A child-centered elementary school with parent participation since 1971

The Community School was conceived by a small group of parents who shared common educational beliefs that schools should be child-centered and should embrace parent participation. Writers and educators such as John Holt (Why Children Fail) and A.S. Neill (Summerhill) provided the impetus for educational reform.

In September 1971, an abandoned fire station in Houghton served as Community School's first home when L.W.S.D. opened its doors to 30 students in grades K-4. Within two years, Community School expanded to 50 students with two staff members and a big move to the former Kirkland Junior High campus on Waverly Way.

Students on a trail hikeFollowing eleven successful years at the Waverly site, the school moved to its present location in Houghton. In 2013, we moved into a brand-new building shared by the International Community School (with whom we share a principal).

Over the years, the initial Summerhill model has been modified by the staff and parent community to provide students with more structure, carefully blended with ample choice and free time.


Foundational Goals

HELP children develop a strong sense of self-worth

ASSIST children in developing a desire to learn for their own individual fulfillment

TEACH children to be independent and responsible to themselves

OFFER students a solid foundation in the basic skills

ENCOURAGE parent involvement in all aspects of the school

SHARE decision making