Life is not standardized, so why should schools be?

Glacier Lake School is Montana's first, and only, truly democratic, free school. We are a nonprofit school which has been approved as a 501(c)(3)  organization. 

Our school is based on democratic free models from  around the world, including Sudbury Valley School in Massachusetts, and Summerhill in the UK. 

We trust children to take full control of their own lives and learning, with a focus on the person, not their test scores.

This highly successful approach gives children the skills needed for the world around them and helps them to be confident, happy and successful members of society. 

     We provide an environment where:

  • we trust in each student's innate drive and passion to learn what is important in their own development
  • students are part of a democratic system where they all have an equal voice in the daily running of their lives and their community

  • our students and staff are equal partners who work together to create a place where all feel safe and respected

 What strengthens the whole premise of self-directed learning, democracy and justice within our learning community is the           importance of students mixing freely within all age groups. 



We Believe:

  • Children are born with an intense drive to understand and manage their environment
  • Learning happens all the time, in whatever we do
  • Children need a lot of time to play, explore and be outdoors
  • The best way for children to learn responsibility is for them to be given responsibility
  • Individuals should have a voice in decisions that affect their lives
  • Growing up in a mixed-aged community gives children a beneficial blend of backgrounds and perspectives