"The Big Idea"
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
The power of Sudbury is in its unique and practical approach to personal empowerment and interpersonal growth
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Democracy is real at a Sudbury School.
School Meeting (SM)
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.
Mini Morning Meeting (MMM)
Every morning the whole Community gathers for any announcements or updates. These meetings are run by students.
Restorative Justice Committee (RJC) & 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.
Students work cooperatively to keep their space clean. This is managed by elected students.
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.
While traditional schools are now widely regarded as the only way to learn, they go against the way people actually learn most effectively. There is a robust body of literature supporting self-directed education and the human instinct to learn.
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.
2700 SW 37th Ave
Miami, FL 33133
Across from Douglas Park
Visitors by appointment only
For the location of other Sudbury Model Schools In the U.S. and around the world click here
Monday - Friday
8:30 am - 3:00 pm
8:30 am - 10:00 am
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.
At almost any time of day, you can walk into the room and find a free-flowing conversation, game, or project going on that anyone is welcome to join and that can cover almost any topic.
Activities can change quickly throughout the day or students can get so involved that the activity can extend into the next day.
There are often meetings called by students to plan activities or to put together a budget request proposal. Learning through play while managing time, social interactions, meetings, and a direct democracy they have a valuable vote in are rare and precious features of a Sudbury school.
Since students can decide how to spend their time (constantly building their executive functioning muscles), it’s hard to generalize about what they do. Here are some common activities that might be observed: talking, reading, making art, playing games, playing sports, dancing, discussing, planning... and all the while learning.
When young people are allowed to follow their interests, they often surprise us all in what they become interested in. They may not even realize that by making choices of what to do all throughout their school day, their “typical day” is a robust preparation for the rest of their lives as confident, independent human beings capable of doing just about anything.
The Sudbury Approach to Education
- Dignity - Intrinsic Motivation - Time Management -
- Curiosity - Creativity - Confidence -
At The Miami Sudbury School, students are part of a 50 year history of innovation, intrinsic motivation, and independence. While all models share the goal of educating children, the Sudbury model questions the conventionally-held idea that our children must be pressured to learn and achieve.
Sudbury students have full ownership of their school, learning like entrepreneurs within a community they are accountable to. The Sudbury model truly allows young people to practice self-drive, democratic decision making, and authentic socialization skills that will serve them for the rest of their lives in any academic, professional, or personal pursuit.
Notice of Nondiscriminatory Policy for The Learning Instinct & The Miami Sudbury School
The Learning Instinct and all its programs, including The Miami Sudbury School, does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion/creed, gender, gender expression, sexual orientation, national and ethnic origin/ancestry, or ability. Students, families, and employees have access to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available. It does not discriminate on the basis of any of the above in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, tuition assistance programs, employment, and athletic and other school-administered programs.