Chesterton Tribune



Marram School at the MAC to serve homeschooling community

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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 today.

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.”

Interested parents 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 wellness.”

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.

May noted 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,

For more information, visit or find the school on Facebook.E-mail with questions or to RSVP for the June 11 meeting.



Posted 6/4/2014