Deeply rooted in Merriam’s philosophy is the idea that students, teachers and parents share an active role in decision making and feel empowered through their involvement with the school. Students have opportunities to make choices in their classrooms that really affect them, from creating classroom constitutions to deciding what to sell in the school store. Teachers are empowered to make significant decisions, including those regarding the school’s budget, curriculum and operation. By design, parents are also deeply involved in making a wide range of important decisions, such as setting the school’s goals, evaluating the school’s progress, hiring new teachers and designing the plans for school improvement.

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