FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
It is time for the post-industrial revolutionary model of education to be updated that reflects our every evolving and changing world. It is also important for our students to participate in an educational model that reflects the values of our rural, mountainous community. The place based model was chosen for these reasons as it puts the emphasis on the here and now, what is happening in our community, on getting students outdoors but also for building students capacity to be independent learners that can take ownership for their learning while also learning to work together in a community.
The MCS model embeds place-based education as a core element that is supported by a project-based learning approach, mastery-based assessment, personalized learning, and a strong focus on leadership and self-awareness skills and habits. A flexible grade approach allows us to put the learner and their educational needs in the center while still meeting equal and high expectations.
An enrollment period is pre-determined by the MCS School Board. Currently enrollment is scheduled to open in January 2020. The maximum number of students enrolled per each grade is determine by the MCS charter and is as follows:
After enrollment closes we will follow the process as outlined by the state.
Mountain Community School aims to reach out to as many families in the greater McCall area as possible to inform them about community charter schools in general and MCS specifically. Effort will be made to ensure that families in the district understand that the charter school option is free, public, and available. We at MCS consider it a top priority to communicate directly and openly with as many families as possible to inform them of their options.
Public schools are funded based on the number of students in attendance; funding follows a student from one to school to the next, as does the cost of educating that student. Charter schools do not have access to local taxes.
As a public charter school, students are held to the same accountability with state testing as traditional public school students. In addition, public charter school students are held to the accountability as defined in the school’s mission.
In a mastery-based model, a set of core competencies are established at the start that are the same for each student. These competencies are guided by state and national standards and consist of knowledge, skills, and disposition areas. These core competencies guide the program of the school. The curriculum itself is based on local need, community context, student interest, and teacher expertise. A student will have the opportunity to demonstrate mastery through projects and move to the next level when ready; students move forward when they have demonstrated mastery, no matter their chronological age. Increasing levels of support become available as needed for students working to master a particular skill.
MCS is committed to sharing learning and partnering on projects with the MDSD. We believe that having a public choice that is nimble and flexible can serve as an innovation zone within the region - supporting next-generation learning, new models, and sharing results to help inform future directions of the district.
Our charter limits how many students can be enrolled per grade, generally 10-15 students in the beginning, with no more than 25 in later years. However, students will work with peers based on their learning needs and may be working with students in grades above or below during the day.
MCS will provide busing for students within the district (same boundaries as MDSD) and a food service program will also be available.
The following elements are built into each typical day: morning meeting, core skill time, outdoor exploration, independent learning project, community impact project, closing and reflection
For general information, please email us!
For information on charter schools in Idaho: https://idahocsn.org/
For information on charter management: https://chartercommission.idaho.gov/
For information on our curriculum and The Place Network: https://placeschools.tetonscience.org/
And find us on Facebook or check out our website for more too!