Are you ready to explore the possibilities and expand your vision of what education can be?
At Deep Root Center (DRC), we believe that all young people deserve a safe educational environment where they feel trusted and heard - and where they are free to explore all the possibilities. Learning can only happen when kids intuitively understand that they are safe, heard, and trusted to make decisions, make mistakes, and explore all their interests to achieve their ever-evolving aspirations.
Why is DRC Not a School?
DRC offers a non-coercive alternative to school. We are here to support you, as an individual, moving forward, in a unique direction, to follow your interests and goals, at a pace that is right for you. Our main goal is to encourage our student members to rediscover and embrace their natural playfulness, curiosity, and creativity; and, in the process, rekindle their love of learning and belief in themselves. DRC trusts that all young people are capable of self-regulation and that they will make good choices when offered the opportunity.
What is Deep Root Center?
DRC is a small non-coercive learning center filled with resources, materials, and people who are here to support you to be the best, most authentic you.
Who chooses Deep Root?
Some DRC youth and families come from an alternative mindset. They are already comfortable with nontraditional choices.
Other DRC members never planned to choose an alternate path. Many have tried to make school work for them in various ways and in various locations, with similar results. The environment and instruction typically offered in school is not for everyone.
- You have interests and goals that are not being met by your current educational environment.
- You are feeling Bored, Anxious, or Disenfranchised.
- You are seeking a hands on, interactive, and dynamic environment where you can be creative, imaginative, inventive, and curious, explore and make mistakes, get your feet wet, both figuratively and literally, follow your dreams and spread your wings - with folks who will accept you as you are and support you, unconditionally, to grow into your authentic self.
- You understand that learning happens everywhere.
- Above all - you are ready to take charge of your education and life!
How it Works - Steps to Becoming a Member
1. Schedule an appointment
1. Schedule an appointment
- Tell us why you are interested in joining Deep Root Center.
- Discuss whether DRC is the correct option for your family - see above paragraph.
3. Develop a Customized Learning Plan with DRC Staff (IHIP)
- Homeschooling is the legal mechanism to become a Deep Root Center member. The IHIP includes specific subjects (math, English, etc.) as determined by NYS. At Deep Root Center we call all of these subjects - buckets. Our mutual goal is to build a completely personalized plan by filling those buckets with projects, independent research, classes, and activities that are dynamic, exciting, interesting, and lead toward fulfilling individual dreams and aspirations. There is a $40 fee due upon completion of this service. It will then be deducted from the amount due the first month of trial membership.
- The application includes a community agreement, member contract, expectations and recommendations, and waivers, as well as emergency and contact info.
- Fee Reduction applications are available upon request. DRC will never refuse a child because of their families financial situation.
5. Begin your Personal Education Journey with DRC
- Join us each day to work on creative, hands-on projects, independent study, group classes, tutorials, and to socialize.
- A family meeting will be scheduled two months after you join DRC. This meeting will be a time for reflection from all parties: you, your parents, and DRC staff to decide if DRC is the correct place for you.
- If it is determined that things have not worked out and this is not the right environment, then the you will either continue homeschooling on their own, or will return to Public school. DRC staff will help facilitate either scenario.
1. A New Way to Approach Learning, Education, and Life:
Deep Root Center focuses on each individual: their strengths, interests, talents, and goals. We meet kids where they are, and, support them to travel wherever their passions lead, do whatever interests them, and become whoever they want to be. We ask them the big questions like: What problems in the world would you like to work on? How can you use your life and skills to help others? And, quite simply, what makes you happy?
2. Making the Decision:
The process of becoming a Deep Center Member is fairly simple, however, as with most things, the first step is the most difficult --- making that decision --- consciously choosing self-directed learning, and willingly (excitedly) taking charge of your education. Deep Root Center staff is available to meet with youth and their families to discuss whether this is the correct educational environment to satisfy their specific learning style, personality, as well as needs. Students are also welcome to visit for a day or two to hang out, explore, and participate in activities and classes to help them decide if DRC is right for them.
3. Creating a Customized Learning Plan:
Once a young person determines that Deep Root Center is who they want to help them pursue their individual education, they meet with me, the Executive Director, to explore all the possibilities and map out their personal educational plan, based on their unique interests. I facilitate this process, which varies depending upon the age of the student, through discussion and recommendations, and, by asking a multitude of questions. We then create an Individualized Home Instruction Plan (IHIP), the formal document and legal mechanism that allows students to leave traditional school to participate at DRC, which is derived from our conversation. There is a $40 fee due upon completion of this service. It will then be deducted from the amount due the first month of membership.
4. Completing the Application:
Families fill out the Deep Root Center application and students are asked to sign the agreement, and member contract along with their parents. A staff person then reviews the specific terms agreed upon in the financial contract (and fee reduction application) with the family.
5. A Personal Mentor:
Student members, ages 10-18, are assigned a personal mentor who meets weekly with each youth, using the DRC online portfolio tool, to discuss and imagine goals, talk about difficult situations, provide resources, track progress, and facilitate tutorials and community connections. The mentor will also help the student write the Quarterly Progress Reports that are required by NYS. This supportive, mentoring relationship is the very core of the Deep Root Center experience.
6. Daily Life at DRC:
Members drop-in to work on independent academic and hands–on creative pursuits, play music, take classes, or one-on-ones, and hang out with their friends, each week (four days in Canton and three in Lawrenceville.
Deep Root Center's schedule represents the interests of our members as well as staff members and volunteers. Youth are expected to choose a handful of classes, and use DRC in a meaningful way.
The Seedlings Program introduces new ideas and concepts in an open, comfortable environment that engage all of the young person's senses with imaginative, fun, and engrossing activities. Free play and creativity are the backbone of this program.
DRC is a comfortable environment that offers an active and supportive multi-age social network. We are dedicated to providing a welcoming and supportive environment for all who choose to be here.
7. Evaluation of Trial Period
A trial period followed by an evaluation is the way we will determine whether this truly is the best educational environment for each youth. * See above info for additional details.
Thank you for sticking it out with us! If you are still interested in joining DRC, the best way to learn more is to get in touch through email. Click the button below. We look forward to talking with you soon!