Students spend their days as they choose, pursuing the topics and activities that interest them, creating their own educational paths. The school provides the tools and the support our students need to make their aspirations a reality. This type of education enables deep understanding, critical thinking, questioning, and significant learning. Students will always have the perfect class size – whether they are working independently on a project or have organized a formal class with friends or other students interested in the subject matter; each student is in control of his or her education.
Because our students choose their own topics and work at the pace that is right for them, they also decide when they are finished. Because students are not graded (unless grades are requested) they delve deeper into subjects that they are passionate about, such as International Culture, Chemistry, Organic Gardening, or Art, and leave behind subjects that they lose interest in or are not yet ready for. This also means that students can pick up where they left off a month, or even a year later if they regain interest, or the skills necessary, to study a subject. Read Alfie Cohn, The Case Against Grades, for more information on grading.
Eugene Sudbury is a democratic immersion program based on the Sudbury model. Students are able to join school committees and governing bodies that allow them to not only make the school rules, but also spend allocated money (ie: choosing new books for the library, new software for computers, materials for wood shop, etc…) This enables them learn first hand the power of their own thoughts and ideas. Being immersed in a participatory democracy allows students to vote on decisions that affect their lives and their school and imparts a sense of responsibility for themselves and others, and prepares them for active citizenship when they become adults.
Because they have developed skills that allow them to manage their own time, seek out help when needed, and follow their passions, our graduates are particularly successful in life after high school. When requested, we assist our college-bound students through the SAT and admissions processes as they prepare to apply and meet the requirements of their school of choice. Not all of our graduates choose to attend college. We will assist those students transition into their successful careers as artists, entrepreneurs, software developers – whatever it is they have found a passion in.