The Clearwater School

  • A Sudbury school where kids (ages 4-19) direct their own education with undiluted freedom and democracy.
  • Kids decide how to spend their time, govern their community, and assume responsibility for their lives, becoming self-confident, articulate and resourceful adults.

School Overview

School TypeSchool with Special Program Emphasis
School Membership(s)School Assoc.National Coalition of Alternative Community Schools
Other school association(s)
Religious AffiliationNonsectarian
Grades OfferedGrades Prekindergarten-12
ADD/ADHD SupportYes
Learning Difference ProgramsYes
Learning Programs SupportedMild Learning Differences
Year Founded1996

Student Body

Total Students88 students
Student Body TypeCo-ed
% Students of Color
State avg.: 23%

Academics and Faculty

Total Classroom Teachers5 teachers
Student : Teacher Ratio18:1
National avg.: 13:1
% Faculty w/Advanced Degree
Matriculation DataMatric. DataLink to Matriculation Data
Classroom Dress CodeCasual

Finances and Admission

Admission DeadlineNone / Rolling
Yearly Tuition Cost$8,650
Tuition NotesTuition assistance available. Part-time enrollment available for students under age 8. Tuition discounted by 5% if paid in full at the beginning of the school year. Sibling tuition discounts available.
% on Financial Aid
Acceptance Rate
National avg.: 85%
Admissions AssociateStephanie Sarantos

School Notes

  • The Clearwater School is a Sudbury school for kids from ages 4-19 and is located on North Creek, in Bothell, Washington. Our spacious four-acre grounds provide endless opportunities for discovery of wildlife, outdoor play and explorations of open fields, woods and creek frontage.
  • Without class assignments or mandatory tests, Clearwater students explore the world guided by their own inspirations. They are the authors and directors of their education, drawing from school staff and resources as well as the offerings of the local community. They think, decide, play, talk openly with friends, investigate the world and dream. They freely pursue basketball, jewelry making, game design, role playing games, poetry or natural habitats. Learning is truly limitless.
  • Like adults in the greater community, Clearwater students each have a vote. They learn how to make decisions that affect their lives. In the weekly School Meeting, students use their voices to directly influence school governance. They create rules and policies, solve problems that arise and determine the school budget.
  • Clearwater students participate in a judicial system that enforces school policies and determines what to do when rules are broken. They learn to balance their individual actions with the needs and rights of the whole community. Students are required to act responsibly-including, at times, experiencing the consequences when one`s actions violate community expectations.
  • Freedom is always accompanied by responsibility. From the earliest age, children make decisions about how to spend their time-reading or running, building or composing. Through simple decisions like when and what to eat or who to hang out with, children gain an internal understanding of their inclinations, preferences and abilities.
  • Over the years, responsibility and freedom become habit, the foundation of action. Through self direction, Clearwater students internalize a sense of mastery. By graduation, they are prepared to take on challenges in the world at large, equipped with essential skills that are sought in today`s workplace. They trust their own voices to influence the course of their lives.

Profile last updated:

Show me:
Show me:
  • School Location Miles Grades Students
  • Bothell
    Grades: NS-8 | 159 students
    3.9 miles
    1300 Bothell Evertt Hwy 3641
    Bothell, WA 98012
    3.9 NS-8
  • Bothell
    Grades: NS-12 | 21 students
    1 miles
    18008 Bothell Everett Hwy Ste H
    Bothell, WA 98012
    1 NS-12
  • Bothell
    Whole Earth Montessori
    Montessori School
    Grades: PK-8 | 155 students
    2.2 miles
    2930 228th Street S.E.
    Bothell, WA 98021
    2.2 PK-8
  • Lynnwood
    Grades: NS-5 | 37 students
    2.2 miles
    6717 212th St SW, Lynnwood
    Lynnwood, WA 98036
    2.2 NS-5
  • Mountlake Terrace
    Grades: NS-8 | 378 students
    4.8 miles
    21705 58th Avenue West
    Mountlake Terrace, WA 98043
    4.8 NS-8

School Reviews

  5.00 out of 5  (3 reviews)
What my kids have learned at Clearwater:* how to engage fruitfully with people of all ages and backgrounds* how to figure out what they care most about and how they will spend their time * how to solve problems for themselves and their community* how to respect others' boundaries and stretch their own* how to enter any new situation and assess the local norms, expectations, offerings and structure - and then use this understanding to get the best experience they can* how to be a member of a democracy* how to make meaningful decisions that affect not only their own lives but the lives of others around them* what drives them, moves them, inspires them, engages them - and how to spread that passion around and find others already passionate about the same thingsYou can have your 3Rs and test prep and following rules. My kids create rules and test themselves every single day.
- Posted by
Very happy with this school. The staff are engaged and very knowledgeable. It's a wonderful feeling leaving my son with people I so completely trust, in an environment where I know he is thriving.
- Posted by
i wholeheartedly & without reservation recommend the clearwater school. my son has been a student there since he was 4 & a half (he`ll be 10 in a couple of weeks). i have loved experiencing him being so seen & intimately known by staff & fellow students, and seeing him grow ever more comfortably into his skin. clearwater has so very much to offer; i can`t imagine our lives without it!
- Posted by

Endorse The Clearwater School. Endorsements should be a few sentences in length. Please include any comments on:

  • Quality of academic programs, teachers, and facilities
  • Availability of music, art, sports and other extracurricular activities
  • Academic or athletic awards

I am a:

Name or Alias:

Your review:

Endorse this school:
Recent Articles
As you narrow the field in your private school search process, you will develop a short list of three to five schools which you will evaluate in detail. Visiting each school is an essential part of your due diligence.
We look at several ways you can use to search for private schools. Whether you are beginning the search process for a school for your child or just want to find out more about particular schools, we offer some tips and tricks to make searching more efficient.
Did you think that corporal punishment in our schools was extinct? Sadly, it isn't. Here are some facts and some suggestions as to what you can do to help eliminate corporal punishment once and for all.
Request Information
I am a:      
Name of parent:
Student First name:
Student Middle name:
Student Last name:
Student date of birth:
Student is:
Currently in grade:
Seeking entry for grade:
Target start date:
Name of current school:
School type:
Applying for financial aid?:
Please describe academic, athletic, and extracurricular interests of the student.:

(enter "N/A" if not applicable)
Did You Know?
The average private school tuition in Washington is $10,092 for elementary schools and $12,763 for high schools (read more about average private school tuition across the country).
The average acceptance rate in Washington is 84% (read more about average acceptance rates across the country).