At Clearwater, school isn’t practice. It’s real life.
The right to vote
Like adults in the greater community, Clearwater students each have a vote. When kids use their vote, they learn how to make decisions that affect their lives. In the weekly School Meeting, students use their voices to directly influence school governance. They create rules and policies, solve problems that arise and determine the school budget.
The responsibility to follow the rules
Clearwater students participate in a judicial system that enforces school policies and determines what to do when rules are broken. They learn to balance their individual actions with the needs and rights of the whole community. Students are required to act responsibly—including, at times, experiencing the consequences when one’s actions violate community expectations.
The freedom to choose
Without class assignments or mandatory tests, Clearwater students explore the world guided by their own inspirations. They are the authors and directors of their education, drawing from school staff and resources as well as the offerings of the local community. They think, decide, play, talk openly with friends, investigate the world and dream. They freely pursue basketball, jewelry making, game design, role playing games, poetry or natural habitats. Learning is truly limitless.
The responsibility to decide
Freedom is always accompanied by responsibility. From the earliest age, children make decisions about how to spend their time—reading or running, building or composing. Through simple decisions like when and what to eat or who to hang out with, children gain an internal understanding of their inclinations, preferences and abilities.
Prepared for real life
Over the years, responsibility and freedom become habit, the foundation of action. Through self direction, Clearwater students internalize a sense of mastery. By graduation, they are prepared to take on challenges in the world at large, equipped with essential skills that are sought in today’s workplace. They trust their own voices to influence the course of their lives.