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Frequently Asked Questions

Free to Learn author Peter Gray gives a talk on the nature of learning from an evolutionary and psychological perspective, and the advantages of democratic and Sudbury type schools.

What kind of school is this?
The School at Kelly's Working Well Farm balances freedom and responsibility in a self-directed, democratic community in a farm setting. Students are always free to choose their own activities, but also share with staff the responsibility for the day-to-day management of all aspects of the school, from creating and enforcing democratically adopted rules to overseeing an annual budget. Staff serve as mentors and models of contributing community members. See Sudbury Valley School or other "democratic" schools  for examples.

What ages are the students?
The school is for kids from age 5 to 18, though initially we plan to enroll only up to age 15 in order to give older students a chance to adjust to this different approach to learning.

What is a typical day like for a student at the school?
Because students have such different interests and are able to decide how to spend their own time, there is no single “typical day”. Students work on projects of their own choosing, such as art, cooking, or fort building. They participate in committees that plan activities and determine certain policies. For example members of the kitchen committee design and administer the certification process for use of the kitchen, are in charge of the kitchen budget and plan cooking projects. Many spend a good part of their day in free play, which we believe is really the most effective and efficient mode of learning for kids of all ages!

But what about reading and math?          

​This article, "But What About Academics?" by Hudson Valley Sudbury School staff member, Matthew Goia, or this one "Kids Learn Academic Subjects Without Being Taught", by Open School staff member Cassi Clausen, have some answers to this frequently asked question! 

How will students from the school get into college?
Students graduating from The School at Kelly's Working Well Farm will not have grades or a transcript; however there are many ways to demonstrate their readiness for the college of their choice. They can take the SAT or ACT, construct a portfolio, and write a convincing personal essay. Many colleges are eager to enroll self-motivated learners who know why they want to go to college. Students from schools like this one tend to be very impressive in an interview situation because they have had so much practice talking with people of all ages. Most graduates of Sudbury schools go on to college, and have pursued higher education at a variety of institutions including: state universities, liberal arts colleges, art schools, cooking schools, Ivy League schools, and community colleges.

How can I learn more?
Visit the other school pages of this web-site for more information. Contact us to plan a visit during school hours or get some friends together to schedule your own informational session. 

How is the school financed?
Tuition: First child in family $8,000, second child $5,000, third and more $4,000 each. Tuition will be pro-rated for families that opt for part-time attendance. A Co-op option allows families to off-set tuition by contributing to the KWWF operation (farm/store/school) at rate of $25/hour.

When can students enroll?

We accept new students throughout the year. Start the enrollment process by filling out the enrollment form and submitting a deposit of $250 on the school enrollment page of this web-site.