About Open World Learning Community


    Open World Learning Community Mission

    A community of

    Joyful, curious self-directed learners engaged in the world.

    Open World Learning Community Vision

    • Imagine every student at Open World Learning Community inspired, challenged, and prepared for their future beyond high school.
    • Imagine every family at Open World Learning Community welcomed, respected, and cared for by a responsive staff.
    • Imagine our community connected, involved, and integrated with the Expeditionary Learning School network across the country and world.



    Open World Learning Community (formerly Open School) has nurtured self-directed learners for more than 50 years. Since 1971, students in our small-by-design school have been celebrated and respected for their individuality and take an active role in their education. With just 450 students in Grades 6 through 12, every student is a known and valued part of our family-like community. Open World Learning Community is a member of the national network of EL Schools, which promote rigorous and engaging curriculum; active, inquiry-based pedagogy; and a school culture that demands and teaches compassion and good citizenship.

    Our curriculum is designed around Learning Expeditions – projects that allow students to investigate issues in our school, the community and the world. The study of big ideas enables us to weave together work in multiple subject areas. Students are given time to think about important issues, time to experiment, and time to understand what they’ve learned. Our “small school” learning environment inspires students to ask questions in a culture that demands and teaches compassion and good citizenship. Our beautiful new home in St. Paul’s West Side was specially designed to support the collaborative learning style of EL Schools.

    When the school day begins at Open World Learning Community (OWL), you'll find students and staff from diverse cultural backgrounds sharing a common goal: the desire to discuss, explore, investigate and learn. It is a world designed for student-centered learning - a place where innovative programs and hands-on methods encourage curiosity and discovery. You will hear students and teachers having real conversations about their lives, beyond tests and homework. Each of our 450 students is known and respected, and exclusive cliques scarcely exist. This is the OWL community.