I have found that many people who visit the school use the name "haven" when describing it. We in no way want to paint a picture that our school is this heavenly place where nothing wrong ever happens and all the students are saints. However, it is a safe place. The school community works hard to create a space where peace and harmony reign. It has not been an easy process, but it is happening. The students vary. Some are advanced, some are behind, some are healthy, some have health challenges, some are cool, some are not, some are outgoing, some are shy, some have been bullied and....NONE have been THE bully (they're not allowed). We were blessed to receive a student this year with some health challenges at just 5 years old. A regular school was a scary option for his mom, so she brought him to our little space. Then we have students who are just too advanced for the traditional program. At our school they are not called nerds, but leaders. They can go wherever their minds takes them. If they want to complete Algebra I and II in the same year, then have at it! I think the very nature of a democratic/free school allows for children to be whoever they are, however they are and within our school they can be that within a Biblical framework. It's shocking to some when they first come. An adjustment period usually has to take place, but the moment I see the new student use their words to express themselves and they begin to voice their opinions in a way that benefits the entire community, then I know growth is happening. As I always say, "We do not live for ourselves, but for the good of the whole school community."