School Meeting is held weekly and handles day-to-day operations of SSA. The meeting includes announcements, agenda items, discussions, and voting. Common agenda items may include new rules and approval for purchases or field trips. The meeting is attended by students and staff who each have one vote.
The Judicial Committee (JC) is a solution-focused process that uses Nonviolent Communication (NVC) to uphold community expectations and restore community relationships. JC meetings are held daily and are comprised of 2 students and 1 staff member. Every student spends time serving on the JC throughout the year. The JC helps facilitate conversation as well as finds solutions to written complaints. As Sudbury Valley School founder, Daniel Greenberg, says, “Peer justice is amazingly effective.”
Clubs are formed by students through School Meeting to support student interests. Some examples of clubs are the music club, electronics club, Lego club, animal club and art club. They take responsibility for materials, equipment and other items related to their club. They also create guidelines and determine certification procedures for using the equipment.
When SSA opened it’s doors in 2012, we had one rule – Be respectful, responsible, and reasonable. All subsequent rules have been created students and staff in School Meeting. When rules are broken, written complaints can be submitted to the Judicial Committee for review. The Rulebook is a work in progress and is constantly evolving. Current rules are challenged, removed, and amended, while new ones are proposed, discussed, and added with a majority vote. The Rulebook is one of the many ways students are empowered at a Sudbury school.
Certification is required for use of particular appliances, supplies or the handling of pets. Students must demonstrate that they have the knowledge and ability to properly use or take care of an item/animal. Examples include the microwave, art supplies, electronics and school pets.