The school’s mission is to provide a place of uninhibited learning and development for children.
To allow self determination and foster practical, functioning democratic living and children’s rights.
To not impede individual learning processes and help strengthen every child’s self empowerment.
To discover the world.
To interact with the community.
To have fun!
The Altadena Free School is the first of its kind in the San Gabriel Valley. Using models of other successful democratic schools such as the Sudbury, Albany, Brooklyn Free Schools as well as many others, dating back to the famed Summerhill School, the Altadena Free School functions under the belief that children are born learners and have the right to determine their own education in their own way.
Ages are from 6 to 18.
The school has no grades, no age segregation, no formal classes, no testing and no homework. Students are free to pursue any interest at any time with as much or as little input from the staff (and each other) as they desire.
Students are free to engage with anyone at the school in the interest of play, work or study, in any way, as long as it doesn’t impede on another’s rights or established rules of safety.
Decisions regarding the functioning of the school are made through a democratic process, with the implementation of rules, resolution of conflicts and introduction of ideas all discussed and determined through regular meetings wherein each student and staff have equal power through a debate and voting process, no matter what their age.
Parents are welcome to participate as little or as much as they like in the weekly activities of the school, with permission of students and so long as their presence is not seen as disruptive to the purposes of the school.
Tuition is kept as low as possible and no child will be denied admission for financial reasons.