Updated 2020-03-11

Ann Brown Memorial School

A Sudbury Valley model school that empowers young people ages 5-19 to follow their individual and shared interests within a dynamic, democratic, mixed-age environment based on meaningful work, individual rights, and community respect.
Melissa Graham founder
click to see email
(+1) (512) 788-1835
2237 S School
Fayetteville, AR  72701
United States

SDE Optimizing Conditions

ASDE surveys all SDE communities/programs about how they provide, enhance, or align with each of the Six Optimizing Conditions for young people to succeed in SDE.  Survey answers:
  1. Responsibility – We have no set curriculum. All classes and activities are requested or offered by the students and none are mandatory. There is a strong expectation that all students are present for school meetings, where they make known their ideas and desires.
  2. Youth Autonomy – Our days usually unfold organically, according to the needs and desire of the kids present. Students choose how they spend their time, except for school meetings, a set lunch period, and about 15 minutes doing chores to maintain the school each day.
  3. Access to Tools and Technology – Students have access to a full kitchen, computers, gardening tools, carpentry hand tools, and books. Art supplies are freely available. We also have a music room with a drum kit, hand drums, keyboard, uklele, guitar and small rhythm instruments.
  4. Adult Allies – Two staff members, several parent volunteers and guests from the greater community offer mentoring and resources for students' explorations and projects. We have no academic requirements nor testing.
  5. Free Age Mixing – At present our students range in age from 5 to 14 and they associate as they wish. All group learning opportunities, playtime, and school meetings are open to everyone.
  6. Community – Rules and other decisions for the school at made at twice weekly meetings with students, staff members and any parents who wish to attend. Parents gather monthly for educational dialogues to deepen our understandings of self-directed learning.

If any information about this resource is out of date, please let us know.