Before I started SoloQuest, I was instrumental in starting a public alternative school in Marin County. In the 1990s, when my sons were attending public school here in Sonoma, I worked in Marin as a principal and helped many students and families access the educational options offered. The district in which I worked was truly committed to providing alternatives for students.
Most of our students at the Marin school made progress and went out into the world prepared for all the options life has to offer. It was great. There’s nothing like feeling the joy of success as your students take the next step into the adult world.
But at the same time, I was haunted by bright students who didn’t succeed. There were students who seemed to have all the potential to be a big success at school, but instead struggled. It turns out that addressing the individual learning needs of students truly helps by accommodating them, but there is more to the picture.
These students weren’t lazy. They were hard working, conscientious and well behaved. Was it most of the students? No. But it was more than just a few. After a while, I realized it was a significant number.
All my education and background said that school should be working for everyone. My experience taught me otherwise. Despite all our efforts, there were students “falling through the cracks.” Bright students were failing despite giving all their effort. As I searched for answers, I realized no one else in “the system” seemed to have a solution.