There’s a little school in California’s Orange County that not too many people know about. But this school should be the talk of the education world, because it’s an amazingly good school. This is VanDamme Academy, a small K-8 school in Aliso Viejo, California.
Imagine a school where you have whole classes of students, not sitting in bored silence as the teacher tries in vain to prod them into participation, but engaged, eagerly raising their hands, visibly excited about what they’re being taught–even in math class. Virtually everyone who visits the school comes away amazed and inspired, the parents gush about how wonderful the school is for their children, the students tell you that they love going to the school, that they are deeply grateful for having been able to attend the school, and that it’s the best thing that’s ever happened to them. Students come out of the school with a love of learning and much better prepared for high school than average–and all of this in a school whose tuition is close to the average spending per student in American public schools–all of this in a school that doesn’t give students homework.
This school may sound too good to be true. But it is not a fantasy. It is real. It is VanDamme Academy.
If you want to see American education improve dramatically, if you want to see American students develop into better thinkers with a love of learning and be better prepared for adult life, then you want to learn about VanDamme Academy yourself, and spread the word of the school to others. If the educators of America studied this school and learned the lessons it has to offer, they would be in a much better position to run schools in such a way as to maximize student achievement and student happiness.
Here’s the school founder’s blog: LisaVanDamme.com.
Here’s the school’s page on GreatSchools.org with reviews by parents: VanDamme Academy.
A team of documentary filmmakers is ready to make a documentary about VanDamme Academy, but they need more funding. Alex Epstein of the Center for Industrial Progress has visited the school, and he believes so strongly in the school and the example that it sets, that he has donated $5,000 for the making of the documentary. You can read the piece he wrote about VanDamme Academy and the documentary project here: The School the World Needs to Know About.
If you want more schools like VanDamme Academy for your children, or you want to make a positive difference in American education, (perhaps even world education) the best way to do this for most people is to donate to the making of the documentary. You donate at the project’s Generosity page: VanDamme Academy: A Documentary Project. To ask questions about the project, you can email Lisa VanDamme at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Let’s start a major movement to revolutionize education in America for the better! Such a dramatic improvement would mean a brighter future for children and for all of us.
School founder, Lisa VanDamme, explains a little bit how VanDamme Academy teaches science:
Here, she talks about how VanDamme Academy instills a love of great literature:
Here, Lisa VanDamme shares a story about a student that graduated from her school:
Finally, here’s a little sample of what a documentary about VanDamme Academy could be: