Sudbury Valley School

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The Sudbury Valley School
Sudbury Valley School, November 2016, Framingham MA.jpg
2 Winch Street, Framingham, Massachusetts
United States
Type Private
Established 1968
Chairperson Owen Harnish
Faculty 9
Age range 4 - 19
Enrollment 140
Campus size 10 acres (40,000 m2)
Campus type suburban
Annual tuition $8900
Philosophy Sudbury
Governance School Meeting (democratic, vote by students and staff)

The Sudbury Valley School was founded in 1968 by a community of interested people, in Framingham, Massachusetts, United States.[1] There are over 50 schools that claim to be based on the Sudbury Model in the United States, Belgium, Brasil, Denmark, France, Germany, Israel, Japan and Switzerland. 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.


There are no traditional classrooms and no traditional classes; instead children are free to do what they wish with their time. This may or may not include formally exploring academia or speaking with staff members or other students about academic interests, as part of educating themselves.[2]


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.[3]


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.[4][5]


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. School Meeting members (staff and students) may nominate people to the role of staff. 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 who have received more yes votes than no votes in this election are eligible to receive contracts negotiated on the floor of the School Meeting.[4]


Sudbury Valley School has published two studies of their alumni over the past forty years. There have, as yet, been no formal studies of graduates of other Sudbury schools, but anecdotally, they seem to have similar results.[6]

Officers of the Corporation[edit]

Officers of the Corporation are elected by the School Meeting, meeting as the corporation, at its annual meeting.[5]

  • Chairperson: Owen Harnish, student
  • Secretary: Cori Tighe, student
  • Treasurer: Scott Gray, staff member

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Greenberg, D: Announcing a New School, The Sudbury Valley School Press, Ma 1973.
  2. ^ Hara Estroff Marano: Psychology Today Magazine: Education: Class Dismissed. May/Jun 2006.
  3. ^ The Sudbury Valley School Handbook. September 2015.
  4. ^ a b How the School is Governed, from the school's web page
  5. ^ a b The By-Laws of the Sudbury Valley School, Inc.
  6. ^ Greenberg, D. (1996) "OUTCOMES." Retrieved on 2009-03-19 (see with Explorer).

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]