Open Door School was founded in 1966 by Sue Spayth Riley, a member of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Charlotte, a revolutionary educator, author of the book “How to Generate Values in Young Children” and numerous educational articles.
At the time, there were few public kindergartens in North Carolina (this was the case until 1977 when NC mandated all public school systems to add kindergarten).
Open Door School was the first racially integrated kindergarten in Charlotte.
When public schools added kindergarten classes, Open Door phased out most of its classes for this age group.
In 1989 The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) accredited Open Door School, the 1st preschool in Mecklenburg County to receive such distinction.
In 1999, the Division of Child Development of the State of North Carolina awarded Open Door’s Full Day program a Five Star Rating, the highest rating given by the state.
Today, Open Door School still follows the same Progressive philosophy on which it was founded. ODS currently has six Half Day preschool classes, serving ages 2-5, and one mixed- age Full Day preschool class for ages 3-5.