A democratic school, as the term is used on this site, is a school where students are trusted to take responsibility for their own lives and learning, and for the school community. At such a school, students choose their own activities and associate with whom they please. If courses are offered, students are always free to take them or not. Generally, evaluation is in the form of self-evaluation by the learner herself. Most of these schools accept students across a wide range of ages (commonly age four through the late teens) and do not segregate students by age, so that students can learn from interacting with others who are older and younger than themselves. Below is a partial list of democratic schools in North America. Each organization listed under the “democratic schools” category is a “school” and recognized as such by the locality in which it operates. If you believe that your school is in accordance with our aforementioned definition, please contact us.
Further down on this page you will also find a separate list with examples of homeschool resource centers, parent cooperatives, unschooling groups, North Star models or other variations of alternatives to compulsory schooling.
Alpha II Alternative School (schoolweb.tdsb.on.ca/alpha2/
Kino School kinoschool.org 6625 North 1st Ave, Tucson, Arizona 85718
Mountain Laurel Sudbury School mountainlaurelsudbury.org
Grassroots School grassrootsschool.org 2458 Grassroots Way, Tallahassee, FL 32311
Spring Valley School springvalleyschool.com 2109 Nebraska Ave., Palm Harbor, FL 34683
Sunset Sudbury School sunsetsudbury.org 4200 NW 66th Ave, Davie, FL 33024
Sudbury School of Atlanta sudburyschoolofatlanta.
Tallgrass Sudbury School tallgrasssudbury.org 82 Woodside Rd, Riverside, IL 60546
Stonecote Sudbury School stonecotesudbury.org 1005 Alta Vista Road, Louisville, KY 40205
Fairhaven School fairhavenschool.com 17900 Queen Anne Rd, Upper Marlboro, MD 20774
Arts & Ideas Sudbury School aisudbury.com 4915 Holder Ave, Baltimore MD 21211
Sudbury Valley School sudval.com 2 Winch St, Framingham, MA 01701
Glacier Lake School glacierlakeschool.com 62551 Wild Rose Lane, St. Ignatius, MT 59865
The Jersey Shore Free School jerseyshorefreeschool.org
South Mountain Co-op southmountaincoop.
South Jersey Sudbury School southjerseysudburyschool.org 1303 Stokes Road, Medford, NJ 08055
The Tutorial School tutorialschool.org/index.
Agile Learning Center nycagile.org 115 East 106th St., Second Floor, New York, NY 10029
Brooklyn Free School brooklynfreeschool.org 372 Clinton Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238
Harriet Tubman Democratic High School tubmanschool.org 59 Elizabeth St, Albany, NY 12202
The Albany Free School albanyfreeschool.org 8 Elm St, Albany, NY 12202
Hudson Valley Sudbury School sudburyschool.com 84 Zena Rd, Kingston, NY 12401
Longview School longviewschool.org 83 Main Street Brewster, NY 10509
Gaia Democratic School GaiaDemocratic.org Minneapolis, MN
Kokosing Valley School. kokosingvalleyschool.org. 10565 Monroe Mills Road, Gambier OH 43022
Clearview Sudbury School clearviewsudburyschool.org 1507 Wilshire Blvd, Austin, TX 78722
Houston Sudbury School houstonsudburyschool.
Makarios Community School makariosschool.org – Dallas/Fort Worth, TX
The Sego Lily School segolilyschool.org - Murray, UT
Highland School thehighlandschool.org 98 Sycamore Springs Ln, Ellenboro, WV 26346
Learning Co-ops & Resource Centers
Urban Homeschoolers – Edenhurst Ave. LA, CA
Realm Academy - Students may choose to take single or several classes on the times and days that they choose. – Santa Monica, CA.
Rock Tree Sky - A program for homeschoolers ages 5 to 14. Open 5 days a week, 7 hours per day. – Ojai, CA
Beacon Self-Directed Learning - Beacon Self-Directed Learning is based on the North Star model (see below) and provides teens who are, or want to, homeschool with a community that includes peers, adult mentors, and optional classes. – New Haven, CT
Freedom to Grow Unschool – Hull, GA
Agile Learning Center – Oahu. HI
The Marram School - Discover the joy of self-directed learning in a compassionate community! – Chesterton, IN
Bay State Learning Center provides courses, workshops, mentorship, advising, and resources to families who are unsatisfied with public education. – Dedham, MA.
Macomber Center was established in 2012 as “an environment where children can discover for themselves the art of independence, responsibility and respect for others.” – Framingham, MA
North Star: Self-Directed Learning for Teens The goal of North Star is to help students regain control over their own learning to become effective homeschoolers by fostering community and offering courses and curriculum resources. – Hadley, MA
Parts and Crafts The Parts and Crafts Collective runs hands-on creative arts, science, and engineering programs for kids and adults to help people learn and do and make things. – Somerville, MA
Trellis Community Learning – Pembroke, MA
Open Doors: Center for Self-directed Teens Grand Rapids, MI.
Little Lake Learning Community – Ann Arbor, MI
The Princeton Learning Cooperative – Princeton, NJ.
Teens Take Charge group at the Jersey Shore Free School – Little Silver, NJ.
Open Road Learning Community for Teens provides individualized, non-compulsory education that empowers teens to direct their own learning and fulfill their potential. Portland, OR.
Village Home – Beaverton and Northeast Portland OR.
The Natural Creativity Center op
Open Connections Founded in 1978, Open Connections is a resource for homeschoolers/unschoolers of all ages who enroll in youth-focused programs for one, two or three days per week. – Newtown Square, PA.
Talking Stick Learning Center provides self-directed group learning experiences for over 40 families with homeschoolers age 3 to 18. – Philadelphia, PA
Experiencia Alternativa ALC – Cupey, Puerto Rico
Inspired Learning Academy ALC – Dallas, TX
Embark Center for Self-Directed Learning – Loudoun County, VA
D.C. Village Learning Cooperative – Washington, DC