New Perspectives - Apr,
2002 Issue #92
Crescent City, Florida
Frank Beeman – Director
Stonesoup School, founded in 1971, is the oldest alternative school
in Florida. It offers boys age 10 through 17, a “supportive environment where students can explore their interests, at their own pace
and level.” The school is situated on 52 wooded acres, in a “simple and rustic” setting. Students who were at-risk of dropping out
of conventional public school “have met with great success” in Stonesoup School’s “open air” classrooms.
The students live in cabins that have been built over the years through the combined efforts of both staff and students. By living,
working, and learning in this setting, the boys learn to live in a community with others while building their character, self-reliance
and survival skills.
Students are encouraged to explore their academic and non-academic interests in the alternative learning environment of Stonesoup
School. Lesson plans are modified to meet the individualized needs of each student. Coursework is completed independently, in small
groups, or in one-on-one tutorials with teachers. The classes offered are based on the Sunshine State Standards, approved by the Florida
State Board of Education.
Extracurricular activities may include canoeing, hiking, or camping. Regular group meetings provide the opportunity for students to
come together as a group to discuss issues and successfully resolve problems. The staff uses nonviolent forms of conflict resolution
to provide a framework for the students to become skilled at handling and presenting their feelings and ideas, develop listening and
empathy skills, and experience emotional growth.