Job opening: staff position at The Open School | The Open School

Job opening: staff position at The Open School

The Open School, a K-12 Sudbury-model school located in Orange, California, is looking to hire a part-time or full-time staff person for the 2017-18 school year.

The Open School is a democratic free school. Students are allowed to spend all their time however they choose. They learn through play, authentic relationships, democratic participation, and pursuing their passions.

Staff do not teach unless specifically requested to by a student. Students are expected to educate themselves on their own initiative. We believe that all people (even children) have an innate drive to make sense of the world around them. Consequently, staff are not responsible for teaching students, or helping expose them to new things, or guiding them along any particular path.

So what do staff do then? They act as dependable stewards of the school. They model responsibility, respect, authenticity, and passion. They cultivate honest interpersonal relationships with students. They safeguard students’ human rights, and shield them from societal pressures to “keep up” with standard curricula.

The Open School is a democratic school. The ultimate authority is the School Meeting, in which each student and staff member gets one vote. Staff members are expected to respect the decisions made by the School Meeting even when those decisions are made by children. Staff members must be cognizant that all people are equal, and must be prepared to challenge childist biases in themselves and others.

Required Qualifications

  • Belief in the natural impulse of children (and adults!) to strive for personal growth; commitment to one’s own personal growth
  • Must be extremely reliable, punctual, and safety-conscious
  • Possess high levels of professionalism, personal maturity, and authenticity
  • Excellent communication and literacy skills, including abilitiy to express thoughts in writing and to interact effectively with children and adults from a wide variety of backgrounds
  • Be an interested, interesting, engaged, and passionate person
  • Strong self-management skills, including high levels of initiative and ability to authentically and effectively prioritize, including the ability to decline requests from children when appropriate
  • High level of computer literacy, including fluency with word processing, email, and more
  • Ability to maintain confidentiality of student and family data, as well as to keep a constant eye out for the protection of student privacy in less formal ways
  • Ability to pass required background checks
  • Excellent driving record and willingness to pursue a Class B commercial driver’s license

In general, the duties of staff include: instruction and assistance of students who request it; responsibility for administrative work and campus maintenance as necessary to ensure that the school runs smoothly and safely; participation in the democratic structures of the school; outreach; parent support; and working in accordance with the Sudbury philosophy. Our staff serve as advisors and staff advocates to students, growing and maintaining relationships with them, as desired by the student.

A person accepting a staff position is agreeing to show a high level of initiative in their service to the school, even when work must occur during hours that are not scheduled (e.g., evenings, weekends, holidays, breaks).

If you are interested in applying for this position, or learning more, please contact our HR Chair, Cassi Clausen, at or 714-618-1181.