Montessori High School
Copyright© 2012 by Cor
Janet Brooks sighed; that had been the fifth parent who had come in to complain about the drown-proofing courses this week and it was only Tuesday morning. It was incredible that she got any work done at all. She should tape the next encounter with the parent and broadcast it in the waiting room; it just might discourage one of them. Gods, how she wished being chairwoman of a big-city school board; she could fob off these useless wastes of time on some underling and save herself the misery. Mind you, if she would have been chairwoman of a big-city school board, none of this would even have come up as there would have been pools galore for these damn drown-proofing courses.
She buzzed her secretary... "Anybody else out there, Jessica?"
"No, Ma'am, not at the moment."
"All right. I need to recharge my batteries ... I don't want to be disturbed for the next two hours."
"Shall I get you some coffee ... or maybe a bowl of soup?"
"No, thank ... No, wait! That soup sounds like a good idea ... Can you send out for some? Make it chicken noodle, with a toasted BLT, hold the mayo... ?"
"Very well, Ma'am. It'll be about ten minutes."
"Thanks, Jessica, you're an angel."
Janet leaned back in her chair and closed her eyes. A second later, Jessica knocked delicately at the door and brought in the soup and the sandwich on a tray.
"Would you put it on the desk, please? I'll go sprinkle some water on my face..." said Janet as she went to the powder room to one side of her office.
Sitting back down at her desk, she started idly eating her soup as she turned on her computer and logged onto school_board dot net, a news and exchange service for school board administrators. She was surfing through the pages, all the while nibbling at her sandwich, when something caught her eye. She sat up straight, her sandwich forgotten, as she read through the article. She clicked on the 'more information' icon and read through that as well. Finally, she downloaded the entire package onto her computer.
It was a half-hour later when she realized she hadn't finished her sandwich. She swallowed the rest in two bites then reached for the phone. When the receptionist answered, she asked for the Charter School Oversight Committee.
"Yes ... My name is Janet Brooks; I'm chairwoman of the Manatee Bay School Board, down on the Gulf coast ... I just spotted an article on school_board dot net about a charter school located at the... 'Sunny Acres' resort. Could I please speak to the person in charge of that particular file?"
"Ms. Hastings, My name is Janet Brooks; I'm chairwoman of the Manatee Bay School Board, down on the Gulf coast..."
"Yes, Ma'am. How may I help you?"
"Ms Hastings, I just spotted an item on school_board dot net. Did I read it correctly? Are we talking about a school located in a naturist resort?"
" ... Er ... Yes, it's true..." Ms Hastings seemed hesitant to admit it.
"There's no need to feel embarrassed about it; I'm in exactly the same boat."
"You ARE? I thought I was the only one to be that ... lucky".
"Not at all. The reason I'm calling is that I'd like to talk with the people responsible ... At present, I've got a bit of a situation down here. I've got a grade school located within the confines of a naturist resort, clothes-free, of course, and I have several students from that school who have recently graduated to junior high. The parents of those kids are insisting that they remain clothes-free while other parents are yelling about Sodom-and-Gomorrah. I was hoping to discuss with the people in charge to ask how they went about establishing the school, student performance and outside opinion, things of that nature."
"Well, to be honest, I've only come into the game during the second period so I don't know all the details. However, from what I understand, the school was originally a day-care being operated through the Curtis City School Board. Through a series of circumstances entirely too complicated to describe over the phone, all the parents got together and pulled their kids out of the Curtis City day-care and established their own rogue day-care establishment within the naturist center."
"Oh? And were these parents naturists?"
"That's the weird thing ... as far as I know, none of them were."
"I see ... And then what happened?"
"Well ... at around last Christmas, we were approached by Brookdale University with a request to turn the day-care into a Charter School pilot project. This is a special arrangement we have where the school is directly controlled by the State rather than by a school board. Apparently, someone at the University wanted to do a long-time comparison between a nudist environment and ... I believe the term they used was a 'textile' ... environment on cognitive acquisition and social development. Since January, they've added a one room grade school and, as of this September, there's also a high school."
"Do you have any preliminary results?"
"It's too soon to tell, obviously, but first year results have blown our expectations out of the water. From what I hear, Sunny Acres students surpassed the State average by some 20 to 25 %."
"I'm not surprised ... We've been seeing similar results here. You say 'from what I hear... ' You haven't gone there yourself to look the place over?"
April Hastings sounded guilty. " ... Er, no. The resort is absolutely clothes-free, you understand, not clothing-optional. Nudity is mandatory and ... I'm not a nudist."
"Do you have a contact person at the resort?"