Vision and Mission Statement


  • We want many things, both large and small.
  • We want to have a larger group of young people that is diverse in age, gender, race, culture, religion, class, ability, sexual orientation, and more.
  • We want to own a school building and be self-sufficient and sustainable.
  • We want to be a part of a community in which real work is being done.
  • We want to participate in the world at large as well as be accessible to it.
  • We want to demonstrate that school can be a place of justice, compassion, and liberation; not of hierarchy, conformity, and  inequality as our current American educational system shows.
  • We want to be a force for social and political change.

The above was written almost 5 years ago. We have achieved a great deal of what we set out to accomplish, albeit on a small scale. And the journey continues.


Mission Statement

The Real School a.k.a. Dragon Valley (The School) is about being empowered, honest, critically thoughtful, just, responsible, loving, respectful, creative, independent, healing, compassionate, accepting, globally aware, environmentally conscious…and having a really good time in the process!

The School is a non-hierarchical learning environment, free of coercion and control and rooted in consensus decision making. It aims to build a community of trust and liberation through education. The Real School believes that learning and living are one, and that true learning comes from within, motivated and directed by the learner. Others in the community may help and support, but not control or manipulate, the learner.

The School promises to remain a work in progress, shunning rigidity and formalism and remaining responsive to all members of the community. It promises to remember that the students are the school, so the school must be their place. Enthusiastic input from staff, other students and mentors is welcome, but it must respect the autonomy of each student.

Consensus depends upon cooperation; freedom demands responsibility. The School will support all members in finding a balance between the needs of the individual and the needs of the community.

Finally, The School believes that dissent is healthy and that disagreement and conflict are simply part of life. Punishment has no role in dispute resolution at The School. Instead, through respect, understanding, forgiveness and honesty, community members will strive to bridge gaps and heal wounds that result from conflict.

The School promises to remember its humble and idealistic beginnings and to honor all members of our community in an annual ceremony of reflection and renewal at the end of the school year.