Share |


 ORANGE, CA 92869
[P] (949) 373 x 5440
[F] --
[email protected]
Cassi Clausen
 Printable 1 Page Summary
 Printable Profile
Organization DBA --
Former Names --
Organization received a competitive grant from the community foundation in the past five years No
Employer Identification Number 46-0745295 00000


Mission StatementMORE »

The Open School is an institution founded on the principles of genuine freedom and personal autonomy. Enrollees age 5-18 engage in self governance through participatory democracy that has real impact on their daily lives, and spend their time in self-directed exploratory pursuits.

Mission Statement

The Open School is an institution founded on the principles of genuine freedom and personal autonomy. Enrollees age 5-18 engage in self governance through participatory democracy that has real impact on their daily lives, and spend their time in self-directed exploratory pursuits.

FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year 2019
Projected Expenses $120,000.00
Projected Revenue $125,000.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • Full Time Democratic Education

Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2014 (%)

For more details regarding the organization's financial information, select the financial tab and review available comments.


Mission Statement

The Open School is an institution founded on the principles of genuine freedom and personal autonomy. Enrollees age 5-18 engage in self governance through participatory democracy that has real impact on their daily lives, and spend their time in self-directed exploratory pursuits.

Background Statement

The Open School began formation in 2012 and opened for enrollment in 2015. We are modeled after Sudbury Valley School in Framingham, MA, which was founded in 1968 and has proven time and again that giving children personal freedoms and respect creates adults who are independent, responsible, intrinsically motivated, problem solvers. Our students experience a space where they have autonomy, agency, and voice in a way that's unparralleled in other school systems. And with those personal freedoms, they engage in their lives and community, taking ownership of their decisions and their school. 
The Open School was founded by Cassi Clausen, Matt Dale, Ben Page, Lauren Sukumar, and Josh Clausen. Soon after opening, Tay Parker, Aaron Browder, and Mire Molnar joined the staff and became part of our origination.  

Impact Statement

In the past year we have increased our enrollment and staffing by 20% and increased fundraising by 25%. Our board membership has increased in number and engagement and we offered $45,000 in financial aid to underserved families. In the coming year, we will increase enrollment again by 20% and move to a sliding scale tuition to meet the need of more families. This will be supported by a higher enrollment and by an increase of fundraising by another 15%. 

Needs Statement

Our most urgent needs are community outreach and education related. Two of our staff are co-writing a book, and three of our founders are speakers who are looking to engage the wider community on the topic of learner-centered democratic educaiton. We are also always in need of funds to continue to give our school financial security. In the coming 1-2 years, we will be looking for a new location to house our growing school. It will need to be in Central Orange County and have ample green space. 

CEO Statement


Board Chair Statement


Other Ways to Donate/Volunteer

Financial donations can be made via Paypal (send to [email protected]) or by mailing a check. We also welcome material donations for our school. Please contact [email protected] to make arrangements.We offer periodic work days for volunteers and also have on-campus volunteer opportunities during the school year. Contact us for more information. 

Geographic Area Served

Central Orange County
West Orange County
South Orange County
North Orange County

Organization Categories

  1. Education - Elementary & Secondary Schools
  2. Youth Development - Alliances & Advocacy
  3. -



Full Time Democratic Education

This is the heart of what The Open School does. Students attend our school for 5 hours/day, 5 days/week. They have full autonomy over their time, body and property and engage with the school governance democratically.
Budget  125,000
Category  Education, General/Other Educational Programs
Population Served K-12 (5-19 years)
Program Short-Term Success  Children who believe in themselves and know their own power. Students who take responsibility for their actions, and become more and more engaged in their own lives. 
Program Long-Term Success  Increase in adults who have learned who they are and how to impact the world around them. Increase in adults who look back on their childhood as a time they were happy and free, and carry those attributes into their adulthood. 
Program Success Monitored By  Our internal justice system tracks that maturing process of each student, taking note of their ability to keep themselves accountable and take ownership of their actions. For graduates, we will have alumni surveys every 5 years to find out what the graduates have been doing and how they reflect on their schooling.
Examples of Program Success  When Carlos first came to The Open School at age 10, he was angry at everyone. He has internalized the message from his public school that making a mistake wasn't okay and that he was full of mistakes. He was defensive and evasive. But after 2-3 months at our school, he began to believe more in himself, and that his essence is valuable, just because he's human, not for anything he produces. He also learned that making mistakes is okay, and that all you have to do is own up to them. His anger disappated. He became jovial and creative. He engaged with the democratic system of the school by serving in a couple of different elected positions. He is now a student who models for the younger kids that owning up to your decisions is a good thing, and not scary when you're not being shamed for them. He is also a caring young man who is first to help another kid in need. The original Carlos is a distant memory.


CEO/Executive Director Cassi Clausen
CEO Term Start June 2012
CEO Email [email protected]
CEO Experience --

Former CEOs and Terms

Name Start End
-- -- --

Senior Staff

Name Title Experience/Biography
-- -- --


Award Awarding Organization Year
-- -- --


Affiliation Year
-- --

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
-- --



Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 2
Number of Part Time Staff 2
Number of Volunteers 2
Number of Contract Staff 0
Staff Retention Rate % 90%
Staff Professional Development Yes

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: --
Asian American/Pacific Islander: --
Caucasian: 4
Hispanic/Latino: --
Native American/American Indian: --
Other: --
Other (if specified): --
Gender Female: 3
Male: 1
Not Specified --

Plans & Policies

Organization has Fundraising Plan? --
Organization has Strategic Plan? Under Development
Years Strategic Plan Considers 3
Management Succession Plan No
Organization Policies And Procedures Yes
Business Continuity of Operations Plan No

Risk Management Provisions

Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistle Blower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy No

Reporting and Evaluations

Management Reports to Board? No
CEO Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Semi-Annually
Non Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Semi-Annually

Government Licenses


CEO Comments


Foundation Comments



Board Chair Jon Cassie
Board Chair Company Affiliation TVT Community Day School
Board Chair Term July 2017 - June 2019
Board Co-Chair --
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation --
Board Co-Chair Term -

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Carin Agiman Voting
Jon Cassie TVT Community Day School Voting
Matt Dale Paloma Valley High School Voting
Andrew Lee New Millenium Secondary School Voting
Stephanie Olivo -- Voting
Bradley Petersen Pay it Forward Realty Voting
Ingrid Shultz Cemtek Environmental Voting
Carol Ann Soltz The Write Intention Voting
James Spady Soka University Voting

Constituent Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Youth Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Additional Board Members and Affiliations

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Board Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 1
Caucasian: 6
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: --
Other (if specified): Jewish - 1
Gender Female: 3
Male: 6
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 3
Board Meeting Attendance % 90%
Written Board Selection Criteria --
Written Conflict Of Interest Policy --
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions 33%
Board Orientation Yes

CEO Comments


Foundation Comments


Standing Committees

  • Board Governance
  • Communications / Promotion / Publicity / Public Relations
  • Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
  • Finance


Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2014 (%)

Fiscal Year July 01, 2018 to June 30, 2019
Projected Revenue $125,000.00
Projected Expenses $120,000.00
Form 990s

2016 Form 990

2015 990 EZ Jun 2015-July 2016

2014 990 N Postcard Jun 2014-July 2015

2013 990 N Postcard Jun 2013-July 2014

Audit Documents --
IRS Letter of Exemption

IRS Letter of Determination

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Total Revenue $106,980 $57,151 $15,780
Total Expenses $105,642 $43,668 $8,829

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Revenue By Revenue Source
Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
-- -- --
Government Contributions $0 $0 $0
    Federal -- -- --
    State -- -- --
    Local -- -- --
    Unspecified -- -- --
Individual Contributions $2,003 $2,655 $8,532
Indirect Public Support -- -- --
Earned Revenue $85,398 $54,496 $7,248
Investment Income, Net of Losses -- -- --
Membership Dues -- -- --
Special Events $19,579 -- --
Revenue In-Kind -- -- --
Other -- -- --

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Expense By Type
Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Program Expense $65,857 $30,647 --
Administration Expense $35,374 $13,021 $8,829
Fundraising Expense $4,411 -- --
Payments to Affiliates -- -- --
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 1.01 1.31 1.79
Program Expense/Total Expenses 62% 70% 0%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 20% 0% 0%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Total Assets $32,221 $21,489 $7,544
Current Assets $35,524 $23,265 $8,444
Long-Term Liabilities -- -- --
Current Liabilities $-3,303 $-1,776 $-900
Total Net Assets $32,221 $21,489 $7,544

Short Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities -10.76 -13.10 -9.38

Long Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Long-term Liabilities/Total Assets 0% 0% 0%
Endowment Value --
Spending Policy N/A
Percentage(If selected) --
Are you currently in a Capital Campaign? Anticipated In 3 Years
Capital Campaign Purpose To raise funds for our own campus.
Campaign Goal --
Capital Campaign Dates -
Capital Campaign Raised-to-Date Amount --
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? Yes

CEO Comments


Foundation Comments

Summary financial data is per the audited financial statements and Form 990s and consultation with the organization. Foundation/corporate and individual contributions are combined under Foundation and Corporation Contributions.


Other Documents

No Other Documents currently available.