Blog · The Open School

Staff Spotlight: Cassi Clausen

by Ben Page, Open School staff member and co-founder
March 21, 2017

Cassi has been with The Open School since day one. She’s the one who first brought the idea of it into this world. She remembers a specific conversation with her husband when she said, “I want to be more than just a mom. I need to start on my dream of starting a democratic free school.” At that […]

Where Everyone is Brilliant

by Aaron Browder, Open School staff
March 17, 2017

When I got to school Monday morning, the plastic play structure in the front lawn was wrecked. One of the supports for the swingset was missing, so the top beam was sticking into the ground. The whole structure was half-sideways, diagonal. We rent our space from a church, so something crazy must have gone on […]

Where She Can Be Herself

by Ingrid Shultz, Open School parent
March 14, 2017

Being a parent sometimes involves a lot of worry. You worry about your child’s future, their safety, their eating habits, their dirty fingernails and especially their emotional wellbeing. When our daughter is at The Open School every day, I often think about her, but I honestly really don’t worry about her. Our daughter loves to […]

Are You Certified?

by Cassi Clausen, Open School staff member and co-founder
March 10, 2017

If you hang around The Open School for a while, you may hear the question, “Are you certified for that?” This is one of the insider phrases at schools like ours, and requires a fair amount of explanation for newcomers. The balance of freedom and responsibility at our school is perfectly exemplified in certification. Rather than […]

Student Spotlight: Taeho

by Tay Parker, Open School staff member
March 7, 2017

Today I’m interviewing one of our students, Taeho Lee. He’s 10 years old and he’s the Open School’s newest student. He is bilingual, and speaks English and Korean fluently. I admire Taeho because he’s a very determined person with a high degree of focus on his personal interests, and because he’s very independent. He has […]

The Open School is the Real World

by Aaron Browder, Open School staff member
March 3, 2017

“I want to go to Oak Canyon,” Crystal said. “I don’t want to go to Oak Canyon. I want to go to Oak Canyon. I don’t want to go to Oak Canyon.” She waffled a bit more. She couldn’t make up her mind. That morning, Ben had announced that he would take the students on […]

Can She See Clearly Now?

by Michelle Loucas, Staff member of Philadelphia Free School
February 28, 2017

The following was originally posted on Philly Free School’s blog and is reposted here with permission. Philly Free School in similar to The Open School as it follows the Sudbury model of democratic free schooling. My friend recently posted a meme on his Facebook page declaring “Maslow before Bloom,” with the comment, “My teacher friends […]

A Student in Leadership

by Dahlia, School Meeting chair of The Open School, age 10
February 24, 2017

Tay asked me to run School Meeting and I thought it was a good idea because I was bored sometimes at school. Even though it was just once a week, I thought it would be a good thing to do to fill up some of my time. Once I started doing it, I didn’t feel […]

The Private Lives of Children

by Ben Page, staff and co-founder of The Open School, Parent Liaison
February 22, 2017

Parents of children who attend a free democratic school go through a process of reexamining certain cultural biases that are internalized through their own early childhood development. This can be a somewhat painful and emotional process for parents because confronting their own internalized oppression can send them into a deep state of disequilibrium. This is […]

Staff Spotlight: Tay Parker

by Aaron Browder, Open School staff member
February 17, 2017

Today I’m interviewing Open School staff member Tay Parker. Tay grew up in the Boston area and graduated from Sudbury Valley School, the school that originally developed the model on which The Open School is based. Tay has also spent 3 years working at Sudbury Valley School as a staff, and her experiences there have […]