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Circle School

Private | PK-12 | 75 students


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Living in Harrisburg

Situated in a suburban neighborhood. The median home value is $159,100. The average monthly rent for a 2 bedroom apartment is $830.

Source: Sperling's Best Places
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16 reviews of this school

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Posted October 22, 2013

This is our second year at the Circle School and my kids love it. They are happy and well-adjusted. They are learning things they are interested in and becoming self-motivated. I am also happy that they don't talk about clothes or how they look (as they were beginning to do in public school). They are too busy being creative and using their imaginations.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted October 21, 2013

Look at schools in other countries - they're all trying to get away from "drill and kill" and rote memorization. If you've ever met a person who left Circle School and is now in college or working, you'll meet interesting, intelligent and (most importantly) happy people. If you find yourself saying things like "work isn't supposed to be fun, that's why they call it work" or "better get used to it: the world isn't fun", you probably won't like the Circle School. My daughter is in her second year at Circle School. She doesn't know the lexicon of the parts of speech, but she speaks well to adults and other kids. She's working on her handwriting but only because she values good handwriting (because I do). Just like ANY school, if you aren't involved as a parent, your child won't succeed. If you think that it's ONLY the school's responsibility to teach your child, NO school is going to bring your child to excellence.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted November 3, 2011

Set up some kind of curriculm for those entering in the Kindergarden grade level so they can at least read and write appropriately, so as to not be teased or looked at strangley when they are around children who otherwise can.

Posted July 7, 2011

After researching several other schools in the area, we settled on The Circle School four years ago, and have not been disappointed. Our daughter is excited every day about going to school. If you are looking for a safe place where your child is free to explore their world at their pace, look no further. They have regular informational meetings, where you can tour the school and hear about it first hand from staff, parents, students and alumni.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted May 17, 2011

There are 13 year-olds who can't read or write yet, 8 year-olds who don't even know how old they are, you can't get a diploma, and the staff asks the students and students' parents for money all the time, even though they pay thousands of dollars a year.

Posted May 3, 2011

When it comes down to what really matters in living life, The Circle School's *curriculum* of freedom, coupled with responsibility, allows young people to grow in ways that far surpass what is possible with a curriculum based on memorization of facts, submission to authority, and rote practice. My daughter has been a student at The Circle School for 8 years. Her grasp of interpersonal relations, communication skills, responsibility, cause and effect, the power of decision-making, justice, fairness, and ownership of her own personal power are the skills that do and will continue to support her in living her life- not whether or not she can diagram a sentence. The three 'R's are easy- it's the lessons that young people learn everyday through being in an empowering environment where they are respected that will stay with them through life.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted March 16, 2011

I am a graduate of the Circle School and am currently attending the University of Colorado at Boulder, majoring in Environmental Design, which is comprised of Architecture, Urban Planning, Landscape Architecture and Design Studies. I am constantly amazed by how applicable my experiences at TCS are to my college life. Once you start college, it is up to you to choose your own classes, to attend them and to do the work required. The professors and faculty do not breath down your neck or send you reminders if you don't come to class or turn in assignments. The self-directed learning method used at TCS and Sudbury Schools in general directly prepared me to think for myself and take responsibility for all my actions relating to my studies and my life here. In terms of school-book knowledge I don't think I am lacking in anyway in terms of my ability to understand and complete assignments. Most of the students here who went to a traditional high school are struggling even more then those who didn't because they didn't retain any of the information they learned in school because it held no interest for them. College is about pursuing your interests and at TCS, you get a head start.

Posted February 23, 2011

"We change the world not by what we say or do, but as a consequence of what we have become." ~ Dr. David R. Hawkins The Circle school provides an environment for my daughter to become and exceptional human being. Our 10 year old daughter is thriving at the Circle School and we know that whatever she chooses to "become" she will have the best shot by attending this School. The staff are wonderful, open and loving, highly educated people who care deeply about and appreciate every aspect of her. A safe, loving and supportive school that allows her to pursue whatever passion(s) she has. We know that whatever makes her heart soar may end up being the one thing she was meant to become in this world. Knowing that she has the freedom to light that fire, in a capable and supportive environment any "academic" concerns we have quickly diminish because we know she'll be eager to master them. It will all be part of HER plan. Oh and yes, she will be a productive citizen participating in democracy too. Knowing our daughter, she may end up running for President ...and she'll probably win! I hope so. We could use someone like her.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted April 14, 2010

The philosophy of the school supports the development of 'real' people: self-motivated, self-determined, critically thinking, responsible and community orientated, in an atmosphere of mutual respect, loving support, and freedom.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted September 29, 2009

My 6 yo is blossoming at the Circle School. My son is excited to go everyday and dreads days off, breaks and summer.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted March 2, 2009

My two children have attended the Circle School for the last three and four years. My son has gone onto Community College and has a 3.8 GPA for his first semester. My daughter took college classes and has a 4.0 GPA. The school is a miracle. It has brilliant and caring leadership in combination with an amazing philosophy. I look forward to picking up my children everyday, just to see the smiling faces of the other students.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted February 17, 2009

My daughter graduated from The Circle School last June, and began her adult life as a volunteer with Americorps, the national service Corps. This week she got her first evaluations, and they were excellent. The Circle School prepared her for excellence in Life, not just in academics, although she excels in that, too. And she 'owns' her success completely. All that she has done has been of her own choice, not forced or manipulated on her by well-meaning adults. It's truly her life and her success, and I couldn't be prouder of her or The Circle School.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted May 26, 2007

The Circle school is a unique school environment where children ages 4 though 19 practice life in a nurturing, dynamic, and stimulating environment where learning occurs naturally through self-chosen and self-directed activity. Students accept responsibility for their entire learning experience. They choose how to use school time, and may join 'corporations' of students with similar interests and can become 'certified' to use special supplies or equipment, go on field trips, check chores, etc. Students are not separated by age or grade. The school runs according to democratic principles with students regulating school policy through the 'school meeting.' Rules established by the 'school meeting' are enforced by a 'Judicial Committee' which is made up primarily of students, and on which all students of all ages participate on a rotating basis. Parents are highly involved through the school's 'Assembly.' Admission is inclusive. Tuition is based on income.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted June 9, 2006

If you've always wanted to homeschool (unschool) your child and circumstances don't allow it, this is the school for you. Caring staff, great environment. Graduates speak highly of their experiences at the Circle School.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted March 24, 2006

Really excellent alternative school
—Submitted by a parent

Posted September 15, 2005

The circle school is a sudbury school, based on the democratic model of the sudbury valley school. Kids from 4-18 attend, the school is run by the school meeting (each student and staff member gets one vote). Various 'corporations' made up of staff and students carry on the day-to-day activities of the school. Activities are completely self-directed - there are no required classes, and there is no required curriculum. I have two children at this school, and they are learning to become responsible members of their community, as well as developing a love of learning, and the skills to find out what they need to know about whatever they're interested in at the moment. The circle school is a fantastic school - i wish every kid could have an opportunity to experience its wonderful atmosphere.
—Submitted by a parent

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School basics

School start time
  • 8:00am
School end time
  • 4:00pm
  • Coed
  • Nonsectarian


Instructional and/or curriculum models used

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  • Independent Study
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210 Oakleigh Ave
Harrisburg, PA 17111
Website: Click here
Phone: (717) 564-6700


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