Sudbury students are life-learners, exploring the world on their own terms: no curriculum, no grades, no teachers, no tests.
We want to protect the autonomy of young people. Just as babies learn to walk and talk without being prompted, we believe that children are born with the drive and skills to create a meaningful, successful life—without adult intervention. Within this society that says children are not to be trusted, we create a culture of trust and respect.
HOW IT WORKS
Age-Mixing: While most schools segregate students based on age, Sudbury students freely mingle. Instead of being arbitrarily assigned to a class or group, Sudbury students have free access to solitude, small groups, large groups, younger students, older students, and adults within the school and broader community.
Democracy: Sudbury schools truly belong to the students. Once weekly, students and staff are invited to attend the School Meeting, where all big and small decisions are made collaboratively. This includes proposing and planning field trips, adjusting and approving the school budget, creating and amending school rules, even electing staff and deciding their salaries! This is where students learn what it takes to be a member of a healthy community. Every person, regardless of age, gets one vote.
Judicial Committee: When anyone at school (student or staff) violates a school rule, they can be written up by anyone else (student or staff) for review by the school’s Judicial Committee. This committee, comprised of students and a staff member, decides on logical consequences to enforce school rules. Everyone takes a turn with this microcosmic “jury duty”—upholding this structure is a necessary part of the freedom of being a Sudbury student.
Self-Direction: Sudbury students are not obligated to follow any specific curriculum or bell schedule. Their time is their own. For many, this looks like a lot of unstructured play! It also looks like passionate investigation of diverse subjects, driven by genuine curiosity. It often means sharing passions with each other in casual conversation. There is no “typical day” in a Sudbury school.