Blog · The Open School

War and Peace

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

My friend Princess Pine has never been to a Sudbury-model school before. She came all the way from Canada to see it with her own eyes. The place is eerily silent as I unlock the doors, and we stroll around the campus while I explain to her how we track sentences and vote on rules. […]

Growing in Compassion

by Cassi Clausen, Open School staff and co-founder
April 14, 2017

Of our three core values — independence, responsibility, and compassion — the third is the hardest to nail down. While independence and responsibility are baked into the basic model of the school, with freedom and democracy working together to embed these values into our students, compassion is fuzzier, and developing it doesn’t always look so […]

Cash, Credit, or Debit?

by Aaron Browder, Open School staff
April 12, 2017

“Why does everything at this school cost money?” said DJ Cat, clutching her head in frustration. I was selling chocolate chip cookies at school as a fundraiser for the Cooking Corporation. Lucky for me, it was hard for anyone to resist the aroma of freshly baked cookies, and the school meeting members who didn’t have […]

Why The Open School?

by Tania Ceron, Open School parent
April 8, 2017

Being a parent to three amazing little people at The Open School has been such a blessing, a challenge, and one of the most rewarding experiences in my life. This is our first year at The Open School, and in these short seven months I have seen so much growth in my children in all the […]

Clerking a School Meeting

by Tay Parker, Open School staff
April 4, 2017

On Thursdays I come into work a little earlier than usual. This means I get to catch more of the quiet part of the morning, where only a few kids are at school, playing games and waiting for the rest of their friends to show up. I use the extra time to organize the agenda […]

The Hardest Part

by Aaron Browder, Open School staff
March 31, 2017

The following was written by James Taylor, excerpted from the blog of Arts & Ideas Sudbury School (A&I). The excerpt deals with the pain felt by a staff member watching students leave the school because of their struggles. The full original article can be viewed here. It is legendary that when students come into A&I, they often have a […]

Playing School

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

In a school like ours, where students can spend their time however they wish (as long as they are abiding by the rules), it may be surprising that sometimes the kids choose to play “school.” One such play session happened recently, and was delightful and interesting to watch. First, roles had to be decided. In […]

Playful Learning

by Jonathan M. Cassie, Ed.D., Open School board member
March 24, 2017

I have long been an advocate for playful learning. I write about it, teach teachers how to be more playful and game-like in their work and strive in my own teaching practice to use playful approaches to stimulate student interest and engagement. Free/democratic schools like The Open School are particularly gifted at developing a playful […]

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 […]