Our Democratic Model

ACLC prides itself on educating the leaders of tomorrow.

One of the best ways to do that is to let learners be the leaders of today. ACLC is structured as a small-scale democratic society, with learners participating in legislative, executive, judicial roles that teach citizenship, leadership, and self-government. Our Leadership Class, Judicial Committee, weekly learner-led assemblies, and annual Constitutional Convention are the learner-led and facilitator-advised institutions that bring our democracy to life.

Learners collaborating to make newspaper fashions for the CCC Trashion Show

Learners making newspaper fashions for CCC

Community & Citizenship

Each week, all ACLC learners and facilitators attend Contemporary Community Citizenship (CCC). CCC is planned and led by learners in the ACLC Leadership Class. It may take place in classroom-sized "small groups" or as a school-wide assembly. In addition to hearing school announcements, learners often participate in cross-age community-building activities (such as the "Trashion Show" preparations pictured above). CCC is also a legislative body where learners hold elections, vote on proposals and rule changes, and discuss solutions to school issues--from noise levels or skateboard storage to maintaining a welcoming school culture.

See the CCC Photo Gallery (coming soon)

Leadership learner leading a discussion

Leadership learner leading a discussion


Each year, forty learners take part in ACLC's Leadership Class, which takes on the executive functions of the community of learners. The class meets three times a week and conducts its business using Robert's Rules of Order. In addition to planning the weekly CCC agenda, Leadership hears and votes on proposals from the community, approves learner clubs and activities, coordinates the calendar of learner events, organizes the annual Constitutional Convention, and more. It is hoped (though not required) that every ACLC learner will participate in Leadership for at least one year.

View the Leadership Page (coming soon)

Learner raising hand to participate in discussion at Constitutional Convention

Discussion Session at Constitutional Convention

Constitutional Convention

ACLC's annual Constitutional Convention is affectionately known as ConCon. Every year, learners and facilitators gather to review the state of the school and the educational and community experiences that it provides. The Leadership Class organizes discussion sessions on topics ranging from "Schoolhouse Rock" (academics) to "Space Yo Face" (how to best use the school's physical space). Each learner chooses three or four sessions to take part in.

Learners participating in the "Law and Order" Session of ConCon can work on proposals to change or revise ACLC's Rule Book, more formally known as Rules for the Protection & Welfare of the Community. The current Rule Book is the product of decades of discussions, proposals, and votes by past learners and facilitators.

See a video on the history of ConCon

Image of Picture Board of JC Clerks at ACLC over the years

Judicial Committee Clerks over the years

A Jury of One's Peers

ACLC's Judicial Committee (JC) is vital to the governance of ACLC, and gives learners the opportunity to practice self-government.

The JC is comprised of JC Clerks (elected by and from the learner community), and the JC Facilitator. All learners contribute to JC by serving 3 hours of jury duty per year. JC proceedings are confidential and take place under the guidance of the JC facilitator.

The JC hears cases of alleged rule-breaking and decides on appropriate consequences for specific actions. The JC also mediates disputes and helps community members find common ground. More serious or recurrent disciplinary problems are referred to ACLC's Lead Facilitators.

Watch a learner-made video about JC