When children are free, their learning is limitless.
Each day, Clearwater students explore the world guided by their own interests, moving at their own pace. Free to think about who they are and what to do with their time, they play, talk openly with friends, investigate the world and dream. Students draw from staff and resources, as well as the offerings of the local community.
Without grades, groupings by age or mandatory tests, children engage wholeheartedly in their passions—discovering for themselves their place in the world.
We trust that all human beings possess a powerful drive to learn and grow.
Infants teach themselves to roll over. Babies fall, fall again, then walk. Toddlers work endlessly to master the two-footed jump. The drive for learning is inherent, part of human nature. Whether Clearwater students are passionate about performing Shakespeare, mastering soccer, building computers, painting or monitoring spawning salmon, we make a point of not intruding on their natural drive to learn. We trust that they want to grow, want to thrive and want to become like the people around them: literate, articulate and compassionate.
The best way to learn to be responsible for your life is to have responsibility for your life.
Within the Clearwater community, the inspirations of each individual are balanced with the needs and rights of the whole. Each person is required to take responsibility for his or her actions. From the earliest age, children make decisions about how to spend their time, gaining a sense of authority over their education. By graduation, students are prepared to assume adult responsibilities in the world at large.
The democratic structure of the school gives students a direct say in how the school is run. Students and staff members each have a vote in School Meeting, where rules and policies are created, and in Judicial Committee, where they are enforced. Clearwater students experience directly how their actions affect others and the community. They learn that using the strength of their voices will influence the course of their lives.