OUR APPROACH

Democracy

From All School Meeting, where every student has a vote, to our wider community, where every voice is heard, democracy is an essential tool for decision making at The Village Free School.

 An All School Meeting vote taking place in our Great Room.

An All School Meeting vote taking place in our Great Room.

All School Meeting

All School Meeting is a forum in which students, staff, and volunteers problem solve and make decisions regarding the Daily Life of the school.  This unique process enables every person affected by the outcome to have a say in how rules are formed and decisions made. The value of ASM lies not only in upholding democratic practices but as a vehicle providing a direct connection to the culture and values of our community. From how we engage with screens to discussing gender pronouns, celebrating appreciations to bringing concerns, our kids can feel confident that the issues that are important to them will be heard and seen through this vital component of our educational environment.

Community Meetings

The wider community - including students, families, staff, directors, and volunteers - meets at least three times per year for Community Meetings.  Each member of the VFS community may vote on proposals such as amending the bylaws, budget recommendations, and Council nominations. We also host special meetings to address topics as they are relevant to the interests of our mission and trajectory of our school.

The Council

The Council is the Board of Directors of our nonprofit organization. Council members are elected by the community to ensures that VFS’s practices and policies are in line with our mission, core principles, and bylaws.  They are legally responsible for the oversight of the school's financial and employment practices.  The Council plays an important role in budgeting, fundraising, and outreach. The Council votes on proposals and serves to promote practices that keep our business ethics connected to our community values.

Staff Decision Making

Staff Members use democratic process in decision making.  While the staff regularly consults All School Meeting regarding any policies or rules that affect the student body, they also have the power to enact necessary laws and policies related to emotional and physical safety.  Staff members meet bi-weekly and are in constant conversation to ensure they model how to engage with the work of the school with consistency and care.