Democracy in Action

Consensus and Conflict Resolution

ALPHA is a democracy based on consensus. Consensus is achieved when different points of view are incorporated through discussion. The goal is not compromise but refinement of a proposal until everyone can live with the decision. Each person doesn’t have to agree with the decision–often consensus is achieved when those who disagree feel that the proposal highly valued by most of the community, that risks are minimized and/or managed, and that other possible options have been thoroughly considered. What is most important to achieving consensus is that everyone’s voice is heard and they feel part of making the decision.

Teachers, parents and children meet regularly to discuss every possible issue that may arise in a community trying to live and learn comfortably and happily together. Some interactions, mostly regarding interpersonal relations or individual preferences, happen more quickly and casually and others, like the monthly Parent Meeting or weekly Student Meetings, are more formal and examine more serious and/or ongoing issues.


Clubs play an important role in defining the ALPHA curriculum each year. Clubs are generally formed by children for children and sometimes a teacher or a parent might form a club where they see there is strong interest and a need for guidance (Ukulele Club) or adult supervision (Wrestling Club). Children may ask that space and/or time be set aside during breaks or at free time to allow them to fully pursue their interests. Clubs usually meet weekly. Although some clubs might exist for only one day, others may last through a season or all year or many years in succession.


ALPHA Committees are each created by, responsible to, and report activities at the Parent Meeting. New Committees may be proposed at a meeting by a single person or by a group of parents. Committees that become inactive may eventually dropped and revived as needed.

Any family or staff member may join a committee at any time, by contacting the Volunteer Coordinator or the Committee Coordinator. Community members may recruit: become aware of a person’s abilities and ask them to join a certain committee. There are a few “elected” committees which, at ALPHA, means that a community member who volunteers or is recruited must be approved by a vote at the monthly Parent Meeting.

Ongoing Committees include:
Eco-Schools Committee
Finance Committee
FUNdraising Committee
Healthy Snack Committee
Housekeeping and Handiwork Committee
Library Committee
Soup Committee
among others.

Virtual Open House February 9, 6pm

Meet with staff, parents and kids for a friendly introduction to all things ALPHA. Explore “a day at ALPHA”, learn about the Parent Group and the various Committees that help

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