Frequently Asked Questions
How do students get into college?
Sudbury students who decide to pursue a college education often choose to take the GED, along with the SAT or ACT. While they don't have a conventional high school transcript to offer, they typically submit a much more unique and compelling portfolio. When it comes to college admissions, you could say that Sudbury students have an advantage—they truly stand out. They have spent their entire adolescence exploring sincere passions, rather than jumping through institutionally-imposed hoops. Sudbury students who choose college are much more likely to know what they want to study.
How do you deal with bullying?
Sudbury communities typically experience much less bullying than in other types of schools, because power imbalances do not exist in the same way. In a conventional school, victims of bullying rely on an adult authority to intervene effectively. In a Sudbury school, all students and staff have equal authority to enforce the rules via the Judicial Committee, deciding consequences and adjusting rules democratically.
Furthermore, age-mixing mitigates bullying by eliminating the highly competitive culture of conventional schools. No student is institutionally compared to another in a Sudbury school. The presence of younger students inspires compassion and protectiveness in older students, and the presence of older students inspires greater emotional maturity in younger students. The outcome is a notably empathetic, inclusive school community.
How does Sudbury compare to Montessori?
Both Sudbury and Montessori recognize children as naturally curious and capable of making decisions about their own interests. However, Montessori teachers present options and activities to learners, whereas a Sudbury community has no teacher-student dichotomy.
How does Sudbury compare to Waldorf?
Both models understand that play is learning, and both prioritize children's happiness and emotional well-being. Sudbury schools uniquely incorporate the democratic process to empower students in creating their community as well as their learning path. Waldorf schools have a predetermined curriculum and an imposed set of values.
How does Sudbury compare to Forest School?
Both Sudbury and Forest School programs focus on the sense of efficacy and confidence that comes from novel life experience, and both understand children as competent equals. Forest School practitioners, unlike Sudbury staff members, facilitate programs to address specific goals for the group. While Sudbury students may choose to spend significant amounts of time outdoors, the school also involves indoor activity, in contrast to Forest Schools.
How does Sudbury compare to unschooling / homeschooling?
Both approaches agree that children learn best by experiencing life. Sudbury most resembles the type of homeschooling called "unschooling," which puts the responsibility on the child to seek out learning opportunities. A Sudbury school offers a diverse community of learners outside of the home to enrich the experience of unschooling families and further empower young people.
Is your question still unanswered? We know that Sudbury is unlike any other type of school... We'd love to hear your thoughts!