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 who buy into our big dreams and see the need for self-directed learning in our county.
Next year, our 8-member board will grow to 13. Our enrollment is likely to reach our 20-student cap, which we hope to be able to raise to 25. Our fundraising goals, annual budget, and financial aid will also increase.
But the excitement isn’t in the numbers. It’s in the vision.
We began a new school committee this year, whose purpose is to envision the future of The Open School, and to work to bring that future to reality. We started by brainstorming a giant wish list of what we want for our school, such as a dedicated music room, a garden, an indoor slide, and even a jacuzzi ball pit. Then we divided each of them into “next year” and “5-10 years” categories. For some ideas where there was uncertainty about the legality or practicality of the plan, a subcommittee was formed to do further research.
We are no longer just trying to keep our doors open, but really exploring how we can bring new amenities into our space.
For me, the mere existence of this committee is indicative of the school’s continued growth. We are moving to the next step, no longer just trying to keep our doors open and maintain our current campus, but really exploring how we can improve our school and bring new amenities into our space.
I’d like to share with you the plans that came out of our Vision Committee, both for next year and for the extended future. I’d also like to invite you to help make these dreams a reality.
If these plans are intriguing or exciting to you, and you want to help bring them to fruition, you can do so. We will be hosting three work days this summer where you can come and help get our current space ready, and may even be able to start working on some of the “next year” projects. Our Vision Committee will also host Saturday work days during the school year to work on some of these. To learn more, sign up for our mailing list to be alerted about our next work day.
In addition, we are currently recruiting board members for next year. This is a group of dedicated professionals who are interested in supporting the school and taking us to this future vision. If you are interested in learning more, please contact me at [email protected].