Updated 2019-12-26

The Open School

The only school in Orange County where kids (age 5-18) learn through real life and real democracy. Freedom and responsibility are the curriculum. Students learn by playing, conversing, and pursuing their passions.
Cassi Clausen founder
click to see email
(+1) 714-326-9736
2625 N. Tustin Ave
Santa Ana, CA  92705
United States
Los Angeles, Orange County

SDE Optimizing Conditions

ASDE surveys all SDE communities/programs about how they provide, enhance, or align with each of the Six Optimizing Conditions for young people to succeed in SDE.  Survey answers:
  1. Responsibility – Students at The Open School are responsible for their own educations. Staff rarely initiate activities; instead they are there to answer questions and help students with their self-chosen activities.
  2. Youth Autonomy – Students at The Open School are free to do whatever they want with their time. They can go wherever they want on campus, whenever they want, and interact with whomever they want. Staff do not interfere unless asked to, or unless there's danger.
  3. Access to Tools and Technology – Students at The Open School have unlimited access to technology, including computers and video games. The school also has a wealth of traditional educational materials such as books, musical instruments, and a kitchen.
  4. Adult Allies – Staff at The Open School do not evaluate students unless asked by the student. Staff are there to help students with their self-chosen activities, and leave students to evaluate whether they have accomplished their own goals.
  5. Free Age Mixing – Students of all ages (5 to 18), as well as adults, intermingle freely. There is no age segregation and no adults-only spaces.
  6. Community – Students and staff are all School Meeting members, which means they are all equals in the eyes of the law (rules). Everyone gets one vote at School Meeting, and anyone can be elected to any office or committee.

If any information about this resource is out of date, please let us know.