The time is 8:30 this morning. The scene is the front of Greenleaf Hall at Milton Academy, as the day begins at The Saturday Course. A mom drops off her fourth-grader. We listen in on their remarks:
Mom: Have a good day at school!
Daughter: This isn’t school.
Mom: What is it then?
Daughter: It’s an opportunity.
That was the actual conversation. No, we didn’t make it up. No, we didn’t script it.
At the end of the day, I looked at the parent evaluations of the program. One mom from Dorchester (not the same as the one quoted above) wrote, “Before the program began, I didn’t think it would be possible to learn much in six weeks. I was wrong. They learned a lot!” Yes, indeed. And you have to understand that “six weeks” really means a grand total of six 75-minute classes! How much can kids learn in under eight hours? Quite a lot, it seems — when they’re motivated and can participate in exciting courses taught in small groups by teachers who are passionate about what they’re teaching.