Slowly, it's all coming together.
In 2010 we bought this place bound and determined to turn a chunk of vacant farm-land into a 7-1/2 acre classroom. Since then we've been learning. We've been learning how to farm and how to run a business. We've been learning how to care for our property and develop a strong family unit. We've hosted school groups, held workshops, and developed original programming for the public schools. And we've screwed up...a lot.
In 2015 Distelrath Farms welcomed its inaugural class of full-day high school students. These students are passionate, willing learners with high motivation and a proclivity for hard work. In addition to fulfilling the typical duties of a farm, they have been tasked with developing the infrastructure necessary to bring a younger group of students to the farm full-time.
In May of 2016, that's just what we'll do. To learn more or apply for our early education program, click here.
Currently, our older students are typically home-schooled individuals looking for supplemental educational opportunities. As our full-time students grow, however, we envision many of them remaining at school with us throughout their middle and high-school years. One goal with these students is that in addition to learning the three Rs, over the years they are able to contribute to the various farm enterprises more productively, equating to lower tuition. Likely around age 16, many students would have the opportunity to become apprentices with those same enterprises, meaning neutral tuition and a more specialized training.
At 18, the goal is for our graduates to have a legitimate choice between college, career, entrepreneurship, or some other equally legitimate path. We want our graduates confident and prepared to care for themselves in this world. We don't expect them to be islands, mind you; we just want them eyes wide open and fully equipped.
After all, this is our daughters' school.
We see this school and farm as an endless source of inquiry and exploration for our girls, and a strong backbone for health and happiness. We hope to share that with your children.
Andrew and Sarah Distelrath