No Grades, No Tests, No Teachers. No Problem! Sunset Sudbury School proves that there is a need for a radical K-12 school in Broward County, Florida.
May 9, 2011 – Davie, Florida — Imagine a school where students get to do whatever they want all day long. Imagine those students later excelling in life and at the nation’s best universities. Sunset Sudbury School, http://www.sunsetsudbury.org, based in Davie, Florida is proud to celebrate a successful first year. The Broward County K-12 school was created based on the Sudbury School Model, a democratic school that takes student empowerment and child-directed learning to extremes.
Featured on The Today Show, MSNBC News, FoxNews and Sun-Sentinel for its radical approach to education, Sunset Sudbury School is truly a different paradigm for education. It is not just a slight alteration of what most people think of as a “school.” Indeed, it is much closer to what in recent years has come to be known as “un-schooling” than it is to any other kind of alternative school.
At Sunset Sudbury School, students from kindergarten through high school age explore the world freely, at their own pace and in their own unique ways. They learn to think for themselves and learn to unearth the knowledge they need from multiple sources, including Information Age tools. They develop the ability to make clear logical arguments and deal with complex ethical issues. Through self-initiated activities, they pick up the basics; as they direct their lives, they take responsibility for outcomes, set priorities, allocate resources, and work with others in a vibrant community of learners.
The fundamental premises of the school are simple: that all people are curious by nature; that the most efficient, long-lasting, and profound learning takes place when started and pursued by the learner; that all people are creative if they are allowed to develop their unique talents; that age-mixing among students promotes growth in all members of the group; and that freedom is essential to the development of personal responsibility.
In practice this means that students initiate all their own activities and create their own environment. The school provides a setting in which students are independent, are trusted, and are treated as responsible people; and a community in which students are exposed to the complexities of life in the framework of a participatory democracy.
Throughout its first year, Sunset Sudbury School has operated on a shoestring budget, relying on volunteer staff and donations from the community. Nevertheless, Sunset Sudbury School enrollment grew by 30% this past year, and they have big plans for the future, with a Summer Camp, a site remodeling and other improvement projects scheduled for the coming months.
Despite criticism and naysayers who question whether the students are actually learning, the staff at Sunset Sudbury School can confidently say that the students have made huge accomplishments this past year. The list includes learning to problem solve on their own, expressing their interests and making decisions about student-initiated field trips and lesson plans, planning holiday parties and initiating art and community improvement projects – all without being told or forced to do so by an adult.
“We are so excited to achieve this important milestone in the growth of our school,” explains Kathy Williams, Co-Founder of the Sunset Sudbury School in Davie, FL. “But we couldn’t have done it without the support and generous donations of our community, who believed in us and wanted to help us succeed. We hope that more families will consider the Sudbury Model of education in helping their children become more independent. ”
The Broward County Sudbury School is conveniently located at 4200 NW 66 Avenue, Davie, FL 33024, near the Florida Turnpike, so it’s a perfect location for families from Broward and / or Dade County.
About Sunset Sudbury School:
Sunset Sudbury School, located in Davie, Florida, is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, private school based on the 40-year old Sudbury model of education. Sunset Sudbury School offers students ages 4 through 18 unlimited opportunities for self-directed learning in a supportive community environment. Sunset Sudbury School is part of an international network of Sudbury Schools, all of which are based on Sudbury Valley School in Massachusetts, http://www.sudval.org. The concepts Freedom, Trust and Responsibility are at the heart of the Sudbury model. Sudbury Schools are run democratically ensuring that students have the freedom to direct their own education. Sudbury graduates move into their adult lives as self-confident, articulate, resourceful and motivated individuals.
The Sunset Sudbury School is open from 8 am to 3:30 pm, with after-school care available upon request. Sunset Sudbury School follows the same school calendar as Broward County Schools.
Visit Sunset Sudbury School online at http://www.SunsetSudbury.org, or follow us on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/SunsetSudbury) and Twitter (http://twitter.com/SunsetSudbury) for more details about our unique alternative school in Broward County.
Sunset Sudbury School