The Open School
Independence. Responsibility. Compassion.
The Open School is Orange County's first and only democratic free school. Instead of curriculum and classes, we learn through life and democracy. Instead of teachers, we learn from everyone.
Enrollment is open for the 2018-2019 school year!
Students are responsible for their own learning. They learn by playing, conversing, and pursuing their passions. We don't judge them or try to fit them into a box. Students come to truly know themselves, and chart their own pathways through education and life.
I've seen so much growth in my kids in all the important things in life, what really matters. They are loving being able to make their own decisions, and they are more well-behaved at home and do their chores without being told. They are all just happy and feel proud of themselves.
~ Tania
When we were looking at schools, one of our biggest fears was that she would have to change who she was to “make it” in school or would be one of those kids who is constantly in trouble for talking too much. I remember searching and searching until we found out about The Open School, and then breathing that sigh of relief, “This is the place.
~ Ingrid
Our children are screaming for freedom, for movement, for free expression. As a mother, I'd rather have a happy kid who learns at his own pace, whose self esteem isn’t dependent on grades or test scores, who is motivated to learn because he’s curious and not because he’s being told that this is what he needs to know. This is why I love The Open School.
~ Heather
The experience has been strange and wonderful. This year, my son is making decisions for himself. I see him involved in school and learning how to balance great freedom with deeper responsibility.
~ Scott
Age Mixing
We don't segregate students by age, because no two children are the same and different children learn things at different ages. Age mixing enables younger students to learn from older students, and allows older students to cultivate gentleness, compassion, and leadership.
Authentic Democracy
Students and staff have equal voice in all school business, including making the rules, handling infractions, budgeting, and administration. Every individual in the community, whether five years old or fifty, has the same power to advocate for his or her interests. Learn more »