Skip Navigation
Browse: Collections Digital Content Subjects Creators
Log In | Contact Us| View Cart (0)

Exploring Family School Records, 1969-1983 | Special Collections & University Archives

By Scott W. Woods

Printer-friendly Printer-friendly | Email Us Contact Us About This Collection

Collection Overview

Title: Exploring Family School Records, 1969-1983Add to your cart.

Primary Creator: Exploring Family School (1969-1983)

Extent: 5.0 Linear Feet


I. Board and Committee Minutes

II. Staff Notes and Yearbooks

III. Publications and Information

IV. Underground and Radical Ephemera

Date Acquired: 11/12/1984

Subjects: Exploring Family School (San Diego, Calif.)--Archives, Exploring Family School (San Diego, Calif.)--History--Sources, Free schools--California--San Diego--History--20th century--Sources, San Diego (Calif.)--Intellectual life--Sources, San Diego (Calif.)--Social life and customs--Sources

Forms of Material: Organizational Records

Languages: English

Scope and Contents of the Materials

The Exploring Family School collection documents the founding, curriculum, and thirteen year operation of Exploring Family School (EFS). It consists of board minutes, executive files, newsletters, budget reports, staff notes, and curricula pertaining to the operation of the school. The collection also includes correspondence with other free schools and some countercultural ephemera. The collection is organized into four series: Board and Committee Minutes, Staff Notes and Yearbooks, Publications and Information, and Underground Radical Ephemera.

The Board and Committee Minutes series (1969-1979) documents the school's curriculum and budget.  This includes correspondence from both students and parents concerning the maintenance, faculty, and personnel in the institution. It includes an incomplete series of EFS newsletters, ranging from volume one to five, and a file titled "one of a kind archive materials," which provides a detailed description of school curriculum and the Summer Awareness Program. The majority of material ranges from the mid to late 1970's. It is arranged alphabetically.

The Staff Notes and Yearbooks series (1973-1983) includes handwritten notes by faculty and EFS yearbooks from the late 70's to early 80's. This series includes information about term planning, class schedules, strength and weakness reports, and budgetary reports. The yearbooks contain student photos and a statement of purpose from the school administrators. Highlights of the series show creative student work, poems, cartoons, and political commentary. Also included are fliers providing insight into the political implications of EFS. This series is arranged chronologically.

The majority of the Publications and Information series (1970-1974) includes newsletters and articles from other alternative schools. Most of these publications provide information about the current condition of the public school system, and alternative approaches to education. Highlights include articles about developing an alternative curriculum, correspondence from the Free University Movement, and alternative education ephemera.

The fourth and final series, Underground and Radical Ephemera (1974-1977), includes publications with similar ideologies to those of EFS. This includes publications form San Diego State University, The San Francisco Express, and socialist, communist, and antiwar organizations. Noteworthy documents include socialist fliers and literature, newsletters providing EFS's position on the Vietnam War, implications about ending the war, and environmentalist literature.

Biographical Note

Founded by parents dissatisfied with the public school system, the Exploring Family School (EFS) was San Diego's first institution for alternative education. EFS ran from 1969-1983 and provided a K-12 education. The school was founded under the assumption that structure is detrimental to the learning experience. Students were not graded, and were not exposed to competition within the classroom. Instead, teachers developed a more interactive approach with both parents and students, flexible enough to foster the child's emotional, academic and social needs.

Courses were structured around each student's individual interests, ranging from creative writing, biology, statistics, poetry, painting, politics, architectural design, music, photography, and Chicano studies. The diverse ethnic, cultural, and socioeconomic backgrounds of the students allowed for a flexible curriculum centered around personal experience. 

Upon Exploring Family School's founding, there were thirty students ranging from age five to sixteen. The faculty consisted of three teachers, an administrative coordinator, a curriculum coordinator, and regular educational volunteers. As the staff grew, EFS adopted a full time coordinator, basic skills teacher, and program advisor. The school was financially supported by tuition ($65/month), donations, and scholarship assistance. Students were not turned away if they were unable to pay the tuition. Instead, they would develop a payment plan that would fit his or her family's financial situation.

While EFC was considered to be a "free" school, there was a great amount of careful consideration about the student population. The school wanted a diverse ethnic and socioeconomic population; one third of the students were the children of professors and lawyers, one third were children of people on welfare, and one third were the children of blue collar workers.

Exploring Family School ceased operation in 1983.

Subject/Index Terms

Exploring Family School (San Diego, Calif.)--Archives
Exploring Family School (San Diego, Calif.)--History--Sources
Free schools--California--San Diego--History--20th century--Sources
San Diego (Calif.)--Intellectual life--Sources
San Diego (Calif.)--Social life and customs--Sources

Administrative Information

Repository: Special Collections & University Archives

Access Restrictions: This collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions: The copyright interests in some of these materials have been transferred to or belong to San Diego State University. The nature of historical archival and manuscript collections means that copyright status may be difficult or even impossible to determine. Copyright resides with the creators of materials contained in the collection or their heirs. Requests for permission to publish must be submitted to the Head of Special Collections, San Diego State University, Library and Information Access. When granted, permission is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical item and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder(s), which must also be obtained in order to publish.  Materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials.

Acquisition Source: Exploring Family School

Related Materials: Campus Lab School Records

Preferred Citation: Identification of item, folder title, box number, Exploring Family School Records, Special Collections and University Archives, Library and Information Access, San Diego State University.

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Board and Committee Minutes],
[Series 2: Staff Notes and Yearbooks],
[Series 3: Publications and Information],
[Series 4: Underground and Radical Ephemera],

Series 3: Publications and InformationAdd to your cart.
Box 3Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Articles by studentsAdd to your cart.
Folder 2: Chautauqua Learning Center Documents, 1972Add to your cart.
Folder 3: Door article "Free School"Add to your cart.
Folder 4: "Alternatives to public schools"Add to your cart.
Folder 5: Southern California Conference on Alternative Education, November 7-9 1975Add to your cart.
Folder 6: Yellow Pages of Learning Resources, 1972Add to your cart.
Folder 7: John Adams High SchoolAdd to your cart.
Folder 8: Harlem Street AcademicsAdd to your cart.
Folder 9: Edcentric Newsletters, incomplete, 1970 - 71Add to your cart.
Folder 10: Various Alternative schools newsletters: Minnesota leader, Prisma, Holyoke Street School, Changing Schools, Notes from Nethers, Fort Wayne Folk School, Centerpeace, No More Teachers' Dirty Looks, The Teacher Paper.Add to your cart.
Folder 11: New Schools Exchange documentsAdd to your cart.
Folder 12: Ford Foundation Report on Alternative SchoolsAdd to your cart.
Folder 13: Articles on Alternative EducationAdd to your cart.
Folder 14: Education Exploration Centers NewslettersAdd to your cart.
Folder 15: Tamarack Learning CooperativeAdd to your cart.
Folder 16: Information on various Alternative SchoolsAdd to your cart.
Folder 17: Alternative Education MovementAdd to your cart.
Folder 18: Symbas-Project One, San Francisco, CaliforniaAdd to your cart.
Folder 19: Pecos Street SchoolAdd to your cart.
Folder 20: Newark Community SchoolAdd to your cart.
Folder 21: School of livingAdd to your cart.
Folder 22: New College of California at SausalitoAdd to your cart.
Folder 23: Santa Barbara Community SchoolAdd to your cart.
Folder 24: Compost CollegeAdd to your cart.
Folder 25: A Student Centered CollegeAdd to your cart.
Folder 26: WildwoodAdd to your cart.
Folder 27: Evergreen CollegeAdd to your cart.
Folder 28: Friends World CollegeAdd to your cart.
Folder 29: Born FreeAdd to your cart.
Folder 30: International Community CollegeAdd to your cart.
Folder 31: M.A.G.U.Add to your cart.
Folder 32: St. Paul Open SchoolAdd to your cart.
Folder 33: De Sillo SchoolAdd to your cart.
Folder 34: Draft report of Joint Committee on the Master Plan for Higher Education, February 1973Add to your cart.
Folder 35: Learning EnvironmentsAdd to your cart.
Folder 36: Statements to Joint committeeAdd to your cart.
Folder 37: Comprehensive Plan for Higher EducationAdd to your cart.
Folder 38: Basic Legal issues in New York State on Teacher CertificationAdd to your cart.
Folder 39: Education Vouchers: a report on financingAdd to your cart.
Folder 40: New College upper division seminar proposalsAdd to your cart.
Folder 41: The Journal of the Campus Free CollegeAdd to your cart.
Folder 42: World UniversityAdd to your cart.
Folder 43: Association for World Education (AWCU)Add to your cart.
Folder 44: The University in America (Clark Kerr, to your cart.
Folder 45: Structure of governance, San Diego State UniversityAdd to your cart.
Folder 46: Workshop working papers, 22nd National Student CongressAdd to your cart.
Folder 47: Radical Student NewslettersAdd to your cart.
Folder 48: "The Free University Movement"Add to your cart.
Folder 49: Various Pamphlets and periodicals on Free College MovementAdd to your cart.
Folder 50: Physiognomy: Volume 1, number xiiAdd to your cart.
Folder 51: Schools: Volume 4, number 4; Volume 5, number 1Add to your cart.
Folder 52: New Schools Exchange Newsletter Issues 29-54, incompleteAdd to your cart.
Folder 53: New Schools Exchange Newsletter Excess copies.Add to your cart.
Folder 54: The Two Week LeakAdd to your cart.
Box 4Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Summer West Coast Conference on Alternative Education, July 17-18 1975Add to your cart.
Includes information on Bay Area Schools
Folder 2: Newspaper Clippings on EducationAdd to your cart.
Folder 3: Newspaper Clippings on EducationAdd to your cart.
Folder 4: Newspaper Clippings on EducationAdd to your cart.
Folder 5: Village SchoolAdd to your cart.
Folder 6: Disorientation: notes from the underground University of California Berkley radical education publicationAdd to your cart.
Folder 7: Community SchoolsAdd to your cart.
Folder 8: Alternative Education Newsletters, including Changes, Prisma, EEC JournalAdd to your cart.
Folder 9: Alternative Education EphemeraAdd to your cart.

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Board and Committee Minutes],
[Series 2: Staff Notes and Yearbooks],
[Series 3: Publications and Information],
[Series 4: Underground and Radical Ephemera],

Page Generated in: 0.089 seconds (using 202 queries).
Using 8.43MB of memory. (Peak of 8.72MB.)

Powered by Archon Version 3.21 rev-3
Copyright ©2017 The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign