Sunday, January 30, 2011

Charter School Time Capsules

A couple of weeks ago I was at a ribbon cutting ceremony for a new charter school and they mentioned having a time capsule that will be unveiled in 50 years. It reminded me of the one we did at Jefferson Academy almost ten years ago when the new high school facility was built.

Students from each grade wrote a paper and various objects were contributed such as an old cell phone, a JA yearbook and a newspaper. I remember one of the students talking about hearing the heavy equipment preparing the ground as he wrote. Several of the founding board members wrote about the beginning years and what it meant to them.

Later when the steel was erected, we took a picture of the entire school body (at the time) and that now hangs in the high school building. It's quite large, probably 40 in by 40 in and every time I've seen it, it's got numerous smudge marks where students point to themselves in the picture. It's a great way to remember the struggles we went through creating the 13th charter school in the state.

The time capsule is in a large PVC pipe, similar to this photo, with caps at both ends. It's anchored to the southwest corner of the building in what is now the Principal's office. My daughter has the responsibility of digging it out in 2051.

In its sixteenth year of operation, Jefferson Academy has numerous students who are younger siblings of previous students. In fact, my son teaches in the junior high and teaches younger siblings of his former peers. Soon it will be the children of JA graduates that enroll at the charter school.

Everyone who goes through all the work to start a charter school, especially those who labor to finance and build a new facility, should consider putting together a time capsule!

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