Own yourself. Own your actions.

Personal responsibility is learned through practice. Here, students experience the benefits and challenges of being in charge of their own time and behavior.

Play a part in your community.

Students and staff are equally responsible for the well-being of the school community. Real opportunities for leadership and an equal vote create a context where students are empowered to share ownership of their environment.

Expect to be respected.

Students have rights. They have the right to their safety. They have the right to their time and personal space. At Alpine Valley School, a participatory justice system based on testimony and evidence protects students’ rights.

Every voice matters.

A 5-year-old can contribute as much to a conversation as an 18-year-old. Here, this is the norm. People of all ages interact freely, engaging each other in their interests, activities, and conversations.

Be a role model.

Every student is unique. So is the example they offer to others. Alpine Valley School affords students the opportunity to realize and model their strengths, and take pride in leading by example.

Become who you really are.

People are in a perpetual process of growth and discovery. This is true for children and adults alike. Here, students have the time and freedom to explore their interests. As a result, they discover what’s meaningful to them, and self-awareness becomes an integral part of their character.

Self-powered education.

Students at Alpine Valley School initiate and control their own education. In the school’s supportive environment, they practice the skills and habits that make them masters of lifelong learning.

Explore. Create. Play.

Children are born curious and creative, with a powerful drive to learn. Here, students use the tools of play, interaction, and exploration to master their environment. They grow into confident, independent adults, successful in a variety of fields.

Listen To The Latest Podcast Episode

On the 20th episode of the Alpine Valley School podcast, we depart from life on our own campus and explore how things are done at the Circle School, a fellow democratic school in Harrisburg, PA. Guest Jim Rietmulder is both a founder and a staff member at the Circle School and he talks extensively about the philosophical tenets of the school. In addition, he shares how their graduates go on to successful college careers and tells a story about the day where the Circle School had no rules at all! Jim is an inspiration to many in the democratic schooling community, and after hearing this episode you will definitely know why!

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