If yours is a
homeschooling family in Duneland and you’re interested in becoming a part of
a larger educational community, then The Marram School, set to open its
doors this fall in Chesterton, may be of service to you.
The Marram School
is a private K-12 school which is currently in the process of applying for
not-for-profit status, its founder Mary May told the Chesterton Tribune
The mission of The
Marram School: to “foster a self-directed learning community that celebrates
individual differences and encourages students to pursue their interests by
being the creators of their education.”
should plan on attending an informational meeting at 7 p.m. Wednesday, June
11, in the Bertha Wood Room at the Thomas Library, 200 W. Indiana Ave. in
Chesterton. Additional meetings will be held in July and August for parents
unable to attend this one.
The idea of The
Marram School is to create the context in which homeschooled students can
meet each other, work with each other, and learn together, May said.
“There’s a fairly large homeschooling community in our area with families
looking for opportunities to have more meaningful interactions.”
The Marram School,
accordingly, will encourage parents to enroll their children for at least
two days a week. An annual tuition will be charged, on a per-day basis.
“We’re offering families the opportunity to belong to a community but still
be flexible enough for each family’s needs,” May said.
The Marram School
is not a charter school, May emphasized. Nor is it simply--or even--a
clearinghouse for homeschooling materials and resources. Instead it’s really
an environment. “By following the core beliefs of personal responsibility,
democracy, and compassion, teachers at The Marram School will empower
students to take their own paths and balance their interests with the
responsibility of growing in a community,” according to a statement released
by The Marram School on Tuesday. “To promote peaceful and purposeful lives,
the school will offer its students classes and activities covering five
foundational roots for life: academics, work, service, democracy, and
With those goals in
mind, The Marram School will specifically “encourage students to give back
to and develop an interest in the larger community,” as part of a “service
learning program,” in which students will go into Duneland as volunteers.
“We’re talking to
different groups who might be able to benefit from the program,” May said.
At the MAC
And here’s the
other part of the story: The Marram School will be located in the Methodist
Activity Center (MAC) at 135 Lincoln Ave., which had been the home of the
Duneland Unit of the Boys and Girls Club of Porter County. On Friday,
however, the Duneland Unit is moving to its new home at the former
Lighthouse Christian Center on 1100N west of Fifth Street.
So the MAC will not
be tenantless long.
that--like the Duneland Unit of the BGCPC--The Marram School has no
affiliation at all with the Chesterton First United Methodist Church.
The MAC should
prove an ideal facility for The Marram School, May said. It’s kitchen will
be used for science experiments. The main open room will be devoted to group
projects and crafts. The room used by the Duneland Unit for its computer
activities will serve the same purpose at Marram. And the former “teen room”
will be reserved for “louder activities” and general play, May added. There
will also be a “completely quiet room” for homework and study.
May herself is a
licensed secondary educator who has subbed in the public schools and taught
at Montessori and for some years now has been working with homeschoolers. A
board of directors is currently being formed and a job description written
for The Marram’s School coordinator,