The Open High School of Utah

With extreme joy and happiness I can now announce that this past Friday (the 9th) the Utah Board of Education formally approved our request to create a new charter school to be called the Open High School of Utah. For those unfamiliar with how US charter schools work, a charter school is a publicly funded school with a specific emphasis – like a performing arts high school. OHSU will be a completely online school (or “virtual school” as they are sometimes called) that will use open educational resources exclusively.

Through partnerships we are building we hope to make the OHSU an “early college high school,” meaning that students will have the opportunity to earn an Associate’s degree at no extra cost at the same time they earn their high school diploma. Our pedagogical approach will be heavily influenced by service learning.

As you can imagine, a high school based on OERs has need of a variety of partnerships – especially partners who are also interested in locating / assembling / building an entire high school curriculum’s worth of OER content. There will be lots of opportunities for volunteers to contribute and become part of the OHSU community – finding appropriately licensed resources, assembling these in ways that conform with their various incompatible licenses (no small challenge!), creating new OERs to fill the gaps in what exists, aligning content structures to state and national standards, etc.

I’ll post more information as soon as I have it. If you have ideas re: partnerships please add them in the comments or email me directly at

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Congratulations – not only to you but to students and educators throughout Utah! I think this is a fantastic, bold move forward and look forward to helping however I can.

  • Congratulations, thats awesome!

  • satheesh

    Let me congradulate for your venture.
    I am very happy to go through it and expecting a lot in future.
    Best wishes.

  • Randy Fisher

    Hi David,

    This is great news ~ I’m sure a lot of hard work leading up to this announcement, and more hard work on the way. Nevertheless, it is a very significant announcement.

    Regarding the above-mentioned request for partners, I’m wondering how our WikiEducator community might be able to spread the word….

    Also, I know you’ve been busy… just to remind you….about those free chemistry labs that were donated to WikiEd, and available to you / OHSU when you want them….

    – Randy

  • Tom

    Dr. Wiley, It was great to hear you present this morning. Congratulations on getting the Open High School approved. I’m excited by the possibility of open content in Utah.

  • I look forward to the students forming a Students for Free Culture chapter 😉

  • Nadia El Borai

    Congratulations,you have my full support if there is anything I can do to help.

  • Very interesting! I didn’t know also the idea of “service learning”
    thank you.

  • Congratulations! Looking forward to the school and also the possible cooperation with Wikiversity community. You (anybody) can also leave a message at

  • Congrats, David!!! We hope you will be able to join the OCWC!!!

  • P.S. If you feel so inclined, please consider tagging all OHS posts going forward with OCW and/or OER, so that they appear on


  • Andy Van Schaack

    Is your charter school proposal available for review?

  • Hi David,


    You wrote: “completely online school (or “virtual school” as they are sometimes called)”.

    May I ask why you want it to be “completely online school”? Why not having community spaces for the students and teachers to meet in a real life, too?

    Another questions: How the service learning practice will work in a case of “completely online school”. Or do the students just contribute to the wikipedia / wikimedia?

  • How will the students interact with the instructors? Is this explained in your charter school proposal and is this available for review?

  • Eileen Curdy

    I’m so excited about this. I want to be a part of it. This is the future!!

  • Congratulations!
    I wish him much success in developing this new project.

  • Having seen a variety of schools and teachers change year after year I am excited to see the forward thinking going on here. I’ll have to update my blog to give you a plug if that is okay.

  • Margie Belardi

    Dear David:- I am a professor from Spain. I do have some people in my private classes (former Oxford Institute) who are interesting on finishing High School Diploma or GED or equivalency from their countries. I am wondering if you could advise me to enrolled these students and your program or you could also allowed me to work for you on this area of linguistic (ESL, or another languages) even as a volunteer. I do appreciate if you just reply to me as soon as possible.
    Margie Belardi