Sudbury Valley Schools

An Alternative School Experience

Allison Day & Merrill Sanowar

Sudbury Valley Schools:A democratic learning environment

"Finding meaning and relevance in everyday life”

A little history:

Sudbury Valley schools first originated in 1968 and is comprised of students from the ages of pre school to the secondary level. Their motto is based on a student driven learning environment, where students take responsibility and ownership of their learning at their own pace. Students are given the liberty to choose their own pathway of learning no matter what age they decide to enter the school. The students that choose to enter Sudbury Valley schools are presented with a learning environment that is very comforting and accepting of all students. It fosters a great sense of community, trust, love and happiness and dedicates its time to helping students develop their pathway to success. Sudbury Valley students are adaptable to “rapid” change as the program is always expanding and growing to nourish young responsible and motivated teens into a life that will challenge their creativity and critical thinking skills. They refer to their students as being competent individuals that are ready for a world of opportunity and study things like complex ethical issues that arise in the world today. Moreover, they have learnt to prioritize and to be accountable for all their actions. Subsequently these fine young adults are enthusiastic and vibrant enough to tackle and explore their education freely as they wish.

How does Sudbury Valley schools work?

There is no set curriculum or teachers running traditional classroom lessons in each subject area. The teachers are referred to as “staff” members or “role models” who are not necessarily certified teachers, however they aid in initiating the learning environment and provide all resources that the students require to engage in their own learning. The school is comprised of a judicial system that allows all staff and students to equally vote as a school community to build rules and expectations for the school. Weekly School Meetings are put in place to alter, expand and change all :

1) rules

2) behaviours

3) use of facilities,

4) expenditures

5) staff hiring

6) delegates to put in place specific routines for running the School to various agents

This fair administration of justice establishes great confidence and acceptance among the students and staff where everyone feels comfortable and responsible for their personal actions.

“Any Sudbury Valley students have chosen to continue their education in colleges and universities. Many have entered directly into the world of business, trades, arts, crafts, and technical vocations”.

~ Articles ~

A Bird's Eye View of Sudbury Valley

Mimsy Sadofsky, one of the original founders of the school, is interviewed about the student experience.

Sudbury Valley School - Focus and Intensity

Focus and Intent of Sudbury Valley:

• Being Together

• Running the School

• Outdoor Pursuits

• Study

• Cooking

• Indoor Games

• Music

• Computer Use

Alternative Schools Survey

Please take a moment to fill out a very brief survey. These questions are a very basic jumping off point for further discussion.