folder 4

Board minutes January 1975 - January 1976

Box 1, Folder 5

Board minutes February 1976 - July 1976

Box 1, Folder 6

Board minutes August 1976 - December 1976

Box 1, Folder 7

Board minutes January 1977 - December 1977

Box 1, Folder 8

Board minutes January 1978 - April 1978

Box 1, Folder 9

Board minutes May 1978 - February 1979

Box 1, Folder 10

Executive Committee Meetings 1976, 1977, 1978

Box 1, Folder 11

Maintenance, Personnel, Finance, Fundraiser, Admissions Committee minutes 1976, 1977, 1978

Box 1, Folder 12

Curriculum Committee minutes 1976, 1977, 1978

Box 1, Folder 13

Board, Personnel, Finance, Executive Committee minutes 1978

Box 1, Folder 14

General Information Bylaws, curriculum, student/teacher contracts, Alternative education bibliography, evaluation forms 1974

Box 1, Folder 15

Miscellaneous, including volunteer program, graduation policy

Box 1, Folder 16

Operating/California Department of Education, Textbook distribution

Box 1, Folder 17

Private school affidavits/ Operation documents state department fo education 1973 - 79

Box 1, Folder 18

Finances/ school risk accident policy

Box 1, Folder 19

Agreement of use-Unitarian Church September 15, 1969

Box 1, Folder 20

Communications from parents 1975, 1976, 1977

Box 1, Folder 21

Miscellaneous correspondence, including letters of resignation

Box 1, Folder 22

Letters from Valerie Marino Re: Open Roads New Jobs program

Box 1, Folder 23

"Communications with Dawn" Including criticism 1975 - 76

Box 1, Folder 24

"Communications with students" Including criticism

Box 1, Folder 25

Newsletter Volume 1, Issues 1 - Volume 5, Issue 4 (incomplete)

Box 1, Folder 26

File labeled "Misc."

Scope and Contents

Includes curriculum handbook 1973, articles on Alternative education, Alternative Education Bibliography, Budget documents, description of school, history of school, student contract evaluations.
Box 1, Folder 27

Documents filed as "Misc."

Scope and Contents

Includes brochures, miscellaneous newsletters, poetry publication.
Box 1, Folder 28

Documents field as "one of a kind archive materials"

Scope and Contents

Includes 1980 - 81 fund raising handbook, various Exploring Family School publications, early reference to the free school.
 

Staff Notes and Yearbooks

Box 1, Folder 29

Staff notes 1973 - 1974; 1974 - 1975

Box 1, Folder 30

Staff notes/Core staff minutes 1976

Box 1, Folder 31

Staff notes/Core staff minutes 1977 - January 1979

Box 1, Folder 32

Term Planning 1973 - 1974; 1974 - 1975

Box 1, Folder 33

Term Planning; class surveys 1974 - 1975; 1975 - 1976

Box 1, Folder 34

Term Planning; class signups 1974 - 1975; 1975 - 1976

Box 1, Folder 35

Term Planning Including class schedules; Staff schedules 1973-74; 1974-75; 1975-76; 1976-1977

Box 2, Folder 1

Coordinator reports 1975 - 78

Box 2, Folder 2

Strengths and weaknesses, suggestions for improvement 1977 - 79

Box 2, Folder 3

Fall Planning year planning 1973-74; 1974-75; 1975-76; 1976-77

Box 2, Folder 4

Staff notes 1975-76; 1976-77; 1977-78; 1978-79

Box 2, Folder 5

Notebook 1969 - 71

Box 2, Folder 6

Notebook January 1972 - August 1973

Box 2, Folder 7

Summer awareness session 1973

Box 2, Folder 8

Exploring Family School Youth Enrichment Summer

Box 2, Folder 9

Class schedules 1973 - 74

Box 2, Folder 10

Miscellaneous 1973 - 74

Box 2, Folder 11

Evaluations 1973 - 74

Box 2, Folder 12

Counseling 1973 - 74

Box 2, Folder 13

Notebook September 1973 - March 1974

Box 2, Folder 14

Notebook April 1974 - August 1974

Box 2, Folder 15

Overview 1974 - 75

Box 2, Folder 16

Notebook September 1974 - March 1975

Box 2, Folder 17

Year Notebook 1974-75; April 1975 - July 1975

Box 2, Folder 18

Year Notebook 1975 - 76 First half

Box 2, Folder 19

Year Notebook 1975 - 76 Second half

Box 2, Folder 20

Year Notebook 1975 - 76

Box 2, Folder 21

Year Notebook 1975 - 76

Box 2, Folder 22

Year Notebook 1976 - 77

Box 2, Folder 23

Year Notebook 1977 - 78; September 1977 - December 1977

Box 2, Folder 24

Year Notebook 1977 - 78; January 1978 - July 1978

Box 2, Folder 25

Year Notebook 1978-79; 1979-80

Box 2, Folder 26

Year Notebook 1980 - 81

Box 2, Folder 27

Year Notebook 1981-82 Fall, Spring, Summer

Box 2, Folder 28

Year Notebook 1982 - 83

 

Publications and Information

Box 3, Folder 1

Articles by students

Box 3, Folder 2

Chautauqua Learning Center Documents 1972

Box 3, Folder 3

Door article "Free School"

Box 3, Folder 4

"Alternatives to public schools"

Box 3, Folder 5

Southern California Conference on Alternative Education November 7-9 1975

Box 3, Folder 6

Yellow Pages of Learning Resources 1972

Box 3, Folder 7

John Adams High School

Box 3, Folder 8

Harlem Street Academics

Box 3, Folder 9

Edcentric Newsletters, incomplete 1970 - 71

Box 3, Folder 10

Various Alternative schools newsletters: Minnesota leader, Prisma, Holyoke Street School, Changing Schools, Notes from Nethers, Fort Wayne Folk School, Centerpeace, No More Teachers' Dirty Looks, The Teacher Paper.

Box 3, Folder 11

New Schools Exchange documents

Box 3, Folder 12

Ford Foundation Report on Alternative Schools

Box 3, Folder 13

Articles on Alternative Education

Box 3, Folder 14

Education Exploration Centers Newsletters

Box 3, Folder 15

Tamarack Learning Cooperative

Box 3, Folder 16

Information on various Alternative Schools

Box 3, Folder 17

Alternative Education Movement

Box 3, Folder 18

Symbas-Project One, San Francisco, California

Box 3, Folder 19

Pecos Street School

Box 3, Folder 20

Newark Community School

Box 3, Folder 21

School of living

Box 3, Folder 22

New College of California at Sausalito

Box 3, Folder 23

Santa Barbara Community School

Box 3, Folder 24

Compost College

Box 3, Folder 25

A Student Centered College

Box 3, Folder 26

Wildwood

Box 3, Folder 27

Evergreen College

Box 3, Folder 28

Friends World College

Box 3, Folder 29

Born Free

Box 3, Folder 30

International Community College

Box 3, Folder 31

M.A.G.U.

Box 3, Folder 32

St. Paul Open School

Box 3, Folder 33

De Sillo School

Box 3, Folder 34

Draft report of Joint Committee on the Master Plan for Higher Education February 1973

Box 3, Folder 35

Learning Environments

Box 3, Folder 36

Statements to Joint committee

Box 3, Folder 37

Comprehensive Plan for Higher Education

Box 3, Folder 38

Basic Legal issues in New York State on Teacher Certification

Box 3, Folder 39

Education Vouchers: a report on financing

Box 3, Folder 40

New College upper division seminar proposals

Box 3, Folder 41

The Journal of the Campus Free College

Box 3, Folder 42

World University

Box 3, Folder 43

Association for World Education (AWCU)

Box 3, Folder 44

The University in America (Clark Kerr, et.al.)

Box 3, Folder 45

Structure of governance, San Diego State University

Box 3, Folder 46

Workshop working papers, 22nd National Student Congress

Box 3, Folder 47

Radical Student Newsletters

Box 3, Folder 48

"The Free University Movement"

Box 3, Folder 49

Various Pamphlets and periodicals on Free College Movement

Box 3, Folder 50

Physiognomy: Volume 1, number xii

Box 3, Folder 51

Schools: Volume 4, number 4; Volume 5, number 1

Box 3, Folder 52

New Schools Exchange Newsletter Issues 29-54, incomplete

Box 3, Folder 53

New Schools Exchange Newsletter Excess copies.

Box 3, Folder 54

The Two Week Leak

Box 4, Folder 1

Summer West Coast Conference on Alternative Education July 17-18 1975

Scope and Contents

Includes information on Bay Area Schools
Box 4, Folder 2

Newspaper Clippings on Education

Box 4, Folder 3

Newspaper Clippings on Education

Box 4, Folder 4

Newspaper Clippings on Education

Box 4, Folder 5

Village School

Box 4, Folder 6

Disorientation: notes from the underground University of California Berkley radical education publication

Box 4, Folder 7

Community Schools

Box 4, Folder 8

Alternative Education Newsletters, including Changes, Prisma, EEC Journal

Box 4, Folder 9

Alternative Education Ephemera

 

Underground and Radical Ephemera

Box 4, Folder 10

EC Thing

Box 4, Folder 11

The Longest Revolution

Box 4, Folder 12

The Daily Aztec clippings

Box 4, Folder 13

Bay Area Institute; Concerned Asian Scholars

Box 4, Folder 14

Supplement to Sun Reporter

Box 4, Folder 15

National Strike Center Demands

Box 4, Folder 16

National Strike Information Center

Box 4, Folder 17

Re: Cambodia, San Diego State University May 1970

Box 4, Folder 18

The Daily Californian

Box 4, Folder 19

San Diego State University Radical Ephemera

Box 4, Folder 20

Radical/Socialist Ephemera

Box 4, Folder 21

Reflections - Soho

Box 4, Folder 22

San Diego Radical Ephemera

Box 4, Folder 23

Workforce

Box 4, Folder 24

Door

Box 4, Folder 25

Akwesasne Notes

Box 4, Folder 26

Akwesasne Notes

Box 4, Folder 27

Akwesasne Notes

Box 4, Folder 28

Akwesasne Notes

Box 4, Folder 29

The Source

Box 4, Folder 30

San Francisco Express Times

Box 4, Folder 31

Berkley Barb

Box 4, Folder 32

Uhuru

Box 4, Folder 33

Challenge

Box 4, Folder 34

Plain Rapper

Box 4, Folder 35

Focus

Box 4, Folder 36

Oracle

Box 4, Folder 37

Peace and Freedom News

Box 4, Folder 38

Instant News Service

Box 4, Folder 39

People's World

Box 4, Folder 40

Wan Bulletin

Box 4, Folder 41

Inside the Beast