The Clearwater School

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The Clearwater School
1510 196th St SE, Bothell, Washington, United States
TypeSudbury school
Age range4 - 19
Enrollment50 (As of 2018)
Campus size3.4 acres (14,000 m2)
Information(425) 489-2050
GovernanceSchool Meeting (democratic, vote by students and staff)

The Clearwater School is an independent school in Bothell, Washington, a northern suburb of Seattle, Washington, United States. Clearwater is a Sudbury school that serves students from ages 4 to 19.

The school began in 1996 as a twice-weekly homeschool cooperative, and opened as a full-time school in 1999. In 2006 the school moved to its current campus in Bothell. [1]


Clearwater is a democratic school where students create the rules and policies that affect the entire school. The educational philosophy is similar to unschooling in that student-chosen activities are the primary means of learning.[2]


Clearwater students explore their own interests at their own pace. Students are not segregated by age and are free to determine how they spend their time.[2] The school has no assignments, no grades, and no classes unless students organize them.[3]


The school's campus consists of five buildings on 3.4 acres and includes a kitchen, an art room, a music room, a theater, a computer room, an office, a library, an active room, and quiet areas. The school also has a play yard, and North Creek flows through the campus. [4]

The school has an ongoing partnership with Snohomish County for ecological restoration of North Creek for salmon and other wildlife. [5] [6]

The campus generates solar energy using a photovoltaic system as part of the school's commitment to sustainable practices.[7]


The democratic structure of the school gives students a direct say in how the school is managed. Students and staff members each have a vote in School Meeting, where rules and policies are created, and in Judicial Committee, where rules are enforced.[2]


The adults at Clearwater are called staff, to distinguish their role from the role of traditional teachers. Staff members do not tell students how they should spend their time; instead they play, encourage, and learn alongside students.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "20+ years of learning". The Clearwater School. Retrieved 2018-01-20.
  2. ^ a b c "Education Model". The Clearwater School. Retrieved 2018-01-20.
  3. ^ "No assignments. No tests. No grades. It’s “no problem” for Bothell school". The Seattle Times. Retrieved 2018-01-20.
  4. ^ "Our Campus". The Clearwater School. Retrieved 2018-01-20.
  5. ^ "The Clearwater School: Clearwater Students Work for Salmon". Retrieved 2018-01-20.
  6. ^ "The Clearwater School | Residential | Snohomish County PUD". Retrieved 2018-01-20.
  7. ^ "How it works". The Clearwater School. Retrieved 2018-01-20.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 47°49′12″N 122°12′42″W / 47.82000°N 122.21167°W / 47.82000; -122.21167