In the summer of 1998, before the start of the Celebration School’s third year, administrators met several times with disgruntled parents and promised to modify the school’s progressive approach. Honors and Advanced Placement classes were introduced, along with textbooks in each class. The school also abandoned multiage groupings in some of the upper grades.
Though Douglas Frantz and Catherine Collins considered settling permanently in Celebration, they left roughly two years after their June 1997 arrival. They moved away with mixed feelings about the school and the town, convinced that the Disney experiment had as many merits as flaws.
Dot Davis remains principal of the school. In the book, Frantz and Collins say Davis worked brutal hours and faced enormous pressure. Several times, she came close to quitting. “It’s been tough because of the myriad expectation,” she said. “You can’t please everybody.... When I sit here and look at parents with tears in their eyes and they are frustrated over something that I know needs to be fixed, I get frustrated, too. But I’m not a quitter, and as long as it doesn’t affect my health, I’ll stay here.”
A version of this article appeared in the October 01, 1999 edition of Teacher as Nothing To Celebrate: Postscript