Democratic Immersion

Eugene Sudbury School is a Democratic Immersion Program, based on the Sudbury model. This means that particpating on democratic decision-making is an essential part of our curriculum; every student, K – 12, gets an equal vote in the running of the school. The school is run through student and staff participation in committees, School Meeting, and assembly meetings. The students vote on issues ranging from the creation or dissolution of school rules, how the finances are spent, and the hiring and firing of staff. Below you will find a description of the main governing bodies of the school, including how rule violations are dealt with.

School Meeting

The School Meeting meets weekly, and is comprised of students and staff each with an equal vote. School Meeting members may make motions, participate in debate, vote to approve, deny or amend any motion and generally voice their thoughts. Motions may be submitted to change school rules, allocate funding for field trips or educational resources, or any other needs or interests students have. The School Meeting also hears Judicial Committee appeals and provides weekly announcements.

The School Meeting is run by Robert’s Rules of Order. Students and staff hold elected positions such as School Meeting Chair, Secretary, and clerkships. The School Meeting Chair is in charge of keeping the meeting in order, and the secretary is in charge of accurate record keeping.

The video to the right is produced by Sudbury Valley School.

Judicial Committee

The Judicial Committee handles all rule violations. Students and staff may write complaints against any School Meeting member when rules are violated. The JC investigates the complaint: interviews the complainant, the witnesses, and the accused and decides on a fair consequence, or even no consequence at all. Students with multiple complaints can be referred to the School Meeting by the JC for possible parent meetings, suspensions, etc. Students may also appeal the decision of the JC to the School Meeting.

The JC is comprised of the JC Clerk, who presides over the JC meetings and decide who is on the JC rotation and appoinst substitutes should members be absent; the secretary, who is responsible for the filing the complaints and maintaining the logs and may act as substitute JC clerk; as well as two rotating students and a rotating staff member. The JC meets daily and processes all complaints filed.

The video to the left is produced by Sudbury Valley School.

Supporting Committees

Eugene Sudbury School has a wide range of committees that operate different functions of the school; there are administrative committees and program committees. School Meeting members and volunteers interested in organizing areas of the school or operations of the school may join committees. For example, members who are interested in organizing field trips can join the field trip committee, members interested in computers and technology can participate in computer committee, there is also financial management committee, arts committee, library committee, etc. The motivation for joining committees is that committee members make the rules for the area, and spend the allocated budget dollars for the area on acquisitions that they vote to purchase. If a member wishes to start a committee they must make a motion at the school meeting to have the committee formally added to the Lawbook. Of course clubs have less restrictive guidelines, and may be student or staff initiated, ie: garden club, drama club, etc…

Assembly Meeting

The Assembly is comprised of students, staff, parents/legal guardians and elected public members; the Assembly meets twice yearly. The Assembly is also run by Robert’s Rules of Order and includes parents in the participatory democracy,which allows them to make an impact on some of the important decisions that effect their families and their children’s education. The Assembly deals with large issues surrounding the school like finalizing the annual school budget proposed by School Meeting and graduation policies. Unlike most non-profit whose Board of Directors are the final decision makers the The Assembly is the decision making body of the 501c3.