Blog · The Open School

Protected: Life after graduation: a free-schooler’s perspective

by Tay Parker, Open School staff
July 22, 2017

There is no excerpt because this is a protected post.

Fail Early, Fail Often

by Aaron Browder, Open School staff
July 13, 2017

In April, The Open School hosted a dinner party in which staff and students cooked and catered a three-course meal for their families and friends. The idea began with my desire to have a home-cooked lunch at school using our campus’s kitchen, but when Tay, I, and a handful of students got to brainstorming, it […]

What’s the point of learning anyway?

by Ben Page, Open School staff and co-founder
July 6, 2017

Do you remember a time when you or one of your classmates asked a teacher, “But why do we have to learn this?” I remember asking this question in many different classrooms and I don’t think I ever got a satisfactory answer. Teachers are trained to respond that learning inherently enriches us. The truth, however, […]

A Vision of the Future

by Cassi Clausen, Open School staff and co-founder
June 28, 2017

As our second year draws to a close, it’s hard not to dream about the future. The Open School started its journey with some very ambitious dreams, and those dreams haven’t waned. We are finding that we have a supportive community in Orange County and can continue to grow our network of supporters — supporters […]

Failure is the New Success

by Aaron Browder, Open School staff
June 21, 2017

Emily was a straight-A student, always responsible and fiercely clever. Her senior year in high school, Emily wanted to earn some money and got a job taking orders at a food truck. She worked there for five months, until the owner, Margaret, decided to move on to bigger things and closed the truck down. When […]


by Ben Page, Open School staff and co-founder
June 16, 2017

As I reflect upon our five-year journey of founding The Open School, I realize that there are two reasons why I, personally, do this work. The first reason is philosophical. There has never been a greater need for democracy in education than there is today. There are too many contributing factors to list here, but […]

Natural Literacy

by Aaron Browder, Open School staff
June 12, 2017

It’s a typical day at The Open School’s Civics Board. The first complaint was written by a girl named Rosie. DJ Cat, the 10-year-old Civics Board Chair, reads off the large, irregular letters produced by a 5-year-old hand. “I GOt OFF tNE SWiNG AND i WAS still HOlDING it AND STAR GOt ON.” DJ Cat […]

The Weight of an Adult

by Cassi Clausen, Open School staff and co-founder
June 9, 2017

I have a 15-foot trampoline in my backyard, which I convinced my husband we needed to buy because of my fond childhood memories of trampoline-jumping. Of course, when you get a trampoline, the first thing you hear from everyone is that people are going to get hurt. And it’s true. Any time humans go bouncing […]

Staff Spotlight: Ben Page

by Tay Parker, Open School staff
June 2, 2017

For my staff spotlight, I chose to interview Ben Page, one of the founders of The Open School. I first met Ben at an Open School event last year, and since then I have found him to be a person of deep insight. He also seems to have an endless capacity to do many different […]

Student Spotlight: Colin

by Aaron Browder, Open School staff
May 26, 2017

Today I’m interviewing Colin, a student at The Open School. Colin is twelve years old and this is his first year at our school. Why did you decide to come to The Open School? At public school I couldn’t be myself. Here, we can use our computers all we want. What kinds of things do […]