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SELF-DRIVEN LEARNING IN A MIXED-AGE DEMOCRACY

We believe that Young People are PEOPLE deserving of respect, rights, and meaningful responsibilities.

They grow and thrive in places where they are free to explore and create their own structure, while accountable to and supported by a Community they have real power in.

OUR UNIQUE STRUCTURE

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The power of Sudbury is in its unique and practical approach to personal empowerment and interpersonal growth, which takes into account basic psychological needs of every human 

01

Autonomy

Sense of true autonomy and freedom that students enjoy at Sudbury schools fosters internal motivation.  When a person is autonomously motivated their performance, wellness, and engagement is heightened

02

Community

Students learn to work together in a mixed-age community that is democratically governed together by students and staff. Each member of the community is called a "Voting member" and no matter the age has a voice in how the school is run

03

Growth

Sudbury education truly nurtures the human learning instinct, provides real skills that young people need today and in the future, and allows young people to learn authentically and deeply, developing into lifelong learners.

01/ AUTONOMY

Choices are powerful and meaningful. Learning happens through every decision made at every point in the day. Because we don't force academic subjects, students learn what is meaningful to them and what they need in meaningful contexts.

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Meals

Students eat when they want to - as long as they eat in the kitchen or outside and clean up after themselves. There’s usually more communal eating around midday, but you’ll also find students eating much earlier and much later. 

Students can bring their own snacks and lunches everyday. There is a microwave in our kitchen for use by students who receive certification.

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Outdoor Access

Students are always able to be outside whenever they wish within the safety of our gated property.

We are also within walking distance of Douglas Park and students can propose for Staff to walk a group there, always with an option to stay at school with other Staff - no forced PE or short recess here.

Student also voted that once a week is a park day so we spend whole day outside. This can also be voted against at any time.

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Technology

Students have access to computers they can sign up for a turn to use. Personal electronic devices are allowed, following a certification process to make sure the technology used isn't loud or inappropriate for our mixed-age environment.​​ With this responsible freedom, students learn more personal balance than adults often expect.

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02/ COMMUNITY

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A Sudbury school is above all a community of individuals. While it can seem like “I can do whatever I want,” students quickly discover the limitations needed to be part of a community. Respect and safety are non-negotiables. They must constantly balance their desires with the needs of the larger community. It’s not just about “whether the staff heard/saw” because the responsibility is on everyone’s shoulders to uphold rules and protect the community.

Mixed-Age Environment ​

Our school doesn’t divide students up by age so groups can be close in age or quite diverse as older students get pulled into the younger kids’ activities when they get interested and vice versa.​ Older students act as role models and guides for younger ones. Mixed ages dramatically reduces competition and makes our community safer.

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School Meeting

Sudbury School is a direct democracy run by The School Meeting.  Students and staff (Voting Members) make all the decisions and each Voting Member has one vote no matter the age. 

 

Every week this meeting is facilitated by the elected School Meeting Chairperson. Voting is by consensus. Students are not required to attend the School Meeting, but if they have a proposal on the agenda or strong feelings about an agenda item, they will likely attend and recruit friends to support them.

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Mini Morning Meeting

Every morning the whole Community gathers for any announcements or updates. These meetings are run by students.

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Restorative Justice Committee & Lawbook of Agreements

If there are any concerns about community policies or agreements being broken or interpersonal issues that need to be dealt with, the RJC meets to engage in dialogue and problem solving together, often resembling a mediation.

Effective interpersonal relating is something that is too often absent in a teacher-directed classroom and essential to practice daily.

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Chores

Students work cooperatively to keep their space clean. This is managed by elected students.

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03/ GROWTH

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Without hours of sitting in desks and standing in lines, there’s much more freedom and opportunity in a “typical day" at a Sudbury School. What students do will depend a lot on their individual interests and on group dynamics, but there are also important structures built into each day and every week. 

​As shown through research and historical evidence, human beings at every age make greater intellectual and emotional strides when allowed to pursue their own interests. 

Self-direction

They are the main character & the author of their life - responsible for each decision they make.

Accountability

It’s not about whether a staff member sees someone breaking a community agreement, every single Voting Member is responsible for upholding community policies and calling each other to accountability or bringing the issue to RJC for discussion.

Responsibility

No one is “cruise directing” or “curating” their experience. It is up to them to figure out what they want to pursue or join. It’s both scary and exciting and gets easy with practice.

Cooperation

It’s about cooperation not competition. Mixed ages and no grades make for a much less competitive environment. We’re in this together and they’re an important part of the team.

Collaboration

Adults are not to be feared or pleased, but are here as responsible mentors, resources, and allies. They are genuinely curious and accepting.

What gets developed and strengthened

The Miami Sudbury School, along with other self-directed schools, hopes to normalize the kind of education that truly nurtures the human learning instinct, provides real skills that young people need today and in the future, and allows young people to learn authentically and deeply, developing into lifelong learners.

1

Curiosity

2

Creativity

3

Self-confidence

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4

Personal responsibility

5

Self-satisfaction and relaxation

6

Interpersonal and problem-solving skills

SCHOOL LOGISTICS

School Hours

Monday - Friday
8:30 am - 3:00 pm

Drop Off

8:30 am - 10:00 am

Pick Up

3:00 pm

Students are required to be in attendance at school a minimum of 5 hours a day to count as a full day but of course can stay the entire school day. 

We mostly follow the Miami-Dade public school calendar, as voted by students annually.

MEET THE STAFF

All of our Staff Members are experienced educators who have strong foundations in Sudbury model philosophy, child development, and youth empowerment

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Lead Staff, Admissions Coordinator,

Co-Founder

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Full-time Staff

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Full-time Staff

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