philly free school

philly free school


The Philadelphia Free School is a democratic school operated by its students, staff, parents, and community members. Each individual in the school community, ages 4-19, has one vote in decision making. The School Assembly consists of all of these members and decides broad policies of the school. The School Meeting consists of students and staff and makes day-to-day decisions about school functioning. There is no Principal, tenure, or hierarchy among employees.

The Philadelphia Free School is premised on the following beliefs:

  • Urban youth, like all people, are curious, resourceful and creative
  • Learning is most efficient and profound where the learner creates and owns the learning process
  • Growth and understanding are promoted by interaction among people of different ages, genders, races, and backgrounds
  • Freedom is essential to the development of personal responsibility
  • Civic responsibility is best learned through participation in democratic processes
  • Once acquired, the skills and attitudes of personal and civic responsibility are what enable people to transform their lives and the life of their communities for the better.


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