Democracy in Practice | The Open School

Democracy in Practice

Matters of Justice

The Civics Board is a committee, consisting of students and staff, that meets daily to address rule infractions. The Civics Board conducts investigations and votes on sentences, making sure that all individuals are heard and tried fairly. This post explains how the Civics Board works and how the School Meeting handles severe sentences like suspensions.

The C-Words

The four C's: Clerks, Committees, Corporations, and Chairs. These are the governing structures of the school beyond the School Meeting. Like the School Meeting, they are based on egalitarian democratic participation. This post explains what these terms mean and how students can use them to take charge of their own education as well as their own school.

Are You Certified?

The balance of freedom and responsibility at our school is perfectly exemplified in certification. Rather than basing privileges on age, which is quite arbitrary, Open School “school meeting members” (all staff and students) earn privileges based on ability and responsibility. This post explains what kinds of things require certification and how one typically goes about becoming certified.

Cash, Credit, or Debit?

At The Open School, students can pay for things in all the ways adults can pay for things. They can bring cash, fill out an IOU form, or transfer funds from an account. This post explains how money works at school and why we do it this way.


This post explains one of the activities we do at The Open School which fosters an ability to listen deeply and empathetically. It's also a great way for us to get to know each other better.