The Open Classroom is an innovative school that invites children, teachers and parents to collaborate as a community that inspires and celebrates the adventure of learning.
About Our Name
Our founders named the program the Open Classroom because they wanted the program to stand for a flexible approach to education, where the needs of each child are considered individually. Although the name and the principle are well-loved in our community, we recognize that the name can also be somewhat misleading. In fact, every student in the Open Classroom is assigned to a specific teacher in an ordinary classrooms with walls – but what happens inside of those classrooms is extraordinary!
History of the OC
The Open Classroom became part of the Salt Lake City School District in 1977, starting with eight multi-aged classroom housed in two separate elementary schools. The Program was founded by a group of parents and teachers who wanted to be actively involved in their children’s learning. At the time, there were two main philosophies of education; the traditional model in which adults provided information which the children passively received, and a child-directed model where children were given materials to explore and the adults stayed out of the way. The founders of the Open Classroom developed an alternative approach where children and adults work as partners in the learning process. Adults provide basic guidance, including contextual and historical knowledge. Children have space to explore the topics further, think deeply, and process information, creating a rich learning experience.
In the Fall of 2006 the Open Classroom expanded to include a Middle School and began its first year as a district charter. It now houses two kindergarten classrooms, four first and second grade blends, two second and third grade blends, two third and fourth grade blends, a fourth grade, a fourth and fifth grade blend, a fifth grade, three sixth and seventh grade blends and an eigth grade - 17 classrooms in all.