The structure of our school is based on democracy, not academic activity. Students at the school are free to do anything they find interesting as long as the activities do not infringe on the rights of others or endanger the school. Students and staff have an equal vote in all matters, from purchasing art supplies to the annual staff elections. With this structure in place, students have the respect and freedom that they need to carry out whatever activities they see as beneficial to their lives at any given time.
The School Meeting, composed of all the staff and students, makes decisions about the day-to-day operation of the school. All rules are written and enforced democratically, giving students a sense of ownership over the rules and the school itself.
Rules are composed into a school lawbook, voted on and approved by the School Meeting where each student and staff member has one vote. There are rules regarding behavior at school and the functioning of the school, rules about using certain items at the school (e.g., computers and art equipment), corporations formed to regulate usage of specialized school property and to make things happen (an art corp., computer corp., cooking corp., or science corp.) and a judicial system in place to take care of rule infractions.
School rules apply to all, and are upheld by a joint student/staff judicial committee. The Judicial Committee, composed of students and staff members, is available to investigate and take action on complaints brought before it by members of the community. If a student or staff member is written up for violating a school rule, the Judicial Committee gathers facts by talking with the defendant, plaintiff, and any witnesses. If it is determined that a rule was broken, the student or staff member is responsible for fulfilling the sentence determined by the Judicial Committee. Participation in the Judicial Committee meetings is mandatory to ensure that all members of the community receive fair hearings.
The Assembly — made up of all students, staff, parents, and elected members of the larger community — meets three times a year to discuss and vote on matters such as the annual budget, election of Assembly officers and Trustees, and candidates for graduation.