Different Ways we learn

VFS Weekly Update

for the week of 1/7-1/11

This week we went bouldering and had our first week of classes! The beginning of each term always gives us a sense of renewal in the ways we learn. The kids share with us new things they are excited to learn about and, at their own pace, we craft out a plan that they can thrive in their learning.

Once our Winter Standing Plan is final, we will send out an email to everyone again. In the meantime, you can check out all the cool classes being offered this term at our main chalk board in the Great Room!

Learning looks like so many different things here at the Village Free School. Some students filled up their schedule with a bunch of classes, some play really hard and work through conflicts, some work on their individual projects, or some just learn in a way that is unmatched by others. We work hard to foster their love of learning and continue to support all of our students.

We also held the January Peer Mediator Training for new mediators. We are experimenting with the new system for our Weekly Update with some changes coming up soon!

Have a good day!

VFS Staff

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The New Year

VFS Weekly Update

for the week of 1/2-1/4

Welcome to Winter term 2019!

We are having a short week to let everyone get grounded here at school after our long break. We hope you all had a wonderful, restful time!

On Thursday, we had several fun offerings to welcome everyone back. Rachael and Leonard offered a hydraulics project from Kiwi Crate.Yeats and Kathy hosted a screening of the final episodes from Bill Nye Science as well as an episode of Captain Underpants. We played Settlers of Catan, did some knitting and cardboard projects, made ginger snaps, played Magic of course, and enjoyed each other’s company here!

The plan for tomorrow is a crafting activity/competition hosted by Justine, which will be based off of the series Making It! There will also be more board games, and more opportunity to sign up for our standing plans which will go into effect next week!

Happy New Year!

VFS Staff

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

This Week’s Beautiful Creation

VFS Weekly Update

for the week of 12/3-12/7

justine and ellery ice skatingvincent lois and joshua ice rinklois ellery and judah ice rink

This week has a been festive extravaganza. On Monday, we went on our annual Ice Skating trip at the Lloyd Center. Then on Wednesday, we celebrated the recent release of the new Super Smash Bros. game for Nintendo Switch with a giant tournament!

quince jellykatie noppawan project fairholiday market

The Project Fair and Holiday Market on Thursday was a sweet success! Congratulations to the Drama Club, Rock n Roll Club and the rest of our musicians, and all of our fantastic makers! Our hearts are warmed by these students’ talent and creativity which continue to blossom each day as they learn and grow. It was a magical evening!

project fair crowdjustines birthdayleif zoe cole salena karaokerachael robert joshua justine henrik karaoke

On Friday, we celebrated Justine’s 30th birthday with a karaoke party and chocolate-covered strawberries! The Stories & Toonies Class read and watched The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, too!

ellery justine lois rachael karaokegrinchyeats building

Recently, our conversations in the All-School Meetings have been focused on collective awareness and kindness. Students brought up issues such as their personal projects being destroyed, the bathroom being vandalized, etc. This morning we talked about how our school can have rough patches and then come together and show up for each other to create this beautiful school community, like we just experienced at our Project Fair last night.

Have a lovely weekend!

VFS Staff

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment


VFS Weekly Update

for the week of 12/3-12/7

katies goodbye

rocco reading

We’ve been spinning around with lots of changes and milestones during our short chunk of time between Fall and Winter Break. Things always feel a little different when we get back from break knowing we’ll only be back for a few weeks.

leifs birthdaylinneas birthday

There have been lots of birthdays, including Leif’s birthday last Friday, Linnea’s on Sunday, and Henrik’s coming up tomorrow.

henriks birthdaynoppawan reading to yeats ellery lois and vigo


Wednesday was Noppawan’s first day back from the IDEC conference in India, and on Thursday we said goodbye to Katie who finished her internship with us this week.

rachel and the fortkatie last day

Rachel and Karl came by to gift us an incredible fort woven out of curly willow branches to make our outdoor space more beautiful and fun. It’s already been getting lots of use and it’s easy to imagine it becoming a free school heirloom. We’ve also been busy getting ready to present our personal milestones in the form of our work from the year so far at next week’s Holiday Market and Project Fair.

Have a great weekend!

VFS Staff

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Scholarship Fundraising!

VFS Weekly Update

for the week of 11/26-11/30


guevara with the claw at wunderlandjack and sean arcade

This weekly update is dedicated to everyone who has been helping out with our VFS Scholarship Fundraising! We kicked it off on Tuesday, but it’s going on all week until next Tuesday. We’re so grateful for all of the help from our community to spread the word and promote self-directed education! We’ve already raised over $6,000 to help make this education more accessible.


khari rope swingingyeats and liam lightsabersraiden rocco judah orlen air hockey

On Monday, we spent the day gaming, eating snacks, and winning prizes at the Wunderland Nickel Arcade. The rest of this week, we’ve spent learning about gravity, building crossbows, and having lots of big discussions. At our All School Meeting on Tuesday, we voted to create a Conflict Forum, designed and held by the Peer Mediators to resolve long-standing conflicts that may need to be addressed with something other than mediation. This is another opportunity for our students to create a new school structure that can address a community-wide issue.


david and fiona arcadejoshua adrien henrik joseph arcade

Have a fantastic weekend!

VFS Staff

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Stone Soup

VFS Weekly Update

for the week of 11/12-11/16

lois ellery frances and yeats at the playgroundrocco at the playground

We’ve had a cozy, laid-back week, winding down for Fall Break. We started off with a trip to Da Vinci Arts & Science’s playground on Monday, where we took advantage of their day off from school. There was a pretty harsh wind, but there was also a lot of tag and monkey bar tricks, so it didn’t get too cold.

frances at the playgroundisaac at the playground

It’s becoming pretty common to have a slew of puzzles going on in the great room. With the help of those, chill morning music, and some new mood lighting, we’ve been successfully keeping our collective energy at a comfortable hum.

Community Clean-Up Day was Friday. We worked together to take care of our space and we got the place looking great! At the end of the day, the Stories & Toonies class made everyone Stone Soup, inspired by their Stone Soup class earlier this week! Kathy also hosted a screening of Charlie Brown’s Thanksgiving, another story about sharing and abundance.

Stay warm and have a restful break!

VFS Staff

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Village Free School going to India!

VFS Weekly Update

for the week of 11/05-11/09

We’ve had several students doing experience days this week, and we will likely being seeing new faces and new students enrolling over the coming weeks. Please help us make everyone feel welcome!

This week we began a conversation about safety and taking care in our space. On Wednesday Kathy & Naia hosted an ASM to bring up the ways in which our community can show up better for each other. We had a really engaging discussion and will be continuing this conversation to create a safer and more comfortable school place. Some of the things we brought up were how to use our bodies in a safe way, treating people the way they want to be treated, and how we can take care of our things and support people working on projects to know that their work will be respected.

These are some of the issues our school community is working hardest on right now. As our community grows and changes, we will keep tending to these and other issues as they arise and work through them together. The best way to solve these problems is to collaborate as a community and come up with a solution that we can all understand. We will be practicing taking care and democracy!

On Thursday, we talked about safe internet use and how to use the internet appropriately at school. We’ve decided to take some time and think about whether a proposal for the All-School Meeting would be a good solution. This could be a great opportunity to check in at home about internet use and set your own boundaries.

Remember that if you send a tablet, phone, or computer to school, there will probably be unsupervised internet use. It may be a good idea to enable parental controls.

Everyone seemed to have really nice time at the Oregon Historical Society on Monday. We also celebrated Jack’s 13th birthday on Thursday! He is such a teen now! Incredible! Also on Thursday, Katie broguht in some treats and we had send-off celebration for Noppawan and Leif who will be leaving next week to go to the International Democratic Education Conference (IDEC) in India! They will be representing our school and Noppawan will be giving a presentation!

Stay warm!

VFS Staff

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Spooky Party!

VFS Weekly Update

for the week of 10/29-11/2

halloween costumes

justine cutting the pumpkin cake

zoe at plumper pumpkins

kids at plumper pumpkins

We had a blast at our Halloween Party on Wednesday! The Baking Class made a pumpkin-shaped cake and we feasted on homemade punch, jello, popcorn, and a bunch of other snacks! Students put together lots of cool activities like a Haunted Room, a Costume Contest, and a Drawing Contest! We also watched a few spooky episodes of The Magic School bus, offered by our very own Miss Frizzle (Katie)!

frances haruko and ellery halloween

liam and guevara ninjas

judges at the costume contest

We recently voted on a proposal at All-School Meeting to start training students as peer mediators. Starting this month, students will hold month-long positions as peer mediators. On Thursday we held our first Peer Mediation Training for this program, and we now have 11 student peer mediators for the month of November. We’re so excited and proud of the students who have made this commitment for November! Keep your eye out for our Peer Mediator List on the Kindness Tree Wall.

fortnite costumes henrik and leif

rocco vigo and orlen

haruko at plumper pumpkins

justine and london coraline and other mother

Have a fun weekend!

VFS Staff

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Pumpkins and Corn

VFS Weekly Update

for the week of 10/22-10/26

Halloween is already in the works! At school we’ve been making good use of our newly donated face paints and dressing up as cheetahs, zombies, superheroes, and all kinds of cats!

orlen and raiden zombies

frances cat face paint

We took our trip to Plumper Pumpkins this Monday. We got to check out all of their different varieties of pumpkins, visit with animals, take a hayride, and play at their agricultural-style playground! Everyone got to wander around int heir pumpkin patch and pick out a pumpkin to take home. We also explored the amazing rainbow-colored corn all over the ground by the corn maze.

hay ride henrik and joshuaplumper pumpkins barnhay ride excited vigo and rocco

During school this week, Kyle and Stacey came in to take some video of the school and interview students, parents, and staff. As a community, we had to work with some extra boundaries and practice patience in order to support this project. We’re so excited to see the outcome in the form of our upcoming crowdfunding videos.

On Wednesday, we celebrated a double birthday party with Silas’ 9th birthday and Joshua’s 10th birthday.

I ❤ Math is going strong with so many dedicated students!

With the rain’s return, we’re starting to cozy in to our first Fall in this building. Hope you have a cozy weekend at home, too!

VFS Staff

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Quince Jelly

VFS Weekly Update

for the weeks of 10/8-10/19

wade with an aguaphobic lotus leafharvesting groupyeats with the grandfather tree

Last week we went to visit the Green Thumb Community Orchard run by the Fruit Tree Project. We got to learn about different plants and how a community orchard works, and we also harvested quince! Later that week, Karin McTeague came in and helped us turn all of our quince into quince jelly! We ended our week and began this new week with family conferences, checking in with all of our new families and some of our returning families. It’s important to us to be sure that we are in regular communication with all of our students and their families. Families are always welcome to reach out to schedule a check-in outside of our regular conference days if it’s needed!

anaya harvesting quinceellery harvesting guevara climbingpronouns poster

The topic of gender and pronouns has been coming up a lot at school lately. We have a new home-made poster to remind everyone to ask someone about their pronouns before assuming you know. Our students are pioneering this conversation themselves, as they’ve done before in the past. It’s such a privilege to be teachers and parents at this point in time, and have the opportunity to support our kids and broaden our understanding of each other together!

rock n rollnaia and josie carding and spinning woolellery cat climbing tree

We celebrated two birthdays this week: Oli’s 11th birthday on Tuesday and Liam’s 6th birthday on Friday.

Have a beautiful and strangely sunny weekend!

VFS Staff

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment