"Since enrolling I'm more respectful and friendly. I'm confident in what I do. I have a better relationship with my parents because I'm not overwhelmed and freaking out 'cause of school work."

— girl, Age 16

"I've changed from a person who feels their life is not in their control to a person who knows that they are in charge of their life, and anything I want to happen I can make it happen."

— girl, Age 15

"Both of my children have attended the HVSS since its inception, and I can honestly say I believe in it 100%. We chose this school because public school and other private schools let us down every time when it came to our son, who has a learning disability. He came to the HVSS, feeling insecure about school and not being able to read or write. Now, self-graduated, he is a fully functioning human being with two jobs and plenty of confidence. My daughter on the other hand, who just turned thirteen, has never attended a 'regular school'. She can't stand missing a day of school and I think that says it all. I know how hard it is get used to idea of this type of school, and I have spent a lot of time explaining the philosophy to our skeptical family and friends, but the proof is in our kids. The truth is that when you send you child to the HVSS, you don't put your trust in the school, you are putting your trust in your child. They know how to learn and they know what they want to learn. Why not let them? Something amazing might happen."

--T. Xiques, Dec. 2010

" I went to the Hudson Valley Sudbury School for 2 years, and let me tell you those were the best 2 years of my high school life. Sudbury is such a unique learning environment, and it had a huge impact on who I am today.

When I first attended, I was extremely self conscious and shy from my experience in public schools. Being in Sudbury, everyone was trying to get me out of my 'self conscious' bubble, and they did. Being somewhere where the age range is so diverse, from toddlers to teens to the adults, you learn so many different things just from the experiences of others or just observing everyone. I become comfortable in speaking my own voice and sharing my opinions. The whole time I was in public school I was terrible at writing essays, but when I came out of Sudbury, I was extremely good because I was finally able to express what I wanted to say and write.

Sudbury gave me the chance to work really hard on improving my art skills which is my biggest passion. If it weren't for Sudbury, I wouldn't be as good as am today.  Getting 2 years straight to devote time to develop my art really made a huge difference. Since I live in Thailand now, its not easy getting a job unless you have a diploma. This isn't much of a problem for me because I've been making money by drawing for people. Everything I do is through the internet, so I get clients from different places.  All in all, Sudbury allowed me to boost my confidence level, artistic skills and helped me to further pursue my goals with passion. It gave me things I can use, not just after high school and college, but for the rest of my life. These things I KNOW I would never have gotten if I didn't go to Sudbury.

I'm in University now, and sometimes I wish there was a Sudbury style University! Sudbury has got to be the most effective school out there."

-- Nami Bates

You can check out Nami's art at momijigirl.deviantart.com

"I was leery at first, but after the information meeting, I was convinced enough to give it a shot. Because I consider myself a "scholarly" person, I was worried that I wouldn't learn anything in such an unstructured environment. But I soon learned that being "scholarly" didn't have anything to do with sitting in a desk and doing what I'm told. In fact, I've read so much more since I started Sudbury than I would in a public school."

— Gaelyn, Age 17

"I have learned that I can fulfill my dreams because I could just stay focused on what really matters instead of learning things that I didn't really want to — that wouldn't help me out in the real world."

— Dylan, Age 13

"I attended public school until a year ago, I did fairly well but the monotony is what really got me. I was constantly expected to conform. Any creative effort was zapped because it made me too unlike my peers. Ugh!"

-- Amelia Rice

My daughter truly does enjoy attending this school - the change I have seen in her behavior and attitude has been overwhelming to say the least. I had a depressed suicidal teen on my hands at one point in time and now I have a daughter who tells me she loves me every day when I walk out the door.

"I recently came to the comforting conclusion that I can have my own timetable for life. For so long, I thought that directly after high school I had to jump into college, attend for 4 years, then start whatever job my degree could get me. It's refreshing to realize that my future doesn't have to be mapped out by the status quo."

— girl, Age 17

When I chose the Sudbury model for my child, that choice made a statement to my child that says, "this school is a place where kids get to make decisions about what goes on there. I trust you and expect you to take control of your education and be a change agent if necessary." Now my responsibility is to help him to become the kind of person who can do that successfully. He's already had some bumps along the way. The question is always "does the way you are behaving at this moment reflect the kind of person you wish to be?" If so, good for you. If not, what's getting in your way and what kind of parenting is needed from us to help you reach your goal? Constant reflection together.

There was this thing at his old school called "Power School" where you could see at any moment what assignments your child has turned in and what is missing at any moment of the day. I regret the time we spent chasing after assignments and arguing over homework. It made us ogres as parents. We were constantly either punishing or rewarding. Now we have no homework and flexible hours. We can focus on really listening to each other and practicing being the people we wish to be. We now have a relationship with our child instead of a constant power struggle.

-- Liz Corrado