Updated 2017-10-19

Houston Sudbury School

A non-profit, democratically-run, Sudbury-model (100% self-directed learning) school for Houston area children ages 5-18.
Cara DeBusk staff
click to see email
(+1) 281-847-4244
1936 Dolly Wright St
Houston, TX  77088
United States


Houston Sudbury School (HSS) follows the Sudbury model, as established by the Sudbury Valley School in 1968. HSS is a mixed-age community where students experience learning that is 100% self-directed and self-determined. At HSS, students have complete freedom and control over their lives at school and how they use their time and the power to affect all important matters of the school.

The school is run by the community by democratic governing and decision-making for all matters concerning the school through the School Meeting, which is the supreme authority of the school and comprised of students and staff. Conflict is resolved by a system of justice available through the Judicial Committee (also comprised of students and staff).

The underlying principles of HSS is that children learn best when learning is self-initiated, relevant, organic and play-based, and when they are responsible for themselves and their community. We believe that when freedom and empowerment are mixed with responsibility and accountability in a stable community, children mature into logical, reasonable, flexible adults with high self-esteem and a tremendous capacity to learn whatever they need to learn.

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 – 100% self-directed learning, students are responsible for the governing and running of the school.
  2. Youth Autonomy – Unlimited time to play, explore and pursue interests with staff serving only as resources.
  3. Access to Tools and Technology – Students have access to computers, ipads, outdoors, art, music, books, toys, tools, and much more. Student have rights and power to bring any tools into the school that they desire.
  4. Adult Allies – Staff are non-judgemental and supportive of all student interests as long as they do not violate the rules of the school, as established by the School Meeting.
  5. Free Age Mixing – HSS has students age 5-18 who mix freely.
  6. Community – HSS is run by School Meeting and Judicial Committee, democratically with one vote per person on all important matters of the school: staffing, budget, rules, activities, consequences to rule breaking.

If any information about this resource is out of date, please let us know.