In addition to our weekly programs, Open Connections offers many events throughout the program year that are open to the entire current OC community. Such events include (but are not limited to): Community Days; Dance Party and Potluck; Family Work Day and New Family Orientation; Film Festival; Graduation; Multiple Intelligences Festival; Open Mic and Potluck Night; Parent-Facilitator Conferences; Parents' Meetings; Pausing Ceremony; Teen Symposium; "What About Portfolios?" Workshop, Resource Fair.
Read on for details!
We open up our campus on the second Friday of some months (see OC calendar for dates) for current OC community members (and OC Graduates!) to share special interests, conduct workshops, play games and enjoy each other’s company. These community-directed days embody many of the OC principles by allowing the community to create and collaborate on offerings for the benefit of all.
This event focuses on helping families identify and create enriching and fun opportunities on their non- OC program days, thus creating a fulfilling Partnership Education experience.
Families gather for an evening of delicious food, engaging conversation and energetic dancing. This is an all-ages event. Families are invited to bring a dish to share with the community.
We gather on the Saturday before Opening Day in September to lend a hand finishing up summer projects and pulling the last few weeds for get ready for the new year. This is a wonderful day for returning families to reconnect with old friends, and for new families to meet members of the OC community and attend an orientation session. Cold treats are served in the afternoon.
The OC Film Fest is a community event featuring short films created by OC youth and a few thought-provoking educational clips. An awards ceremony, OC style, provides all who attend a chance to participate in the fun. This event runs in years when there is particular interest among the youth for creating films.
OC offers an evening for the families of the graduates each spring. This invitation-only evening gives families and facilitators a chance to gather for a lovely catered dinner and then tributes and slide shows for each graduate.
This display is held in conjunction with the Pausing Ceremony in June. This festival gives all youth an opportunity to showcase projects they have been a part of both in Program and at home throughout the year.
This evening event showcases the diverse musical talents and culinary skills of the OC community. Over the course of the night, youth and adults can take a seat and enjoy the performances, contribute to the evening’s entertainment, strike up a conversation, and indulge in a delicious potluck dinner.
Two times each year, we have dedicated 1-on-1 meetings with each family. In November, we conduct Partnership Education meetings, which serve as an opportunity for families to get support from OC Facilitators in helping to design their non-OC days. In February, Parent-Facilitator Conferences take place, which is an opportunity for parents to meet with a Facilitator for each of their youth to hear in-depth information about the youth’s days at OC.
The Parent Resource Library can be found off the Gathering Space in the Barn. It works like a regular lending library. This is also a quiet space for meetings with Facilitators or for parents to read or work while their youth are in programs.
These gatherings are meant to be supportive of everyone's effort to be the best parents we all can be: to learn from one another, to learn from outside resources, and to build a sense of community around shared values.
It is our custom to gather together one last time before the summer to reflect on the past year and say our good-byes. This is an event for the whole family (so bring the grandparents!) and includes a brief ceremony, live performances by the young people and a Multiple Intelligences Festival.
Building upon the Peer Facilitations or Comprehensive Projects that occur within the Group Tutorial programs, the Teen Symposium, modeled after the popular TED talks, is an opportunity for Shaping Your Life group members to present their findings to questions that they have been investigating all year to the OC community at large.
The Toddler Space in the corner of the Gathering Space in the Barn is a welcoming area for families with younger youth to spend time.
This workshop is designed for parents who would like guidance in creating a portfolio as required for the year-end evaluation of registered home-educated youth. Emphasis is on complying with the law without having to produce burdensome paperwork that can interfere with true learning. Our goal is to help each family identify a portfolio process that best fits their own temperament, routines and capabilities. We will have a number of sample portfolios on hand to flip through.