Jeffery A. Collins

Associated School: 

Jeff is one of the founders of the Hudson Valley Sudbury School.  His background is in the computer industry where he has worked for over 30 years since he graduated from Cornell with a BS in Computer Science.  Throughout his career, Mr. Collins has been involved with and started a number of technology companies that have provides services to the financial and utility industries.

In 2001, Mr. Collins and his wife started the process of creating a Sudbury Model School in Woodstock, NY. Over time they were joined by other people and in 2004, the school was opened. Mr. Collins has been a Staff Member of the school for most of the time since the school opened. His primary responsibility in the last few years has been to promote the school to the local community and to promote the Sudbury Model globally. In this capacity, Mr. Collins has given talks about the Sudbury Model at conferences in the United States and internationally.

 

Articles by the Author

The Growth of a Sudbury School

Associated School: 

While we have not yet started to make a big deal of it (yet – just wait smiley), we are fast approaching the 10th anniversary of the first day of school in our building on Zena Road.   Between now and June 14th, I will be writing some blogs that will provide some history of the school.  In this first installment, I will discuss the school’s enrollment.  This particular topic is forefront in my mind because we are starting to face one those good news/bad news situations.  The good news is that we have the highest enrollment since the very beginning of the school.  The bad news is that is looks like we will have to start thinking seriously about how we handle a waiting list.

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The Sudbury Model of Education

Associated School: 

The fundamental difference between a Sudbury school and any other type of school is the student's level of responsibility. In a Sudbury school the students are solely responsible for their education, their learning methods, their evaluation and their environment. In a public school, the state takes responsibility for most aspects of a student's education including curriculum and evaluation. The student is left with little responsibility except to learn what is taught, how it is taught, in the environment in which it is taught and then to reiterate it back at evaluation time.

In a public school, the state takes responsibility for most aspects of a student's education including curriculum and evaluation. The student is left with little responsibility except to learn what is taught, how it is taught, in the environment in which it is taught and then to reiterate it back at evaluation time.

In a non-Sudbury private school, the school administrators take a larger role in determining a student's curriculum than in a public school. In some private schools, the school takes responsibility for evaluation, while in others the school administers the state tests. In most private schools, as with public schools, a student has personal responsibility only for learning what someone else determines is important to learn, at a time they think it is important to learn it, in a way someone else has determined it should be taught, in an environment designed by someone else, and they must do this well enough to pass the evaluations written and graded by someone else.

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The Sudbury Conversation

Associated School: 

I was talking to the father of a newly enrolled student recently.  During the conversation he told me about his experiences telling his friends about having his son enrolled at the school.  He said the basic conversation goes like this:

Friend: “So how is your son doing?”
Father: “Great!”
Friend: “Where is he going to school?”
Father: “He just started at the Sudbury School.”
Friend: “Ooohhhhhh….”

Accompanying this sound is a rather quizzical look.  While not saying any words, the sound and the expression convey a lot of meaning: thoughtfulness, concern, incredulity, and a large dose of “I don’t know what to say about that”.

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Lessons of a Sudbury Education

As we sit in our school's main lounge, trying to write about the underlying lessons of a Sudbury education, we often find ourselves "off task." We are watching the bustling activity around us…Jeff, a staff member, and Sonya, a 14-year-old student, are working on math problems in order to move her closer to her goal of becoming a vet. (She's contacted Cornell University to find the best method of getting into their program.) Cody, age 11, and Madison, 15, are reading medicine cards for all who walk by. Eli, 5, and Kiran, 6, are comparing new Magic Cards and talking about the mysterious gum switcher—the spearmint and cinnamon gum from the School Store have seemingly switched bottles.  The Judicial Committee members file into the JC room to start the daily session but Natasha, 15, one of our JC clerks, has to find a replacement for the 5- to 9-year old representative to the JC who is out sick. Success—Sophie, age 8, is filling in. Lisa, a staff member, and David, age 16, are discussing whether or not putting "spring water" on a bottled water label ensures you aren't getting someone's random tap water. A man drives up attempting to deliver food to the Zena Elementary School, a public school down the road. While only a few miles away, the Zena Elementary School couldn't be more different then The Hudson Valley Sudbury School on Zena Road.

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Jeff Testimonial

Associated School: 

Jeff's testimonial.

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Contact Us

Hudson Valley Sudbury School

84 Zena Road
Kingston, NY 12401
 
Phone: 845-679-1002
Fax: 845-679-3874