A radically different approach to education.

The Village Free School is a non-profit, independent school serving people ages 5-18 located in Portland, Oregon. Established in 2004, VFS was inspired by the question: what if schools were different?

Based on a foundation of Care, Freedom, and Democracy, VFS practices self-directed education to support kids in becoming autonomous, creative, and thoughtful citizens able to make change and collaborate with others.

Join us to learn more about the education revolution!


Self-directed education to empower youth.


What We Do

We build equitable relationships and trust children to make their own choices. Eliminating the burden of judgment and expectation allows for mutual respect and understanding to flourish. With their autonomy protected, kids focus on what they want to learn and how they want to be. In an empathetic and compassionate environment, adults provide guidance and support to encourage students to be their authentic selves. Children deserve freedom.

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Why We Do It

We do this because it makes the world better. Raising children who believe that they can affect change in the world, have tools to resolve conflicts with others, and can direct themselves in pursuits that they value, is how we as a society can shift our cultural narrative. 

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Care. Freedom. Democracy.


At VFS, we believe kids are naturally curious with a strong desire to learn. We recognize that, like adults, they have the right to help define and govern the communities they are a part of. And they have a natural propensity for empathy and care, both for themselves and others. These beliefs inform the culture of our school. We invite you to be a part of it.


our Community

Our Partners.

The Village Free School does not function in isolation. We are supported by a large community of nonprofits, local businesses, and organizations within Portland who believe in the mission of VFS. With their support, we have a thriving education environment, both within our walls, and beyond.