What’s a co-operative school?
People share skills and knowledge in an informal setting, in short, we teach each other. Sometimes called a “free” school, a co-operative school is geared towards making the most of what we already have as a community, and helps communities build capacity by sharing resources and ideas with one another outside of formal institutional settings such as universities, colleges, and trade schools.

What sorts of workshops and lectures are there?
Pretty much anything goes! Because the school is user-driven, content changes based on what people can and want to offer or what they seek out from others. Each 2-3 month season of programming is curated according to a theme (e.g. “Home Economics” or “Flora and Fauna”). The themes serve as a loose guideline and interpretation of any given theme is by no means strict. As well there is an overarching program commitment to municipal politics and local economy, and workshops and lectures will reflect that commitment.

Who teaches?
People like you and me who have a skill or idea that they are keen to share with others. Teachers might be professionals in their field or hobbyists with a little-known passion. They could also be relatively new to the subject they are teaching, but anxious to research it further and then try it on for size in a group setting.

What do I have to do to participate?
There’s so many ways you can get involved, depending on the amount of time and energy you have to share with us! You can subscribe to our newsletter to keep informed about upcoming events you may like to attend. You can submit a proposal to teach for an upcoming program, suggest a community partnership, or perhaps you’d like to volunteer to help Wayward work. Whatever your interest, we hope you’ll find a way to get involved!

How can I stay informed about upcoming events?
The easiest way to stay in the loop is to join our mailing list and subscribe to our bi-weekly newsletter by emailing us at waywardschool@gmail.com with “subscribe” in the subject header. You can also follow us on Twitter or join our Facebook group.

We update the website weekly, so visit waywardschool.wordpress.com when you want information about what’s going on in the upcoming week.

Email us at waywardschool@gmail.com if you have questions or comments about the school and our programs.

What does membership get me?
We are experimenting with membership structures to see what works best for the most people. In March-April we offered a 2-month season membership for $25 that entitled members to a 50% discount on all lectures and workshops, and the opportunity to advance register for workshops.

For June-August we will offer season membership for $40 which is good for admission to most all June-August Wayward School events (excluding special events such as fundraisers or performances). Think of it as an all-access pass that works out to about $5 per week for unlimited learning opportunities all summer long!

How are teachers compensated for their time?
Teachers do so in exchange for a percentage of the admission proceeds, a voucher to attend other Wayward workshops, and for the opportunity to flex their teaching muscles (which is particularly useful for those of us new to a subject or perhaps to teaching in general).

What are the workshop and lecture admission costs used for?
The Wayward School does not receive grants or funding from any outside sources and aims to meet basic operating costs through admission proceeds. Proceeds are split between the teachers and the Wayward School to cover materials and basic day-to-day administrative costs for the program such as tools, equipment, paper, printing, space rentals, and lastly (but not leastly!) to compensate teachers for their time and energy.

Why do you use so many different venues?
Originally conceived as a multi-disciplinary resource space called “The School for Wayward Creatures”, we quickly came to realize that rent is, to quote a phrase, “just too damn high”! It was then that we realized that The Wayward School was the notion of school itself become wayward, and that it could do a lot of good work on the move.

And so in keeping with our mandate to build community-capacity by pooling resources, we think there are an awful lot of really great venues out there already. We are grateful to have a variety of businesses host our programs, because it gives us the chance to focus on content rather than real estate. Down the line we hope to have our own space, it’s true. Which brings us to…

What’s up ahead for the Wayward School?
Good question! We hope the programs we offer will be successful enough to grow the administration of The Wayward School from a partnership to a true co-operative. We’re also hopeful that the Wayward School will find a permanent home in a well-equipped facility. But parts of the school will always be wayward…on the move..out and about the town…and roaming the countryside, too. And so there’s a pretty good chance that we’ll offer similar programs or satellite projects elsewhere on Vancouver Island, in BC, or in the world!