Sudbury Valley School

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The Sudbury Valley School
Sudbury Valley School, Framingham MA.jpg
2 Winch Street
Framingham, MA

United States
Established 1968
Faculty 8
Grades ungraded, ages 4+
Number of students 140–210
Campus size 10 acres (40,000 m2)
Campus type suburban
Philosophy Sudbury
Governance School Meeting (democratic, vote by students and staff)

The Sudbury Valley School was founded in 1968 in Framingham, Massachusetts,[1] United States. There are now over 35 schools based on the Sudbury Model in the United States, Denmark, Israel, Japan, Netherlands, Belgium and Germany. The model has three basic tenets: educational freedom, democratic governance and personal responsibility. It is a private school, attended by children from the ages of 4 to 19.

At the Sudbury Valley School, students individually decide what to do with their time, and learn as an aside to their personal efforts, interactions and ordinary experience, rather than through classes or a standard curriculum.[2]


Following the educational philosophy, the school facilities are somewhat different from most schools. The furnishings of the school as much as one would expect in a home; comfortable chairs, couches, books lining the walls. There are no traditional classrooms and no traditional classes; instead children are free to explore any subject or talk to any staff member about an interest, as part of educating themselves.[3]


The school has no required academic activities, and no academic expectations for completion of one's time at the school. Students are free to spend their time as they wish.[4][5][6]


Students are given complete responsibility for their own education and the school is run by a direct democracy in which students and staff are equals. The corporation is wholly owned and operated by the School Meeting, in which each student and each elected member of the staff has one vote.[7][8]


There is no tenure at Sudbury Valley School. The School Meeting, with each participant receiving one vote, hires staff, as part of its duties in running the school. Every year, in the spring, elections are held for next year's staff. Anyone who wants to serve has to place their names in nomination. The School Meeting debates the school's staff needs, and discusses each candidate in turn. There is an election with secret paper ballots which is open to all students and staff. Staff are not chosen solely through this election; rather, staff candidates must meet a threshold of support in the election in order to be hired, but they are hired at a School Meeting.[7]

  • Jay Flood[9]
  • Scott David Gray[10]
  • Daniel Greenberg, founder
  • Hanna Greenberg, founder
  • Mikel Matisoo
  • Peter Poulos
  • Mimsy Sadofsky, founder
  • Kristin Wilson


Sudbury Valley School has published two studies of their alumni over the past forty years. They have learned that about 80% of their students have at least attended college,[citation needed] and that they have gone on to become successful in many areas of life.[11] There have, as yet, been no formal studies of graduates of other Sudbury schools, but anecdotally, they seem to have similar results.[12][13]

Officers of the Corporation[edit]

Officers of the Corporation are elected by the School Meeting, meeting as the corporation, at its annual meeting.[8]

  • President: Kelly McCarthy, student
  • Secretary: Olivia Rose Zelman Charles, student
  • Treasurer: Scott Gray, staff member

Sudbury Valley School Press[edit]

Sudbury Valley School Press has published books on such topics as the history of the school, its underlying philosophy, and surveys of former students.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Greenberg, D. (2007). "Announcing a New School…". The Sudbury Valley School Press. 
  2. ^ "Sudbury Valley School: About Us". Retrieved 2009-02-28. 
  3. ^ Hara Estroff Marano: Psychology Today Magazine: Education: Class Dismissed. May/Jun 2006.
  4. ^ The Sudbury Valley School Handbook. January 2012.
  5. ^ Children Educate Themselves: Lessons from Sudbury Valley, Peter Gray, Psychology Today Freedom to Learn Blog, 2008
  6. ^ Turning Learning Right Side Up: Putting Education Back on Track, Russ Ackoff and Daniel Greenberg. 2008
  7. ^ a b How the School is Governed, from the school's web page
  8. ^ a b The By-Laws of the Sudbury Valley School, Inc.
  9. ^ Jay's homepage]
  10. ^ Scott's homepage
  11. ^ Greenberg, D,; Sadofsky, M.; Lempka, J. (2005). "The Pursuit of Happiness: The Lives of Sudbury Valley Alumni". United States: Sudbury Valley School Press. ISBN 1-888947-25-X. 
  12. ^ Greenberg, D; Sadofsky, M (1992). "Legacy of Trust". The Sudbury Valley School Press. 
  13. ^ Greenberg, D. (1996) "OUTCOMES." Retrieved on 2009-03-19 (see with Explorer).

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 42°19′28″N 71°27′53″W / 42.32444°N 71.46472°W / 42.32444; -71.46472