Democratic schools come in many shapes and sizes. Our school is not about a political party (yes, we are asked this question a lot!), but about empowering students in an environment where every voice matters. At Aspire, democracy means that students gather every Friday morning to manage the business of the school. Students begin by meeting in committees that develop curriculum, fundraising activities, volunteer opportunities, our strategic plan and our school’s rules. Then, we have our general meeting where committee heads share their ideas with the rest of the students. In addition, we sort out any social issues that we have been having so that students feel safe, supported and able to work to the best of their ability. Every student has a vote at Aspire and while the adults are here to guide students, at the end of the day, each adult also only has one vote as well.
With this process, students develop leadership skills, empathy, and an understanding of how decisions are made in local communities and businesses.