The primary learning for students at any Sudbury school is to discover what they are passionate about. This is an intense learning process. Any adult understands how few of us discover who we truly are, what we really want, and how to fully follow our heart until late in life, if ever. Children and teens who are allowed to pursue this process at a young age remain eager to learn and succeed, cultivate their guts and grit, and understand that it is up to them to get to where they want to go in life.

Instead of tests, grades and homework, Spring Valley School offers students ages 4 through 19 the opportunity to be self directed in their learning in a supportive community environment.

Students of all ages experience:

  • Being responsible, independent and resourceful
  • Being self-directed, motivated and enthusiastic life-long learners
  • Being creative and self-confident
  • Being community minded
  • Being highly adept at communication

If this is what you and your child are looking for, we invite you to learn more about Spring Valley School and the  Sudbury model, which has been on the cutting edge of education for over 50 years.

A Typical Day at Spring Valley

Parents new to the Sudbury model often ask, “What is a typical day like?”  Quite simply, there is no typical day.  Every day unfolds naturally given the focus and motivations of the students.  On any given day, you will see students of all ages mixing freely doing whatever they want within the boundaries of safety and respect.  Students and staff can be found everywhere talking, laughing, exploring, discovering, sharing, playing, working, growing, and building a democratic culture where everyone is an equal, regardless of age.

School Meeting

School Meeting is the highest governing body of the school.  It is run using parliamentary procedure and meets weekly. Through School Meeting, every student and staff (who chooses to participate) has an equal vote in managing the school and creating the rules.  These make up the Spring Valley School Law Book.  School Meeting discusses, debates and votes on rules such as standards of behavior, allocation of budget, proper use of the facility, staff hiring, and delegating specific routines for running the school.

Judicial Committee

Whereas School Meeting is the collective authority of the school, Judicial Committee oversees the fair administration of justice.

All school meeting members participate on the JC panel on a rotating basis, somewhat like jury duty.   JC meets every day with a School Meeting elected clerk overseeing the smooth and fair running of the proceeding. All conflicts and complaints that occur throughout the day are written up to JC.  These cases are discussed in a respectful way with the intention to resolve the issue through a discussion, warning or consequence.

JC is a place for honesty and accountability.  It is the heart of any Sudbury school and is key to establishing the school’s culture.

Diane Ballou, M.A., Staff Educator & Founder of Spring Valley School

JC reinforces the skills of listening and speaking up, clearly demonstrating that all our choices have a ripple effect through our school community.

Learn More: How A Sudbury School Operates