Hudson Valley Sudbury School

Hudson Valley Sudbury School

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Three Weeks in Review!!

We are a little behind in our week in reviews over here 😬- we’ve been too busy having fun 🤩. Towards the end of May students, staff, and parents rallied together to expand the campus - clearing a field, building a bridge and creating an epic two story fort that is still in the works 🔨 🪚. We heard stories from our three students doing an exchange at The Learning Project in Ibiza 🇪🇸, and one who has returned from Berlin 🇩🇪. The kitchen saw some action - muffins, cookies, dumplings, and lots of fresh rhubarb and strawberries from the garden. 🍪🥟🍓

Last week we hosted Cassi from the Open School, Ben from Macomber Center, and Amelia, one of our alumna - they made up our Thesis Committee. We were so lucky to have them spend 5 days interviewing our Diploma Candidates and giving them feedback. 💫 The week culminated with a Diploma Celebration where families came and the candidates shared their work with them. 💗

There was also lots of four square, cardboard creations, dancing in the rain, mural painting, song recording, graduation preparations, music, and all the normal staples from weeks past. 🎨🏀🎤👯‍♂️

We welcomed pride month with open arms - we are so lucky to grow up in a community that celebrates everyone for who they are 🏳️‍🌈. We strive to have our campus open to all, even the caterpillars 🐛 and tiny turtles 🐢 that have been saying hello lately - the giant black bear 🐻 however has to keep a little more distance than it did today. 🛑

We will wrap up these last three weeks with some advice that a 10 year old said to a visiting student today “if you ever think to yourself, this is impossible, I can’t do this…well, if there is anything I have learned at this school, it’s that there is no such thing as impossible…Words of Wisdom” ✨🌈🙋🏽✨

This is Wolfie, a pack-leader who’s not only tall for his age, his personality is super-sized too; it’s a good thing he has the time and space to grow into himself here at HVSS! He’s a creator - of things, jokes, ideas, and friendships. While I was interviewing him for this profile, in fact, he was building a delicate cardboard and paper mace and describing his idea of perfection. He said, “in order to be perfect you have to have some imperfections, especially at the beginning, and you get perfect by working with them. If you start off perfect you’re really just a blank slate. You have nowhere to go…” He spun his mace around to test it out and joked, “I only make weapons, never anything that might benefit humanity,” then became philosophical again: “the thing with working with cardboard is, I never let myself get attached to anything, because all of it inevitably breaks.” He briefly gazed out the window, then said, “I don’t do much philosophy anymore; I don’t want to give myself an existential crisis.”

At home Wolfie likes when it rains so he has an excuse to hang with his dad and go down YouTube rabbit holes together. He has a bearded dragon with many, names, such as Beef Taco, Beardo, Beef Patty, Chestnut, Meaty Boy, Old Meaty Boy, Beef Ball, Meat Ball, (anything round or made of meat). He has a hidden talent too but he can’t remember what it is.

Our school seems to fit Wolfie like a glove. He says he doesn’t ever want to sit at a desk “or anything like that.” He wants to be a comedian and make people laugh for a living. He likes people, and he says his favorite thing to do at school is “hang out! With anybody. Just - hang out!” He would like to help make some changes to our judicial system, however; he thinks that it might be worth a try to settle everything through mediation, and he also wonders, “what if kids just resolved their problems on the spot?” He says, “it’s so nice, I like it here. I like the idea that if I put in the initiative I can do a lot of stuff. I’m going to organize a fencing class.” Wolfie, you rock dude, thanks for hanging with us and making our community richer and more interesting every day
🦎🛡🗡🤭
Week. In. Review!

So much happens every week! The beautiful weather in the this week brought especially high spirits and increased activity levels 🌞📈. This week we had a diploma cohort cavorting around New Orleans 💥 , two students visiting Democratic School X in 🇩🇪, field trips to a parent’s recording studio to record songs for our annual slideshow 🎤, our first weekly Lunchtime Story Circle down in the field 📚, super sweet new friendships blooming like gregarious dandelions all over the lawn 🌼💐🌸, The philosophy club read and discussed Murray Bookchin, there was a notably bizarre and creative IRL game out on the blacktop, the Big Table took a big leap forward 👏🏼, Dr. Freud was both maligned and praised 🧐, the crew learned how to hunt for the elusive mushroom 🍄 🍃🙌🏼, there was some creative mixed-age play/engineering in our sandbox, plans for cooking demonstrations and art workshops were hatched 👨‍🍳🎨, and our Playroom got a fresh coat of paint from a student and a staff member! We ended the week with a water gun brigade and sponges - scrubbing cars at the Playground Coop fundraiser. These are just glimpses of the things we happened to see and notice; we are so grateful to be in a place where life can be spontaneous, , and co-created by the vision, will, and energy of all! Have a wonderful weekend out there 🌷💎🌈. Feel free to stop by our Open House tomorrow (Saturday, May 14th) from 1-4pm to get a taste for yourself! ✨
Join us for our Open House on Saturday to tour our beautiful campus, meet HVSS community members, and ask questions about the only self-directed and democratic school in the Hudson Valley.
Week in Review!!

This week started out as a showstopper - literally - with three breathtaking productions of Spring Awakening 🎭. The dedication, talent, and thoughtfulness that went into this show was clear to all who were present to witness it👏! But their job wasn't done when the show ended, there were thousands of photos to sort through, scripts to return, and costumes/props to store in their proper places📷📜. We continued to get our hands dirty - foraging for Japanese Knotweed and collecting specimens for a secret eco system🌿🪲. There were invigorating battles had in the multiple D&D campaigns, lots of food cooked and eaten, art made, music played, yearbook pages designed, games played, and pottery thrown 🐉🥞🎨🎸🏐🏺. We got happy reports from our two students doing an exchange at Democratic School X in Berlin (see them here at the Berlin Wall) 🇩🇪. The midweek anchor was the annual Fund Drive where students and parents raised over $11,000 in pledges in two hours for our first Endowment fund. It’s donations like these that allow these beautiful weeks to take place🙏💸🥰. We wrapped the week up by sending one of our graduate cohorts off on an adventure to New Orleans 🚘🎶 and by cheering on the Stockade FC at their season opener ⚽️. We are thrilled to sponsor the club as they embody a community minded spirit, have high expectations of young people, bring all ages together, and encourage everyone to play with passion! ✨🖤🧡
Please help us to build our first Endowment Fund! We are looking to raise $12,500 tonight to make use of a matching grant the School Meeting (our students and staff) have offered to the Fundraising Committee for this purpose.
The last two nights of Spring Awakening have left the audience in awe - extraordinary acting and beautiful voices brought this profound story to life. We are so proud of the work this troupe has put into this show and urge you all to experience it for yourself. Last show tonight at 8pm.
Week in Review!!

The wind💨 whipped through the campus this week causing some windswept hair, frigid temps and quite literally taking a door right off its hinges😬. But we stayed calm (and cool) and persevered through a very busy week - unfazed by Mother Nature’s attempt to say run and hide! Maybe it was the four dads who balanced us out as they rose to the occasion helping in all the best last minute ways🎙🔨. It’s show week so the school is a buzz with anticipation for the premiere of Spring Awakening (shows tonight - Sunday at 8pm, live stream tonight - link https://www.showtix4u.com/events/hvss🌳👀!! This week we reached far and wide to extend opportunities: we foraged for ramps - currently rampant in the Hudson Valley 🤣, we did the first of several trips to a recording studio to lay down tracks for the annual slideshow 🎹, mined for diamonds at the Herkimer Diamond Mine💎, threw pottery at the first of a six week ceramic class at Kingston Ceramics Studio🏺, we wished bon voyage to two of our students who are spending a month at Democratic School X, the Sudbury school in Berlin🇩🇪, and the founders of The Learning Project in Ibiza, Spain came for a lovely visit🇪🇸. On campus we took school portraits (photographer got a little kooky by the end)📷, made yearbook pages, ate delicious breakfasts and baked goodscreated by Diploma candidates🍪🥞, designed end of year merch, submitted votes for the tee shirt contest, started firming up plans for new campus development, and discussed communal responsibility for video game content🎮. In the midst of the business we enjoyed each other’s company: chatting, playing, debating, running, thinking, memorizing lines, laughing, lounging, and sometimes even sharing the same chair🥰. April - over and out, we are on to May, flowers, blooming trees, and the jubilant energy of growth✨🌹⚡️.

Due to the combination of cold temperatures and extreme wind, we have decided to postpone tonight's performance of Spring Awakening until Sunday when the weather should be more pleasant for both the performers and the audience.

There will be shows Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at 8pm. Friday night's show will be livestreamed and include a Talk Back with the Actors. You can buy tickets online (link in bio) or at the door. If you bought tickets for Thursday night they will be honored at any of the performances.

Hudson Valley Sudbury School is a self-directed democratic school for students age 5-19. Hudson Valley Sudbury School is a democratic school for students from kindergarten through high school.

It is one of over 30 Sudbury schools worldwide, based on a philosophy of education pioneered by the Sudbury Valley School in Massachusetts in 1968. The school is located on the borders of Kingston, Woodstock, and West Hurley. Sudbury schools take a radically different approach to education, one based on the belief that success in life is determined by a person's character more than a specific body

Operating as usual

Photos from Hudson Valley Sudbury School's post 11/04/2022

Week in Review!!

We began the week with
the spookiest of days - Halloween 🎃 💀👻! But it got even scarier when the HeadLICE Horseman 🪳😱 reared its ugly head leaving the carnage of lice checks and that feeling that your head is itchy…just because 😬. But we didn’t let those bugs spoil our festivities, we embraced the spirit with a costume contest, pumpkin decorating, and caramel apples 😈🎃🍎. It was silly, creative, and creepy! The days after reminded us why we used to have a law regulating candy in the days after Halloween 🤪🍫🗑️. But we laughed off the sugar highs and candy wrappers and focused on the bigger task at hand - screens. 💻🎮📱

That’s right, the School Meeting spent hours debating the oh so tricky topic of screens and personal devices - the effects they have on the individual and on the community. Tensions ran high, great points were made by individuals of all ages, and in the end the community passed (by quite a large margin) the first reading of a motion that will regulate our interactions with screens. It still requires a second reading and of course our policies are living and can be amended weekly but it was certainly an illustration of the honest and responsible topics are community considers. 🤔✋🏻🗣️

We welcomed two staff from The Circle School, who drove up from PA for a two day visit to experience the normal hubbub of D&D talk, board games, policy discussion, playground play, drawing classes, random pursuits, college application work, hill sliding, fort building, school store product slinging, video game playing, reading, and conversing that sprawls across our campus 🤩.

We ended the week by sending Lumberjames up on the roof to rescue a gutter eaten plushy. A perfect last task before we send him off for 2 months of paternity leave. We will miss him but we stand by generous family leave policies and look forward to when he’s back on campus daily 🐣🥰.

Photos from Hudson Valley Sudbury School's post 10/29/2022

Week in Review!

Sometimes the week swirls around you and suddenly it has come to a close and you aren’t exactly sure what happened. This is one of those weeks! 🤪

Word on the street, or should I say word in the hall, is that the performance of Rapunzel in the playroom got a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ review, the game of Alibi on the tree net was very exciting, Will fit in a box 📦, the caramel apples were top notch 🍎, the new Necromunda game pieces are ready for painting , Chuck made delicious brownies and shared them with the community 😍, the woods are beautiful this time of year 🍁, sweet paintings were created 🧑‍🎨, the first of a series of Financial Literacy classes started 💵🧠, the Strategic Planning Committee met with Gaby to prepare for the first constituents meeting coming up 👊🏼, the new wheels on the office chairs make a smoooooth ride 🛞, the computer room was abuzz 💻, and the new chair leg scratch protectors are slick🩹! School Meeting was jam packed as we entertained regulations around screens 🤯, the bear wreaked more havoc with the garbage🐻🗑️, and the staff refreshed their CPR training. Phew! 😅

Thanks all for supporting us. We appreciate each and every one of you. 💕 Have a great weekend and help give a special shout out request from Keeg “Hi Nene! Thanks for reading each week!!” 💫🥰

Photos from Hudson Valley Sudbury School's post 10/21/2022

Week in Review!!

It can be easy to loose sight of just how important and different our little community is when the week is full of checking off lists, cleaning up the kitchen, policy writing, and replacing toilet paper. So we are grateful for this weekly review lens, to remind us to zoom out. 🔬

It allows us a glimpse into the small moments of beauty and the joys that freedom has to offer 🌈. A moment of kindness, for example, expressed in zipping up a buddy’s jacket. The way the afternoon light streams through the windows, bathing those reading and playing like a cozy blanket. The crisp fall air cooling hot kids in the midst of an imaginary adventure. The unstoppable determination of someone who has found a passion. ♥️🌅🌬️🔥The list goes on. There were lots of moments like these woven into this week. Which fueled us as we navigated the sometimes difficult waters that come with living and learning together.

The kitchen was busy with requests to learn how to make pizza, Mochi, and halloween cookies 🍕. A room sized camera obscure was built which created an giant image of whatever was happening on the terrace (flipped upside down of course) 📷. The Wayfinder Experience came and led role playing games with foam weapons ⚔️, a duo began a course to get their trapping license 🦫, there were plans made to start a paper fortunes business 🥠, slime was slimed, the drafting class had a guest teacher come in to discuss interior layout design 📐, the Theater Coop started writing their own script for the winter show 📝, we fine tuned our new staff feedback process, a ghillie suit tracked leaves throughout the hall and hid children 🤔, the philosophy class reflected on the Bard College conference on Rage and Reason they attended last week, and last, but certainly not least, our resident Stewart’s delivery boy (aka one of our students who loves to make the 1/4 mile walk to Stewys) got his record time for the trek - and trust me, it’s impressive🏃.

It’s always a whirlwind around here, a whirlwind of friendship, projects, messes, thoughts, teamwork, and growth. And we are grateful for all of it. 👊🏼✨

School Meeting has Canceled the Judicial Committee - Hudson Valley Sudbury School 10/19/2022

School Meeting has Canceled the Judicial Committee - Hudson Valley Sudbury School

Big News: School Meeting has Canceled the Judicial Committee. Read the details in our blog below.

School Meeting has Canceled the Judicial Committee - Hudson Valley Sudbury School The School Meeting at Hudson Valley Sudbury School is undertaking a great experiment in how it protects safety, manages conflict, and maintains order on campus. While a few may grimace […]

10/18/2022

Join students, staff, parents, and alumni at one of our 2022-23 Open Houses and learn how our students build the skills to lead a happy and fulfilling life.

RSVP: hvsudburyschool.com/open-houses

Photos from Hudson Valley Sudbury School's post 10/14/2022

What a fast week! 💫 We are happy to report that thus far we feel our new Resolution Process has gone well. Several cases were processed and we have been fine-tuning the procedures. Right from day one it was clear that we are moving in the right direction. We settled on the description that this process is “like a root canal, you start scraping at a spot on the surface and suddenly it opens a gaping hole filled with, in this case, emotional mush.” This isn’t easy, it’s hard to be held accountable, to be open, and to process emotions. It’s hard work, but it’s the work that builds emotionally strong people and a connected and responsible community.

In similar work there was a two day trip to Bard College for a conference on Rage and Reason - Democracy Under the Tyranny of Social Media 🤯. It included speakers from around the world discussing the effects of social media on democracy and possible paths forward. Which is right up our alley as we are facing big conversations about screen usage at School Meeting in the next few weeks. The event had our School Meeting Chair so jazzed up he stayed until the end reporting back “I want to stay and drink it all in!”

There was lot of dress up this week, all ages, all sorts of characters 🤩. The puppet made another entrance, bugging Lumberjames - what a little gremlin👹! Our cardboard painting got some more touches 🎨, marble runs were built, forts were created ⛺️, music was played 🎸 , superpowers were discussed for character development 🦹‍♂️, and one of our students navigated the halls while blindfolded 🙈. The Resource Committee helped students set up robotics, math support, and help with reading 🤖 🧮 📚. And then there was our bear neighbor who decided to visit not once, but twice, to sprawl the garbage 🗑️ across the driveway and field. Oh the joys of living in the woods. 🌲

It’s okay Bear 🐻 , we will find a way to live along side you, protecting our rights to have a clean lawn and your right to live peacefully in the woods. We understand you are hungry, maybe we can talk in a resolution committee meeting and come up with an agreement? Well probably not, we’ll keep you off with ammonia instead. ✌️🐻😘

Photos from Hudson Valley Sudbury School's post 10/07/2022

Week in Review!

October rolled in and surprised us with cooler temps, rain, mosquitos, and sandbox termites-EEK🦟! But fear not, we were still madly productive and sweetly relaxed over here on Zena Road this week. Today we adjourned our Judicial Committee for good 🤯. We marked the end of an era with high fives, a hearty toast, and a small pull on our sentimental heartstrings 🙌! Onward and upward. There were multiple training sessions for the newly elected Resolution Committee and come Tuesday we will implement the new process - solving conflicts, holding each other accountable, and finding every hole in the new policies! Wish us luck with this “mind spaghetti”! ✌️🤷🧠🍝

The other (noticed) highlights of the week were: a new Civil War Class began, the Secret Eco 🐛🌱 is in the process of a move across the playground, potatoes and hot cocoa were made in the kitchen🥔☕️, the Theater Coop settled on their fall show🎭, we hired a vocal coach for weekly private lessons 🎶, the Strategic Planning Committee had their first meeting ↗️, there were creative and lofty snack spots discovered, a spinning party happened in the mirror room, ropes were climbed, the football was thrown 🏈, there was a spiffy haircut on the terrace 💇, poker in the lounge ♣️, our favorite baby made a visit 👶🏽, a new visiting week student got help signing in by his big sibling 💕, Finny was chased by a band of monkeys 🐒, a puppet visited Lumberjames while he was working 🤡, the Art Room was closed daily due to mess because it’s so well used and so poorly cleaned up 🎨vs🧹! Phew!

Then there was SOPHIE, who doesn’t believe in nicknames, who so sweetly setup a cozy spot outside to read for the day - such an idyllic moment…idyllic that is, until she fell asleep and missed Tidy Time 😬. What’s that saying - “all good things must come to an end?” Well around here naps might get cut short, but the good things that underlie our community, they are holding strong, and only getting better each day. 💫🤩👏🎉

Photos from Hudson Valley Sudbury School's post 10/03/2022

One of Friday night’s Potluck highlights was the Variety Show - a musical talent showcase by students and a clowning staff member. It was a shining example of the talent, camaraderie, unique personalities, confidence, and community support that lives and grows on our campus. The finale of the program was one of our youngest, accompanied by our oldest student, singing her heart out. Above them were a gaggle of littles who, throughout the show had made their way up to the tree house. They were peeking through the wood, the best view in the house. Their cheers were loud and the audience’s hearts were full. 🥰

Photos from Hudson Valley Sudbury School's post 10/01/2022

Week in Review!!

Week 3 only had 4 days but man, it was another good one👏! Our School Meeting put the finishing touches on our new judicial process. Our newly passed Resolution Process will go into effect mid-October after the members receive their initial training in non-violent communication, restorative justice and active listening. ✌️🎉

School Meeting also created a Strategic Planning Committee and passed an advisor program for our high school aged students - which we hope offers them support, information, and connection as they navigate these formative years. 😍👊🏾

Outside of the meetings there were lots of sweet moments - siblings eating a snack in the perfect light ☀️, friends giggling together as they shared secrets 😁, a new class on the five elements of Chinese medicine began 🌍🪵🪨🔥🌊, the Variety Show acts had multiple rehearsals 🎤, a still life painting class collected items from the woods and sprawled them out to paint 🎨 🍁, there was a root vegetable harvest from the garden 🥕 🥔, the Music Cooperative prepped for their first Jazz night on October 6th 🎶, 15 people got a tour of our wooded boundaries 🌲, Einstein visited 👴🏻, the Theater Cooperative narrowed down the fall show to 3 choices 🎭, and plans were made for violin lessons, stamp carving, kitchen projects, academic study, vocal lessons, and role playing workshops with The Wayfinder Experience 💥.

We ended the week with our Fall Potluck featuring an epic Variety Show with performers of all ages, a giant cardboard painting, wonderful food, and s’mores over the fire. A full review of the event is forthcoming (too many photos to squeeze them in here) 🤣. We are living it up over here folks. It feels like a deep breath of fresh air, the movement and energy of the school is flowing with positivity and vibrancy, and it’s awesome! 💫🌈❤️‍🔥

Photos from Hudson Valley Sudbury School's post 09/23/2022

This week at Hudson Valley Sudbury School was monumental, even historic🏰⏳! In a packed mandatory School Meeting (the first one in 18 years), our School Meeting Chairs presented a well-crafted policy that upon second reading will dissolve the Judicial Committee and replace it with a new Reconciliation Process😮. Say what?!That’s right, we are reevaluating major tenants of the school’s inner workings and taking action to align them more closely with our values 🤯. In other news, the upcoming variety show had their first rehearsal 🎹, the foraging field trip searched for nettle seeds and made rope out of dog bane cord 🌿, students found measurements so we can cut the cardboard canvas for next week’s painting party 📐🎨, a big taught a little how to tell time 🕰️, our new tree net was finished, cookies were baked 🍪, a writing class and a layout design class began, gymnastic tricks were practiced 🤸‍♂️, D&D campaigns ran, and a rodent scarf was crocheted 🧶 . The Aesthetics Committee met and delegated tasks, the Community Committee started talking about fun in-school events they could host 🎉, and the daily Tidy Time teams got into their grooves 🧼. A big game of capture the flag covered the campus, a gleeful one-woman show took place for an adoring crowd 🎪, and the weather took a turn toward fall 💨. Phew. It was a busy one folks, but fear not, everyone now has the opportunity of getting a seven minute massage from Cal 💆🏽, who’s massage business was approved at School Meeting this week, and I can tell you from personal experience, it was the perfect way to close out an epic week 2! 💫✨🥰 Next up: Open House tomorrow 1-4pm. Rsvp: hvsudburyschool.com/open-houses

Photos from Hudson Valley Sudbury School's post 09/16/2022

Week in Review!!

What an amazing first week it was. The positive energy is flowing and we are here for it 👏 ! The week was full of reuniting with old friends and making new ones ❤️, playing games, making art, exploring, planning, talking, dress ups, and reading were hot this week. There was a princess party 👑, the building of multiple chairs, bike tricks 🚴, many communal lunches 🥪, and navigating policies. School Meeting held its first meeting of the year and our new chair held the room with order, clarity, and efficiency, and he even put the “unruly” staff in their place 🧑🏻‍⚖️. The Theater and Music Cooperatives didn’t waste anytime holding organizational meetings, electing officers, and both groups have already started planning events 🎵 🎭 . The Source Committee met with a full docket, helping students plan, fund, and execute interests in fencing, ecology/biology, ancient Egypt, layout design, and attendance at the Bard College Rage and Reason conference 🌎 💰. But don’t worry, that wasn’t the end of the meetings! Our parent Community Building Committee met and schemed up some fun events, and the School Meeting had an extra meeting(!) to discuss a full overhaul of our Judicial Process 😮. Our Art Sup (supplemental staff) was busy helping students paint, draw, draft, bead, make pins, and lots of cardboard creations 🎨. But as always, the magic doesn’t lie solely in the concrete examples of productivity that we can point to in a list or show in a photo. It’s the moment when an individual conquers a fear, takes a risk and speaks up, when an older student bends down to help a younger, or a younger inspires an older to spin until they get dizzy. It’s kids falling asleep after a day of 20,000+ steps, the confidence boost after successfully navigating the ropes course, the freedom to be silly, the feeling of living in a community where people look you in the eye, want to know your opinions, and genuinely care about who you are and are here to help you pursue your path 🪄 💫🎉. Oh, and in case anyone doesn’t know, one of our youngest informed us all in School Meeting during a procedural discussion, that dinosaurs were killed by asteroids dinosaurs 🦖 ☄️!

09/14/2022

This is Nahara, a hypermobile cake baker whose favorite book is apparently about dust. If you are already a little confused, you’re not alone; Nahara’s warmth is palpable, but her character is somewhat shrouded in mystery, a bit like Roald Dahl’s Matilda. When I talk with her, I often feel like she’s about to make a joke as a slightly mischievous smile plays across her lips. But then she doesn’t make the joke, and I am left wondering what it was. Like Matilda, Nahara is small and quiet, but you don’t need to have Aura Vision to sense the secret depth and complexity of the galaxies within. Unlike Matilda, Nahara is real, and we are so grateful for that!

Nahara and her friends inhabit an ultra-personal culture they build with humor, empathy, and vibes. They clerk at the School Store, eat lunch, go for walks, and play games together; they care for each other sweetly. Interviewing her and her friend for this profile, their world felt somewhat impenetrable. Her friend (full disclosure, this interviewer’s daughter) said, “she’s weird, and I like weird.” When I asked her to elaborate she said, “I already talked about that” (she had said, “I don’t know, she makes apple crackers.”) Nahara, given the opportunity to extoll her own virtues, shrugged her shoulders, as if to say, “I just am.” She is a keen observer of the world and its characters, and puts her skills to work in acting and improv. In thinking as well, I’m sure.

Nahara likes it here at Hudson Valley Sudbury School. She says, “I like to be free to choose,” and she emphasizes how comfortable she feels: “it’s a home away from home,” and she adds, “in some ways better than home because there are all these organizations and people and resources.” We are so happy she is here, and that it feels like a home to her. Thank you, Nahara, for bringing your quiet, powerful energy here everyday, and for taking such good care of your friends and looking out for your community; we see you, and your aura too!

Photos from Hudson Valley Sudbury School's post 09/12/2022

Finally - first day of school! So many happy faces and reunions😊 Such a happy place! We are SO excited about this school year, our 19th; it keeps getting better 🎊 THANK YOU to everyone who puts so much into making this happen - dang, these kids are lucky! Here’s to a year of freedom, growth, vibrancy, and connection 🤙🏽

09/11/2022

Our sweet campus can't wait for its people to show up tomorrow morning! It's ready for Year 19 to begin - for the laughter, games, ideas, wall smudges, debates, and endless exploration that comes with every school year. We are so grateful to have this land, this building, this fresh air, and clean water 😉. It provides a safe haven for our school family and fuels us as we grow, learn, and work together.

Photos from Hudson Valley Sudbury School's post 09/02/2022

Heyyy what’s up everybody??? The staff are back on campus this week, hard at work getting the campus ready, the new recruits sorted, and all the t’s dotted and the i’s crossed 🤭. We also continued our visioning work with parent Gaby Morse, who is President and CEO of the Center for Women and Enterprise. With Gaby we have been working to organize our vision of the school and where we are headed as we continue to develop our own unique identity as a school. Gaby has also planted the seeds for a round of strategic planning; it’s all so invigorating! 🧨🎆🎇

My, there is a lot in the works! 📈🔨📨 We are creating new systems to support the many new students who are starting this year, getting creative with campus aesthetics and thinking about how to redesign spaces to support connection, figuring out how our new Supplemental Staff Member will fit into our Art Room and Kitchen, and fishing dead mice out of nooks and crannies 😷. We are very excited for this school year; each one is so different, and this year we’ve got a lot of new staff, new students, and new ideas, so we are forecasting a doozy. What a joy, and what a gift, to be part of a creative community that constantly strives to find the best ways to support the human spirit to flourish ✨💎💪🏼 See you soon!!!

Photos from Hudson Valley Sudbury School's post 08/16/2022

We are back after a summer hiatus from social media with exciting news to report:

The legendary Summerhill School in Leiston, England, which has inspired and influenced thousands of schools around the world, celebrated its 100 year anniversary this summer by hosting The Festival of Childhood, and Hudson Valley Sudbury School was thrilled to send Vanessa and Matthew there to represent, make international contacts, and learn from peers in the field 🧨🎇🎆 While we were admittedly a bit disoriented upon arrival after our red-eye from JFK and spent a few hours navigating driving on the left side of the road and bumbling aimlessly around the vast hay fields of Suffolk County staring at rabbits, we are happy to report that our stint at the festival was a success, despite the alarmingly low nighttime temperatures and the cots we could not fit on, being super-sized Americans 🙂 We made friends with folks from France, Bulgaria, Greece, Estonia, and of course England, opening more opportunities for our students to travel and visit other schools, we re-connected with our besties at Democratic School X (Berlin) and (CA), met with Gina Riley, who led the way on the recently published study of our alumni, to discuss continued collaboration, played a wild international soccer game with 47 players, and were quite moved by our visit to the Summerhill campus. In particular, we appreciated so much the many touching traditions carried on there from year to year which knit the community together through time and the lighter touch on policy and procedure they embrace there. Altogether, we were left inspired and feeling really good about the direction our own sweet school community is headed ✨ Thanks so much to Head of School Zoe Redhead, Assistant Head Henry Redhead, and to all our hosts on our lovely little jaunt through Western Europe 🙏🏽🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿🇳🇱🇵🇹

A.S.Neill's Summerhill School

Photos from Hudson Valley Sudbury School's post 06/18/2022

Last week in review

Today was our last day of school 😭. We wrapped up the year in a pretty sentimental bow 💝. Everyone was glowing after graduation and the positive energy was carried into the week 🌟. We kicked it off with the annual water fight, which lived up to the expectation - wet kids, a few tears, lots of water balloon remnants, and a JC case - but yet it remains a loved tradition 💦🔫🎈. Yearbooks were handed out and our hands are sore from writing sentimental messages to our Sudbury buddies 😘✍️. Tuesday evening the Music Cooperative put on a full show featuring the crowd favorite title Towel Man and a celebratory spray of sparkling cider 🎸🎤🍾. The last few days were filled with chess and checkers on the beautiful Big Table ♟, a final School Meeting (or three), volleyball 🏐 , swing set hangs, cardboard creations, lazy picnic lunches in the sun 🌞 , and stories of the past year. Today we finished the year with pizza, a dance party, the battle of the giants (a series of wild foam sword fights), a surprise car surround for a sick staff member on their last day, and a wonderful balance of gratefulness and the best kind of tears 🍕🕺⚔️🤗🥹.

Thank you to everyone who has supported us over the past 17 years. 💫Another year of self-directed education is under our belt, it was a good year, maybe the best yet. We have a good thing going over here on Zena Road, and nothing makes that clearer than the fact that our students and staff aren’t waiting for the bell to ring, but instead linger around as long as they can, savoring the last moments of school before summer begins. 😊

Cheers to summer days! May all of you experience the freedom, joy, and time that our students appreciate daily. May you bask in the sun, play with friends, and experience enough boredom to search for what you want next in life. To our graduates, departing staff, thank you for your extraordinary contributions to our community. To our parents, thank you for trusting us, trusting your children and for giving them the gift of self-direction. To the students and staff returning next year - we will see you in September - taller, sun kissed , & ready to rumble🥰🎉!

Videos (show all)

Voices of the Future
Voices of the Future
Voices of the Future - Part 1
Circle Game
What if School was Based on Consent?
If our daughter died tomorrow, would we be happy with how she had lived?

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84 Zena Road
Kingston, NY
12401

Opening Hours

Monday 8:30am - 4pm
Tuesday 8:30am - 4pm
Wednesday 8:30am - 4pm
Thursday 8:30am - 4pm
Friday 8:30am - 4pm

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