Clear Spring School was founded in 1974 in Eureka Springs, Arkansas by Will Fulton and Molly Fulton Seeligson. Will and Molly's dad, Dr. Bernard Fulton, had previously founded the prestigious Greenhill School in Dallas, Texas. From its very inception, the vision of Clear Spring School was, and remains, to promote a lifelong love of learning.
The very first school was located on Eureka Street. Fourteen very excited students were into their third week of school when three sheriff's deputies came knocking, and demanded to know "What's going on here?", "Where's your license?", and "Why aren't these children in school?" Needless to say, the police shut the school down and told the frightened children to go home.
Unsure of how to proceed, Will contacted the University of Arkansas' legal aid department in Fayetteville with the problem. Will was referred to a young lawyer who told him she would take care of the problem. She told him to reopen the school and that he should not have any more problems. That young lawyer was Hillary Rodham, later to become Hillary Rodham Clinton. The Clear Spring School reopened and nothing more was said about the legality of operating a private school.
From its earliest days, Clear Spring has continued to grow and develop as a model of progressive education. Clear Spring gradually expanded to serve pre-primary students and later added a middle school and then an upper school program. With the school's growth came the acquisition of 16 wooded acres and a master plan that resulted in the construction of five buildings housing classrooms and administrative offices.
Clear Spring School has been nationally accredited through the Independent School Association of the Central States (ISACS) since 1999. In addition to ISACS accreditation, CSS is also a member of the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS).