Updated 2021-05-31

Rock Tree Sky

A K-12 learning community where youth have the freedom and responsibility to direct their education with the support of caring adults, in a dynamic open-walled environment.
Jim Bailey director
click to see email
12525 Ojai Santa Paula Rd
Ojai, CA  93023
United States
Los Angeles


Rock Tree Sky is a self-directed learning community that supports the goals and needs of homeschoolers and unschoolers ages 4-18. Learners may be enrolled anywhere from 1-5 days per week. RTS operates in a youth Makerspace, a nearby farm, and local national forest. Rock Tree Sky provides an environment that is caring, non-evaluative, and dynamic so that children may freely engage in the natural state of learning. Children have agency to choose their daily activities, learners and mentors determine the curriculum based on their interests, and all pursuits are equally valued. RTS honors and enriches play opportunities, social connection, creative expression, making, homesteading practices, and academic inquiry.

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 – Each morning we meet to share our intentions for the day. This may be as simple as play with a friend or as complex as a collaborative multi-week electronics project.
  2. Youth Autonomy – At RTS there are 3 agreements for which all community members are held accountable: Take care of yourself, Take care of each other, Take care of the space. Beyond these agreements, learners and mentors are free to engage in any projects or play.
  3. Access to Tools and Technology – RTS enriches play opportunities, creative expression, making, homesteading practices, and academic inquiry. The features of the program include a Makerspace filled with technologically diverse tools and field trips to take part in a local farm.
  4. Adult Allies – There are no grades or tests administered by Rock Tree Sky. As a team, we are in continual discussion about how to put aside our biases and show up for learners as mentors rather than judges.
  5. Free Age Mixing – Rock Tree Sky admits children from 4-18. With the exception of some age based meetings in the mornings and afternoons (about 15 min each) all spaces are equally shared and learners of all ages are free to interact with one another.
  6. Community – Rock Tree Sky uses Agile Learning tools to bring "awarenesses" to the community to be discussed and resolved cooperatively.

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