Freedom Farmer Alternative Programs

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Education that Grows Community

pictures of students handing out vegetables



The mission of the Freedom Farm is to create a high school experience that utilizes place-based learning and social justice as frameworks for education, resulting in authentic, student-driven, and engaging learning experiences to help create informed, empowered, and passionate students who do relevant and important work in our community and world now and in the future.


For more information and footage of our space, check out this OSPI video featuring our Freedom Farm program:
Freedom Farm Video


We currently offer 3 Block-Class Options

(as follows)



(9th/10th Grade – 6 periods)

Utilizing a beautiful farm owned by the Olympia School District, participating students engage in the production of fresh vegetables for the district cafeterias, the Thurston County Food Bank, Safeplace, and the City of Olympia SKIPP free lunch program. While leading community food work, students earn credits in the following subjects:

English (9th/10th) , Social Studies (World History), P.E./Health, Math (Algebra 1), Lab Science (Agroecology) and CTE Sustainable Agriculture




(10th / 11th Grade – 6 periods)

 Students continue critical community food work on our farm and in the community with emphasis on perennial fruit, berry, and medicinal plant production. Furthermore, students engage in learning about native ecosystems and the relationships indigenous tribes forged with those ecosystems. Environmental restoration work on our farm and in the community is also a focus area in partnership with the City of Olympia and the Thurston Conservation District. Students earn credits in the following subjects:

English (10th/11th), Social Studies (American Studies), P.E., Math (Geometry), Science (Ethnobotany), and CTE Farm Management




(11th / 12th Grade – 3 periods)

For older students interested in engaging in community work beyond food security, our new social justice program will provide students opportunities to work on issues related to economic security, community organizing, and social justice. Our new class will include partnerships with relevant local organizations and governmental programs to provide students with real life training in community work. This is a shorter block-class option that provides flexibility for students interested in taking courses on the main campus, New Market Skills Center, ORLA, or other alternatives. Students earn credits in the following subjects::

English (11th/12th), Social Studies (CWI/Civics), Math (Personal Finance)




Students will primarily meet and work at our district farm site off-campus from Olympia High School – 4800 Siskiyou Street SE Olympia, WA 98501.


We also will schedule service learning field trips in partnership with local community organizations and programs.




At this time, we are not able to provide school bus transportation to and from our farm site. Students are responsible for getting to the farm on their own. Our farm site is conveniently located on a city bus route (#68). Students are also welcome to drive themselves or be dropped off by parents/guardians. Please let us know if consistent transportation to and from the farm is a barrier and we can work together to figure out a plan. 



If you want to join our program in fall 2023, please complete the following application by the end of May to let us know you are interested in our program. Only students who fill out applications will be considered for the program.

Application Link:


After submitting an application, we will be in contact with to schedule an in person interview/ try-on on day at the farm this spring. Based on your credit needs and interests, we would then work with your counselor to select the appropriate Freedom Farmer Block-Class. We welcome any interested students to apply and prioritize students who have credit retrieval needs, have had attendance struggles in the past, and/or qualify for special education services. Applications will be considered throughout the spring in the order of which we receive them. Depending on space in the program, we will consider applications received after May but students may be asked to join a waitlist due to space.


Please contact Cindel Tobias [email protected] or Danielle Churchman at [email protected] for any questions or interest in the program.







Centering Justice and Equity

  • Amplifying voices of Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) and fostering authentic allyship, with racial equity and the dismantling of systemic injustice as driving forces of our collective work
  • Recruiting and retaining Educators of Color to ensure our faculty members and stakeholders reflect the diversity of our students
  • Utilizing restorative justice practices that value relationships, self-growth, and reconciliation
  • Engaging students who thrive in a hands-on, high context educational setting with prioritization of students with special needs, students of color, and students with low-incomes.

Valuing Student Agency

  • Creating relevant, engaging, and empowering curriculum that places student needs and gifts as central
  • Welcoming students as crucial stakeholders in their own education, emphasizing student autonomy, student governance models, and student participation in teacher hiring, teacher evaluation, and curriculum planning

Engaging Community Partners

  • Building connections in our community so student learning is in the context of real community work and learning can take place both at our central hub and out in the community with partners
  • Engaging families, community members, and students in meaningful, open, and ongoing communication


Valuing Genuine Learning

  • Offering team-taught courses with integrated subject areas that aim to build skills and connections for students to utilize in their post-high school journey
  • Preparing students for their future by developing job and career skills, personal finance skills, and social/emotional awareness
  • Adopting a schedule that is aligned with teen development and allows for teachers to engage in meaningful collaboration for planning, reflection, and outreach

Providing Intentional Support

  • Offering access to consistent and integrated mental health support for all students
  • Providing consistent drug and alcohol counseling to students in need of support, emphasizing health and wellness over disciplinary action
  • Assisting students in navigating systems and institutional barriers to ensure all students have access to basic necessities, resources, and opportunities