Charter Application - Mountain Sage Community School

Charter Application - Mountain Sage Community School
Charter Application
Submitted to the Poudre School District
August 15, 2011
Liv Helmericks, Founding Director
970-556-8126
[email protected]
Acknowledgements
The Founding Board of Directors of Mountain Sage Community School would like to express
their gratitude to the Colorado League of Charter Schools for their ongoing guidance throughout
the creation of the Mountain Sage charter application. The League’s in-depth, pre-submission
review process has allowed us to greatly strengthen our 2011 submission. With the assistance of
the Colorado League of Charter Schools knowledgeable staff, the Founding Board of Mountain
Sage has developed a charter application that represents best practices in charter schools in
Colorado today. We greatly appreciate their honest, comprehensive feedback and support, and
are tremendously grateful for the ongoing resources and support that are available through the
League. Special thanks to Kathy Zlomke, Program Manager for New School Development, and
Jennifer Douglas, Director of New School Development.
The Mountain Sage Community School Founding Board of Directors would also
like to thank the following individuals and organizations:
Olga Mellizo, Christine Kroll, Ben Galyardt, Martin Cantrell, Ryan Mckee, Emily Elmore,
Shelley Chaput, Ewa Limanska-Moran, Colleen Holland, The Serimus Foundation, Ivy
Scherbarth, Ani Glaser, Janis Williams, Thesa Kallinikos, Andi Brunson-Williams, Chris
Hazleton, Sarah-Gennie Colazio, Dr. Donna Newberg-Long, the Alliance for Public Waldorf
Education, George Hoffecker, Carlie Pointer, Sharon Docherty, Dr. Margo Barnhart, our
incredible Mother Earth, and the countless parents and community members who have dedicated
time, energy and donations to make Mountain Sage Community School a reality.
Most of all, we thank our wonderful and amazing children –
the inspirations to whom we dedicate this school.
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
Cover Letter .................................................................................................................................... 1 Acknowledgements ......................................................................................................................... 2 Table of Contents ............................................................................................................................ 3 A. Executive Summary ................................................................................................................... 6 B. Vision And Mission ................................................................................................................. 12 C. Goals, Objectives and Pupil Performance Standards ............................................................... 16 D. Evidence of Support ................................................................................................................. 30 E. Educational Program ................................................................................................................ 39 F. Plan For Evaluating Pupil Performance ................................................................................. 113 G. Budget And Finance............................................................................................................... 123 H. Governance ............................................................................................................................ 129 I. Employees ............................................................................................................................... 136 J. Insurance Coverage ................................................................................................................. 150 K. Parent Involvement And Community Involvement ............................................................... 152 L. Enrollment Policy ................................................................................................................... 156 M. Transportation And Food Service ......................................................................................... 160 N. Facilities ................................................................................................................................. 163 O. Waivers .................................................................................................................................. 170 P. Student Discipline, Expulsion Or Suspension ........................................................................ 184 Q. Serving Students With Special Needs .................................................................................... 196 R. Grievance Process And Dispute Resolution........................................................................... 209 Mountain Sage Community School Charter Application
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Appendix A- Bios/Resumes of the Current Board of Directors and Consultants..................211
Appendix B- MSCS Detailed Timeline for Opening in 2012................................................220
Appendix C- Whole Child Rubric for Grades 1-8 .................................................................226
Appendix D- Waldorf Mathematics Standards and Rubrics for Grades 1-5 .........................262
Appendix E- Waldorf Language Arts Standards and Rubrics for Grades 1-5.......................282
Appendix F- Compassionate Communication & Waldorf Schools by John Cunningham .... 302
Appendix G- Explanation of The Virtues Project................................................................... 319
Appendix H- Sample Intent to Enroll Form used by MSCS .................................................. 324
Appendix I- List of Numerous Supporters and their Letters of Support ................................. 326
Appendix J- Detail of a 5-day Main Lesson Plan and Rubric, for Grades K-6 in
Mathematics and Language Arts {Borrowed from Desert Star Charter School of Sedona,
Arizona}.................................................................................................................................391
Appendix K- Waldorf-inspired Student Scope and Sequence, with Benchmarks for
Grades K-8 .............................................................................................................................442
Appendix L- Images of Waldorf–inspired School Life; Examples of Main Lesson Books,
Materials Used and Classroom Settings. ...............................................................................454
Appendix M- Additional Research Supporting Mountain Sage............................................. 460
Appendix N- Learning from Steiner: The Relevance of Waldorf for Urban Public
Education by Dr. Ida Oberman ............................................................................................... 467
Appendix O- Authentic End-of-Year Teacher Narrative Report for a 5th Grade Private
Waldorf School Student.........................................................................................................504
Appendix P- Elements of a Traditional Waldorf School Second Grade Assessment............512
Appendix Q-1- MSCS Budget Scenario 1 .............................................................................526
Appendix Q-2 - MSCS Budget Scenario ..............................................................................536
Appendix R- Audit Estimate from Anton Collins Mitchell LLP...........................................546
Appendix S-MSCS Articles of Incorporation........................................................................549
Appendix T- Mountain Sage Community School Bylaws ....................................................555
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Appendix U- Conflict of Interest Policy................................................................................572
Appendix V- Organizational Chart for Year 1........................................................................... 579
Appendix W- Evaluation of Principal: Policy Manual and Evaluation Form .......................581
Appendix X - MSCS Teacher Evaluation and Improvement Plan: Procedure and Form .....588
Appendix Y- Waldorf-inspired Curriculum Based on CAS Evidence Outcomes, Grades
K-4; Mathematics, Language Arts, Science, Social Studies and World Language...............595
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A. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
Our Mission: Cultivating the Creative Mind.
Mountain Sage Community School offers Waldorf-inspired, arts-integrated education, fully
incorporating sustainable living practices into student learning. Each child will be empowered to
cultivate meaningful connections to their intellectual, physical, emotional, social and creative
capacities in healthy, safe and beautiful learning environments. Through a supportive community
of peers, parents and teachers, each child will become a confident, self-directed and engaged
learner, invested in his/her own education.
Introduction
Mountain Sage Community School is inspired by and committed to the principles of Waldorf
education and sustainable living. The Waldorf-inspired approach to educating is valued within
the Fort Collins community because it emphasizes an arts-integrated experience within a
nurturing, multi-sensory, multi-cultural, nature-based learning environment. The arts are
integrated into all academic lessons, and cultivation of the child’s imagination and creativity is a
high priority. The full integration of sustainable living practices into daily school life is valued as
a commitment to the environment in the present, germinating the seed of eco-responsibility that
will bear fruit far into the future. We aim to open our doors as a K-4 school in the fall of 2012.
We will grow steadily from the bottom up with the addition of new kindergarten students each
year until we reach our maximum desired growth as a K-8 school with multiple kindergarten
sections and two classes per grade.
Our Philosophy
The philosophy of Mountain Sage Community School is founded upon the conviction that
children are innately curious about themselves and the world; they inherently want to learn,
discover, and create. The role of the school is to nourish and guide this natural exuberance,
energy and delight in the quest for meaning and knowledge. Creative approaches in which the
arts are integrated into academic learning serve to wholly engage the child and provide an
experiential, multi-sensory context for understanding intellectual concepts. The experiential
study of world cultures enriches the student’s expanding world-view, giving an appreciation for
diversity, flexibility of thinking, and an intrinsic empathic understanding of social and cultural
issues. The school’s overall educational approach is designed to instill in its students not only
high standards for academic achievement and civic responsibility, but also a sustaining degree of
intellectual curiosity, creative thinking, problem solving and creative self-expression, as well as
valuable interpersonal and intrapersonal life skills. Class teachers stay with the same group of
Mountain Sage Community School Charter Application
students, advancing through the grades for a number of years, allowing for trusting relationships
to be established and true mentorship to take place.
The Waldorf-inspired approach to education recognizes that certain capacities emerge in students
at fairly predictable stages, while also allowing for individual rates of maturation and
uniqueness. This appreciation for the metamorphosis of comprehension underlies both the
organization of the curriculum and the changing methods of teaching. Classrooms, materials
used and curriculum cultivate a sense of beauty, wonder and deep respect for the natural world,
affirming that the intelligence and imagination of the young child is best developed without the
use of technology; up to grade six computer technology is used only as a practical necessity for
computer based testing, library and research purposes. Learning a second language begins in first
grade. The joy of music enhances cognitive development throughout all of the grades.
Cooperation and self-advancement is encouraged rather than outwardly directed competition.
The goal of this educational experience is to enable students, as fully as possible, to freely
choose and realize their individual path through life. The school community is further connected
through optional seasonal programs and festivals.
Educational Program and Achievement
The Waldorf-inspired kindergarten cultivates and works in support of the child’s deep, inborn
natural attitude, belief, trust and basic reverence for the world as an interesting and good place to
live in.
Therefore, until age six or seven, children learn primarily through physical activity and imitation.
A sense of goodness permeates the soothing, home-like environment of the kindergarten where
warmth and toys made of natural materials encourage creative imaginative play. Through
storytelling, arts and crafts, daily, weekly and monthly rhythms, and healthy movement, a strong
foundation is laid for formal academics beginning in first grade.
In grades 1-5, children learn best when academics are conveyed through painting, drama, music,
storytelling and other direct experiences that stir their emotions. A sense of beauty weaves
throughout the day engaging children in their learning. The arts are used primarily as a means to
learn to understand and relate to the world, and also as an avenue for personal self-expression.
This builds an understanding for different subjects out of what is beautiful in the world in the
broadest sense of the word.
In grades 6-8, the pictorial thinking of the earlier grades are now metamorphosing to more
abstract thinking. For example during the teaching of Platonic solids, the teacher challenges
students to inwardly picture a cube then transform it to other shapes (truncated cube to the
octahedron to tetrahedron). This approach leads to an ever more conscious cultivation of
observation and reflection, focusing on building an understanding of what is true, based on
personal experience, thinking and judgment.
Mountain Sage Community School Charter Application
The Waldorf method of education offers an academically rigorous curriculum presented in a
developmentally appropriate and arts-integrated context. By combining elements of a traditional
Waldorf curriculum, sustainable living, and Colorado Academic Standards students will excel
academically and transition gracefully into upper level public high school settings.
Student achievement will be measured and evaluated using the variety of methods indicated by
the Waldorf education model such as portfolio reviews, parent teacher conferences, and in-depth
written evaluations by the teacher. A spirit of open and honest communication underlies all
aspects of these evaluations. In addition, Mountain Sage Community School will utilize and
benefit from state required standardized assessments (CSAP) and NWEA MAPS assessments.
School Culture
Mountain Sage will be a nurturing, intimate school community that fosters strong positive
relationships between students, faculty and parents. People who come together to tend the school
garden will illustrate community-in-action, sowing and reaping rewards that reach far beyond the
edible result of this work. Children will eat natural, minimally processed, whole foods for
lunches and snacks. They will also be given ample time for outdoor learning and play. Mountain
Sage will be a school that gives young people a sense of belonging to a community that is
grounded in respect for self, others and the natural world.
Why Mountain Sage Community School?
Typically, Waldorf education is only available in private school settings, accessible only to those
in the upper economic echelon of our society. We strongly believe that education inspired by
Waldorf methods and curriculum should be made public and tuition-free so that all who wish to
attend have the option to do so, regardless of their socioeconomic status. In this way, we can
ensure social justice in school choice. In addition, Fort Collins, Colorado is the ideal home for a
public school where Waldorf and sustainable living methods are practiced; Mountain Sage
reflects and represents the values of a growing population in our community.
The name Mountain Sage Community School was chosen in recognition of the surrounding land
and native plant life, and also to reflect our intention that children who attend the school will
emerge as wise human beings, possessing intellectual strength, and emotional, physical and
ecological awareness.
Waldorf Education, Past and Present
Waldorf education was developed by educator and scientist, Rudolf Steiner (b.1861-1925). It
was based on the recognition that the human being is composed of body, mind and spirit. While
Steiner believed that education should recognize the spiritual nature of the human being, he
Mountain Sage Community School Charter Application
never intended this to be taught in the classroom, nor does Mountain Sage Community School. It
is the intention of MSCS, as a public school, to ensure that no particular belief system will be
subscribed to or taught to students within the school. It was with great insight, care and concern
that Steiner developed Waldorf education. The Latin educare (the root of our word for
education) means to "bring forth." Steiner said, "Education is an art—it must speak to the child's
experience. To educate the whole child, the heart and the will must be reached as well as the
mind."
Today, the Waldorf movement is one of the fastest growing independent school movements in
the world. Approximately 1000 Waldorf schools and 1,600 Waldorf early childhood programs
span 83 countries and five continents, with 44 Waldorf-inspired public charter schools (and
growing) in the United States, as well as an increasing number of European public schools
integrating Waldorf methods. Waldorf education is truly global, not only in its scope, but also in
its approach. Wherever it is found, the Waldorf curriculum cultivates within its students a deep
appreciation for cultural traditions from around the world all the while being deeply rooted in its
local culture and context.
Waldorf or Waldorf-inspired?
The term “Waldorf” is trademarked, protected and available for use only by private education
institutions, with guardianship held by the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America
(AWSNA). The use of standardized and required testing, as well as the removal of certain
aspects of traditional Waldorf curriculum and practices, means that Mountain Sage is not a true
Waldorf school, and thus, cannot claim to be one in title. The rise of public, charter schools
inspired by Waldorf methods and curriculum is leading to the possible development of criteria
through which public, Waldorf-inspired charter schools could become accredited. The Alliance
for Public Waldorf Education, of which Mountain Sage is a member, is the primary support
network and advocacy group for Waldorf-inspired charter schools in the United States.
MSCS intends to continue its membership with the Alliance for Public Waldorf Education,
remaining informed about future developments in this regard.
Proven Demand
Years of proven demand illustrate that Fort Collins needs this type of education to take the form
of a public school. The Waldorf community in Fort Collins began as a homeschool group more
than 20 years ago and developed into River Song Waldorf School (RSWS), a private Pre-k
through 6th grade school. Unfortunately, due largely in part to unattainable tuition fees, the Pre-k
through 6th grade RSWS was forced to become a small, pre-school serving 2 ½ through 5 year
olds. There is a continual waitlist at the River Song early childhood center, and also at several
other Waldorf-inspired pre-schools throughout Fort Collins. The question remains: Where will
Mountain Sage Community School Charter Application
these children attend a Waldorf-inspired school for kindergarten and beyond? Currently, many
of these families are choosing to homeschool. Mountain Sage could draw these families into the
public school system.
Within the Poudre School District, it is the Lab School for Creative Learning, an Expeditionary
Learning School, that most resembles our educational philosophy in terms of student assessment
and school culture. However, the Lab school does not offer the unique arts-integrated elements
and teaching methods of a traditional Waldorf curriculum that many parents in our area are
seeking. In addition, Lab School often has a waitlist and cannot fulfill the demand of the local
community valuing experiential learning in a non-competitive environment. We hope that
Mountain Sage Community School will be able to provide this much needed and desired service
in our community.
Our Enlivened Community
The proposed Mountain Sage Community School is a grassroots endeavor created and primarily
supported by a dedicated group of local parents and educators. Since October 2008 many have
volunteered their time and energy, working to bring the Mountain Sage vision to fruition. Our
current Board of Directors consists of four members: Liv Helmericks, Alisa Hicks, Jody Swigris,
and Nancy Sexton. We have worked closely with administrative consultant Chris Hazleton, and
accountant Sarah-Gennie Colazio to develop our 2011 application. Please see Appendix A for
Bios/Resumes of the Current Board of Directors and Consultants.
While some of these board members will go on to the Mountain Sage Board of Directors after
the school opens, the current founders will identify and recruit additional Board members within
our community who are knowledgeable about the Waldorf educational philosophy and who,
together, will comprise the well rounded skill set crucial for a functional Board of Directors.
Governance by this Board, combined with the highly skilled faculty and Principal will result in a
high performing, high growth school that is guided by its Mission, the Colorado Academic
Standards and best practices for charter school governance.
Who the School Will Educate
Mountain Sage Community School proposes to begin operating in fall 2012. We will open our
doors as a K-4 school, enrollment increasing year by year with each new section of Kindergarten
students.
The school will educate students from kindergarten through eighth grade, ages 5 to 14 years old,
Mountain Sage Community School Charter Application
from communities throughout the Front Range, with priority enrollment going to those in the
Poudre School District. The desired maximum enrollment is 432 students, with 2 classrooms of
approximately 20-24 students per grade. We intend to offer one morning and two full day
kindergarten classes. These three kindergarten classes will go on to become two first grade
classes the following year.
Grade levels and expected student enrollment:
School Year Grade Levels
Total Student
Enrollment First year
K-4
130 Second Year
K-5
178 Third Year
K-6
226 Fourth Year
K-7
274 Fifth Year
K-8
322 Mountain Sage will provide an exceptional, time-tested and research based, educational
experience for students. By supporting the local need for Waldorf methods and sustainability in a
public school setting the school will inspire and educate families in our area. Please see
Appendix B- MSCS Detailed Timeline for Opening in 2012.
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B. VISION AND MISSION
The Poudre School District provides a number of excellent educational choices to parents and
families in our area. Mountain Sage Community School (MSCS) will expand the educational
choices that the Poudre School District offers to its families. The following Mission and Vision
will continually guide our decisions and development over the coming years.
Our Mission: Cultivating the Creative Mind.
Mountain Sage Community School offers Waldorf-inspired, arts-integrated education, fully
incorporating sustainable living practices into student learning. Each child will be empowered to
cultivate meaningful connections to their intellectual, physical, emotional, social and creative
capacities in healthy, safe and beautiful learning environments. Through a supportive community
of peers, parents and teachers, each child will become a confident, self-directed and engaged
learner, invested in their own education.
Our Vision
Mountain Sage Community School will be a highly sought after school providing a rigorous
educational program where a whole-child approach to learning will result in student curiosity
and enthusiasm, allowing each child to reach the fullest expression of their individual potential.
Children will emerge from Mountain Sage as intelligent, compassionate, creative thinkers, who
are engaged citizens with a strong work ethic, prepared to become stewards of the earth and its
many diverse communities.
By integrating traditional Waldorf methods and curriculum into the Colorado Academic
Standards, children will leave Mountain Sage with a life-long passion for learning, well prepared
for the transition into other academic programs.
Mountain Sage will embrace the key aspects of the local sustainability movement, providing
students and their families with an increased connection to their local environment. By utilizing
the rich community resources of Fort Collins, and through ongoing cultivation and development
of the school’s land with edible gardens, all children will be enabled to deepen their connection
with the earth, self and community.
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By fulfilling the Mission and Vision of Mountain Sage Community School:
Children will...
love school.
learn more because their minds, bodies and hearts are engaged.
feel they are honored for who they are and learn to respect and appreciate others.
enjoy helping to make their school congenial and orderly.
Teachers will…
use Waldorf methods in the classroom to create nurturing daily rhythms and dynamic
learning environments.
use imagination, interest and movement to respect each and every child's gifts and needs.
act as loving role models who demonstrate good organization, self-discipline, problem
solving, and strong communication skills in their daily contact with students, other
teachers, parents and administrators.
feel engaged, challenged, and rewarded by their all important work and supported in their
professional development.
Parents will…
want a Waldorf-inspired education for their children and help support Mountain Sage
Community School through self-education, active involvement, and volunteering.
feel welcome in the school and supported as their child's first-and most important-role
model, advocate and teacher.
be able to talk openly with school staff about children's unique needs and will gain help
and a commitment to resolving problems positively.
The Principal will…
implement Mountain Sage’s Mission, while building his or her own capacity to serve
teachers, students, the school, and the larger community.
be an unwavering advocate for MSCS’s founding Mission and Waldorf methods, yet is
open to ideas and input from students, teachers, parents and the Poudre School District.
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create an atmosphere where open communication is followed by clear decisions and
constructive action.
run a welcoming, orderly, efficient school that is accountable and takes the best
advantage of community resources.
Curriculum will...
be firmly rooted in Waldorf's holistic vision of the child and the recognition that children
learn best through the language of the imagination; wonder, curiosity, reverence, and a
love of learning.
honor the fact that skills and play in the early grades lay a strong foundation for more
complex learning, optimally timed to children's brain development and their changing
physical, social, and emotional aptitudes (i.e. fun rhythmic marching, singing, and games
build a base for arithmetic, which leads to higher mathematics; songs, stories, and poetry
form a base for grammar, reading and writing).
meet Colorado Academic Standards and requirements, using the data from standardized
tests as a way of holding MSCS accountable for children's learning and progress.
reflect the belief that computers should not be used by young children because they take
time and resources away from more age appropriate lessons.
allow families to feel that the school honors their need for time and relationships away
from the school (homework is rare in the years before 3rd grade).
Classrooms will...
have an immediate welcoming presence from the teacher and will be orderly, nurturing
places of learning.
embrace the traditional Waldorf use of natural, aesthetic and high quality materials; toys,
furniture, art, writing tools etc.
accommodate teaching methods inspired by Waldorf education; chalkboard, nature
corner, cubbies.
be places that help to instill responsibility, care and stewardship of physical things.
The School Site will...
provide access to outdoor play, learning areas and places of natural beauty.
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accommodate safe auto and pedestrian access.
include clear rules of conduct that respect Mountain Sage’s Vision, landlord, and
neighborhood.
The Greater Community will...
see the school as a positive force and steward of their local environment.
understand that Mountain Sage Community School is an advocate for making Fort
Collins a better place for kids and families to live, work, play and learn.
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C. GOALS, OBJECTIVES AND PUPIL PERFORMANCE STANDARDS
As previously stated, Mountain Sage Community School believes that children should be active
and creative forces in their own education. If students are engaged in deep and meaningful ways,
their academic experience will be one that puts them on the path to becoming critical thinkers
and life-long learners – growing and improving every year to reach their greatest academic
potential.
Like the Colorado Department of Education, MSCS believes that growth is the cornerstone of
achievement. We embrace the Colorado Growth Model and will strive to help our students
achieve high growth each year. Because Mountain Sage Community School has not existed
previously in any form and does not have baseline testing data, we have based our SMART
Goals for math, reading and writing on Poudre School District (PSD) averages. MSCS gathered
CSAP data using the Poudre School Districts’ 2009-10 Annual Accountability Report found on
their website. Additionally, the data was cross-referenced using SchoolVIEW on the CDE
website.
We acknowledge that MSCS’s goals may expand to meet needs identified in the future. The role
of the MSCS staff in collaborating to create and polish SMART goals over time is essential to
the Mission of MSCS as it targets excellence for actual students that staff has gotten to know,
assess and educate. The skills and viewpoints of a Highly Qualified staff will be critical to
ongoing goal development and achievement. Therefore, the following goals are general guides
for the first year, in addition to projected goals for accreditation for years two and four.
When developmentally appropriate, in accordance with the school’s Mission, the faculty of
MSCS will use grade level Colorado Academic Standards (CAS) for all subject areas including,
language arts, math and science to design lessons that teach students content skills and thinking
processes assessed by the CSAP. Please note that the Waldorf-inspired curriculum may
sometimes address the Colorado Academic Standards at an accelerated or decelerated rate based
on the educational model which our school Mission and community support is based.
Please refer to Appendix Y to view Waldorf-inspired Curriculum Sequencing based on CAS
Evidence Outcomes, Grade K-4; Mathematics, Language Arts, Science, Social Studies and
World Language.
The students at MSCS will demonstrate the following upon graduation:
Mastery of the traditional Waldorf curriculum adapted for public schools
Proficiency in Colorado Academic Standards for grades K-8
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It goes without saying that our ultimate goal is to create a school where 100% of students show
proficiency and yearly academic growth, in all measurable areas. The rationale for the measures
of each educational goal is based on meeting or exceeding District comparisons, demonstrating
year over year school-wide growth according to the Colorado Growth Model and developing the
social, moral, emotional, and cognitive competence of each individual child through an authentic
Waldorf approach to education and in accordance with the MSCS Mission.
I. Educational Goals
Goal One: MSCS graduates will be high achieving in math and will develop a mathematical
mind, successfully using analytical thinking in problem solving.
AYP Math Goal: MSCS will meet or exceed all Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) targets for
math proficiency established by the Colorado Department Education. MSCS will continue to
ensure that students (including all numerically significant student subgroups) annually meet or
exceed AYP targets as required by the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).
CSAP Math Participation Goal: MSCS will ensure that at least 95% of all students at the
tested grade levels and all numerically significant subgroups will participate in the math
component of the CSAP for which the school is held accountable.
SMART Goal 1: At least 81% of students, who attend MSCS for two or more years, will
score at or above proficient on the annual CSAP mathematics test in 3rd grade.
SMART Goal 2: Fourth through eighth grade students, who attend MSCS for two or more
years, will reach or exceed District percentages for proficiency on the annual CSAP for
mathematics.
SMART Goal 3: Students who have been continuously enrolled in MSCS for two or more
academic years, will have a Median Student Growth Percentile of at least 50% in
mathematics.
SMART Goal 4: 75% of students in grades 3-8 will meet or exceed their NWEA MAP
growth targets in math.
Measure: Parents of MSCS students will be asked to sign a CSAP Participation Contract
before enrolling their child in MSCS.
Measure: After the second year of CSAP testing, each student’s individual growth percentile
will be established, as well as the school’s median student growth percentile. These data
will be used to create short-term goals for individual students and long-terms goals for
the school. These goals will help Mountain Sage Community School meet or exceed the
Poudre School District targets for growth and proficiency for mathematics.
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Measure: NWEA MAP assessments for mathematics will be used 3 times per year in grades
3-8. During the first years of operations NWEA MAP assessments will be used to help
establish student’s academic baselines for mathematics.
Measure: Utilizing the previously mentioned assessments measurements, MSCS will create
data informed goals in order to ensure AYP, closing the achievement gaps for various
sub-groups of students.
Measure: Portfolio Review (Main Lesson Book review). Samples of a child’s work are used
to assess the progress that s/he is making. The class teacher, child, and parents are able to
look over, and select samples of a student’s self-created Main Lesson Book work to
determine the progress made over time. Portfolios are reviewed weekly, monthly and
annually. Portfolios will be formally assessed through the curriculum-based assessments
outlined in the following measure.
Measure: Curriculum based assessments: 2 extensive parent-teacher conferences and 1 end
of the year in-depth narrative report. Please see Appendix C, to view the Whole-Child
Rubric (Grades 1-8) that will be completed for each parent-teacher conference.
Measure: Observation, formative assessments and daily review of material (details found in
Section F, Plan for Performing Pupil Performance).
Measure: Mathematics rubric specific to Waldorf education (see Appendix D for Waldorf
Mathematic Standards and Rubric, Grades 1-5).
Strategies for Attainment:
1. Authentic Waldorf Curriculum for Math
2. Peer-teaching
3. Teacher guided self-assessment and daily reflection
Goal Two: MSCS students will be experienced, thoughtful readers and writers, in the English
language, who can express themselves orally and in written form with confidence.
AYP Reading and Writing Goal: MSCS will meet or exceed all Adequate Yearly Progress
(AYP) targets for reading and writing proficiency established by the Colorado Department
Education. MSCS will continue to ensure that students (including all numerically significant
student subgroups) annually meet or exceed AYP targets as required by ESEA.
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CSAP Reading and Writing Participation Goal: MSCS will ensure that at least 95% of all
students at the tested grade levels and all numerically significant subgroups will participate in the
reading and writing components of the CSAP for which the school is held accountable.
SMART Goal 5: At least 81% of students, who attend MSCS for two or more years, will
score at or above proficient on the annual CSAP reading test in 3rd grade.
SMART Goal 6: Fourth through eighth grade students, who attend MSCS for two or more
years, will reach or exceed District percentages for proficiency on the annual CSAP for
reading.
SMART Goal 7: Students who have been continuously enrolled in MSCS for two or more
academic years, will have a Median Student Growth Percentile of at least 50% in reading.
SMART Goal 8: 75% of students in grades 3-8 will meet or exceed their NWEA MAP
growth targets in reading.
SMART Goal 9: At least 62% of students, who attend MSCS for two or more years, will
score at or above proficient on the annual CSAP writing test in 3rd grade.
SMART Goal 10: Fourth through eighth grade students, who attend MSCS for two or more
years, will reach or exceed District percentages for proficiency on the annual CSAP for
writing.
SMART Goal 11: Students who have been continuously enrolled in MSCS for two or more
academic years, will have a Median Student Growth Percentile of at least 50% in writing.
SMART Goal 12: 75% of students in grades 3-8 will meet or exceed their NWEA MAP
growth targets in writing.
Measure: Parents of MSCS students will be asked to sign a CSAP Participation Contract
before enrolling their child in MSCS.
Measure: After the second year of CSAP testing, each student’s individual growth percentile
will be established, as well as the school’s median student growth percentile. These data
will be used to create short-term goals for individual students and long-terms goals for
the school. These goals will help Mountain Sage Community School meet or exceed the
Poudre School District targets for growth and proficiency for reading and writing.
Measure: In compliance with the Colorado Basic Literacy Act, the Colorado state approved
and Poudre School District required reading assessment DRA 2 will be given to all K-3
students and will be used to determine baseline reading and writing levels in the first year
of operation so that goals can be set for subsequent years to ensure yearly student growth.
Because of the unique, developmentally appropriate curriculum and distinct way that
children are taught to read in the Waldorf educational approach, we will voluntarily
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continue to administer DRA 2 to students through 4th grade in order establish a greater
body of evidence that will point to the efficacy of our reading and writing program,
illustrating a high degree of proficiency and comprehension in students.
Measure: NWEA MAP assessments for reading and writing will be used 3 times per year in
grades 3-8. During the first years of operations NWEA MAP assessments will be used to
help establish student’s academic baselines for reading and writing.
Measure: Utilizing the previously mentioned assessments measurements, MSCS will create
data informed goals in order to ensure AYP, closing the achievement gaps for various
sub-groups of students.
Measure: Portfolio Review (Main Lesson Book review). Samples of a child’s work are used
to assess the progress that s/he is making. The class teacher, child, and parents are able to
look over, and select samples of a student’s self-created Main Lesson Book work to
determine the progress made over time. Portfolios are reviewed weekly, monthly and
annually. Portfolios will be formally assessed through the curriculum-based assessments
outlined in the following measure.
Measure: Curriculum based assessments: 2 extensive parent-teacher conferences and 1 end
of the year in-depth narrative report. Please see Appendix C, to view the Whole-Child
Rubric (Grades 1-8) that will be completed for each parent-teacher conference.
Measure: Observation, formative assessments and daily review of material (details found in
Section F, Plan for Performing Pupil Performance).
Measure: Teachers determined use of Language Arts rubric specific to Waldorf education
(see Appendix E for Waldorf Language Arts Standards and Rubric, Grades 1-5).
Strategies for Attainment:
1. Authentic Waldorf Curriculum for Language Arts
2. Peer-teaching
3. Teacher guided self- assessment and daily reflection
Goal Three: MSCS students will become competent and knowledgeable in life sciences,
physical sciences and earth systems science.
CSAP Science Participation Goal: MSCS will ensure that at least 95% of all students at the
tested grade levels and all numerically significant subgroups will participate in the
science component of the CSAP for which the school is held accountable.
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SMART Goal 13: At least 58% of students, who attend MSCS for two or more years, will
score at or above proficient on the CSAP science test in 5th and 8th grades.
SMART Goal 14: Students who have been continuously enrolled in MSCS for two or more
academic years, will have a Median Student Growth Percentile of at least 50% in science.
Measure: Parents of MSCS students will be asked to sign a CSAP Participation Contract
before enrolling their child in MSCS.
Measure: Portfolio Review (Main Lesson Book review). Samples of a child’s work are used
to assess the progress that s/he is making. The class teacher, child, and parents are able to
look over, and select samples of a student’s self-created Main Lesson Book work to
determine the progress made over time. Portfolios are reviewed weekly, monthly and
annually. Portfolios will be formally assessed through the curriculum-based assessments
outlined in the following measure.
Measure: Curriculum based assessments: 2 extensive parent-teacher conferences and 1 end
of the year in-depth narrative report. Please see Appendix C, to view the Whole-Child
Rubric (Grades 1-8) that will be completed for each parent-teacher conference.
Measure: Observation, formative assessments and daily review of material (details found in
Section F, Plan for Performing Pupil Performance).
Strategies for Attainment:
1. Authentic Waldorf Curriculum for Science
2. Peer-teaching
3. Teacher guided self- assessment and daily reflection
Goal Four: MSCS Students will become locally and globally aware through the study of
human encounters. They will become historically minded and historically literate about human
history and the human condition.
Measure: Portfolio Review (Main Lesson Book review). Samples of a child’s work are used
to assess the progress that s/he is making. The class teacher, child, and parents are able to
look over, and select samples of a student’s self-created Main Lesson Book work to
determine the progress made over time. Portfolios are reviewed weekly, monthly and
annually. Portfolios will be formally assessed through the curriculum-based assessments
outlined in the following measure.
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Measure: Curriculum based assessments: 2 extensive parent-teacher conferences and 1 end
of the year in-depth narrative report. Please see Appendix C, to view the Whole-Child
Rubric (Grades 1-8) that will be completed for each parent-teacher conference.
Measure: Observation, formative assessments and daily review of material (details found in
Section F, Plan for Performing Pupil Performance).
Strategies for Attainment:
1. Authentic Waldorf Curriculum for Social Studies
2. Peer-teaching
3. Teacher guided self-assessment and daily reflection
Goal Five: MSCS students will be physically active participants in activities that enhance
mental/physical acuity and foster whole person development.
Measure: Since Waldorf education engages the whole child, in body and mind, students
experience many opportunities to utilize and develop their physical capacities, throughout
the curriculum. The Highly Qualified, Waldorf trained teacher observes and records all
aspects of each child’s development (including physically) throughout the year.
Therefore, physical capacity and development is part of the curriculum based assessments
mention in goals 1-4. See Appendix C, Whole-Child Rubric, Grades 1-8.
Measure: Children will demonstrate enthusiasm for outdoor, physical free play and
activities.
Measure: A well-utilized information center at the school with comprehensive information
about local youth athletic programs and activities.
Measure: Outings, relevant to the different Main Lesson Blocks, will be organized to focus
on providing physical activities for students.
Strategies for Attainment:
1. Utilize the plentiful local resources in Fort Collins such as recreation centers, parks and local
farms.
2. Organized walks and bike rides to educational destinations.
3. Regular updates to athletic program information center.
4. One half hour is allowed after the Main Lesson for a snack and recess. In addition, one hour is
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given in the afternoon for fifteen minute lunch and 45-minute period of physical play (recess).
Children will be encouraged to participate in physically engaging activities and will go
outside every day. There is no bad weather, only inappropriate clothing!
Goal Six: MSCS students will develop as artists through practice, experience, and appreciation
of the varied forms of artistic expression.
Measure: Portfolio Review (Main Lesson Book review). Samples of a child’s work are used
to assess the progress that s/he is making. The class teacher, child, and parents are able to
look over, and select samples of a student’s self-created Main Lesson Book work to
determine the progress made over time. Portfolios are reviewed weekly, monthly and
annually. Portfolios will be formally assessed through the curriculum-based assessments
outlined in the following measure. Portfolios will be formally assessed through the
curriculum-based assessments referenced in Goals 1-4.
Measure: Successful completion of Practical Works, as evaluated and measured by the
teacher, including, crafts, handwork, fiber art, woodworking at developmentally
appropriate levels.
Measure: A school wide performance at the end of the year engages all students and school
community.
Strategies for Attainment:
5. Authentic Waldorf curriculum for grades K-8; art is integrated into each Main Lesson.
6. Eurthymy classes for all grades (described in Section E. Education Program).
7. Singing integrated into class life and recorder playing in early years, combined with orchestral
classes later, create rich musical appreciation.
II. Educational Accreditation Indicators
Colorado’s 4 Key “State Performance Indicators”
As illustrated in the previously stated Educational Goals, MSCS recognizes the importance and
the responsibility it has to the students, the District and the State of Colorado to ensure that State
Academic Standards are met and measured. We appreciate the opportunity afforded by the
dimension of Colorado Growth Model to measure and show growth of individual students, as
well as academic growth in respect to their academic peers.
1. Student Longitudinal Academic Growth- The Colorado Growth Model will be
implemented; NWEA MAP scores will also track longitudinal growth, as will each child’s
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portfolio record. We expect that MSCS will produce students that will be continually
classified as “high growth.”
2. Student Achievement Level- Again, using the Colorado Growth Model, we expect to see a
steady increase in student achievement as children continue to move through the school. In the
early years children may display a “low status, high growth” classification. Upon graduating
from MSCS, and/or in the years prior, it is our expectation that students will have achieved
“high status, high growth” classification. We will actively work to meet and exceed the
District’s Targeted Achievement goals in all measurable areas.
3. Progress made in Closing Achievement Gaps- Using the Colorado Growth Model MSCS
will identify student achievement gaps. It will be a very high priority to close identified
achievement gaps. Individual Education Plans will be developed as necessary with the
cooperation of teachers, parents and the Principal. We also, believe that through the unique
nurturing aspects inherent in the Waldorf education model, we will see children reach new
heights in places where difficulty has previously been identified.
4. Postsecondary and Workforce Readiness- By utilizing the Waldorf curriculum that is
ultimately in full alignment with the Colorado Academic Standards, it is our assurance that
each student exiting MSCS will be well prepared to meet the challenges of their future,
transitioning into others schools successfully. A strong academic foundation where all
Colorado Academic Standards have been met, and most likely exceeded, combined with the
experience of an arts-integrated curriculum will allow children to emerge as confident, selfdirected people with strong work ethics and the ability to adapt to new situations. A transition
plan for children who leave MSCS earlier than 8th grade is discusses in Section E-Educational
Program.
We also assure that we will address and adhere to any additional performance indicators and/or
requests made by the Poudre School District tied to school and District accreditation by the
Colorado Department of Education.
III. Character Development- Whole Person Development Goal
Goal One: MSCS students will develop a sense of responsibility to help others in their
classroom, local and world communities, developing as skilled peacemakers both internally and
externally.
Measure: Spontaneous peer teaching within the class and larger school community; in class
cooperative learning games
Measure: Interactions with their peers demonstrate compassion, affirmation of others, active
listening skills, respectfulness and peaceful conflict resolution.
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Measure: Student participation in community services projects.
Measure: Teachers will observe and note regarding each child’s level of concentration,
mindfulness, gratitude and self-reliance.
Measure: Portfolio Review (Main Lesson Books review) as referenced in previous goals.
Strategies for Attainment:
1. Teachers will practice Non-Violent Communication and will model peace in their
relationships with others and within themselves. For insight into Non-Violent Communication
see Appendix F, Compassionate Communication & Waldorf Schools by John Cunningham.
2. As budget constraints ease after the first year, MSCS may utilize The Virtues Project (further
explanation in Appendix G) in order to facilitate positive and peaceful relationships with self
and others.
3. Parent education events will help families to learn more about modeling and practicing NonViolent Communication and peaceful conflict resolution.
4. At least once a year, students in grades three and up will perform service in the community at
large with their classmates.
IV. Organizational Goals
Goal One: To provide an authentic Waldorf-inspired environment for students, faculty and
parents.
Measure: MSCS will remain aligned with the shared foundational standards of the major
Waldorf education advocacy organizations and charter schools that share our vision.
These standards include:
Teachers trained in the Waldorf philosophy and methodology for the level they are
teaching.
Partnership established with the family of students.
A classroom atmosphere that encourages social interaction for cooperative learning and
emotional development.
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Strategies for Attainment:
1. MSCS will continue to be members of the Alliance for Public Waldorf Education.
2. The School Accountability Committee will advise on developments pertaining to possible
Waldorf-inspired accreditation standards and state accreditation progress and processes.
3. We will consult with public, Waldorf-inspired education experts, as well as experienced
Waldorf teachers from Colorado private schools to work with our staff and community to
ensure the integrity of Waldorf education remains in our Waldorf-inspired school.
Goal Two: MSCS will embrace a diverse community that reflects the populations of the
community we serve.
Rationale for Goal: We currently have an established community of supporters who are
enthusiastic about MSCS as a public school option in Fort Collins. However, we will continue to
attract new and diverse audiences to our school.
SMART Goal: During the first year of operation MSCS will develop its baseline data in
order to understand various groups (racial, gender, FRL etc.) that comprise the student
body. By comparing this data with other PSD charter school and neighborhood school
demographics we will be able to identify various enrollment targets.
Measure: In each subsequent year of operation, MSCS will create further strategies that are
better informed through experience, to reduce the gap between our baseline and our longterm objective of achieving parity with District demographic enrollment percentages.
Strategies for Attainment:
1. The school will identify at least five community organizations serving diverse populations for
target outreach programs.
2. MSCS will translate key website information and outreach materials to Spanish.
3. Develop a carpool and bike pool program and family proximity maps (with permission) that
utilizes parent volunteer hours to enable genuine carpooling and bike pooling efforts.
4. MSCS will provide FRL to eligible students and a lunch option to all students who desire it, in
year two and beyond.
5. If possible, MSCS will select a facility that will enable families who use public transportation
to have easy access.
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Goal Three: MSCS will demonstrate its organizational strength; through sound financial
management; effective leadership and governance; strong enrollment; stable attendance and
retention; and parent satisfaction.
Measure: Balanced annual budgets prepared by experienced charter school accountant,
Sarah-Gennie Colazio of Conscious Accounting LLC. We will obtain a professional,
independent annual audit, and comply with all state and District financial regulations and
deadlines.
Measure: Board of Directors members will demonstrate proficiency in Waldorf philosophy
and methodology and effective non-profit governance methods. All Board of Directors
members will take part in Colorado League of Charter School (CLCS) and Colorado
Department of Education (CDE) Board Trainings prior to the school’s opening, utilizing
the ongoing training resources available through CLCS and CDE.
Measure: MSCS will meet or exceed enrollment goals.
Measure: MSCS will meet or exceed District averages for K-8 attendance.
Measure: MSCS will recruit and retain Highly Qualified, Waldorf teachers.
Measure: Each school year, at least 80% of parents or guardians of MSCS students will be
pleased with the operations and student achievement outcomes of the school, as measured
by parent satisfaction surveys.
Strategies for Attainment:
1. The MSCS Budget and Finance Oversight Committee will work with Sarah-Gennie Colazio
to develop and submit an annual balanced budget to the Board of Directors. An annual report,
including audited financial statements will also be prepared for the Board of Directors.
2. New and existing Board members will complete a specific Waldorf-inspired orientation and
Board of Directors training.
3. MSCS will actively recruit a group of parents and community members with a broad and
applicably skilled range of experience to serve on the MSCS Board of Directors.
4. We will maintain an aggressive, local, grassroots outreach program.
5. We will maintain student attendance records.
6. MSCS will schedule parent teacher conferences 2 times per school year. Informal or
impromptu conferences with teachers can be requested at will by parents or teachers.
7. MSCS will implement a parent satisfaction survey and act upon its results.
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Goal Four: MSCS will recruit, retain and cultivate the strongest possible faculty who are
trained in Waldorf education methods, and who are Highly Qualified as required by the
Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).
Measure: All teachers will possess a Waldorf training certification or engage in a training
program upon or before hire.
Measure: All teachers will be Highly Qualified as specified by ESEA.
Measure: Each school year MSCS teachers will participate in at least 18.5 days of training
related to professional development. This number includes 1 hour of time spent during
each 3 hour weekly faculty meeting (held on early release Thursdays), as well as preopening trainings and professional development days throughout the year. Professional
development will continually occur through faculty mentoring and faculty peer teaching.
Strategies for Attainment:
1. MSCS will implement an employment satisfaction survey and act upon its results.
2. In consultation with the Principal, each educator will develop a funded, individual, annual
professional development plan.
3. Implement a pay scale (with insurance benefits) relative to other charter and Waldorf schools.
4. An ex-officio teacher representative will attend MSCS Board of Directors meetings.
Goal Five: MSCS will cultivate and nurture the eco-conscious, sustainably minded, Waldorfinspired community in Fort Collins.
Rationale for Goal: We believe that through educating youth and families about and through
sustainable living practices and Waldorf-inspired education, we can help to create a more just
environmental and social future.
Measure: Waldorf speaker series will be hosted regularly and will be well attended, as
measured by voluntarily signed attendance sheets.
Measure: A minimum of four Parent-Teacher Nights per class, per year will be offered.
Attendance at these events, by at least one parent per family, will be strongly encouraged.
Additional parent education nights, seminars and book study groups will be well
attended, measured by voluntarily signed attendance sheets.
Measure: Increased visibility after the school opens, and positive experiences of families
within the school will help contribute to greater attendance of open house events and thus
increase exposure to sustainability and Waldorf-inspired education in the community at
large.
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Measure: Annual parent survey will reflect that 85% of parents rate themselves as somewhat
or very knowledgeable about Waldorf philosophy and methods.
Measure: Waldorf-inspired seasonal community festivals will be held and well attended,
measured by voluntarily signed attendance sheets.
Measure: Through our encouraged, but voluntary, family sign-up during the summer
growing season, our school community garden will cultivate both the land and positive
relationships among families and faculty.
Strategies for Attainment:
1. MSCS will host a Waldorf/Sustainability Speaker Series. Waldorf and sustainability experts
will be invited to present essential Waldorf and/or sustainability concepts to interested
community members. Some of these events will be presented in Spanish upon request or
interest.
2. MSCS will host yearly open house events for all community members interested in Waldorf
education and/or sustainability.
3. MSCS will maintain a Waldorf recommended reading list and library, and will include texts
on sustainable living practices.
4. MSCS will create a school garden in the spring. The garden will be tended by families in the
summer and harvested in the fall upon student return, bringing to life the metaphor of
communal gardening as community building itself.
5. MSCS will utilize information from voluntarily signed event attendance sheets and parent
surveys to identify future goals with respect to community education regarding Waldorf
methods and sustainability.
6. Book studies for adults on the basics of Waldorf education.
7. Waldorf artistic experiences for parents.
8. Summer programs for children.
9. Collaborations with River Song Waldorf pre-School and other Waldorf-inspired pre-schools.
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D. EVIDENCE OF SUPPORT
Intent to Enroll
Mountain Sage Community School has attracted strong interest from local families. As of
August 12th 2011, MSCS has received Intent to Enroll forms for 121 children; 30 kindergartners,
43 first graders, 27 second graders, 11 third graders and 10 fourth graders. In addition, there are
many families, whose children are currently younger than school age, who have completed Intent
to Enroll forms. Please see Appendix H to view a sample Intent to Enroll Form used by MSCS.
We are encouraged by the early indication of intent to enroll despite the fact that no aggressive
marketing has yet occurred. We will dramatically increase our efforts in the areas of outreach
and marketing upon approval of our charter by the District. Moving beyond our primarily
grassroots efforts will rapidly lead to us becoming more widely known as an educational option
in the District. At that point, we expect to garner the support of many new families. Based upon
our experiences in 2010 (upon hearing the news of our conditional approval by the PSD Board of
Education) there was a surge in interest as families understood that the school was moving
toward reality and beyond mere possibility. MSCS anticipates having waitlists toward enrollment
of the 2012-2013 school year.
Purpose and Need
Waldorf and Waldorf-inspired education is one of the fastest growing, non-parochial school
movements happening worldwide. The growing desire to bring this typically private education
model into the realm of public education is expressed by the existence of 44 charter schools
inspired by Waldorf education nationwide, and 19 emerging new initiatives. There is evidence of
strong interest in Waldorf education along the Front Range: private Pre-K through 12th grade
Waldorf schools exist in Boulder and Denver, along with a Pre-K through eighth grade school in
Niwot. There are 5 private Waldorf schools total in Colorado.
Mountain Phoenix, a small school in Golden, Colorado has been the only Waldorf-inspired
charter school in our state up to this point. Dr. Donna Newberg-Long, the school’s Principal is
expanding Mountain Phoenix’s reach through the opening of a second K-8 campus this fall 2011
in Wheat Ridge, Colorado. This facility will allow Mountain Phoenix, for the first time, to enroll
a significantly larger student population. Dr. Newberg-Long currently has reached full capacity
for enrollment of the majority of the K-8 classes at this new campus (2 per grade, 24 students per
class).
The existence and expansion of Waldorf and Waldorf-inspired schools on the Front Range of
Colorado illustrates a clear demand for this unique way of educating children. However, there
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are no public or private Waldorf K-8 programs to serve children within the Poudre School
District. By reinstating the authorization of Mountain Sage, making it the second Waldorfinspired public school in Colorado, the PSD Board of Education would significantly extend the
District’s reach within our community by adding to the educational choices available to families.
The many inquiries we receive about Mountain Sage illustrate to us that this school will serve as a
draw to Fort Collins, attracting even more conscious citizens to the area.
MSCS supports and embraces the vision of the District, “to inspire every child to think, to learn,
to care and to graduate prepared to be successful in a changing world.” Children who have
attended MSCS will thrive and be living representatives of the PSD vision. The experience
afforded by education based in the arts requires careful attention to each lesson, allowing
children to take pride in their learning and be wholly invested in their daily school life. This
results in human beings who are skilled, critical thinkers – adaptable, creative forces in our
rapidly “changing world.”
Reasons that families may choose to enroll their children in MSCS include:
A desire to participate in a program that emphasizes a Waldorf-inspired curriculum
A commitment to a learning approach that is designed to bring to the child educational
experience when they are developmentally ready and primed to receive them
Commitment to an education that fully incorporates the Colorado Academic Standards
A belief in the importance of incorporating artistic and musical activities into all phases
of learning
A belief in the importance of parent commitment/involvement in their child’s education
A parental commitment to lifelong learning
A desire for an educational community that actively supports partnership and continuity
between family and school
A belief in the importance of accepting diverse personal philosophical beliefs and values
A belief that a child’s needs can best be met through a non-competitive educational
approach
The attention/support given to the individual social or emotional needs of the students
A desire for an environmentally conscious educational program
The desire for a ecologically responsible campus and culture, which includes a local food
program and school gardens
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Value for daily time outdoors to recharge the students and teachers
Intended Grades and Area of Service
In the 2012-2013 school year, we will begin operations as a K-4 school. Ultimately though, the
school will educate students from kindergarten through eighth grade, ages 5 to 14 years old, from
communities throughout the Front Range, with priority enrollment going to those in the Poudre
School District. The desired maximum enrollment is 432 students, with 2 classrooms of
approximately 20-24 students per grade. We intend to offer one morning and two full day
kindergarten classes of 16 students per class. These three classes will go on to become two first
grade classes the following year.
Demographics of the Fort Collins Community
The Waldorf philosophy consciously encourages children to accept, respect and celebrate the
rich cultural diversity of the global community. Diversity of backgrounds and abilities is viewed
as a positive and important element within our Waldorf-inspired school. MSCS is mindful that
recruitment of a diverse student community will require a conscious, deliberate effort.
The Poudre School District is composed primarily of White and Hispanic students. Mountain
Sage Community School expects to attract students from this demographic and from other
ethnicities and communities represented in the Fort Collins. MSCS seeks to attract students from
all income levels and backgrounds represented in the District. In addition, MSCS Board
members recognize the significant increase in homeless families in our region due to the latest
economic downturn. For example, according to the Poudre School District survey from March
2010 there were 808 homeless children attending schools in Fort Collins, which represents a
46% increase since 2005.
Mountain Sage will continue working to educate all families in the community about the benefits
of a Waldorf-inspired education, sustainable living, as well as the unique characteristics of a
charter school education. It is also the intention of MSCS to model the Waldorf ideal of mutual
respect and cooperation with community organizations and families.
In the months leading up to re-submission to the District, Mountain Sage Community School has
hosted the following events:
December 11, 2010 - Community Informational Meeting: What is Waldorf-inspired education?
10:30am-12pm, Fort Collins Main Library
December 28, 2010 - An Evening with Waldorf Graduates. 6-8pm, Matter Bookstore/Beancycle
Coffee
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January 8, 2011 – Informational Open House. 1-4pm, River Song Waldorf Early Childhood
Center
January 20, 2011 – Screening of acclaimed documentary Race to Nowhere. 7pm, Lory Student
Center, CSU Campus.
January 22, 2011 - Informational Open House. 1-4pm, River Song Waldorf Early Childhood
Center
February 5, 2011 – Community Informational/Planning Meeting. 10:30am-12pm, Harmony
Library, Fort Collins.
March 14, 2011 – June 2011– Waldorf Education Guided Book Study Group began. 7-9pm,
meetings were bi-monthly, going through June 2011
March 17, 2011 – Park Play Day. 10am, Lee Martinez Park
March 25, 2011 – Musical Celebration and Silent Auction. 5-8pm, Everyday Joe’s Coffee House
April 2, 2011 - Meeting for Waldorf-inspired Homeschooling Families. 10am-12pm, Harmony
Library
June 25, 2011 – Happy Heart Farm Celebration event, MSCS hosted a children’s seed planting
booth and storytelling time.
MSCS remains confident that through increased marketing and outreach, the school will be able
to meet or exceed its projected enrollment needs. As witnessed by MSCS supporters who
attended the Board of Education MSCS charter review hearings on October 12th and 26th 2010,
the school has a dedicated following of parents and community members.
The foundation of our marketing plan has been, and will continue to be, about relationship
building and increasing Mountain Sage Community School’s profile in Fort Collins and
surrounding areas. Through a thoughtful and aggressive marketing plan, we will reach or exceed
our target number of 130 students by opening day of school in fall of 2012.
We have identified the following locations, publications, and alternative media as places where
MSCS will be able to broaden its marketing base to wider ethnic and socioeconomic audiences.
Our Target Audiences:
Families at local preschools and day care centers including, but not limited to, River Song
Waldorf School, Congregation Har Shalom, Discovery Montessori School, Bloom
Preschool, and Hearts and Hands Child Development Center.
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At-risk families at facilities where low-income services are provided including, but not
limited to, WIC, Food Stamps (SNAP), The Larimer County Health District, Colorado
Preschool Project, Basecamp, and Northside Aztlan Community Center.
Other local families at gathering sites such as, but not limited to, Fort Collins Public
Libraries, Boys and Girls Club, booths at community fairs and festivals, coffee houses,
and recreation centers.
Customers of child-focused businesses such as, but not limited to, Dandelion Toys, Once
Upon a Child, Gymboree, Cool Beans, etc.
Parents at grocery stores.
Families in our neighboring cities including, but not limited to, Loveland, Berthoud,
Windsor, Wellington, Cheyenne, Laporte, Bellvue.
Our Efforts Will Include:
Establishing a focused marketing committee that will establish a detailed timeline and
goals for enrollment.
Producing printed materials (in English and Spanish) such as flyers and pamphlets to be
distributed at all of the above-mentioned venues.
Creating a Waldorf-inspired speaker series to introduce our target audiences to this
philosophy of education, and advertising the series at all of the above-mentioned venues.
Creating further book study opportunities where interested parties can read Waldorfinspired education books and journal articles, and discuss these ideas with others.
Advertising in all available free, locally distributed, publications including but not limited
to, Parents Magazine, The Scene, Bella Spark, and The Fort Collins Recreator, The
Matterhorn.
Online networking through continued use of our Google Group, our website, and other
sites such as, but not limited to, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Matterdaily.org.
Placing our printed marketing material on community board spaces at local
establishments including but not limited to, Matter Book Store, Beavers Local Grocery
Store, La Luz Mexican Restaurant, and Walrus Ice Cream Parlor, coffee shops, Vitamin
Cottage, Whole Foods, The Fort Collins Food Co-op.
Communication and placing our printed materials at local charity organizations,
including Open Door Mission (one of Fort Collins’ primary food charities), Catholic
Charities offices in Fort Collins & surrounding areas, local homeless centers & shelters.
Contact with Child Find offices, Head Start programs in Fort Collins & surrounding
areas.
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Advertising through local newspapers and radio stations.
Informing people at a grassroots level by word of mouth and encouraging our committed
families to do the same.
Spreading the word through mutually beneficial partnerships with local businesses that
share our values.
Mountain Sage aspires to meet or exceed the District-wide demographic enrollment figures
(please see Enrollment data below).
Enrollment by Race/Ethnicity: Poudre School District, 2010-11
American Indian or
Alaskan Native
0.6%
Black (not Hispanic)
1.4%
Asian or Pacific
Islander
3.4%
Hispanic
18.1%
White (not Hispanic)
76.4%
Source: Colorado Department of Education
Poudre School District: Enrollment Data
Special Education, % of total enrollment
Students Participating in FRL (K-12)
2010-11
8.9%
27.6%
2009-10
9.5%
26.7%
Source: http://www.larimer.org/compass/
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In our first year of operation we will gather further information from students enrolled that will
create the baseline for our school in terms of student body composition; ethnicity, ELL, FRL and
Special Education.
Our long-term goal is to close any gaps between our baseline enrollment data from year one, and
the District’s demographic enrollment averages. Mountain Sage Community School will work to
achieve greater diversity in each subsequent year of operation until we meet PSD’s enrollment
demographics. The following considerations have been made in this regard:
Transportation: MSCS will develop a carpool program and family proximity maps (with
permission) that utilize parent volunteer hours to encourage and enable genuine carpooling
efforts. We will also develop a bike pool program for interested families.
Location: As a new school MSCS may be limited in its choices of available space. MSCS will,
however, aim to be as centrally located as possible. If the location for our school proves to be
“off the beaten path” MSCS is considering providing some form of bussing for students in need,
in year two and beyond, as budget allows.
Lunch Service: MSCS intends to provide a sustainable, healthy daily lunch option for all
interested students, beginning in year two of operation. This will allow students who use FRL to
access healthful meals while attending school.
Finances: Also beginning in year two, MSCS will set aside 10% full day Kindergarten fees to
provide scholarships to facilitate enrollment in the full day Kindergarten program. We also
intend to focus significant grant writing efforts to secure additional need based scholarship funds.
Communication
The foundation of our communication plan has been, and will continue to be, about relationship
building and increasing Mountain Sage Community School’s profile in the community. Those
working to sustain the school will develop educational presentations and utilize local media
outlets. We currently use written materials, public meetings, a website and a Google group to
communicate information about the school. Our Google group is comprised of interested families
and individuals, and as of August 12, 2011 has 463 members.
Educational Presentations: We will further develop presentations to educate the community
about Waldorf methods philosophy and continue to inform potential families about the program
offered at MSCS.
Media Outlets: We will further use utilize local media outlets to generate broad awareness of
the school. These include those previously mentioned, as well as newspapers and local
publications, local radio and the internet.
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Printed Materials: We will develop bilingual informational materials, including parent
information packets. These materials and key educational presentations will be translated into
Spanish.
Founding Board of Directors
Informal discussions about a school Waldorf-inspired charter school in Fort Collins have taken
place for many years. Exploratory, information gathering meetings began in late 2008. The
current Board of Directors of Mountain Sage meets weekly. The Board is composed of: Liv
Helmericks, Jody Swigris, Nancy Sexton and Alisa Hicks. The Board of Directors is in charge of
the planning process and coordinates the work responsible for legal and financial matters,
curriculum development, operational issues and outreach programs.
From the start, our founding members have reached out to Poudre School District
representatives, the Colorado League of Charter Schools, public charter schools inspired by
Waldorf education around the country, and other local charter schools. MSCS has placed high
value on relationship building through open communication. As previously stated, the MSCS
Board of Directors will also continue its work with the support of the Alliance for Public
Waldorf Education who will ensure that our program maintains the integrity of Waldorf-inspired
education while respecting the wisdom of the public education system.
Letters of Support
Appendix I includes a list of Numerous Supporters and their Letters of Support.
Partnerships in Action
It is the intention of MSCS to model the Waldorf ideal of mutual respect and cooperation with
community organizations and families. Mountain Sage will continue to develop a community
network that will create mutually beneficial avenues through which to further our own Mission
and those of like-minded organizations. The following organizations will be a part of our
school’s family of visionaries.
Rocky Mountain Sustainable Living Association (RMSLA): Discussions with RMSLA’s
Executive Director, Kellie Falbo, have produced the desire for cooperation between MSCS and
RMSLA. Mountain Sage provided key support in the 2010 Rocky Mountain Sustainable Living
Fair’s “Family Planet” area and will do the same this year. We aim to partner with RMSLA to
provide on-site sustainability workshops for school families and community members and have
also discussed the idea of possibly collaborating on the building of a straw bale school, as a
community workshop in the future. See Appendix I to view Kellie Falbo’s Letter of Support.
Happy Heart Farm CSA: Dennis and Bailey Stenson, owners and farmers of Happy Heart
Farm CSA, have expressed a cooperative spirit with MSCS in regards to farm facility use for
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both seasonal festivals and coordinated educational purposes for students. Mountain Sage has
collaborated with Happy Heart Farm CSA to educate our community about Waldorf education
and school choice in Fort Collins. As skilled biodynamic farmers (an idea developed by Rudolf
Steiner) and parents of former Waldorf school students they are familiar with and knowledgeable
about the culture and practices of Waldorf education and philosophy. We feel fortunate to have
such mentors in our community. See Appendix I to view Happy Heart’s Letter of Support.
CSU-Institute for the Built Environment: Discussions with April Wackerman of IBE at CSU
have produced a shared interest in potentially utilizing the opportunity inherent in the
development of the MSCS campus to further push the ideas of sustainability in the realm of the
public school. We will consult and work with IBE as our facility picture comes more into focus,
bringing forth the ideas of sustainable building, renovation and/or conversion innovation
wherever possible.
Resource: Resource is a Fort Collins non-profit organization that provides recycled building
materials to our community. MSCS will partner with Resource whenever possible for facilities
purposes, as well as for workshops that will yield useable items for the school classrooms (i.e.
tables, chair, bookshelves, cubbies etc).
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E. EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM
“Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire”
-- William Butler Yeats
MSCS believes that education should help children to become creative, critical thinkers whose
gifts are allowed to unfold uniquely, not according to a uniform standard. In order to move
through our ever changing, modern world with confidence, we believe that the educated person
of our day must possess the following skills:
Literacy
Ability to communicate clearly, both orally and in writing
Familiarity with, and ideally the ability to communicate in, more than one language
Understanding of various cultures
Understanding of the scientific process and the various scientific disciplines
Knowledge of history
Ability to think creatively, analytically, and logically
Ability to observe, gather, organize, analyze, and synthesize information
Understanding of the mathematical process including application
Ability to critically assess data
Lifelong learner who has developed competence, self-motivation, confidence, and
responsibility
We believe that the personal attributes, skills and capacities of the educated person of today
include:
Concentration, focus, and perseverance
Ability to work cooperatively with others
Adaptability and mental flexibility
A strong sense of connection to and responsibility for the world
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Ability to value relationships, and have respect for others
Ability to honor cultural, ideological, and philosophical differences
Ability to solve problems by analyzing issues from multiple perspectives
Resourcefulness, confidence, and motivation
Enthusiasm, a sense of wonder, and curiosity
A passion for lifelong learning
Clearly developed emotional intelligence
Self respect, self-control and self-actualization
Ability to communicate with respect and compassion
Respect for the environment
A Waldorf curriculum adapted to Colorado Academic Standards will provide an education that
will nurture the skills of the educated person in the 21st century.
How Learning Best Occurs
Mountain Sage Community School holds that learning best occurs when students are taught
using a curriculum that integrates the oral tradition, visual and performing arts, foreign languages
and movement into the teaching of English/language arts, mathematics, social studies and
science. Teaching methods and structures include:
Academic components framed within an artistic, creative, and imaginative context
Academic development in an environment that supports the unfolding of the physical,
emotional, and social aspects of the individual child
A model asserting that children have identifiable stages of development
A curriculum designed to foster attitudes and habits that promote responsibility and
confidence
Beginning with whole-to-part learning, from synthesis to analysis
Educational models that weigh process and outcome equally
An approach that strives to increase capacities for self-motivated learning as opposed to
one that focuses on an information-based model
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A partnership between home and school where parents have the opportunity to become
deeply involved in their child's education
The creation of a community wherein all members—including parents, teachers, and
children—make a commitment to lifelong learning
Staff who are sensitive to each child’s personal rhythm and development
Limited media exposure
A cooperative, non-competitive environment where each child’s uniqueness is honored
Educational experiences both in and out of the classroom setting that engage the child
intellectually, emotionally, socially, and physically
Teaching methods that place a high value on relational experiences and inter- and intrapersonal interactions
“I believe that Waldorf education possesses unique educational features
that have considerable potential for improving public education in
America….Waldorf schools provide a program that…not only fosters
conventional forms of academic achievement, but also puts a premium on
the development of imagination and the refinement of the sensibilities.”
--Elliot Eisner Professor of Education and Art, Stanford University
Past President, American Educational Research Association
I. Introduction to MSCS’s Educational Program
MSCS supports the idea that every child needs the balance provided by healthy intellectual,
emotional, social, artistic, and physical development. The K-8 program at Mountain Sage is
designed to foster the development of a fulfilling, creative, and productive life for all of our
students. Our teaching approach and curriculum content are carefully tailored to meet students at
various stages of child development.
The Waldorf kindergarten focuses on hands-on activities and experiences that promote students'
physical development, sensory-motor skills, social development and creative play. In first
through eighth grades, our teaching approach and curriculum emphasize the development of
imaginative thinking (key to problem solving and analytic reasoning), while helping students
deeply understand and connect to what they learn. Grades students engage in artistic activities
that are directly integrated into the academic curriculum, thus deepening their social and
emotional "feeling" or connection to their subject matter, with the goal of creating a lifelong love
of learning.
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Please note that the Waldorf-inspired model upon which the school’s Mission and vision are
based determines that some of the Colorado Academic Standards will be addressed at grade
levels that may occasionally differ from those in the state academic standards framework. Some
of the sequencing within the CAS shall be accelerated or decelerated at times. MSCS assures that
students will be well prepared for CSAP testing, grades 3-8.
As referenced in the Section C of this application, please see Appendix Y for the Waldorfinspired Curriculum based on CAS Evidence Outcomes, Grades K-4; Mathematics, Language
Arts, Science, Social Studies and World Language.
The extensive task of mapping and aligning the Waldorf-inspired curriculum, in detail, with state
standards will be achieved over time. It will be the ongoing and extremely important duty of
teachers within the school to ensure that Colorado Academic Standards are integrated into each
school day. By 2016, the curriculum of all grades served at Mountain Sage will be mapped and
aligned with the Colorado Academic Standards. Each year MSCS will conduct a thorough
review to update our mapping document.
As a part of the enrollment, all parents will attend a Parent Information Meeting facilitated by
MSCS during which it will be explained that our Waldorf-inspired curriculum standards may not
correlate grade by grade with the Colorado Academic Standards—especially in the grades K-2.
Each parent will also receive a folder with information further explaining our curriculum. We
will make the Waldorf-inspired curriculum standards available to parents upon request at the
beginning of each school year.
Using Waldorf-methods curriculum and the instructional approach outlined in this section,
MSCS ensures that each child will attain proficiency in both the Colorado Academic Standards
for K-8 students, and the Waldorf-inspired curriculum standards by the time he/she exits eighth
grade. However, based on the needs of the individual student, their teacher will develop a
transition plan for any student leaving prior to the eighth grade, with the knowledge of what is
required by the Colorado Academic Standards. MSCS will engage the parents of the student who
will be transitioning as soon as they inform us of their plan to leave. The class teacher and
parents will formulate and implement a plan based on the student’s strengths and weaknesses,
unique to that individual, to best assist them in their transition. If this transition happens midyear, the class teacher will provide an assessment of the child to the new teacher (in place of the
year end narrative). Things that may be included in the plan are:
written assessment report to new teacher/school
phone conversations with new teacher
parent conference/counseling
recommended summer study
recommended tutoring/support
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Waldorf teaching methods stress a nurturing, multi-sensory, nature-oriented learning
environment. The stimulation of the child's imagination and creativity is a high priority. Daily,
weekly and seasonal rhythms will help provide consistent structure to the educational process.
Multiple learning modalities are integrated into daily lessons to create a learning atmosphere that
is supportive, challenging, and meaningful to each student. Waldorf teaching methods emphasize
imaginative and creative play in the early years and build in complexity as the child progresses.
Opportunities for artistic expression and intellectual developmental abound throughout the
grades.
The academic program is strongly interdisciplinary, integrating the arts- drama, painting, music,
drawing, and handwork- into the entire curricula. Several studies have shown significant
correlations between academic success, enhanced critical thinking abilities and positive attitudes
towards community in students who are educated in an arts-integrated curricula (Catteral, 1998;
Seidel, 1999; Heath 1998). This model of education through the arts awakens imagination and
creativity, bringing vitality and wholeness to learning. Lessons and activities will blend
cognitive, auditory, kinesthetic, visual, and tactile approaches to address the students’ various
dominant learning styles. MSCS will place a high priority on our students "learning how to
learn."
The faculty will select curriculum materials, and instructional activities will be developed by the
class teacher from the teacher reference library, the internet, and from the public library.
Teachers develop their units of study (Main Lesson blocks). Since Mountain Sage will be
integrating the Colorado Academic Standards into study blocks, teachers are expected to be
engaged in continuous communication with one another in order to best accomplish this task. A
Main Lesson block rotation for the year, which is planned prior to the start of the school year is
submitted to the Principal and distributed to parents at the beginning of each school year.
Although MSCS seeks to employ Waldorf trained teachers, we understand that it is quite
possible that some teachers may not have extensive Waldorf training. Therefore, in order to
provide detailed curricular resources for “new” teachers, as well as for those who are not so new
to Waldorf, MSCS aims to purchase the Live Education curriculum, which is a comprehensive
Waldorf curriculum compilation for grades K-8. We also aim to purchase curricular materials
from Christopherus Homeschool Resources, a Waldorf-inspired publishing and consulting
organization that offers detailed syllabi for grade 1-8. Each year of Christopherus curriculum is a
full curriculum - not a guide and not simply focused on Main Lessons. There are full lessons for
all the language arts, math, science, history/mythology Main Lessons plus a full year's worth of
specific lessons and ideas for handwork, crafts, painting, drawing, modeling, form drawing,
music, movement and games, cooking and other lessons as appropriate. In the grades where it is
appropriate, there are also "practice lessons" in math and language arts. In an effort to ensure
adequate teacher planning resources will be available for varying levels of Waldorf teaching
experience, MSCS understands it will be important to offer such curriculum guides within the
teacher library.
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All Waldorf-inspired curricular resources will be “starting points,” to be edited or added to, and
into which Colorado Academic Standards will be integrated to ensure students receive the scope
and depth of education desired by both MSCS and the Colorado Department of Education.
Mountain Sage Community School believes that how we educate our children relates directly to
the health of our society. MSCS founders share a strong belief in public education as a means to
cultivate and inspire the healthy citizenship of future generations.
References:
Catterall, JS. Involvement in the Arts and Success in Secondary Schools, Americans for the Arts
Monographs,Washington, DC, 1998:1, 9.
Seidel, S. Champions of Change: The Impact of the Arts on Learning, The Arts Education
Partnership and the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, Washington, DC,
1999:79-90.
Heath, SB. Living the Arts Through Language and Learning: A Report on Community-Based
Youth Organizations. Americans for the Arts Monographs, Washington, DC, November 1998: 2,
7.
II. Curriculum
The Waldorf-Inspired Kindergarten
“In one sentence, Froebel, father of the kindergarten, expressed the essence of early-childhood
education. . . . The natural world is the infant’s and young child’s first curriculum, and it can
only be learned by direct interaction with things. . . . Learning about the world of things, and
their various properties, is a time-consuming and intense process that cannot be hurried. This
view of early-childhood education has been echoed by all the giants of early-childhood
development—Froebel, Maria Montessori, Rudolf Steiner, Jean Piaget, and Lev Vygotsky. It is
supported by developmental theory . . . . Play facilitates the growth of children’s reasoning
abilities. Children’s questions are a form of mastery play. In asking questions, children are
creating their own learning experiences”
--David Elkind, Professor of Child Development Tufts University.
Education Next, “Much Too Early” forum, 2001, No. 2, Hoover
Institution, Stanford University, Stanford, California
The MSCS Kindergarten curriculum is developmental; that is, we meet the children “where they
are,” while simultaneously laying the foundation for academic success in later grades. It is
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designed to enhance the young child’s physical development, which includes fine and gross
motor skills, language development and sensory integration. In addition, the activities of the
kindergarten are structured to strengthen the child’s imagination, creativity, social skills, and
sense of self-confidence. Teachers involve the students in maintaining the orderliness and
organization of materials, preparing the foundation for orderly thinking.
Literacy begins in the kindergarten with a rich oral language base. Teachers use storytelling,
including classic and modern folk tales from various cultures, to develop the students’ attention
span, concentration, vocabulary, speaking, and listening comprehension skills, and to lay down
the basis for reading comprehension. Through drama, rhythmic poetry, nursery rhymes, and
songs, the teachers further immerse the children in vivid and imaginative oral speech and
literature. The teachers use puppetry, engage the children in acting out stories rich in vocabulary
and imagination, as well as lead singing games to teach comprehension strategies such as story
sequence and character development.
Kindergarten introduces the fundamental concepts of mathematics through creative play and
daily practical activities. Mathematics begins in the kindergarten with sorting, one-on-one
correspondence, counting from 1 to 30, patterning, and identifying shapes. Through daily
practical activities such as setting the table, students learn to pattern, as well as to identify, sort,
and classify objects by attribute. This approach, through imitation and creative play, uses natural
materials such as logs, nature blocks and driftwood of different shapes and sizes, seashells,
stones, pinecones, etc. By the end of kindergarten, students understand small numbers,
quantities, and simple shapes in their everyday environment. They count, compare, describe, and
sort objects, and develop a sense of properties and patterns. They explore economics through
imaginative play that involves sorting and trading objects of different sizes and properties.
The science curriculum gives the children a multiplicity of experiences with the natural world. In
the physical sciences, students’ creative play involves them deeply in exploring basic physics
principles, such as mass, density, gravity, balance, and the creation of pulleys and levers.
Students experience the properties of heat and cold through time spent in the kitchen cooking
with the teacher, as well as observing seasonal changes. Life science and earth science start with
students observing common objects using their five senses. Students learn to communicate
observations orally and through drawings. Nature tables as well as frequent nature walks provide
an awareness of the seasons and a connection to the natural environment. The students
experience the cycle of growth through gardening, from seed to harvest to transformation
through cooking.
Other activities involve students directly in the transformation of colors and natural materials
into useful and beautiful creations. These activities include combining colors in watercolor
painting, carding and felting raw wool, and making dolls from garden grasses. Finger knitting
develops fine-motor skills and nurtures children’s ability to focus and concentrate, while
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fostering hand-eye coordination. Students’ development of fine motor skills and focus is
essential for learning to read and write, as well as for doing mathematics and other academic
work.
Problem-solving skills have their foundation in creative play that transforms the environment in
inventive ways. Creative play provides students with opportunities to imagine, plan, and carry
out increasingly complex activities. During creative play, teachers guide students’ growing
capacities for creative problem solving and social interaction. Early childhood research shows
that free play is serious work for young children, forming the basis for later scientific thought -analytical critical thinking skills and problem solving (Elkind, 2007).
The quality of the environment of a Waldorf-inspired Kindergarten is integral to its goals for the
children. A feeling of warmth and security is created by using only natural materials in the
construction of the decor and toys; wood, cotton, and wool. Semi-opaque, pastel curtains
transmit a warm glow into the room. In this warm environment are placed toys, which the
children can use to imitate and transform the activities that belong to everyday adult life. In one
corner might stand a wooden scale and baskets for children to pretend they are grocery shopping;
a pile of timber stands ready to be constructed into a playhouse, a boat or a train; a rocking horse
invites a child to become a rider; homemade dolls lie in wooden cradles surrounded by wooden
frames and cloths the children can use to create a pretend family and play house. Pinecones and
flowers are artistically dispersed; lovely watercolors adorn the walls. The effect of this beautiful
arrangement of decorations and toys is a feeling of entering a “children’s garden.” where one can
breathe easily, relax and play according to the impulses of one’s heart.
References:
Elkind, David. The Power of Play: How spontaneous, imaginative activities lead to happier,
healthier children. Cambridge, MA; 2007.
“The greatest scientists are artists as well. Imagination is more important
than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination circles the world.”
--Albert Einstein
Overview of Curriculum Grades 1-8
Teachers take great effort in devising schedules that best reflect the way children learn at
different developmental stages. The instruction will immerse the child in a subject through
presentation, storytelling, writing, reading, recitation, drama, painting, drawing, and movement.
Writing is the mode through which reading is taught; first experienced through self-created
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“pictures” of each letter, storytelling, drawing, and movement. Nature stories told in the early
grades will evolve into more advanced scientific investigations of zoology, geology, astronomy,
botany, chemistry, physics, physiology, and anatomy.
The school day for the grades will begin with the Main Lesson, a two-hour instructional period
focusing on the core curriculum and integrating a variety of learning approaches to encourage
student learning through multiple modalities (visual, auditory, kinesthetic, etc.) and multiple
intelligences.
Please see Appendix J to view Detail of a 5-day Main Lesson Plan and Rubric, for Grades K-6 in
Mathematics and Language Arts {Borrowed from Desert Star Charter School of Sedona,
Arizona}
Each core subject, defined as mathematics, language arts, science and history/social
studies/geography, is taught in a unit or block, generally lasting three to four weeks, thus
immersing the student in a particular subject. However, lessons are given everyday for reading
and math to ensure these key subjects are always being built upon and polished; for example,
children read aloud to the teacher each day to allow for formative assessment.
This uniquely multi-disciplinary, multi-sensory instruction style, combined with the unit block
approach to academic studies, is central to Mountain Sage Community School’s teaching
strategy since it promotes and develops active listening, imagination, memory, and vocabulary.
In addition to the main lesson, students spend two or three additional periods each day in core
academic subjects. For one or two periods each day students attend non-core special subjects
such as world language (i.e. Spanish), handwork, music, games and the arts. A grade-by-grade
overview of the curriculum is provided below; variations in the general curriculum may occur
depending on the teacher, the particular class, and the year.
A checklist/narrative system will be will be developed with by the MSCS Faculty Council, in
conjunction with the Principal and the MSCS Board of Directors, that will allow teachers to
accurately track how the Colorado Academic Standards are being met within the school.
The following curriculum represents the Waldorf curriculum sequencing and content by grade
level in the following areas of study. Please see Appendix K to view Waldorf-inspired Student
Scope and Sequence, with Benchmarks for Grades K-8.
First Grade
Math: Qualities of numbers; introduction to the four operations of arithmetic; geometric
forms; whole number processes; counting rhythms; times tables 1 through 6 and 10
Literature & Grammar: Pictorial and phonetic introduction to the alphabet; word
recognition; writing; poetry recitation; and fairy and folk tales from around the world
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Science: Nature stories; nature walks; observations; gardening; local environment; seasons
Music and Performing Arts: Singing games; interval and/or pentatonic flutes (developing
finger coordination, concentration, breath control); songs based on seasonal themes; in-class
drama
Art: Form drawing; wet-on-wet watercolor painting (emphasizing an experience of working
with color rather than creating formed pictures); beeswax modeling; crayon illustrations
World Language: At least one world language (Spanish) will be introduced through plays,
songs, rhythms, poems and games; as funding permits an additional world language will also
be introduced (German)
Handwork: Knitting with two needles (promotes eye-hand coordination, fine motor skills,
and arithmetic skills, sequencing, patience, perseverance and self-esteem); seasonal crafts
History & Social Studies: Fairy & folk tales, rhymes; poems; songs
Geography: Spatial orientation; body geography
Physical Education: Circle games, eurythmy
Second Grade
Math: Continue with four operations of arithmetic; story problems; number patterns; times
tables 7 through 12, two digit multiplication, carrying and borrowing, written calculations
Literature & Grammar: Reading and writing; phonetics; elements of grammar; spelling,
punctuation, beginning cursive writing; Animal fables and myths and legends of heroic
people from around the world
Science: Garden and nature studies; school and local environment, seasons; animals
Music and Performing Arts: Singing; pentatonic flute; in-class drama and performance
Art: Continue form drawing; watercolor painting; beeswax modeling, crayon drawings
World Language: One or two languages continued (vocabulary, counting, animals, colors)
Handwork: Knitting patterns of knit and purl (pattern recognition and perpetuation,
concentration, fine motor skill development); crocheting
History & Social Studies: Legends and stories of heroic people
Geography: Natural studies
Physical Education: Rhythmic games, line games, eurythmy
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Third Grade
Math: Memorization of multiplication tables (1 through 12) continued and strengthened;
weight; measure; length; volume; money; time; continued two and three digit multiplication;
long division
Literature & Grammar: Elements of grammar (nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs);
continuing cursive spelling and punctuation; compositions; Stories from ancient history,
continued reading
Science: Gardening; soil; nature studies; animal husbandry; conservation; cooking; house
building; farming
Music and performing arts: Singing in rounds; pentatonic/C flutes/recorders; in-class skits;
performance of annual class play; recorder music notation?
Art: Continue form drawing; painting; beeswax modeling; crayon and pencil drawing
World Language: One or two languages continued enhancing and holistically in support of
the core curriculum (songs, plays, poetry, conversations, and vocabulary)
Handwork: Crocheting (pattern and placement recognition, finger dexterity); hand sewing
History & Social Studies: Study of practical life (house building, clothing, and cooking)
around the world
Geography: History of Farming and House building
Physical Education: Traditional Games, dancing, eurythmy
Fourth Grade
Math: Continuation of long division; fractions; averages; factoring
Literature & Grammar: Elements of grammar; continuing cursive, spelling and
punctuation; book reports; creative writing; composition; Norse and Finnish mythology,
Indian Legends and local history
Science:
studies
zoology, animals in their environment; continuation of gardening and nature
Music and Performing Arts: Singing and flutes in rounds; possible addition of violin/cello;
music theory; choir, reading music notation
Art: Advanced (woven) form drawing; painting; clay modeling
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World Language: One or two languages continued (songs, plays, poetry, conversations,
cultural activities, vocabulary, beginning writing)
Handwork: Cross-stitch; embroidery; knotting; braiding (creating patterns from front to
back)
History & Social Studies: Colorado and local history
Geography: Colorado and local geography; map making
Physical Education: Folk dancing; Relay Races
Fifth Grade
Math: Decimals; fractions; metric system; geometry as it developed in ancient cultures
Literature & Grammar: Elements of grammar and spelling; sentence structure; descriptive
writing; continuing cursive, punctuation and compositions; Greek, Indian, Persian and
Egyptian myths, business letter writing, report writing
Science: Botany; Inductive Method; continuation of garden and nature studies
Music and Performing Arts: Singing; flute; possible inclusion of violin/cello; 3-part choir
Art: Freehand geometric drawing; painting; clay modeling, drawing
World Language: One or two languages continued (simple conversations, poetry, cultural
activities, vocabulary, continued writing)
Handwork: Knitting in rounds; knitting socks, hats, or mittens (develop and follow written
instructions), woodcarving
History & Social Studies: Mythology and life in ancient civilizations from ancient India
through ancient Greece. Greek history through Alexander the Great
Geography: North American geography as related to vegetation, agriculture, culture and
economics
Physical Education: Greek Olympic games preparations(the pentathlon)
Sixth Grade
Math: Percent; beginning algebra and negative numbers; ratios; proportions; geometric
drawing with instruments and proofs; business math
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Literature & Grammar: Advanced grammar; descriptive compositions; expository writing,
spelling; biographies; The Roman Empire and Medieval Literature, research methods and
report writing
Science: Mineralogy; physics (acoustics, electricity, magnetism, optics and heat); beginning
astronomy; continuation of garden and nature studies
Music and Performing Arts: Singing in parts; flute; possible inclusion of violin/cello; choir
Art: Geometry with compass/ruler; painting; clay relief modeling; woodcarving
World Language: One or two languages continued, reading and translation stories
Handwork: Pattern making; 3-D construction (visualizing from two-dimensional to three
dimensional finished product)
History & Social Studies: The Roman Empire and Medieval History
Geography: World Geography with an emphasis on European and South American
Geography
Technology: Computers skills and use are a part of the Main Lesson
Physical Education: Sport skills some in preparation of Medieval Games
Seventh Grade
Math: Algebra; mathematical thinking/theory; geometry; graphing
Literature & Grammar: English Literature; Grammar Review; research methods and
projects
Science: Physics (mechanics); physiology; astronomy continued; inorganic chemistry;
nutrition and reproductive systems; continuation of garden and nature studies
Music and Performing Arts: Singing and flute in parts; possible inclusion of violin/cello;
music theory
Art: clay modeling human hand and foot; woodworking; painting; perspective drawing;
recreations of masters
World Language: One or two languages continued, reading and conversation
Handwork: Hand-sewn clothing; carving wooden bowls; metalwork
History & Social Studies: Renaissance, Reformation and Age of Exploration
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Geography: World geography with an emphasis on Africa and Asia
Technology: Computers skills and use are a part of the Main Lesson
Physical Education: Team sports
Eighth Grade
Math: Practical applications of arithmetic; set concepts; algebra; platonic solid geometry
Literature & Grammar: Journalism; writing short plays; Shakespearean drama
Science: Physics; organic chemistry; physiology; human anatomy, continuation of gardening
and nature studies through ecology; astronomy; meteorology
Music and Performing Arts: Singing and flute in parts; possible inclusion of violin/cello;
symphonic form; American Music
Art: Black and white drawing; painting; perspective drawing
World Language: One or two languages continued, dialogue and original writing
Handwork: Machine sewing of original garments; bookbinding; soapstone carving; clay
sculpture; woodcarving; metalwork
History & Social Studies: World trade and economics; American history; Modern History
Geography: World geography; Asia and other culturally diverse regions around the world.
Technology: Computers skills and use are a part of the Main Lesson
Physical Education: Team sports
Throughout All Grades:
Drama: Beginning in grade one or two, students present an annual production which is age
appropriate
Eurythmy: Students practice gestures and movement with speech and music exercises.
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“One of the strengths of the Waldorf curriculum is its balance and depth:
the emphasis on the arts….the rich use of the spoken word through poetry
and storytelling... Above all, the way the lessons integrate traditional
subject matter is, to my knowledge unparalleled.”
--Ernest Boyer, President, Carnegie Foundation for the
Advancement of Teaching
Reading and Writing: Letters are learned in the same way they originated in the course of
human history. Human beings created drawings, and out of these pictures abstracted signs and
symbols. Early elementary students hear stories, draw pictures, and discover the letter in the
gesture of the picture. The important early reading skills integrated into songs, poems, and games
help to establish a joyful and living experience of language. Students are taught how to read right
from the beginning of first grade; it is done through writing. Writing is taught phonetically, the
students copying the teachers’ letters and sounds from his writing on the chalkboard into their
Main Lesson Books. This process continues through block letters and cursive until, by the end of
second grade, reading aloud in class is practiced out of a printed book, as the students have been
doing out of their self-created lesson books. Phonetics are essential, but most suitably taught
through writing, since reading phonetically segments the experience of the child, thus
diminishing comprehension. Writing also affords the opportunity for the children to use their
whole body to learn reading. Throughout the grades, texts taken from a rich humanities
curriculum provide material for reading practice.
World Language: Taught beginning in kindergarten or first grade, giving the children insight
into and familiarity with another language and culture. These begin with stories and legends
from various regions and expand into dedicated language learning. Through the grades, the
world language program will expand to include reading, writing, grammar and conversation. In
addition, aspects of classical and other languages (e.g., Latin, Greek, Hebrew, and Japanese) may
be introduced in the middle and upper grades. The languages used are typically from different
subgroups of the Indo-European languages, and can also include Asian language as well as
American Sign Language.
Math: In the grade school, math instruction begins by teaching from the whole to the part before
it moves to the normal 3+9=12 (for example, answering the question of what is 12, 12=3+9, or
12=4x3). This encourages flexible thinking and discourages the one “right” answer way of
thinking. Movement, stories, manipulatives, and games are used to actively learn counting, and
the four processes (addition, subtraction, multiplication, division). Mental math problem solving
is emphasized to develop and strengthen thinking. Steiner suggested that the study of numbers
begin with the human being. Each of us is a unit, an indivisible whole: from this we derive the
number one. We find the number two expressed by our hands and feet or by our eyes and ears.
The number three may be found in the three major parts of our bodies: head, trunk, and limbs. To
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find the number four we can count our limbs; for five we can refer to the digits on each hand or
the toes on each foot. By working in this way, the teacher can lead the children to the perception
that we contain the world of numbers in our very being. The four arithmetic operations - adding,
subtracting, multiplying, and dividing- are introduced in the first grade and progress into long
division by the third grade.
The Sciences: Science is taught experientially and begins with the honing of observation skills
in grade one. Beginning in grade 6, through scientific demonstrations, children observe, recall,
report on the facts and arrive at conclusions to learn the scientific method. Through this process,
rigorous critical and analytic thinking and sound judgment are trained.
Geography: This area is divided into three areas: functional geography (the make-up of the solar
system and the earth), physical geography (the land and water forms on earth), and political
geography (the study of countries, the capitals, flags and culture). The materials include models
and pictures of the planet, globes, puzzle maps, models of different land and water forms.
Botany: This area contains many live specimens from the plant kingdom in their living
environments. Students are taken through a sequence of nomenclature activities in which they
learn to identify parts and types of plants, fruits and nuts. Taking the students to nature for study
brings life and enthusiasm to this area. Our school community garden will provide a rich
environment that will inspire and compliment such studies.
Biology: This area introduces the study of life using the five kingdoms. A microscope is used to
see live specimens in the prokaryote and the protista kingdoms in later grades. Other materials
such as pictures and story cards are used to give experience with the five kingdoms. This is
another area of study the school garden will lend to. The materials and activities in this area
follow a sequence that enables students to study plants and animals with the sense of order in
which they appeared on earth. Live specimens offer an opportunity for observation and research.
There is a complete set of nomenclature for vertebrates and invertebrates.
Social Studies/History: The philosophies, religions and cultures of the past have shaped
humanity and continue to influence today’s values and morals. Students learn about these from
an historical and geographical perspective. Great care is taken to ensure students are not
influenced toward any single belief system. The humanities curriculum begins in first grade with
folk tales, fables and legends from around the world, and takes children through a full sweep of
humanities’ collective cultural heritage. Hebrew legends in grade three, Norse mythology in
grade four, and the ancient cultures of India, Egypt, Persia, Mesopotamia and Greece in grade
five all provide the background for the study of history and literary skills. These are presented
through excerpts from original texts. Native American, African, and Far East Asian cultures
provide additional rich content helping to illustrate the accomplishments and interrelatedness of
human cultures. Care is taken to include all cultures that are represented in the student
population. By living into these cultures through legends, biography, and literature, the children
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gain an appreciation for the diversity of humankind. By the eighth grade the students have
journeyed from Ancient Cultures, through Greece and Rome, to medieval history, the
Renaissance, the Reformation, the Age of Exploration, up to the present day.
The Arts: Drama, painting, music, drawing, modeling, etc., are integrated into the entire K-8
curriculum, including mathematics and the sciences. The arts are also offered as special subjects.
In the first grade students are taught to play the wooden flute/recorder. Other instruments are
gradually introduced, leading to choir and orchestra in the higher grades. Other arts such as
beeswax modeling, drama, and painting, are taught by the class teacher, and add to the child’s
joy of learning. High quality art materials are available to students for any project whether it be
painting a picture of an animal with all its parts or making a bowl out of clay like one of our
ancestors made.
Eurythmy: The art of eurythmy, is an expressive movement art originated by Rudolf Steiner in
conjunction with Marie von Sivers in the early 20th century. Primarily a performance art, it is
also used in education—primarily in Waldorf schools, and as a movement therapy. The gestures
that build the basic movement repertoire of an eurythmist are connected to the sounds and
rhythms of language, to the tonal experience of music and to fundamental human experiences
(such as joy and sorrow). Once this fundamental repertoire is mastered, it can be composed into
free artistic expressions. Eurythmy pedagogical exercises begin with the straight line and curve
and proceed to increasingly complex geometric figures and choreographed forms, developing a
child's coordination and concentration. When the first Waldorf School was founded in 1919,
Eurythmy was included in the curriculum. It was quickly recognized as a successful complement
to gymnastics in the school's movement program and is now taught in most Waldorf schools, as
well as in many non-Waldorf pre-school centers, kindergartens and schools. Its purpose is to
awaken and strengthen the expressive capacities of children through movement, stimulating the
child to bring imagination, ideation and conceptualization to the point where they can manifest
these as "vital, moving forms" in physical space. The eurythmist works to cultivate a feeling for
the qualities of straight lines and curves, the directions of movement in space (forward,
backward, up, down, left, right), contraction and expansion, and color. In the high school, the
element of color is also emphasized both through the costuming, usually given characteristic
colors for a piece or part and formed of long, loose fabrics that accentuate the movements rather
than the bodily form, and through the lighting, which saturates the space and changes with the
moods of a particular piece.
Humanities: The humanities curriculum acknowledges that the cultures of the past have
influenced humanity throughout time and continue to influence the values and morals of today’s
world. Children learn about world cultures from an historical perspective. Beginning in grade
two, fables are taught; history and legends in grade three; Norse mythology in grade four; and
the ancient cultures of India, Egypt, Persia, Mesopotamia, and Greece in grade five. By
exposure to these cultures through their legends, literature, music, and arts, the children gain
flexibility and an appreciation for the diversity of humankind. U.S. history, comparative
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government, and geography are brought to the student from fifth through eighth grade.
Biography, mapmaking, timelines, and storytelling are essential methods of instruction. The
performing arts curriculum is an integral part of these studies, culminating in an annual class
play performance in first through eighth grades.
Physical Activity: Movement activities, dance, cooperative games, and other forms of creative
physical expression are infused into the everyday curriculum. To the extent possible, classrooms
and play yard space are organized to maximize the children’s opportunities for movement and
physical expression through games, circle-time activities, folk dances, sports, and physical
education. Recognizing that the qualities of physical fitness and health enhance the students’
overall well–being, each child is encouraged to recognize and rise to his/her individual physical
potential.
Practical Work: Crafts, handwork, and practical work such as fiber arts, woodworking, house
building and gardening are an integral part of the curriculum from kindergarten through the
grades. Boys and girls learn to knit in the first grade and crochet in third grade, creating many
functional and beautiful objects, such as flute bags, knitted animals, pencil cases and puppets.
Decades before brain research confirmed the value of this type of activity, studies recognized a
relationship between body movement and brain function. Learning to knit and crochet in the
early grades develops fine motor skills, and leads to lively thinking and enhanced intellectual
development later on, as well as being actually therapeutic for students with difficulty in
arithmetic. Coordination, patience, perseverance, and imagination are also schooled through
practical work. Activities such as woodworking, house building, gardening, and sewing are
specifically included in the elementary curriculum, and give the children an understanding of
how things come into being, as well as a respect for the creations of others.
"The importance of storytelling, of the natural rhythms of daily life, of the evolutionary
changes in the child, of art as the necessary underpinning of learning, and of the
aesthetic environment as a whole--all basic to Waldorf education for the past 70 years-are being 'discovered' and verified by researchers unconnected to the Waldorf
movement."
~Paul Bayers, Professor, Columbia Teachers' College
III. Instruction Methods
As discussed earlier, all curriculum that is presented by the class teacher is arts-infused, and
therefore, ripe with the teacher’s own creativity. The high quality, creative presentation of
material by the teacher, inspires children to do their best in their own creative work during the
school day. The heart of the education is the loving, creative, trusting, and respectful relationship
between the student and the teacher.
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In our program class teachers have the opportunity to take the same class of children through
multiple years of schooling, teaching the main academic subjects. For the teacher, this means
time to know the children deeply (as well as their families) and help them unfold their gifts. This
long-term relationship provides enriched opportunities to assess students over a long period of
time, allowing the teacher to better meet the individual needs of the child. Both the class teachers
and the kindergarten teachers have the responsibility to be deeply engaged and to continually
pursue their own self-development; this provides a powerful modeling of active learning and
personal growth for the students.
Whereas, in a traditional Waldorf school the class teacher may stay with one class of students for
grades 1 through 8, at Mountain Sage we have chosen to adapt this approach to better meet the
needs of the public education realm– to maintain a high degree of excellence in upper level
academic instruction, to increase students’ ability to easily transition into high school life, to
maintain compliance to with Highly Qualified teacher requirements under ESEA for secondary
teachers.
Teacher continuity at Mountain Sage will be applied be as follows:
Kindergarten teachers are early childhood specialists. They provide a warm and
welcoming foundational year for the school’s youngest students, and their parents.
Through kindergarten teacher presentations to faculty and one-on-one meetings with the
next year’s first grade teacher(s), they create a detailed description of the new class of
incoming first grade children.
As students enter first grade, they will meet the class teacher who will be their guide and
mentor for the next five years– 1st through 5th grade.
The 5th grade class teachers will share student files, year-end narratives and engage in
faculty discussions to create a detailed description of the new class of incoming sixth
grade children.
Upon entering middle school (6th, 7th, and 8th grades) at Mountain Sage, students will
experience a team of teachers. The timing of this change and transition will correspond
well with the developmental stages and needs of the adolescent. MSCS will hire teachers
with expertise in their fields of study to teach core academic subjects. Middle school
students will have continuity in academic subject teachers during all three years of
middle school (i.e. the same math teacher for 6th-8th grades.) One teacher, within this
team of teachers, will be assigned to serve as the class sponsor, “shepherding” the class,
and their parents, 6th through 8th grade.
The first 6th grade class (2014-15) at MSCS will operate more like an elementary school
class. Mountain Sage will hire one teacher that year to teach the 6th graders their core
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academic subjects. This teacher will be a certified elementary school teacher who has
additional expertise in any of the core subjects.
The following year (2015-16) when there are 6th and a 7th grade students, a second
middle school teacher will be hired. At this point, there will be two middle school
teachers, each teaching core subjects in which they have expertise.
The next year (2016-17) when there are 6th, 7th and 8th grade students, a third middle
school teacher with the necessary expertise will be hired. MSCS believes this is a perfect
way to transition the students to the higher grades. The students will still have teacher
continuity in each core subject (i.e. the same math teacher for 6th, 7th, and 8th grade), but
will also experience a variety of teachers (and teaching styles) throughout their middle
school years.
There are many educational advantages to this approach that allow teachers to be with the same
group of students for multiple years of study. Looping teachers do not need to spend two months
of the school year trying to get to know their students. Nor will the students spend the first weeks
of the year trying to adjust to new expectations and testing the teacher’s limits. The continuing
teacher will already be aware of the individual learning styles of their students; who learns
slowly and needs lots of practice; who learns quickly and needs to be challenged. Students’
basic strengths and deficiencies will also be known, as well as the full extent of the material that
was introduced in the previous years.
The benefits extend into the community as well. Many children’s lives are filled with constant
change, moving between two parent’s homes or having three to four extra-curricular activities
crammed into the week. It is now essential for schools to step forward to provide some care and
continuity that can no longer be furnished by the neighborhood and the home. Teachers that
continue to teach the same children year after year, establish trust that allows the relationship
between student and teacher to grow. These teachers develop a more discerning eye and are able
to perceive problems before they become painfully obvious and more difficult to address. The
benefits for teachers are many as well. Teachers remain engaged throughout the years as they
strive to master a new curriculum each year.
A question that has been commonly asked is “What if my child gets the wrong teacher?”
Looping brings out the best in a teacher and asks them to join with parents in accepting extended
responsibility for a child’s well being, and requires a high level of dedication. The teachers who
are drawn to this method of teaching are also looking for a challenge like this. It is also a great
aid to discipline and creates a coherent continuum throughout the student’s school experience.
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Waldorf Teachers…
Respectfully Engage with the Learner - Waldorf teachers recognize that their role is to inspire,
mentor, and facilitate the learning process. The real work of learning belongs to the individual
child. Because of this, the Waldorf teacher remains conscious of his or her role in helping each
child to fulfill their potential as a human being and of creating an environment for learning
within which children will feel safe, cherished, and empowered.
Facilitate the “Match” Between the Learner and Knowledge - Waldorf teachers are trained to
identify the best response to the changing interests and needs of each unique child. Because they
recognize that children learn in many different ways and at their own pace, Waldorf educators
understand that they must “follow the child,” adjusting their strategies and timetable to fit the
development of each of their pupils.
Are Environmental Engineers - Waldorf teachers organize appropriate social settings and
academic programs for children at their own level of development. They do this to a large degree
through the design of the classroom, selection and organization of learning activities, and
structure of the day.
The class teacher in grades 1-5 is also the child’s primary “art” and “music” teacher,” and will
get the class ready for their specialty teachers. On most days the class teacher also eats with the
class at lunchtime (in the classroom) and dismisses them at the end of the day. The class teacher
is in continual communication with students’ other teachers, as well as parents. In grades 1-5 the
class teacher is more of a generalist than a specialist. In all grades, however, the teacher is an
individual who serves as the role model of a lifelong learner, who is interested in everything and
integrates the subjects. The Waldorf trained teacher deliberately models the behaviors and
attitudes that she is working to instill in her students. Because of Steiner’s emphasis on character
development, the Waldorf teacher is exceptionally respectful to each child, creating a calm, kind,
warm, and polite environment. The Waldorf teacher is a trained observer of children’s learning
and behavior. These careful observations are noted and used to determine each student’s needs,
and leads the teacher to intervene in the child’s learning with new lessons, fresh challenges, or
reinforcement of basic ground rules.
Specialty Teachers
Students experience a range of instructors through specialty classes such as handwork, Spanish
and German languages, eurythmy, instrumental music in fourth grade, games teacher (physical
education), woodworking and eurthymy. This variety of instructors allows for students to
experience the range of teachers and subjects, key to the Waldorf-inspired experience.
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The Role of Response to Intervention in a Waldorf Classroom
According to the CDE, the purpose of Response to Intervention (RtI) is to improve educational
outcomes for all students. While RtI plays a role in identifying students who may have learning
disabilities, it is also a tool which can be used to assess all students in the school to determine
which individuals may be at-risk and in need of more instruction, which students need
accelerated learning plans, as well as to provide direction for modifications of overall teaching
strategies to attain continued academic progress within the school. A major component of RtI is
regular assessment of school wide student progress, done throughout the year to assist in the
identification of students who may need academic intervention.
The Waldorf method of education can be seen as taking a unique, yet very effective approach to
RtI. One of the key elements of RtI, periodic assessment of students done on a daily and weekly
basis, is done for all students within the Waldorf-inspired classroom. These evaluation
techniques are described earlier in this application in Section F. In most instances, a Waldorf
teacher will be able to clearly identify which students may be in need of intervention to ensure
adequate progress at any time throughout the course of the year.
MSCS plans to implement Response to Intervention (RtI) to meet the needs of all students. RtI
will be one of the key processes that will drive how things are done at MSCS. Every student
will be given the attention they need to create an environment for them to succeed. The purpose
of RtI is that of a prevention model to limit, or prevent, academic failure for students who are
having difficulty learning by providing "scientific research-based interventions" to bring
students up to grade level achievement. Although there is no single RtI model, the many
variations that are emerging use a two-to-five tiered model. Each tier provides increasingly
individualized instruction, continuous monitoring of progress to calculate gains, and criteria for
changing interventions and/or tiers through a regularly-scheduled, and systematic team decisionmaking process. MSCS plans to use a three-tiered system as follows:
Tier One (Prevention) includes high quality classroom instruction delivered by class
teachers and regular assessments of all students to monitor their progress toward reaching
grade level benchmarks. Provided in general education classrooms.
Tier Two (Selected Structured Intervention) includes targeted small group instruction
and intervention provided with consistency by highly trained teachers, in class or outside
of the classroom for students who are not meeting grade level benchmarks. Includes
progress monitoring and assessments presented at students’ instructional level to measure
growth toward benchmarks.
Tier Three (Intensive Intervention) includes more intensive and possibly individual
intervention for students who continue to be at risk. At this level a student may be
designated referred for Special Education according to the Individuals with Disabilities in
the Education Improvement Act (IDEIA), or gifted programs.
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The MSCS Classroom Community
In addition to the benefits that stem from teacher continuity, the group of students that constitutes
a particular class will stay together throughout their entire school career at MSCS, grades 1
through 8. This unique feature of our school enables the creation of a class community, a class
“family,” that allows students to establish and experience deep connections to their peers. This
environment, that facilitates true relationship building, gives students the opportunity to learn the
nature of inter and intrapersonal relationships in a safe and authentic way. In a society where
children seem more and more subject to the power of their peers and the world at large, MSCS
believes that fostering a classroom environment that nurtures strong, supportive, healthy
relationships among students is key to each child’s positive academic and personal development.
Our goal is to nurture a classroom community supportive of academic learning by helping
students develop respect, confidence, acceptance, and other positive social values. In Waldorfmethods education, the total child must always be considered. Thus, it is in the best interest of
the student that home and school environments are consistent. For positive development of the
child, MSCS teachers, staff, and parents work together to support the physical, mental,
emotional, social, and academic needs of the child.
Mountain Sage provides guidance in the area of behavior and attitudes, and recognizes
that each child has a unique personality, likes and dislikes, values, strengths and
weaknesses. Uniqueness of the child will be honored while providing guidance.
At Mountain Sage, children are encouraged to communicate in a respectful, assertive and
socially acceptable manner. An atmosphere in which students feel safe to express their
differing viewpoints will be provided, as well as guidance with conflict resolution.
At Mountain Sage, personal responsibility and accountability are taught and practiced.
Guidelines, limits, freedom of choice, and consequences will be made understandable to
the students.
Each class establishes rules within the first week of the school year. These rules are set
with the understanding that everyone will respect and follow them. This provides the
child with ability to reason and think, and to experience natural consequences for her/his
choices.
At the beginning of each school year (especially in grade 1) teachers and other staff members
refer to the period when the class teacher is “forming the class.” This period, lasting six or more
weeks, is a time when students are acclimating to their new environment, new instructors (such
as Subject Specialists), and new classmates. This is also the time when students are learning how
to use new classroom materials, and working to establish expectations and order within their
classroom peer group. Once the class has been formed, parents will begin to observe a very
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wonderful rhythm and structure to the daily, weekly, and monthly classroom activities. Notably,
Waldorf methodology recognizes this time as “forming the class,” and Montessori methodology
describes a similar time as “normalization.”
Cooperation and Collaboration: Waldorf children are expected to treat one another with
kindness and respect. This behavior is modeled by the teacher and other adults in the classroom.
Insults and shunning behavior tend to be rare. Instead, we normally find children who have a
great fondness and respect for one another. Children learn at their own pace and teachers refrain
from comparing students to one another.
Main Lesson: A fully integrated two-hour period of instructional activities begins each school
day through which the core curriculum is presented. The main lesson can be, for example, math,
history, botany or physics, and involves storytelling, movement, art, biography, drama, writing,
and any activity that might help bring the topic to life. This main lesson is taught for a three or
four week block (unit of study), and may be continued later in the term. This approach allows
freshness and enthusiasm, enriches content and skills by integrating them together as a powerful,
concentrated, in-depth experience, and gives the children time to "digest" what has been learned.
This format is used in first through eighth grades. Additional subjects augment the Main
Lessons, which typically include handwork, woodworking and other “practical arts”, music,
foreign language and eurythmy, in addition to physical education and the children’s’ on-going
math and language arts practice classes.
Main Lesson Books: The teacher, using textbooks, primary and other resources in the teacher
library, creates the lessons and their presentation for the Main Lesson. Based on these lessons,
the children make individual “textbooks” called Main Lesson Books for each subject taught. In
their Main Lesson Books, the students record and illustrate the substance of their lessons, a
process which aids the students in being engaged with their lessons, helps to ensure they truly
understand the content (since they must reflect this in their work), and encourages long-term
memory of their learning. The Main Lesson Book approach to student learning builds students’
skills of focus and concentration. These Main Lesson Books require the students to write in depth
about their lessons, and are a significant tool for building writing skills. Richly illustrated by the
children, Main Lesson Books are artistic and beautiful, and are an invaluable tool for assessing
the progress of individual students in comprehension, writing and overall progress. During or
upon completion of a lesson, the students artistically and creatively capture their lesson content
through drawing (as well as other artistic media) and text (narrative or sample problems that
illustrate how to do something) to solidify the learning of the material. By using all of their
senses and creative impulses to create the Main Lesson Books for each main subject of study, the
student creates a beautiful, living picture of their learning. The students are not just creating
something - they are also learning to orientate in space; to slow down and work with care; to
form letters and figures beautifully; and to develop a sense for the aesthetic. In simplest terms,
the Main Lesson Book serves as a text book that is available as a reference tool in the future. At
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the end of the year, the books are carefully carried home, and referred back to during various
points on their academic journey.
Please refer to Appendix L- Images of Waldorf–inspired School Life; Examples of Main Lesson
Books, Materials Used and Classroom Settings.
Textbooks: Appropriate and carefully selected textbooks can be a valuable aid for teachers and
students throughout the grades. Depending on the grade and subject matter, our program uses
textbooks in the classroom as teacher resources for lesson preparation, and important research
tools for students to augment their lessons.
Homework: MSCS recognizes that homework can be a valuable way to extend and reinforce
classroom lessons, giving students more practice and review time to assimilate new learning.
Homework can also help students develop good study skills, discipline, and responsibility, while
providing parents the opportunity to be involved and stay current with their children’s education.
At MSCS, little or no homework is given until third grade. From this point, homework is
gradually introduced to allow students time to learn the discipline and responsibility involved.
Homework assignments may consist of math lessons, spelling practice, reading, writing
assignments, or research projects. Class teachers and Subject Specialists design homework that
relates to the classroom instruction and reinforces and extends learning for the students’
developmental and academic levels.
Environmentally Conscious Curriculum and Sustainable Living: Everyday rhythms and
routines of our school community help to cultivate a sense of gratitude, respect and responsibility
for self and all living things. MSCS strives to build an ecologically informed community by
focusing attention and care on the systems in which our school and community are embedded.
Through our work with nature and organic gardening and animal care opportunities, children
learn about the inter-relatedness of nature, self, and community. Additional sustainable living
practices within the school will manifest in many ways: classroom materials made with
renewable resources, gray water recycling, composting, recycling, cleaning done with
environmentally friendly products, waste and energy use reduction practices, and as funding
allows local farmers will be suppliers for our school lunches. Students will be inspired by their
experiences at a school rooted in sustainability, going on to pursue actions that are essential for
sustaining our world.
Multicultural and Gender Balanced Content: Integrated throughout the curriculum by means
of the humanities curriculum, incorporating biography, storytelling, and history; through crafts,
art, music, and seasonal and cultural celebrations; and through world languages.
Parent Participation: A keystone of our program. A significant body of research (Henderson &
Berla, 1994; Olmstead & Rubin, 1983) indicates that when parents participate in their children’s
education, the result is an increase in student achievement and an improvement of students’
attitudes. Increased attendance, fewer discipline problems and higher aspirations also have been
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correlated with an increase in parent involvement. The active participation of parents both inside
and outside of the classroom is essential in creating and implementing the school’s educational
program and maintaining its supportive environment. MSCS honors and values the individual
skills, talents and interests of its parent body, and strongly invites and encourages parent
participation in many aspects of the school’s operations. Parents provide a bridge between home
and school, giving their children’s education greater meaning and purpose by integrating the
children’s school life into their family life and into their community. MSCS will also provide
on-going educational opportunities for parents to learn about various aspects of child
development and Waldorf-methods education. These include parent education lectures and class
meetings discussing child development and specific aspects of the curriculum.
Materials: High quality materials designed for the Waldorf-inspired curriculum give students
the experience of success in their school activities, promoting self-esteem, a sense of value for
quality work and increased motivation for accomplishing schoolwork both in the classroom and
at home. For example, using quality colored pencils, paints, crayons and paper, allow students to
create rich colors, blend colors for subtle hues, and create detailed and beautiful writing, pictures,
and designs. In first through eighth grades, a variety of specially designed and bound, blank
books are used to allow students to create their own thematic Main Lesson subject books for
each unit block. In the kindergarten and lower grades, age-appropriate materials for creative play
will be selected or hand-made, from wood, silk, wool, and other natural materials. Students feel
more connected to the environment using materials made from the natural world; these materials
are more ecologically sustainable than synthetics, as well. Students also tend to focus better and
feel more relaxed and nurtured when warmly surrounded by an environment of beauty and
simplicity, avoiding busy-ness in classroom décor.
Hands on and Active Learning: In Waldorf-inspired education children are encouraged to
experience their learning through all of their senses. Direct personal hands-on contact with either
real things under study, or with concrete models that bring abstract concepts to life, allow
children to learn with deeper understanding. Teachers incorporate movement on a regular basis
to continually engage the children through all of their senses.
Motivating Factors: Children are driven to learn new things and master new skills. For this
reason, outside rewards to create external motivation are unnecessary. Children learn to be
intrinsically motivated and able to pursue interests based on internal desire rather than fleeting
external rewards. Children do not work “for the grade.” Instead, children learn because they are
interested in things, and because of an intrinsic desire to become competent and independent
human beings, as modeled by their teachers.
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References:
Henderson, A. T., & Berla, N. (Eds.). (1994). A new generation of evidence: The family is
critical to student achievement. Columbia, MD: National Committee for Citizens in Education.
(ERIC Document No. ED375968) Retrieved July, 2011, from
http://www.eric.ed.gov/ERICDocs/data/ericdocs2/content_storage_01/0000000b/80/23/60/0b.pdf
Olmsted, P. P., & Rubin, R. I. (1983). Parent involvement: Perspectives form the Follow
Through experience. In R.Haskins & D.Adams (Eds.), Parent education and public policy.
Norwood, NJ: Ablex.
Enrichment and Vitalization of the Educational Program
High Support Level: Children will be fully supported by teachers and parent volunteers. The
school provides a low pupil to teacher ratio of 16:1 in kindergarten, and a low pupil to teacher
ratio of 24:1 in grades one through eight. Specialists from the community will be invited into the
classroom to share their expertise relevant to current curriculum. Parent volunteers will be asked
to assist in small, in class reading groups beginning in second grade with the supervision of the
class teacher, and in a variety of other ways.
Peer and Cross-Age Interaction: The children will support each other in many ways, including
small-group learning and peer tutoring. Activities with mixed-age grouping will provide ample
opportunities for older and younger children to interact, as well as children with similar and
dissimilar abilities. Younger children are generally in awe of older children and find that
working with an older child on any subject is a real treat. Older children who are asked to help
instruct younger children gain a sense of confidence while reinforcing their own knowledge of
subject matter through mentoring; for example, 4th graders presenting their book reports to the 3rd
graders.
Self-Esteem Development: The self-confidence of the child will be fostered through a
cooperative, non-competitive learning environment, where each child’s uniqueness is honored.
Awareness and shared recognition of the children’s accomplishments such as displays of student
work, performances, parent evenings and many successful experiences will promote self-esteem.
Special Events and Seasonal Festivals: In keeping with our focus on community, MSCS will
hold three seasonal festivals each year to bring families and children together in respect for the
rhythms of nature and of our Earth. Frequently, these festivals include multi-cultural activities
that connect our children and families to each other’s cultures. Additional festivals may be added
in the future based on our faculty, parent, and student community’s recommendations. Careful
attention will be given to the celebration of festivals and holidays, appropriately observing events
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within the school setting that recognize the world’s diversity of celebrations. MSCS will strive
to honor and represent the cultures of all its students through these festivals and celebrations.
An Ascending Spiral of Knowledge: A Summary
Each subject studied should contribute to the development of a well-balanced individual. In the
Waldorf-inspired grades, the school day begins with a long, uninterrupted lesson. One subject is
the focus; the class deals with it in-depth each morning for several weeks at a time. This long
main lesson, two hours, allows the teacher to develop a variety of activities around the subject at
hand. In the younger grades, lively rhythmic activities get the circulation going and bring
children together as a group; they recite poems connected with the main lesson, practice tongue
twisters to limber up speech, and work with concentration exercises using body movements.
During the day’s lesson, which includes a review of earlier learning, students record what they
learned in their lesson books. Following recess, teachers present shorter “run-through” lessons
with a strongly recitational character. World languages are customarily taught from first grade
on, and these lend themselves well to the later morning periods. Afternoons are primarily
devoted to lessons in which the whole child is active: eurythmy (artistically guided movement to
music and speech), handwork, or games, for example. Thus the day has a rhythm that helps
overcome fatigue and enhances balanced learning.
The curriculum at a Waldorf-inspired school can be seen as an ascending spiral: the long lessons
that begin each day, the concentrated blocks of study that focus on one subject for several weeks.
Physics, for example, is introduced in the sixth grade and continued each year as a main lesson
block in the upper grades.
As the students mature, they engage themselves at new levels of experience with each subject. It
is as though each year they come to a window on the ascending spiral that looks out into the
world through the lens of a particular subject. Through the main-lesson spiral curriculum,
teachers lay the groundwork for a gradual vertical integration that deepens and widens each
subject experience and, at the same time, keeps it moving with the other aspects of knowledge.
All students participate in all basic subjects regardless of their special aptitudes. The purpose of
studying a subject is not to make a student into a professional mathematician, or biologist, but to
awaken and educate capacities that every human being needs. Naturally, one student is more
gifted in math and another in science or history, but the mathematician needs the humanities, and
the historian needs math and science. The choice of a vocation is left to the free decision of the
adult, but one’s early education should give one a palette of experience from which to choose the
particular colors that one’s interests, capacities, and life circumstances allow. Each subject
studied should contribute to the development of a well-balanced individual.
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As the ascending spiral of the curriculum offers a “vertical integration” from year to year, an
equally important “horizontal integration” enables students to engage the full range of their
faculties at every stage of development. The arts and practical skills play an essential part in the
educational process throughout the grades. They are not considered luxuries, but fundamental to
human growth and development.
The Waldorf-inspired curriculum works because it engages children. It presents new material
only after specific developmental levels have been reached, thereby reducing frustration.
Lessons are always presented in lively ways. The children are motivated to learn through the
enthusiasm of the teacher, not through fear of failure. Periods of challenging mental work are
balanced with artistic and physical activities so that the children move through their day in a
healthy way.
Finally, the curriculum itself meets the fundamental need of the child to learn about the world in
a way that conforms to the child’s own logic. That is, starting from what is most familiar and
moving outward. The Waldorf-inspired curriculum also works because of the dedication of the
Waldorf methods teacher who stays with the same class for many years. Over this period a deep
bond of respect develops between teacher and child, resulting in less attention to discipline and
more attention to learning on all levels.
The curriculum emphasizes disciplined creativity, wonder, reverence and respect for nature and
human existence. A comprehensive academic, artistic, and physical education program presented
in a supportive, structured and non-competitive environment is meant to allow the child to
develop in a healthy way, balanced in feeling, with initiative in action and clarity in thought.
The aim is to strengthen the child to meet not only the challenges of school, but also those of life.
The Waldorf-inspired education experience is meant to be the beginning of a life-long love of
learning.
"Waldorf education draws out the best of qualities in young people. While
this is not an instant process, the values they learn provide a lifelong
platform from which to grow." ~Gilbert Grosvenor, President Emeritus of the National Geographic Society
Waldorf Curriculum and Our Local Community
We are dedicated to the creation of a public charter school that embraces the Waldorf-inspired
curriculum because of the impulse within our local community to do so. The Waldorf curriculum
is an extension of a greater philosophy and way of life for family and social development. There
are many families within our community who embrace the ideas of this philosophy, but who do
not have a public school option that reflects their view of child development and their holistic
approach to life. Many of these families choose to homeschool their children.
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As discussed previously, there is a history and continuing effort on the part of parents in Fort
Collins to involve their children in Waldorf-based early childhood programs. These families
desire an arts-integrated approach to learning based upon Rudolf Steiner’s understanding of
human development. The Waldorf-inspired curriculum is unique in its pedagogical approach and
academic timeline; it continues to attract families from the Front Range and from around the
world.
The inherent sustainable living practices within Waldorf-inspired education are also of key
importance to our community of families. Within Fort Collins there is a growing movement of
people who seek to create a sustainable way of life. It was Steiner’s belief that we are a part of
the natural world, not something separate from it. From classroom materials to daily activities
Mountain Sage will reflect this value. Our environment and all living things are interconnected
and our approach to learning and life must reflect this awareness of the whole; an idea of
growing importance within our community and throughout the world.
It is our belief that by furthering educational choice in Fort Collins through the creation of
Mountain Sage Community School, young and old will be further enlivened and inspired by the
possibilities that come from integrating the wisdom of the past into our modern world, creating
human beings who are critical and creative thinkers in a world that increasingly illustrates the
demand for adaptability, innovation and humanity.
"Waldorf education addresses the child as no other education does.
Learning, whether in chemistry, mathematics, history or geography, is
imbued with life and so with joy, which is the only true basis for later study.
The textures and colors of nature, the accomplishments and struggles of
humankind fill the Waldorf students' imaginations and the pages of their
beautiful {Main Lesson} books. Education grows into a union with life that
serves them for decades.
By the time they reach us at the college and university level, these students
are grounded broadly and deeply and have a remarkable enthusiasm for
learning. Such students possess the eye of the discoverer, and the
compassionate heart of the reformer which, when joined to a task, can
change the planet."
~Arthur Zajonc, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Physics, Amherst College
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IV. Research Supporting Mountain Sage Community School
Section 1:
Race to the Top and Lessons from Abroad
Section 2:
Critical Links: Learning in the Arts and Student Academic and Social Development
Section 3:
Excerpts from Mountain Phoenix Community School and Boulder Community
School of Integrated Studies Charter Applications
Section 4:
Waldorf Schools and Performance Comparison: Various Studies
Section 5:
Track Records of Arts-Based Public and Private Schools
Appendix M. Additional Research Supporting Mountain Sage Community School
Section 1. Race to the Top and Lessons from Abroad (OECD Data)
In this section, some of the key differences between the US educational system and other
countries, that are leaders in education, are highlighted. Particular emphasis is placed on
Finland. Finland and others have greatly outperformed the US on educational assessments
administered by the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). The aim
of this discussion is to provide additional support to our belief that Mountain Sage Community
School will utilize the best elements of the Waldorf model and the highly successful Finnish
educational system to create a unique school experience that will provide diversity to educational
choices for the Fort Collins community.
Please note that as a charter school, MSCS will comply with all state and federal regulations and
required assessments. The “whole person” approach to assessment inherent to Waldorf schools
will not replace but supplement the standardized testing requirements. We are thankful to the US
educational reform, the charter school movement, and the Poudre School District for providing
us with the opportunity to create an additional educational choice for our community. We believe
Mountain Sage Community School, with its unique program, will not only benefit from but also
contribute to the educational reform in our country.
“In the race for the future, America is in danger of falling behind . . . If
you hear a politician say it’s not, they’re not paying attention. In a
generation we have fallen from 1st place to 9th place in the proportion of
young people with college degrees. When it comes to high school
graduation rates, we’re ranked 18th out of 24 industrialized nations—18th.
We’re 27th in the proportion of science and engineering degrees we hand
out. We lag behind other nations in the quality of our math and science
education.”
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-
President Barack Obama, 2010, December 6 (Speech at Forsyth
Technical Community College, Winston-Salem, North Carolina)
US Performance and the Need for Change
The Mountain Sage Community School founding Board members believe that children today
deserve an education that will prepare them for the challenges of the 21st century. To remain a
global leader, it is not enough for the US to produce graduates who know mathematics, science
and technology. These students must also possess highly developed critical thinking and
problem solving skills, as well as place importance on creativity and cooperative work. Many
US students today are not used to critical and creative thinking, and are afraid of taking risks and
making mistakes. Moreover, the intense level of pressure standardized tests place on children
has led to a significant increase in health problems such as sleep deprivation, anxiety, attention
deficit disorders, eating disorders, obesity, and depression in that age group (Abeles, 2010).
According to surveys and case studies conducted by the Center on Education Policy, school
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districts have reduced time in other subjects to allow more time for reading and math, the topics
tested on most standardized assessments (Center on Education Policy, 2006). Increasing hours
of instruction for reading, mathematics and science at the expense, for example, of arts, physical
education or foreign language studies, is an acknowledgment that these subjects are either nonessential or not worthy of study. This will undoubtedly have the impact of reducing these
subjects’ importance in the minds of our children. Daniel Koretz, an expert on educational
testing and full professor at the Graduate School of Education (GSE), states that teaching to the
test can have adverse effects if it means narrowing the curriculum to include only the subjects,
topics, and skills that are likely to appear on state tests. (Koretz, 2005). Koretz refers to this
practice as “score inflation” as test scores can increase, giving the false impression that student
achievement is rising while students’ mastery of the broader subject being tested is actually not
improving and students are learning the same amount or less.
As a result, students’ preparation for college-level work shows weakness in core skills, such as
basic study habits and the ability to understand and manage complicated material. Thus, it is not
surprising that across the nation almost one-third of all college freshmen (42% of community
college freshmen and 20% of freshmen in four-year institutions) enroll in at least one remedial
course. The lack of preparation is also apparent in main subject areas. Of college freshmen
taking remedial courses, 35% were enrolled in math, 23% in writing and 20% in reading
(National Center for Education Statistics, 2004).
Moreover, countries that are leaders in education, rely little, if at all, on multiple-choice
computer-scored tests. Educators in these countries believe this type of test “cannot properly
measure higher-order thinking skills” (OECD, 2010). Instead, countries who are educational
leaders rely mostly on essay-type responses on their timed examinations and also factor in pieces
of work/portfolios that could not possibly be produced in a timed examination. This is in sharp
contrast with the United States, where “state assessments consist predominantly of multiplechoice questions with limited cognitive and meta-cognitive demands” (OECD, 2010).
As a case in point, according to the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA)
administered by the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) to 15year-old students of the 65 participating countries and economies, the United States’
performance over the past decade has been “uniformly mediocre” (Harvard Graduate School of
Education, 2011). In fact, American teens are falling behind the majority of other nations in
mathematics and their performance in reading and science has been just average (please see
charts above). What differentiates PISA from other assessments is that it is deliberately designed
to see how well students can apply what they have learned in school to novel problems and
situations, not simply how well they have memorized the curriculum they have been taught. In
this sense PISA is designed to measure the kind of thinking and problem-solving skills that
employers tell us are most valuable on the job.
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Finland (Top Performing Country) and Waldorf Education Share Common Characteristics
“If I hire a youngster who doesn’t know all the mathematics or physics that
is needed to work here, I have colleagues here who can easily teach those
things. But if I get somebody who doesn’t know how to work with other
people, how to think differently or how to create original ideas and
somebody who is afraid of making a mistake, there is nothing we can do
here. Do what you have to do to keep our education system up-to-date but
don’t take away the creativity and open-mindedness that we now have in
our fine peruskoulu (elementary schools).”
– Statement by a senior Nokia manager interviewed by Sahlberg, former
chair of a task force on the national science curriculum in Finland (excerpt
from “Strong Performers and Successful Reformers in Education: Lessons
from PISA for the United States’, OECD 2010)
Finland was the highest performing country on the first PISA assessment in 2000 and has
remained the top scoring country, significantly outperforming the United States in the last ten
years. Finland also had the most consistent performance across schools. While one can claim
that Finland is a more homogenous country than the USA, according to OECD data, less than
50% of the variance in the US school performance can be explained by student socio-economic
background. Also, Finland spends significantly less per student on educational services than the
USA and even less than the OECD average (see table above). Moreover, students in Finnish
schools have fewer hours of instruction than students of all other OECD countries, which means
that the Finnish teachers teach fewer hours than their peers. For example, US middle school
teachers teach about 1,080 hours or six daily lessons of 50 minutes, while, their Finnish peers
teach about 600 hours a year – 800 lessons of 45 minutes each, or four lessons per day. This
means that the Finnish 15-year-olds have the equivalent of three less years of formal training, yet
they manage to outperform peers in other nations.
Play-Based Kindergarten
The main features of the Finnish educational system are very similar to those used in the Waldorf
model. For example, formal academic training in Finland and private Waldorf and public
Waldorf-inspired schools does not begin until age seven and kindergarten is play-based, focusing
on socializing and "self-reflection". While children in Finland and Waldorf schools do not start
formal reading until age seven, they do have many experiences with literature, stories and books
in these early years, which are the fundamental elements of literacy. By prioritizing child
development and making Kindergarten more developmentally appropriate, children in Finland
and Waldorf schools are more eager to learn and achieve, which in turn, ensures success in the
long run. In fact, in other countries besides Finland, such as Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Estonia
and Iceland, formal reading does not begin until age seven. Yet, all six of these countries have
100% literacy rate, compared to 99% in case of the US; they also have fewer dropouts than the
United Sated and fewer reading problems in the elementary years. According to various national
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and international studies there is little if any apparent disadvantage of a later start of formal
reading instruction (Sharp, 1998).
In fact, play based learning fulfills a necessary step in the development of young children’s
brains. Allowing “unstructured, (Spontaneous), self-motivated, imaginative, independent”
(Elkind, 2007) play helps students excel not only in reading but also improves their attitudes
toward learning, physical fitness, test anxiety and creativity. Research has found that the success
of students who attended play based learning in the early grades can be attributed to the fact that
they experienced less stress on areas of the brain often pushed to develop before their time.
Reducing the stress on their brains allows these children to function at a state of optimal
“arousal” defined as not being over or under aroused (Elkind, 2007). Play based learning is the
first step necessary in maintaining a balance state of arousal, creating not only a base for literacy
and concrete subject learning but also molding brains ready to work toward lifelong learning
(Elkind, 2007; Melrose, 2010).
Community through Continuity
Another common characteristic between Finland and Waldorf schools is that for the first few
years of elementary school, children remain with the same teacher. This approach ensures
continuity and establishes a strong sense of community as well as strong pedagogical
partnerships between parents and teachers. It also significantly reduces anxiety in children,
which if not addressed properly, can be detrimental to the process of learning. MSCS founding
board members believe that it is of the utmost importance that schools provide a stable place in
children’s lives in order to strengthen their healthy development. One way to accomplish this is
through teacher continuity. At Mountain Sage it is envisioned that the same class teacher will
follow her/his class for several grades. In fact, “looping” or having a teacher stay with a class for
more than a year is on the rise in the US but not yet a common practice. According to a research
study of a school district in East Cleveland, Ohio led by researchers from the Cleveland State
University: After three years (1993-1997), students in the looped classes scored an average of 25
percentage points higher on standardized tests in reading, language arts and math, than other
students in the school district who did not stay with their teachers for three years. Also, the
strong bond and community involvement by parents facilitated by long-term class teachers is
considered one of the key factors influencing student achievement (Marzan, 2006). Highly
qualified subject teachers will teach specialized subjects in the 6th, 7th and 8th grades.
Critical Thinking Skills and Cooperative Spirit
Finnish schools offer a very comprehensive curriculum, which includes language/literacy, math,
ethics, philosophy, health, physical development, culture, art, natural studies and the
environment. These subjects are very similar to those offered by Waldorf schools and are
considered standard in Waldorf curriculum as opposed to “extracurricular” in the case of many
school districts in the USA. The very comprehensive curriculum, which includes the integration
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of arts into other subjects and cross-curricular projects, lays the foundation for profound and
long-term academic achievement and is vital to building critical thinking skills. Similar to the
Finnish approach, the main focus in private Waldorf and Waldorf-inspired public schools is on
cooperation among students rather than competition. The cooperative spirit permeating Finnish
and Waldorf schools fosters a healthy community and at the same time provides many
opportunities for children to lead and learn by virtue of human interaction.
Some history: The Finnish government used the economic downturn of early 1990s (induced by
a collapse of the financial sector similar to the most recent banking crisis in the US) as an
opportunity to develop a new national competitiveness policy. As a result, Finland’s ranking in
the World Economic Forum’s global competitiveness index jumped from 15th to first place by
2001 and it has remained at or near the top ever since. During that time, Finnish industry leaders
actively advocated for more attention to creativity, problem solving, teamwork, and crosscurricular projects in schools, in addition to promoting the importance of mathematics, science
and technology in the formal curriculum. According to the OECD study, “Finnish schools work
to cultivate in young people the dispositions and habits of mind often associated with innovators:
creativity, flexibility, initiative, risk-taking and the ability to apply knowledge in novel
situations” (OECD, 2010). The correctness of this approach has been evident in the top rankings
of the Finnish students in the OECD assessment ever since.
“Whole Person” Assessments
One of the main differences between the US and the Finnish educational systems is that there are
no external accountability systems in Finland. Also, Finland uses very little standardized testing
and grades are not given until high school, and even then, class rankings are not compiled.
Because students at Finnish schools are not assessed by any national tests or examinations,
Finnish teachers are greatly relied upon when it comes to student assessment. The teacher-based
assessments in Finland are very similar to those at private Waldorf and Waldorf-inspired public
charter schools (and our own plan for Mountain Sage Community School). These assessments
draw on students’ class work (e.g. “Main Lesson Book”), projects, portfolios and teacher-made
exams and assessments. The “whole person” approach to academic learning and primary
methods of assessment and the role of the long-term class teacher, allow for early detection of
any difficulties students may have and for early intervention. We want to emphasize that
Mountain Sage Community School is committed to and will comply with all state and federal
regulations, including the use of standardized testing and supplement them with further
assessments unique to our program. The “whole person” assessments inherent to Waldorf
education will not replace but enhance the data collected in line with the federal and state
accountability system and will serve as a further diagnostic tool.
Furthermore, similar to the Finnish model, teachers at private Waldorf and Waldorf-inspired
charter schools get one afternoon per week for professional development and faculty
collaboration (“early release day”). This will also be the case for MSCS. Professional
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development includes faculty conferences where academic topics and student performance are
reviewed. This allows a plan, addressing any “red flag” issues, to be developed at the earliest
stage. Early detection diagnostic tools, such as these, are crucial in determining student needs
and allows for early intensive intervention.
Teaching
Teaching is one of the most desirable career choices in Finland - in line with medical doctors,
architects and lawyers. Finnish teachers enjoy autonomy and trust as well as high social status.
Interestingly though, Finnish teacher salaries are in the middle range for European countries and
below their US counterparts. For example, according to OECD data, the average annual starting
salary in lower secondary education in Finland is US $32, 513 versus US $35,915 in the USA
and an OECD average of US $30,750 (OECD, 2010).
While teaching is not the trendiest profession among the general US population (about 20% of
the US high school graduates choose Business and Management as a major), teaching is the most
popular profession chosen by the US Waldorf high school graduates later in life (Mitchell and
Gerwin, 2007).
Moreover, Waldorf methods are transformational in that they benefit not only students but also
teachers. Teaching is very rewarding but at the same a very challenging occupation. Many
teachers become disengaged and often leave the profession due to high demands from society
and the politics of teaching. Dr Mary Goral in her research investigates ten case studies of urban
public school teachers who use Waldorf-inspired methods in their public elementary school
classrooms. According to comments by the Waldorf-inspired cohort from Dr Goral’s research,
Waldorf teaching methods help energize teachers, giving them motivation and new ideas to
implement in their own classrooms. She also noted that the teachers’ commitment to building
community, which in turn makes them more engaged in the processes that shape education. She
concludes that Waldorf training programs and generally the Waldorf methods enable teachers to
find the strength to continue teaching and help them “find a way to renew their joy, to reconnect
with their original passion with increased wisdom, wonder, and a softened heart” (Goral, 2010).
Additionally, similar to the Finnish model, it is a Waldorf tradition (and our own plan for
Mountain Sage faculty) that teachers visit each other’s classes to observe their colleagues at
work. This not only allows for self-assessment, but rejuvenates and inspires teachers to continue
implementing Waldorf-inspired methods into their classrooms.
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Mountain Sage Community School and Educational Reform
“My parents were looking for a school that would nurture the whole
person. They also felt that the Waldorf school would be a far more open
environment for African Americans, and that was focused on educating
students with values, as well as the academic tools necessary to be
constructive and contributing human beings. Waldorf taught me how to
think for myself, to be accountable for my actions, to be a good listener,
and to be sensitive to the needs of others. It also helped me to focus on the
underlying importance of beliefs and values that are the foundation of good
leadership."
– Kenneth Chenault, Chairman and CEO of American Express, former
Waldorf student
The Waldorf movement is one of the fastest growing independent school movements in the
world. The first Waldorf school was founded in 1919 amid the devastation and chaos of postWorld War I in Germany. There are currently over 1,000 independent schools worldwide.
While Waldorf schools were first intended to serve the poor, the high quality of Waldorf
education has attracted growing numbers of middle and upper-middle class families. At the same
time, high tuition costs made it inaccessible to the broader public. Thanks to the charter school
movement in the USA, the first publically funded tuition-free Waldorf charter school was
founded in California in 1990. There are currently 45 public Waldorf-inspired charter schools
and 19 emerging new school initiatives in the USA.
As stated previously, there are many unique characteristics intrinsic to the Finnish educational
model, which have proven to be effective. The United States can draw on the rich experience of
this Nordic country. According to the Finnish newspaper “Helsingin Sanomat” from January 22,
2011, a team of Harvard researchers (led by Professor Robert Schwartz, the Dean of Practice of
Educational Policy and Administration) paid a fact-finding visit to Finland earlier this year.
According to the newspaper, the researchers have been impressed by the general level of
cooperation among teachers, the positive, role of long-term class teachers, and by the strong
support given to students with learning difficulties.
The board at MSCS is also happy to report that we are in the process of building a partnership
with a Finnish elementary school, which would allow our teachers and students to share
experiences and make friendships. This can be made possible thanks to the internet video, phone
and email exchanges and at a later stage possibly via organized physical exchanges of teachers
and students from the older grades.
The empirical evidence of successful implementation of some of the key methods inherent to
Waldorf education in Finland, as well as other research studies establishing strong linkages
between high student achievement and Waldorf-inspired methods, suggests that Waldorfinspired charter schools not only benefit from but also contribute to the educational reform in the
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United States. It is our belief that Mountain Sage Community School as the first Waldorfinspired school in Fort Collins and second in Colorado, will provide a much needed additional
choice and diversification for the community of Fort Collins and beyond. We have enjoyed and
continue to anticipate a steady stream of interest in our unique program, and we will embrace
opportunities to disseminate best practices.
References:
Abeles, Vicki. Race to Nowhere, Reel Link Films, Lafayette, CA. 2010.
Center on Education Policy, 2006: “From the capital to the classroom: Year 4 of the No-Child
Left Behind Act”
Elkind, D. “The Power of Play: How Spontaneous Imaginative Activities Lead to Happier,
Healthier Children.” Cambridge, MA. 2007.
Goral, Mary: “Teacher Support and Revival in Waldorf-Inspired Classrooms,” published in
Encounter: Education for Meaning and Social Justice”, Summer 2010.
Harvard Graduate School of Education: “Pathways to Prosperity: Meeting the Challenge of
Preparing Young Americans for the 21st Century”, February 2011.
Koretz, Daniel: “Alignment, high stakes, and the inflation of test scores. Los Angeles: National
Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing,” 2005.
Marzano, Robert: “What Works in Schools” presented at the School Improvement Conference
hosted by the Michigan Department of Education in 2006.
Melrose, Regalena. “Why Waldorf Works: From a Neuroscientific Perspective.” Harvest Faire,
October 11, 2010. Retrieved from: www.drmelrose.com.
Mitchell, David and Gerwin, Douglas: “Survey of Waldorf Graduates, Phase II, Wilton NH:
Research Institute for Waldorf Education, 2007.
National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), 2004
Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD): “Strong Performers and
Successful Reformers in Education: Lessons from Program for International Student Assessment
(PISA) for the United States,” 2010.
Sharp Caroline. “Age of Starting School and the Early Years Curriculum”, London, 1998.
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Section 2: Critical Links: Learning in the Arts and Student Academic and
Social Development
Mountain Sage Community School will integrate visual arts, music, classroom drama, and dance
into the core curriculum wherever it naturally fits and whenever possible. The correctness of this
pedagogy is demonstrated in the outcomes of the myriad research studies conducted on artsintegration.
Research in this section is taken from the work Critical Links: Learning in the Arts and Student
Academic and Social Development. The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the U.S.
Department of Education (USED) awarded funding to the Arts Education Partnership (AEP) to
commission and publish Critical Links. The focus of the studies in Critical Links was to identify
strong arts education research that would make a contribution to the national debate over such
issues as how to enable all students to reach high levels of academic achievement, how to
improve overall school performance, and how to create the contexts and climates in schools that
are most conducive to learning.
The following table, taken from Critical Links, summarizes where research has shown the arts
having positive affects on academic and social outcomes.
Deasy, R. Critical Links: Learning in the Arts and Student Academic and Social Development,
Arts Education Partnership, 2002.
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Cognitive Capacities and Motivations to Learn
Arts Learning
Visual Arts
Drawing
Visualization training
Reasoning about art
Instruction in visual art
Content and organization of writing
Sophisticated reading skills/interpretation of text
Reasoning about scientific images
Reading readiness
Music
Early childhood music
training
Music listening
Cognitive development
Piano/keyboard learning
Piano and voice
Music performance
Instrument training
Music with language learning
Spatial reasoning, spatial temporal reasoning, quality of
writing, prolixity of writing.
Mathematics proficiency, spatial reasoning
Long-term spatial temporal reasoning
Self-efficacy, self-concept
Reading, SAT verbal scores
English skills for ESL learners
Classroom Drama
Dramatic enactment
Story comprehension (oral and written), character
identification, character motivation, increased peer interaction,
writing proficiency and prolixity, conflict resolution skills,
concentrated thought, understanding social relationships, ability
to understand complex issues and emotions, engagement,
problem-solving dispositions/strategies, general self concept.
Dance
Traditional dance
Self-confidence, persistence, reading skills, nonverbal
reasoning, expressive skills, creativity in poetry, social
tolerance, appreciation of individual/group social development.
Creative thinking: fluency, originality, elaboration, flexibility
Creative dance
Multi-arts Programs
Integrated arts/academics
Intensive arts experience
Arts-rich school environment
Reading, verbal and math skills, creative thinking, achievement
motivation, cognitive engagement, instructional practice in the
school, professional culture in the school, school climate,
community engagement and identity.
Self-confidence, risk-taking, paying attention, persevering,
empathy for others, self-initiation, ownership of learning,
collaboration skills, leadership, reduced drop-out rates,
educational aspirations, higher-order thinking skills.
Creativity, engagement/attendance, personal and social
developments, higher-order thinking.
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Next, two studies from each section of Critical Links are provided as supporting examples.
Visual Arts
Example 1:
In a study conducted by Karen Tishamn Et al. called Investigating the Educational Impact and
Potential of the Museum of Modern Art’s Visual Thinking Curriculum, the researchers answered
the following question: When children aged 9 to 10 are trained to look closely at works of art and
reason about what they see, can they transfer these same skills to a science activity? (Transfer
denotes instances where learning in one contest assists learning in a different context.)
A Visual Thinking Curriculum (VTC) was used in which 162 9- and 10-year-olds were trained to
look closely at works of art and talk about what they saw in the works. Over the course of a year,
these students participated in an average of seven to eight VTC lessons of about 40 minutes each.
All of the classes visited the Museum of Modern Art in New York City at least twice.
On the art assessment, children in the control group performed equivalently to children in the
VTC at the pre-test, providing evidence that the two groups were commensurate. After a year of
the VTC, children achieved higher scores on evidential reasoning on the post-test than did the
control group. They were also less likely to use circular reasoning, and were more aware of the
fact that their interpretations were subjective. Thus, the students in the VTC appeared to have
looking and reasoning skills acquired from looking at works of art that they then deployed when
given a scientific image.
Tishman S, MacGillivray D, and Palmer P. Investigating the Educational Impact and Potential
of the Museum of Modern Art’s Visual Thinking Curriculum, Museum of Modern Art, New
York, NY, 1999.
Example 2:
In a study conducted by Jeffery Wilhelm called Reading Is Seeing: Using Visual Response to
Improve the Literary Reading of Reluctant Readers, the author answered the research question:
Can the visual arts be used to help reluctant learning-disabled readers begin to enjoy reading?
Two seventh-grade boys who were learning disabled and who were “reluctant” readers were
helped in a nine-week session to visualize stories through the visual arts. They were asked to
create cutouts or find objects that would represent characters and ideas in the story they were
reading, and then use these to dramatize the story. They were also asked to draw a picture of
strong visual impressions formed while reading a story. And they were engaged in discussions of
how the pictures in illustrated books work along with the words. Students were also asked to
illustrate books, and to engage in “picture-mapping,” in which they depicted visually the key
details of nonfiction texts. The final activity was to create a collage that represented their
response to a particular piece of literature.
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The two students became much more sophisticated readers through the course of the nine weeks
of visualization training. They took a more active role in reading, and began to interpret text
rather than just passively read it. The researcher suggests that visual art provides a concrete
“metacognitive marking point” that allowed these readers to see what they understood. It is also
possible that because these boys were particularly interested in visual art, the use of visual art in
reading made them more motivated to read.
Wilhelm JD. Reading Is Seeing: Using Visual Response to Improve the Literary Reading of
Reluctant Readers, Journal of Reading Behavior, 1995, 27 (4): 467-503.
Music
Example 1:
In a study conducted by Lois Hetland called Learning to Make Music Enhances Spatial
Reasoning, the author answered the following research question: Does active instruction in
music enhance preschool and elementary students’ performance on spatial tasks?
The researcher conducted a literature search for published and unpublished studies that examined
the relationship between music and nonmusical cognitive outcomes. Fifteen studies were
selected for meta-analysis according to these criteria: (1) they were reported in English, (2)
participants were taught to make instrumental or vocal music, (3) they contained one or more
control groups, (4) they contained outcome measures on mental rotation or spatial visualization,
(5) sufficient statistics were provided to compute an effect size.
Consistent effects were found across the studies in the first meta-analysis. According to the
author, “active music instruction lasting two years or less leads to dramatic improvements” in
spatial-temporal reasoning.
Effects remained robust with group lessons and instruction without notation. Another metaanalysis demonstrated that effects of music making are not limited to spatial-reasoning
performance, but may include other spatial tasks as well.
Hetland L. Learning to Make Music Enhances Spatial Reasoning, The Journal of Aesthetic
Education, Fall 2000, 34 (3-4): 179-238.
Example 2:
In a study conducted by Kathryn Vaughn called Music and Mathematics: Modest Support for the
Oft-Claimed Relationship, the author answered the following questions: Is there a relationship
between music study and mathematics achievement? Does music instruction cause increases in
mathematics achievement? Does listening to background music while thinking about
mathematics problems enhance mathematics ability?
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A search of published and unpublished studies considering the relationship between music and
mathematics was gathered. The initial harvest yielded 4,000 references. These were reduced to a
set of 25 studies, first by excluding articles deemed to be advocacy pieces or programs
descriptions, and then by excluding three other types of studies: (1) when music was used as a
reward for high mathematics performance, (2) where musical “jingles” were used as memory
aids, and (3) where the studies focused on music and mathematics aptitude rather than
achievement. The studies were then assigned to one of three groups: correlational, experimentalmusic instruction, and experimental-music listening. A separate meta-analysis was performed
within each group.
The meta-analysis of the correlational group indicated a significant relationship between music
study and mathematics achievement. Students who take music classes in high school are more
likely to score higher on standardized mathematics tests such as the SAT.
Vaughn K. Music and Mathematics: Modest Support for the Oft-Claimed Relationship, Journal
of Aesthetic Education, Fall 2000, 34 (3-4):149-166.
For more evidence on how music (playing instruments, reading music, listening to music)
contributes to brain development and enhances cognitive skills and concrete reasoning, please
refer to Appendix M.
Classroom Drama
Example 1:
In a study conducted by Sherry DuPont called The Effectiveness of Creative Drama as an
Instructional Strategy to Enhance the Reading Comprehension Skills of Fifth-Grade Remedial
Readers, the author answered the following research question: Does a program of creative drama
integrated with children’s literature contribute to the growth of reading comprehension skills of
fifth-grade remedial reading students?
The study looked at three groups of fifth-grade students in remedial reading classes that
demonstrated comparable skill levels in both the California Achievement Test and the Reading
Diagnostic section of the Metropolitan Achievement Test (MAT6). Each group had 17 students.
Groups One and Two received a structured remedial reading program for six weeks using six
selected children’s stories. Group One used creative drama to support story comprehension.
Group Two used “traditional,” non-remedial methods to support story comprehension—they
read the same stories as Group One, followed by vocabulary exercises and teacher-led
discussions. Group Three was the control group and continued the ongoing remedial program.
The study finds that “…when children have been involved in the process of integrating creative
drama with reading they are not only able to better comprehend what they’ve read and acted out,
but they are also better able to comprehend what they have read but do not act out, such as the
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written scenarios they encounter on standardized tests.” This is an important finding that
warrants scrutiny and additional research—that drama not only contributes to the immediate
subject of a dramatic enactment but also associates with comprehension of written stories
unrelated to the drama activity. This is an instance of transfer of skills in one arena to skills
useful more generally, albeit a closely related transfer.
DuPont S. The Effectiveness of Creative Drama as an Instructional Strategy to Enhance the
Reading Comprehension Skills of Fifth-Grade Remedial Readers, Reading Research and
Instruction, 1992, 31(3): 41-52.
Example 2:
In a study conducted by Michaela Parks and Dale Rose called The Impact of Whirlwind’s
Reading Comprehension through Drama Program on 4th Grade Students’ Reading Skills and
Standardized Test Scores, the authors answered the following research question: What is the
impact of a collaboratively developed reading comprehension/drama program on reading skills,
standardized test scores, and drama skills?
The study utilized a 10-week drama program, two hours per week, which engaged four classes of
fourth-grade students in each of four schools, which were then compared to four control classes,
one in each of the respective schools. Professional artists worked together with the classroom
teachers. The three components of each session included “Game Time” for physical and vocal
warm-up and getting focused, “Acting” for advancing acting skills and applying these to specific
narratives, and “Observation/Conversing” for writing in journals and discussing the work of the
session. At the end of the 10 weeks there was a specific theater presentation exercise along with
a performance assessment. In the spring prior to the program year and in the spring at the close
of the program year students were given a section of the Iowa Test of Basic Skills designed to
measure reading comprehension.
Participant students’ reading comprehension scores on the Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS)
improved three months more (in the standard grade-level metric) than the control group, with
high statistical significance. ITBS scores improved the most with respect to student ability to
identify factual information from written text.
Parks M and Rose D. The Impact of Whirlwind’s Reading Comprehension through Drama
Program on 4th Grade Students’ Reading Skills and Standardized Test Scores, 3D Group, 1997,
Berkeley, CA, 25.
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Dance
Example 1:
In a study conducted by Sandra Milton called Assessment of High School Students’ Creative
Thinking Skills: A Comparison of the Effects of Dance and Non-dance Classes, the author
answered the following research question: Is there a relationship between dancing and creative
thinking?
Two hundred eighty-six high school students (15 years old, on average) who were enrolled in
dance (experimental group) and non-dance (untreated control group) courses participated.
Students studied under six dance teachers in beginning and advanced courses for a wide range of
dance forms. Dancers participated for about five to eight hours a week, in and out of school, for a
semester. Controls attended classes in business accounting, English, health, interpersonal
communications, and psychology. Experimental and Control subjects were pre- and post-tested
in groups on the three parts of the Torrance Test of Creative Thinking (TTCT). TTCT is normreferenced on five factors: fluency (number of ideas), originality (novelty of ideas), abstractness
of titles (imaginative titling that captures the essence of a drawing), elaboration (detail
identification), and resistance to premature closure (completing figures in non-simplistic ways).
Elaboration, originality, and abstractness of titles correlated with higher levels of dance
experience. Although results are compromised by potential selection bias (and can only be
generalized to high school students who choose dance classes), there is evidence against an
interpretation that higher creativity scores resulted because those who took dance started out
more creative: dancers scored lower, on average, on pre-tests for all five creativity factors. Thus,
it is not likely that the creativity gains resulted from a more creative group in the dance treatment
but, rather, from the dance instruction itself.
Minton S. Assessment of High School Students’ Creative Thinking Skills: A Comparison of the
Effects of Dance and Non-dance Classes, Unpublished Manuscript, 2000, University of Northern
Colorado, Greeley, CO.
Example 2:
In a study conducted by Dale Rose called The Impact of Whirlwind’s Basic Reading Through
Dance Program on First Grade Students’ Basic Reading Skills: Study II, the author answered the
following question: Can first-graders’ reading abilities be improved through a dance program in
which children learn to use their bodies to physically represent letters?
In 1998-1999, a Basic Reading through Dance (BRD) program was implemented in three
Chicago public elementary schools. The goal of the program was to improve first-graders’
reading ability through dance. The program lasted over 20 sessions. Each session was led by
three dance specialists. The heart of each session consisted of teaching students to physically
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represent sounds by making shapes with their bodies to represent letters and letter combinations.
Nine schools served as control schools. All 12 schools served predominantly
African-American poverty-level children. A total of 174 BRD children and 198 control children
were pre- and post-tested in reading using the Read America’s Phono-Graphix Test. The test
assesses the ability to recognize sounds for letters as well as phoneme segmentation ability. The
study compared gain scores in the BRD and control children over three months.
While both groups improved significantly in reading, those in the BRD group improved
significantly more than those in the control group on all measures assessed by the reading test.
They improved more in their ability to relate written consonants and vowels to their sounds, and
to segment phonemes from spoken words, including nonsense words, compared to the control
children.
Rose D. The Impact of Whirlwind’s Basic Reading Through Dance Program on First Grade
Students’
Basic Reading Skills: Study II. February 1999, 3-D Group, Berkeley, California.
Multi-arts Programs
Example 1:
In a study conducted by James Catterall called Involvement in the Arts and Success in Secondary
School, the author answered the following questions: Do students in middle and high school who
have high involvement in the arts perform better than those with low arts involvement on a
variety of academic indicators? And if so, does this relationship hold up when the sample is
restricted to students from the lowest SES quartile in the United States?
Data from 25,000 students participating in the National Educational Longitudinal Study (NELS)
of 1988 were examined for this study. Students in the NELS study were followed from eighth to
tenth grade. Students were classified in terms of arts involvement both in and out of school. Arts
involvement was measured by number of arts courses taken, number of out-of-school arts
courses taken, and attendance at museums outside of school. Students in the highest quartile of
arts involvement were compared with those in the lowest art-involvement quartile on a variety of
academic measures. Academic measures for eighth graders were: grades in English; scores on
composite standardized tests; dropping out of school by grade 10; boredom in school half or
most of the time. Academic measures for 10th-graders were: composite standardized test scores;
reading scores; scores on a test of history/geography/citizenship. Tenth-graders were also
assessed in terms of community service involvement and television watching. A sub-study was
conducted on 6,500 students from the lowest SES quartile. The identical methods and measures
were used.
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The relationship between arts involvement and academic achievement was positive in both
eighth and 10th grades for the broader sample of 25,000 students cutting across all SES levels.
High arts students earned better grades and performed better on standardized tests. High arts
students also performed more community service, watched fewer hours of television, and
reported less boredom in school. When high vs. low arts-involved students from the lowest SES
quartile were compared, the same findings emerged. High arts students again earned better
grades and scores, were less likely to drop out of school, watched fewer hours of television, were
less likely to report boredom in school, had a more positive self-concept, and were more
involved in community service.
Catterall J. Involvement in the Arts and Success in Secondary School, Americans for the Arts
Monographs, 1998, 1 (9), Washington, D.C.
Example 2:
In a study conducted by James Caterall and Lynn Waldorf called Chicago Arts Partnerships in
Education (CAPE): Evaluation Summary, the authors answered the following research question:
Do low-SES urban public school students in schools that integrate arts and academics (through
partnerships with teachers and artists) perform better on standardized tests than do students who
are in schools that do not integrate arts with academics?
This study examined the effect on test scores of the Chicago Arts Partnerships in Education
(CAPE). CAPE schools brought artists and teachers into partnerships so that they could develop
curricular units in which an art form was integrated with an academic subject. Fifty-four percent
of the teachers reported having developed one arts-academic integrated unit, while 24 percent
reported having created four to five such units. Units typically lasted four to six weeks. Typically
it was a visual art form integrated into a reading or social studies unit.
The reading and mathematics test scores for CAPE schools were compared to scores from other
Chicago public schools at grades 3, 6, 8, 9, 10, and 11.
In none of the comparisons made between CAPE and control schools did the control schools
perform better than the CAPE schools.
Math: In K-8, 40 comparisons were made between CAPE and control school math scores. Of
these, 16 comparisons showed CAPE schools increased their lead over control schools. At high
school level, 8 out of 12 comparisons showed CAPE schools increased their lead.
Reading: In the K-8 grades, 40 comparisons were made between CAPE and control school
reading scores. Of these, 25 showed CAPE schools increasing their lead over control schools. At
the high school level, 7 out of 12 comparisons showed CAPE schools increasing their lead. The
differences between CAPE and comparison students were statistically significant in elementary
school, especially by sixth grade.
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References:
Catterall J. and Waldorf L. Chicago Arts Partnerships in Education (CAPE): Evaluation
Summary, In E. Fiske (Ed.), Champions of Change: The Impact of the Arts on Learning. The
Arts Education Partnership and The President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities,
Washington, D.C., 1999.
Catterall J. Involvement in the Arts and Success in Secondary School, Americans for the Arts
Monographs, 1998, 1 (9), Washington, D.C.
Deasy, R. Critical Links: Learning in the Arts and Student Academic and Social Development,
Arts Education Partnership, 2002.
DuPont S. The Effectiveness of Creative Drama as an Instructional Strategy to Enhance the
Reading Comprehension Skills of Fifth-Grade Remedial Readers,Reading Research and
Instruction, 1992, 31(3): 41-52.
Hetland L. Learning to Make Music Enhances Spatial Reasoning, The Journal of Aesthetic
Education, Fall 2000, 34 (3-4): 179-238.
Minton S. Assessment of High School Students’ Creative Thinking Skills: A Comparison of the
Effects of Dance and Non-dance Classes, Unpublished Manuscript, 2000, University of Northern
Colorado, Greeley, CO.
Parks M. and Rose D. The Impact of Whirlwind’s Reading Comprehension through Drama
Program on 4th Grade Students’ Reading Skills and Standardized Test Scores, 3D Group, 1997,
Berkeley, CA, 25.
Rose D. The Impact of Whirlwind’s Basic Reading Through Dance Program on First Grade
Students’
Basic Reading Skills: Study II. February 1999, 3-D Group, Berkeley, California.
Tishman S, MacGillivray D, and Palmer P. Investigating the Educational Impact and Potential
of the Museum of Modern Art’s Visual Thinking Curriculum, Museum of Modern Art, New
York, NY, 1999.
Vaughn K. Music and Mathematics: Modest Support for the Oft-Claimed Relationship, Journal
of Aesthetic Education, Fall 2000, 34 (3-4):149-166.
Wilhelm JD. Reading Is Seeing: Using Visual Response to Improve the Literary Reading of
Reluctant Readers,
Journal of Reading Behavior, 1995, 27 (4): 467-503.
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Section 3: Excerpts from Mountain Phoenix Community School and
Boulder Community School of Integrated Studies Charter Applications
The following section contains excerpts from the Mountain Phoenix Community School charter
application (approved in 2006 in Golden, Colorado) and from the Boulder Community School of
Integrated Studies (BCSIS) application (approved in 1995 in Boulder, Colorado). This research
is further supported by additional research published within the last 16 years.
Arts At The Center, Not The Periphery
The arts represent a beautiful and powerful energy, which taps the wellsprings of our very
civilization. Throughout all of history, each civilization has been remembered, if not also
judged, by its works of art. From surviving sculptures and architecture of the ancient world such
as Egypt, Greece and Rome still come fabulous inspiration today. Likewise, music is known for
its transformative and transcendent power across time and culture. The greatest flowering of
any civilization is always coincident with and represented by its greatest quality of arts.
Conversely, civilizations in decline often reflect this through increasingly impoverished arts. To
borrow words from Helen Vendler, who proposes the arts be put at the center of the humanities
rather than being relegated to the periphery: “It is the arts, more than philosophy or history, that
help us live our lives and for which our culture will ultimately be remembered...” (Vendler,
2004). And from John Dewey, a famous educational theorist, comes the following definition of
the arts: “To feel the meaning of what one is doing, and to rejoice in that meaning; to unite in
one concurrent fact the unfolding of the inner life and the ordered development of material -that is art” (Dewey, 1903-06).
Arts infusion has been shown to lead to both superior academics and success. It has even been
suggested that the highest academic success may depend upon sequential arts education, which
begins in the early grades of school (Lake, 1994; Hilger, 2006).
Regarding economic success, creativity is recognized as the number one required ingredient. It
is also recognized that creativity is both nourished and stimulated through the proper
presentation and study of the arts. During a 19-country summit including the United States and
several European countries in 2000, it was concluded that the arts are essential for both
economic success and cultural viability (Sharp, 2000). The finding of this summit were: that
stronger arts programs are needed during school hours; that these must creatively engage
children; and that teachers must have the appropriate training to support increased arts. The
number one concern among teachers participating in this summit was that they do not have the
skills to bring arts into the academic classroom in a creative and integrated way.
It cannot be emphasized enough that teachers being asked to teach arts infusion in the classroom
must be supported by appropriate training and skill sets. Through our talented and skillful
consultants and training opportunities through The Waldorf Alliance, MSCS will be able to
successfully support arts-based education.
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Neural and Cognitive Development and the Relationship between Arts Infusion & Academic
Achievement
There are two main ways in which arts-infused education aids cognitive development and
learning. Arts infused education acts physiologically to enhance neurological development,
which in turn aids in the development of more intricate cognitive structures. It also facilitates
learning by providing a broader frame of reference for new material. Because this expanded
frame of reference includes auditory, verbal, kinesthetic, tactile, interpersonal, intrapersonal, and
spatial dynamics, it speaks to all learning styles, allowing all students to work from their
individual strengths while assisting in development of their weaker areas.
It is well established that flexible, creative thinking requires intricate neurological structures.
Developmental psychologists rank neural complexity on a scale of I-IV. While high degrees of
basic intelligence can occur at all levels, stages III and IV are characterized by the ability to
make connections quickly, the tendency to explore and use original approaches to problemsolving; a higher level of memory retention, and an increased capacity for insight, among other
things. Stages I and II, on the other hand, characterize thought processes that are either dualistic
or multiplistic in nature. That is, people at these stages tend to think in black-and-white terms
and to be hostile to new ideas if they are dualists, and to have trouble weighing and sorting
among many possible solutions if they are multiplists.
The level of complexity in a person’s thought processes depends on neurological pathways
established in the brain. It is along these pathways that the electrical signals we associate with
thinking travel. Neurologic pathways are established by force of habit; that is, people who use
their bodies and minds a lot and in different ways will have more and better-established
pathways than those who perform several similar tasks repeatedly. New pathways can be laid
down at any time in a person’s life, but they are more easily established before the age of 12.
(This is one of the reasons why it’s easier to acquire a second language or learn an instrument
during the pre-pubescent years). Intellectual development continues, of course, as students
progress on through high school and college and enter the workforce. However, most new
information is processed along the already existing pathways in the brain. Thus, the capacities
for creative and analytical thought later in life depend a great deal upon the structures laid down
in childhood.
Because participation in the arts exercises so many areas of the brain, students who are exposed
to arts infused education are more likely to have a higher number of neurological pathways.
Assuming they are given the appropriate opportunities and instruction in their educational
careers, these children will have a higher capacity for original and critical thought. For example,
students who merely listen to a teacher or see a video on Ancient Rome, are using a relatively
small number of pathways in their brains. They are listening and watching. Even the visual
activity is limited if they are watching a video or if their teacher doesn’t move around much,
because their eyes don’t change focus. However, students in the arts infusion method who, while
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guided by their teacher, are writing and illustrating their own lesson books, sculpting after the
fashion of the Romans, enacting Julius Caesar, reciting Roman poetry, building scale-model
coliseums, reconstructing musical instruments, sewing costumes, and proclaiming edicts are
clearly using their brains and bodies more fully. Multiple pathways are engaged and exercised.
What’s more, these students are more likely to remember what they’ve learned about Ancient
Rome. Research in cognitive development shows people learn primarily in terms of what they
already know. People use prior experience to construct a frame of reference for processing new
information. Therefore, the ability to assimilate and apply new concepts depends in large
measure on the breadth of a person’s frame of reference. Arts infused education, by relating
conceptual information to tactile, auditory, kinesthetic, verbal, visual, and interpersonal
experience, necessarily provides each student with a broader frame of reference for each new
lesson. Students who learn this way are also more likely to internalize their lessons about
Ancient Rome; some may even imagine living there themselves. This aids in the construction of
a new frame of reference that will ease the study of later historical periods, such as the European
Age of Reason.
Studies have shown that, due to a more complete exercise of mental faculties and the creation of
a broader and more vibrant frame of reference, students who are systematically exposed to the
arts improve their intellectual performance. It’s well established that the brain is sub-divided
into right and left hemispheres. The left is associated with the linear, analytical cognitive
processes so valued in our society. Most public education focuses on these processes. The right
hemisphere is associated with artistic, spatial, kinesthetic, musical, and intuitive processes.
Recent research has demonstrated that these hemispheres are not as independent of each other as
was previously assumed. Math, for example, is a left-sided activity, but much of math depends
on a well-developed spatial sense, provided by the right side. Language is left-sided, but
language acquisition is right-sided, evidenced by the fact that it is enhanced by musical training.
Please note that additional research both prior to and since 1995 indicate the connections
between the hemispheres are of vital importance to “intelligence.” Because problem solving and
learning involve both hemispheres as mentioned above, the more numerous and stronger the
connections between hemispheres, the greater success enjoyed by any individual for these higher
cortical functions. These hemispheric connections are fostered by active and creative
engagement in the arts (Healy, 1999 and Pearce, 1992).
In fact, studies show that strengthening the right side of the brain in any way, leads to enhanced
performance in all left-brain functions. Musical training is associated with higher levels of
general intelligence, and advanced applications of math and science require the right brain
functions of intuition and spatial understanding. This last point is worth mulling, for the United
States trails the developed world in sending students to graduate school in mathematics and
theoretical science.
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The right and left hemispheres of the brain refer specifically to the structural hemispheres of the
cerebral cortex. There is additional neurological research from a number of fields, which have
begun to explore the role of sub-cortical structures in integrating the hemispheres of the cortex
and otherwise supporting and impacting learning and development. (Please note, Healy and
Pearce both describe three brains: (1) The Lizard brain, or the brainstem, which is
evolutionarily speaking our most ancient brain, and deals with survival; (2) The limbic system,
which is found to be the seat of our emotions; and (3) the neo-cortex, evolutionarily speaking our
most recent brain, also nicknamed our ‘civilized’ brain. It is the cortex which is thought to be
the main academic “brain,” supported by the limbic system, or “feeling brain.”)
Specifically, research into the identity and functioning of the “limbic system” has been
illuminating. Neuro-physiologically, the limbic system is a structural and functional crossroads.
Often referred to as the mid-brain, it is connected to both hemispheres of the brain (especially the
right hemisphere), as well as structures of the lower reptilian brain, which are at the heart of the
autonomic nervous system. Functionally, the limbic system is considered to blend autonomic
process with the conscious association processes of thought and memory.
Examples of limbic system researchers in the past couple decades include Paul McClean,
forerunner in “triunal brain theory;” Roger Masters, political scientist and researcher in the
emergent field of Biopolitics, who has specifically studied the relationship of limbic system
actions and interactions to political power; and, Gabrialle Rico, educator, author of Writing the
Natural Way, who was involved in the development of the Bay Area Writing Project in the San
Francisco Area.
Limbic system research is relatively young. Just which brain structures to involve in the system
is unsettled, and how they precisely function is yet to be fully understood. There is, however, a
consistent theme of research, which underscores the central role of emotion in learning and
development.
Most people easily grasp the role of emotion in certain behaviors such as running when
frightened, exploding in a fit of rage, or reaching out passionately for one’s significant other.
But researchers such as those noted above extend the study of non-verbal, emotional dynamics
into subtler, less obvious realms of behavior, such as the interest of a young child rolling a ball
across the floor, the emerging power of an individual in a group, and the organizing of a
student’s world of experience into coherent, meaningful prose.
Many of the pedagogic elements in the Waldorf-inspired curriculum specifically support
children’s development of new skills and abilities. Waldorf methods stimulate pre-verbal
neurological processes, as well as emotionally engage children’s innate aesthetic sensibility, their
precious sense of wonder and imagination, and their inherent connection to the world.
Overemphasis on cognitive training is, ironically, less productive and potentially damaging
(Oppenheimer, 1999).
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Pearce analyzes large numbers of cognitive and neural developmental studies in his books,
presenting them in layman’s language. He discusses the fact that premature academic training
for young children actually results in learning disabilities including poorer reading skills by
fourth grade and above. Healy also analyzes this same body of research in her book Endangered
Minds and arrives at similar conclusions. Other world-renowned educators and researchers such
as Dr. Coulter have found the same results. In her book, Moving into Literacy, she discusses the
physiologically appropriate age (5 ½ to 7 ½) for reading instruction to begin (Coulter, 2002).
We must therefore be very careful to distinguish rigorous but developmentally correct academics
from premature academics. The Waldorf-inspired curriculum not only supplies arts infusion but
also a developmentally correct curriculum, thus enabling rigorous and appropriate academics
with success for all students.
Our cortex lays down myelin (myelination) of different pathways and brain areas at different
ages. There is also a spectrum of development of these pathways, which varies somewhat from
individual to individual. It is the myelination of nerves, which allows them to function as
conductors for our brain, i.e. to serve as information conduits or pathways for skills, memories
and so forth. Although a child can learn to “read,” or recognize words and other symbols at any
age, the pathways of the brain, which ultimately enable deep reading comprehension in later
years are not ready for action prior to ages 5 ½ - 7 ½ (Coulter, 2002). In addition, a University
of Otago researcher uncovered quantitative evidence that teaching children to read from age
five is not likely to make that child any more successful at reading than a child who learns
reading later, from age 7 (Galer, 2009). Please refer to Appendix M for entire article.
If a child is taught reading (or other forms of academics such as numeracy) before these brain
centers are ready, the brain, being extremely plastic and adaptable, utilizes different, but
suboptimal, pathways. The problem is that these alternate pathways are not those, which can
provide deep reading comprehension or appropriate cortical stimulation in later years. Because
children are ready to read at different ages, a developmentally appropriate curriculum must
provide some flexibility so children are offered academic lessons when they are ready. Teachers
must be both properly trained and supported by the school system to recognize this readiness.
Our arts-based method offers this training and flexibility.
Healy also notes that reading comprehension test scores in the United States drop off in about
fourth grade, despite earlier and earlier academics in many schools, while many learning
problems such as ADHD and other attention deficit disorders often start to manifest then as well.
This is believed to be partially caused by inappropriate neural and cognitive growth due to
developmentally incorrect curricula. Research clearly shows that early readers are not necessarily
more successful in school than late readers. In fact, studies are showing that later readers may be
more successful than children exposed to prematurely early academics (House of Commons
Select Committee Report, 2000; BBC, 2001; Sharp, 2002, OECD, 2001).
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This explosive research means the current expectation at many schools that all students be
reading in kindergarten is gravely troubling in terms of appropriate and optimal neural and
cognitive development. Consider the following excerpt from the British House of Commons
Select Committee Report in 2000: Comparison with other countries {to the UK} suggests there
is no benefit in starting formal education before (the age of) six. The majority of other European
countries admit children to school at age six or seven following a three-year period of preschool
education, which focuses on social and physical development. Yet standards in literacy and
numeracy are generally higher in those countries than in the UK, despite our earlier starting age
(First Report: Early Years, paragraph 62, 2000).
Consider also this excerpt from a recent study comparing schools and student achievement in 32
different countries....Finland (which starts children in school at age seven)...scored very well in
the latest Program for International Student Assessment (2001 PISA) study which assessed a
quarter of a million students in 32 countries. In this survey of literacy, numeracy and
scientific understanding, Finland scored significantly better than any other European country...
(PISA-OECD, 2001).
And this excerpt from a lecture delivered to the British Royal Academy of the Arts: “First, it’s
only in the long term that you can see the disadvantages of early formal instruction. Second,
early formal instruction is particularly damaging to boys... on the whole, early (academic)
learning damages the disposal to learn” (Katz, 1999).
An additional serious problem with premature academics is this: The area of the brain which
takes over when students are required to perform academics tasks before their cortex is ready is
the reptilian brain, which is our oldest brain, evolutionarily speaking. This is the area of our
brain concerned with survival. Stimulation of this part of our brain with premature academics
(or anything else) results in aggression – the fight or flight response. This can result in
impulsive, uncontrolled, possibly quite violent behavior in some students, and withdrawal,
anxiety, and depression in other students - all problems plaguing many of our schools at this
time. “Mere technical training inevitably makes for ruthlessness, and to educate our children we
must be sensitive to the whole movement of life” (Krishnamurti, 1953).
References:
BBC News Online, Jan.11, 2001.
Coulter, Dee Joy, Ed.D. Moving into Literacy. Kindling Touch Institute, Longmont, CO, 2002.
Available online: http://www.kindlingtouch.com.
Galer, Jo. Research finds no advantage to learning to read from age five. Article on the research
of Dr. Sebastian Suggate. December, 2009.
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Available online at http://www.otago.ac.nz/news/news/otago006408.html.
John Dewey. Essays on the New Imperialism 1903-1906: The Middle Works of John Dewey, V3
Healy, Jane. Endangered Minds. New York: Touchstone, First Ed., 1990; Second Ed., 1999.
Hilger, Laura. “The Best in Kid’s Education.” Child, pp.121-130, September, 2006.
House of Commons Select Committee Report, December, 2000.
Katz, Lillian. “Starting Them Young,” Royal Society of the Arts Lecture, November 22, 1999.
Educating Futures, Royal Society of the Arts, London, 2000.
Krishnamurti, J. Education and the Significance of Life. San Francisco: Harper, 1953.
Lake, Kathy. Integrated Curriculum. May, 1994. Sponsored by: The Office of Educational
Research and Improvement (OERI), US Government.
Oppenheimer, Todd. Schooling the Imagination. The Atlantic Monthly, September 1999.
Available online at http://www.ericdigests.org/2000-2/online.htm.
Pearce, Joseph Chilton. Evolution’s End: Claiming the Potential of our Intelligence. San
Francisco: Harper, 1992.
Program for International Student Assessment, (PISA), the Office of Economic Cooperation and
Development (OECD), “Starting Age: Early Childhood Education and Care,” 2001.
Rico, Gabrielle L. Writing the Natural Way. New York: Penguin Putnam Inc, 2000.
Sharp, Caroline. “School Starting Age: European Policy and Recent Research,” National
Foundation for Educational Research, UK, 2002.
Sharp, Caroline. “The Arts, Creativity and Cultural Education: An International Perspective,”
National Foundation for Educational Research, UK, 2000.
Vendler, Helen. The Ocean, the Bird ad the Scholar: How the arts heal us to live. The New
Republic, July 19, 2004, pp. 27-32.
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Section 4. Waldorf Schools and Performance Comparison: Various
Studies
“I believe that Waldorf education possesses unique educational features
that have considerable potential for improving public education in
America… Waldorf schools provide a program that…not only fosters
conventional forms of academic achievement, but also puts a premium on
the development of imagination and the refinement of the sensibilities.”
—Elliot Eisner, Professor of Education at Stanford University and former
President, American Association for Educational Research
US Waldorf-Inspired Charter School Students Outperform their Peers in the Long Run
Dr. Ida Oberman (2007) investigated the relevance of Waldorf education for public urban school
reform. In her qualitative study “Learning from Steiner: The Relevance of Waldorf for Urban
Public Education” presented at the American Education Research Association’s annual
conference she stresses that there has been a real change in education methods over the past ten
years. Now, funders and policy makers are taking into account more than high test scores.
Moreover, she states that public schools using Waldorf methods are beginning to capture the
attention of national foundations (Oberman, 2007). To illustrate her point she refers specifically
to the Gates Foundation. Dedicated to developing education that prepares students to succeed in
college, careers and as citizens, the Gates Foundation funded the first public high school based
on Waldorf methods in the Sacramento Unified School District (Oberman, 2007; Robelen,
2006).
In addition to analyzing survey data from 500 graduates of private US Waldorf Schools,
Oberman sampled urban public Waldorf-methods schools in California. Oberman’s sample was
selected according to geography and district size then compared with students in schools of
similar demographics. In her assessment Oberman found that Waldorf methods students were, on
average, behind the top ten percent of their peers in language arts and math on the state’s annual
second grade test, the California Standards Test (CST). However, by eighth grade, they matched
the top ten percent of their peers, region and county wide, while they well outperformed the
average scores statewide on the CST (Oberman, 2007).
It is important to note that the schools which had the highest percentage of Free and Reduced
Lunch and English Language Learners, showed particularly remarkable gains. Students’ scores
went from 67% “Below Basic” in English Language Arts to 61% “Proficient or Above” by their
eight-grade year (Oberman, 2007). Thirty-four percent of the students were “Below Basic” in
math. However, by grade eight, 66% scored “Proficient or Above” on the state math assessments
(Oberman, 2007). Oberman (2007) concluded that the Waldorf approach successfully laid the
groundwork for future academics by first engaging students through integrated arts lessons and
strong relationships instead of focusing on rote learning and preparing them for standardized
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tests. Observers of the study also noted that second-grade students gained a love of learning
through child-friendly classroom activities that paid off academically in later grades (Oberman,
2007).
For full report please see Appendix N: Ida Oberman: Learning from Steiner: The Relevance
of Waldorf for Urban Public Education, 2007.
Survey on the North American Waldorf Graduates – Key Findings
“Now I’m not saying that knitting got me into Yale. But Waldorf education
helped me develop a vitally important capacity which I would call
‘cognitive love’ – the ability to embrace the world with one’s thinking, to
engage one’s mind actively in loving dedication to a brighter future.”
“For me, exposure to the arts and music, and learning by doing, are the
characteristic traits of Waldorf education.”
“Waldorf education prepared me for anything and everything!”
— Comments by US Waldorf graduates: excerpted from “Survey of
Waldorf Graduates, Phase II by David Mitchell and Douglas Gerwin
(Wilton NH: Research Institute for Waldorf Education, 2007)
The most comprehensive survey to date on the Northern American Waldorf alumni was
conducted by the Research Institute for Waldorf Education (Mitchell & Gerwin, 2007). Their
survey spanned more than 60 years of US and Canadian Waldorf high school graduates- starting
with the first Waldorf senior class in 1943 and culminating with the class of 2005. Key findings
of this survey show that 94% of the graduates attended college and 88% of the respondents have
completed or were in the process of completing a college or university level degree at the time of
the survey. The survey also showed that in both the US and Canada, Waldorf school graduates
attend – and graduate from – “a broad range of fine colleges and universities, from small liberal
arts colleges to large state universities (Mitchell & Gerwin, 2007). (Please see detailed table
below with top 20 US colleges and universities from which Waldorf alumni have most
frequently graduated)
Compared to the general US population (1991-2002 graduates), Waldorf graduates were nearly
three times as likely as the general US college population to have studied arts and humanities.
However, compared to their non-Waldorf educated peers, up to twice as many Waldorf graduates
go on to study science overall in college, including both the life sciences and physical sciences
(Mitchell & Gerwin, 2007). This is in sharp contrast with popular thinking that Waldorf alumni
are choosing careers only in arts or attending art colleges (e.g. Schreiber, N. (2007, October 30).
Not a guardian-reading weirdo in sight: there are many strange ideas about Steiner schools (The
Guardian).
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Additionally, according to the US researchers from the Research Institute for Waldorf Education,
in recent years a higher percentage of Waldorf school graduates from the younger Waldorf
schools have gone into the sciences than those graduating from the more mature Waldorf
Schools. Also, Waldorf graduates were nearly three times as likely as the general population to
have studied the social or behavioral sciences, while the pursuit of a degree in business and
management was about a quarter of the national average (please see table below) (Mitchell &
Gerwin, 2007).
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As a general observation, on a combined basis there is a relative parity between the Waldorf
graduates and general population (17% versus 20%) in majors falling within the combined life
sciences, physical sciences, mathematics, engineering, computer and information sciences. Yet,
in case of Waldorf graduates there is a stronger emphasis on arts and humanities and social and
behavioral sciences than on business and management (Mitchell & Gerwin, 2007).
Interestingly, while considerably fewer Waldorf graduates choose education as an undergraduate
degree compared to the national average, teaching is the most popular profession over all other
fields chosen by the Waldorf graduates later in life. This is also suggests that Waldorf graduates
are using their undergraduate education as a time for study rather than as training for a
profession. Overall, the five most popular professions are: education, fine and studio arts,
administration, performing arts, and health or medicine. All these professions involve
development and use of strong social skills (Mitchell & Gerwin, 2007).
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Additionally, this survey included over two hundred comments by professors about the Waldorf
school-educated undergraduates. The primary characteristics reported and comments were:
Holistic and integrative quality of their thinking.
Flexible, “outside the box” thinking and “integrating seemingly unrelated subjects
with clarity and courage”.
Ability to “think creatively, to assimilate information as opposed to memorizing
isolated facts”; “All have the same broad approach to education. They are flexible,
creative, and willing to take intellectual risks.”
Creative and imaginative capacities, not only in the practice of the arts but also in the
study of science.
“Moral ballast and social caring for others”, social awareness, communication skills,
and personal initiative.
Several professors also commended Waldorf students for their “love – even their tenacity – for
learning” (Mitchell & Gerwin, 2007).
The survey noted the graduate’s self-professed readiness to ask professors for help and the ability
to adapt to a different environment (Mitchell & Gerwin, 2007). These are traits consistent with
comments by local Waldorf alumni from private elementary schools who transitioned to larger
public schools (Mountain Sage Community School, 2010).
“I know how to seek out my professors to get their help (which many of my
classmates don’t even think to do) because my high school teachers were
always present and helpful…I was able to find my place at a large school –
RIT [Rochester Institute of Technology] has 15,500 students – because I
had made my place at this small school.”
— Comment by a US Waldorf graduate: excerpted from “Survey of
Waldorf Graduates, Phase II”
In summary, a profile of a typical Waldorf graduate based on the full sample of all 1943-2005
graduates in the survey looks as follows:
“After graduating from a Waldorf high school, attends college (94%)
Majors in arts/humanities (47%) or sciences/math (42%) as an undergraduate
Graduates or is about to graduate from college (88%)
Practices and values life-long learning (91%)
Is self-reliant and highly values self-confidence (94%)
Highly values verbal expression (93%) and critical thinking (92%)
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Expresses a high level of consciousness in making relationships work – both at home
and on the job
Is highly satisfied in choice of occupation (89%)
Highly values interpersonal relationships (96%)
Highly values tolerance of other viewpoints (90%)
At work cares most about ethical principles (82%) and values helping others (82%)”
(Mitchell & Gerwin, 2007)
Moral Development & Competency
Two independent research studies compared Waldorf-educated students to their peers in nonWaldorf methods schools and found that Waldorf-educated students exhibit stronger mores
(Andersson, Dahlin & Langmann, 2004; Hether, 2001). Significantly, these studies were
conducted on separate continents yet reported similar findings suggesting a stronger correlation
exists between Waldorf- educated students and higher moral and ethical values than one study
could determine. In America Waldorf-educated students scored significantly higher on a test of
moral reasoning than students in public high schools and students in a religiously affiliated high
school (Hether, 2001). Swedish high school showed Waldorf pupils felt a responsibility for
social and moral issues to a greater extent than municipal school pupils (Andersson, Dahlin &
Langmann, 2004). Moreover, more Waldorf pupils thought they had a responsibility for the
moral development of society in the future and felt that as adults they would have a
responsibility to do something about the situations referred to in the evaluation questions.
Comparisons between the students’ answers showed that Waldorf students tended to refer to
moral qualities such as love, sympathy, solidarity and moral courage to a greater extent than their
municipal peers. They also seemed to be characterized by greater thoughtfulness, greater
confidence in man’s innate goodness and less confidence that more police or more severe laws
can solve moral problems on a societal level. Instead the Waldorf pupils stressed individual
responsibility (Andersson, Dahlin & Langmann, 2004). Waldorf students were also far more
likely to volunteer opinions about the survey and research in general, suggesting possible
improvements in the survey technique and offering new possibilities to resolve the moral
dilemmas raised in the survey (Hether, 2001).
Academic Kindergartens Can Lead to Poor Performance
Long-term research casts doubt on the assumption that starting earlier on the teaching of phonics
and other discrete skills leads to better results. For example, most of the play-based kindergartens
in Germany were changed into centers for cognitive achievement during a wave of educational
“reform” in the 1970s. However, research comparing 50 play-based classes with 50 earlylearning centers found that by age ten children who had played excelled over the others in a host
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of ways. They were more advanced in reading and mathematics and they were better adjusted
socially and emotionally in school. They excelled in creativity and intelligence, oral expression,
and “industry.” As a result of this study’s findings German kindergartens once again returned to
being play-based (Darling-Hammond & Snyder, 1992).
Standardized Testing: USA and Germany
Despite their sometimes controversial lessened exposure to standardized testing (such tests are
generally absent in the elementary school years), U.S. Waldorf pupils’ SAT scores usually fall
above the national average, especially on verbal measures (Oppenheimer, 1999) Studies
comparing students’ performance on college-entrance examinations in Germany found that as a
group, Waldorf graduates passed the exam at double to triple the rate of students graduating from
the state education system, (Heiner, 1994; Oppenheimer, 1999) and that students who had
attended Waldorf schools for their entire education passed at a much higher rate (40% vs. 26%)
than those who only had part of their education at a Waldorf school (Heiner, 1994; Spiegel,
1981).
References:
Andersson, C., Dahlin, B. & Langmann, E. “Waldorf schools and civic-moral competence – a
comparison between waldorf pupils and pupils in municipal schools.” (Report 2004:2) Karlstad:
Department of Educational Sciences, Karlstad University. 2004.
Darling-Hammond, L. & Snyder, J. “Curriculum studies and the traditions of inquiry: the
scientific tradition.” Handbook of Research and Curriculum. 1992 Der Spiegel, December 14,
1981
Gerwin, Douglas & Mitchell, David. “Survey of Waldorf graduates, phase II. Wilton, NH:
Research Institute for Waldorf Education.”(Adobe Digital Editions version), Retrieved from:
http://www.waldorflibrary.org/Journal_Articles/phase2.pdf 2007.
Heiner, Ullrich: “Rudolf Steiner” “Prospects: the quarterly review of comparative education,
UNESCO: International Bureau of education, Vol. XXIV, no. 3/4, 1994, pp. 555-572.
Hether, Christine Anne. “The moral reasoning of high school seniors from diverse educational
settings.” Saybrook Graduate School and Research Center, San Francisco, CA. Retrieved from:
http://www.waldorflibrary.org/Journal_Articles/RB13Hether.pdf 2001
Mountain Sage Community School. “Waldorf alumni and parents outreach event; former private
Waldorf school community.” (2010).
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Oberman, Ida. (2007). Learning from Steiner: the relevance of Waldorf for urban public
education.
Oppenheimer, Todd: “Schooling the Imagination.” Atlantic Monthly, Sept. 99
Section 5: Track Records of Arts-Based Public and Private Schools
The following section is based on the Mountain Phoenix Community School charter application
(approved in 2006 in Golden, Colorado) and further expanded based on our own research.
By the mid-1990’s research was bearing out theoretical claims made for arts-based instruction.
At that time, there were two schools using curricula nearly identical what MSCS will be using,
with outstanding academic records: 1) The School of Arts and Sciences, in Tallahassee, FL and
2) Pine Forest School, in Flagstaff, AZ. An additional 3 schools appeared as case studies in the
earlier referenced BCSIS application: The Duke Ellington School, Washington, DC; John Eliot
Elementary School, Needham, MA; Ashley River K-6 School, Charleston, NC. We have added
research the Milwaukee Urban Waldorf School and T.E. Mathews Community School – Yuba
County, California. It is interesting to note that at the time the BCSIS application was being
written, during the 1990’s, those countries whose children ranked highest in international scores
for math and science achievement—Hungary, Germany and Japan—were also those countries
who relied most on art and music as the essential cornerstone of their elementary school
programs. We have identified a school, The Lab School of Washington, which accepts only
special-needs students, and whose track record is nothing short of incredible. Among the case
studies cited below the reader will note excellent outcomes for these arts-based schools, no
matter what location in the country, and no matter how many students at each school are at risk
or economically disadvantaged.
a) Milwaukee Urban Waldorf School
Since switching to Waldorf methods, the Milwaukee Urban Waldorf Elementary School has
shown an increase in parental involvement, a reduction in suspensions, improvements in
standardized test scores for both reading and writing (counter to the district trend), while
expenditures per pupil are below many regular district programs (Doornek, 1996). The school
converted to Waldorf methods in 1991, when it had 350 students, about 90% of them African
American. On the Milwaukee public schools standard third-grade evaluation, the number of
children reading above grade level went from 26% in 1992 to 63% in 1995 (McDermott, 1996).
Waldorf’s adaptable and individualized curriculum has been mentioned as a factor in the
school’s success in addressing children of poverty and children of color (Phaizon, 1996). The
school has been cited as a positive learning environment, in which the students as well as their
background seemed to be treated with respect, and where pupils are both encouraged and trusted
to be responsible. In addition, the Principal gave a strong positive evaluation of the Waldorf
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approach. The study cited the school’s pleasing aesthetic, positive teaching environment, safe
atmosphere and warm relations despite the “difficult life that surrounds UWS and many of its
children”.
b) T.E. Mathews Community School – Yuba County, California
The T. E. Mathews Community School in Yuba County, California serves high-risk juvenile
offenders, many of whom have learning disabilities. The school switched to Waldorf methods in
the 1990s. A 1999 study of the school found that students had “improved attitudes toward
learning, better social interaction and excellent academic progress” (Monks, 2001; Babineaux,
1999). This study identified the integration of the arts “into every curriculum unit and almost
every classroom activity” of the school as the most effective tool to help students overcome
patterns of failure. The study also found significant improvements in reading and math scores,
student participation, focus, openness and enthusiasm, as well as emotional stability, civility of
interaction and tenacity (Babineaux, 1999).
c) The School of Arts and Sciences, Tallahassee, FL.
The School of Arts and Sciences is a public charter school serving K-8 students. It opened in
1999 and as of 2005, enrollment was 226 students with a waiting list of 400. Its Mission
statement reflects the values of MSCS: To facilitate individual educational ownership and
responsible lifelong learning through interdisciplinary approaches to arts and sciences in a safe
and nurturing environment. The school was voted one of the eight best charter schools in the
nation by the US Department of Education’s Office of Innovation and Improvement. It has
received an “A” grade from the Florida Department of Education every year since state grading
of schools began in 2002-3. This is largely due to student performance on Florida’s FCAT (what
Colorado calls CSAP) accountability assessments for No Child Left Behind. The International
Center for Leadership and Education, in partnership with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation,
chose this school as one of our nation’s model schools. At the time, the school had a per pupil
spending amount of about $5,000 per student. Twenty-two percent of the students are special
needs, and 19% are economically disadvantaged - both statistics tend to lower standardized test
scores. However, this school’s test scores exceeded the district average at every grade. Seventh
and eighth grade math scores were the highest in the district, with the eighth grade math scores
ranking second in the entire state of Florida.
Please see http://www.artsandsciences.leon.k12.fl.us/default.aspx for more information.
d) Pine Forest School, Flagstaff, AZ.
This Waldorf-inspired, K-8 public charter school was founded in 1995. Enrollment in 2005-6
was 225. Curriculum is arts-based and experiential, and closely aligned to a Waldorf
methodology. Arizona lists this school as “Highly performing,” with No Child Left Behind
Adequate Yearly Progress met. Standardized test scores over a period of 10 years document a
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trend we predict for our MSCS: Scores rise as children progress from early to later grades. We
predict this based on the sequencing and pedagogy of our arts-based curriculum. Lower scores
in early grades linked to high test scores in later grades are preferable to higher scores in lower
grades but falling test scores in upper grades.
For more information, please see http://pineforestschool.org/.
e) The Duke Ellington School of the Arts, Washington, DC.
The Duke Ellington School of the Arts, a unique partnership of arts and education institutions, is
committed to preparing students for post-secondary education and/or professional careers
through arts programs of the highest quality and strong academic and artistic challenges.
http://www.ellingtonschool.org/home/index.html. The school, which opened in 1974, focuses on
a combined and rigorous arts and academics curriculum. As of the mid-1990’s, this nonselective, arts-based school sent 92 percent of its graduates to college, had only a 2 percent
dropout rate, and “no weapons and no discipline problems”. This track record is inspiring
because during the mid-1990’s the school served primarily inner city and at-risk students. As of
August, 2004, the school’s website identified 90 percent of the students qualified for
free/reduced price school lunch program, and 92 percent of students were minorities.
Impoverished and minority populations may be statistically at higher risk academically and thus
this high school’s excellent performance remains an inspiring example of the power of arts in
education.
f ) John Eliot Elementary School, Needham, MA.
In the mid-1990’s this school’s students tested first in the state for critical thinking skills. In
their book “The Learning Revolution,” authors Gordon Dryden and Dr. Jeannette Vos describe
this school as follows: “John Eliot is America’s best elementary school model for integrative
accelerated learning (Dryden and Vos, 1999).
g) Ashley River (K-6), Charleston, NC.
In the mid-1990’s this school ranked second only to a high school for the academically gifted in
the same county, and had a waiting list of 1200. In 2002 Ashley River’s test scores remain
significantly above average in every subject tested. In his article The Case for the Arts, Eric
Oddleifson profiles this and several other schools as succeeding because of their common thread
of arts infusion. He notes that students at this and other arts infused schools are “average” neither specially selected nor gifted (Oddleifson, 1991).
h) Studies of Schools in Germany
In the early 1990’s German high schools were highly selective, and acknowledged to be among
the best public schools in the world. At that time German students were tracked for college prep
or vocational work long before they entered secondary school. In Germany, as in much of the
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rest of Europe, private Waldorf schools actually receive 80 - 100 percent of their funding from
the state, so tuition is not as much of a limiting factor for their students as it is in the United
States. Waldorf schools are also non-selective; any student who applies may enroll. Because of
their non-selectivity and arts-based pedagogy, the German state long viewed Waldorf schools as
inferior. A common criticism was that students are not prepared “for the real world.” Hoping to
prove the inferiority of Waldorf schools once and for all, professors at the University of Bonn
analyzed survey results of 1,460 Waldorf graduates (der Spiegel, December 14, 1981). Of
Waldorf students attending Waldorf schools exclusively from grades K - 13. Forty percent of
these students passed the Arbitur exam, effectively allowing them to start college as sophomores.
By contrast, only six percent of students graduating from German public high schools passed the
Arbitur (p 73, J. Almon, Winter, 1992). These results are particularly fascinating in light of the
bias against Waldorf schools; in science, investigator bias is known to occasionally influence
study results, yet here the results were exactly opposite of those expected by the educational
authorities.
i) Waldorf schools in the United States
There are both public charter and private Waldorf schools in the United States. There are few
Waldorf charter schools perhaps in part because of difficulties translating the pure Waldorf
method into public school requirements in the United States. For example, the pure Waldorf
method does not grade students prior to junior high grades 6-8, and sometimes not until high
school. Instead student evaluations are achieved by thorough teacher observation, reports and
recommendations, and portfolio assessments. Another very interesting difference about Waldorf
schools is that students do not usually begin reading until first or second grade although they
have extensive literacy foundation skill development prior to this. Such challenges aside, there
are some very successful Waldorf charter schools in the United States. Todd Oppenheimer
profiles them in his article for the Atlantic Monthly. Of particular inspiration is the fact that
while average and gifted students can both excel, so especially do at risk and certain special
needs students. This is apparently due to two main factors: (a) arts-based curriculum, and (b)
developmentally correct curriculum (Oppenheimer, 1999).
j) The Lab School of Washington, Washington, D.C.
This school accepts only those children who are learning disabled and cannot be served by other
schools. As of 2006, 330 students are enrolled in grades K-12. All students in this school must
go through a lengthy application process in which they prove their problems cannot be addressed
in a regular school. The founder of the school, Sally Smith, believes arts are the way to reach
these kids: “Children with learning disabilities tend to be passive learners because they have had
many failures in school. They worry they may make a mistake or say the wrong thing. But
there’s no room for that in the arts. The arts demand involvement.” Smith’s arts based methods
have been so successful that more than 90% of her graduates go on to college. Schools modeled
after the Lab School have begun to open in other areas of the country. In the words of 10-year
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old student Marilena Siegel, who suffers from dyslexia, speech and auditory problems, “They
break it down and tell it to me in a different way so I can actually understand it... it’s like coming
from a dark sky to a sunny day.”
For more information, please see http://www.labschool.org.
References:
Babineaux, R., Evaluation report: Thomas E. Mathews Community School, Stanford University
1999.
Doornek, Richard. Educational Curriculum specialist with the Milwaukee Public Schools quoted
in Phaizon Rhys Wood, Beyond Survival: A Case Study of the Milwaukee Urban Waldorf
School, dissertation, School of Education, University of San Francisco, 1996.
The Duke Ellington School of the Arts, Washington, DC.
http://www.ellingtonschool.org/home/index.html.
Dryden, Gordon and Vos, Jeannette. The Learning Revolution. Jalmar Press, September, 1999.
Lab School of Washington. http://www.labschool.org.
McDermott R., Henry M., Dillard C., Byers P., Easton F, Oberman I, Uhrmacher B., “Waldorf
education in an inner-city public school”, Urban Review, June 1996
Monks, Arlene. “Breaking Down the Barriers to Learning: The Power of the Arts”, Journal of
Court, Community and Alternative Schools, Spring, 2001.
Oddleifson, Eric. “The Case for the Arts.” In Context: A Quartley for Humane Sustainable
Culture, 1991.
Oppenheimer, Todd. “Schooling the Imagination.” The Atlantic Monthly, September 1999.
Phaizon Rhys Wood, Beyond Survival: A Case Study of the Milwaukee Urban Waldorf
School, D.Ed. dissertation, Univ. of San Francisco, 1996, p. 135, 149, 154ff.
Pine Forest School, Flagstaff AZ. http://pineforestschool.org.
School of Arts and Sciences, Tallahassee FL.
http://www.artsandsciences.leon.k12.fl.us/default.aspx
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V. Mountain Sage Community School 2012-2013 Calendar and Daily
Schedule
Mountain Sage Community School will have a calendar that reflects the needs for conference
time, the need for teachers’ professional development and the desire for the community to have a
developmentally appropriate calendar and length of day. The schedule as drafted by Mountain
Sage Community School exceeds the minimum number of 968 elementary school attendance
hours as required by 22-32-109(1)(n), C.R.S .
A calendar reflecting the need for increased contact hours for secondary school students will be
composed in the fall of 2015 in preparation for the 2016-2017 school year, the first year
Mountain Sage will have 7th grade students. We anticipate lengthening the school year, rather
than lengthening the school day, in order to accomplish the requirement of 1056 contact hours
for secondary school students.
During the 2012-2013 school year, Full day kindergarten and elementary students will attend a
total number of 975.5 hours during one complete school year (137 student contact day x 6 hours
per day + 35 student contact days x 4.25 hours per day + 7 half days x 3.25 hours per day). Half
day kindergarten students will attend a total of 578.5 hours during one complete school year (178
student contact days x 3.25 hours/day).
Proposed Daily Schedule for Grades
8:30-10:30 Main Lesson
10:30-11:00 Snack/Recess
11:05-11:45 Period 1
11:50-12:30 Period 2
12:35-1:35 Lunch/Recess
1:40-2:25 Period 3
2:30-3:15 Period 4
3:20-3:30 Clean/Dismissal
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8:30-8:40 8:40-9:00 9:10-9:30 9:30-10:30 10:30-11:00 11:00-12:00 12:00-12:30 12:30-12:45 Possible ½ Day Kindergarten Schedule
Arrival
Walk
Circle Time
Free Play/Activity
Snack
Outside Play
Story
Clean/Dismissal
Proposed Full Day Kindergarten
12:30-3:15 3:15-3:30 1:30
Lunch, Rest, Outside Play
Clean/Dismissal
Thursday Dismissal
Possible Weekly Kindergarten Activity Schedule
Monday - Watercolor Painting
Tuesday - Beeswax
Wednesday - Soup Day/Eurythmy
Thursday- Baking
Friday - Seasonal Crafts/Hike
Proposed Thursday Early Release Schedule for Grades
–Weekly Faculty Meeting held from 2:00pm-5:00pm
8:30-10:30 Main Lesson
10:30-11:00 Snack/Recess
11:05-11:45 Period 1
11:50-12:30 Period 2
12:30-1:20 Lunch/Recess
1:20-1:30 Clean/Dismissal
Proposed Schedule for ½ days
(Parent Teacher Conference Days)
8:30-10:30
Main lesson
10:30-11:00
Snack/Recess
11:05-11:45
Period 1
11:50 -12:30
Period 2
12:30-12:45
Clean/Dismissal
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Proposed Mountain Sage Community School 2012-2013 Calendar
Important Dates
August 15-17, 20-24, 27-28
August 29 September 3 October 17, 18, 19 November 21 – 23 December 21 December 24-January 4 January 21 February 18 March 11-15 April 3, 4, 5 April 19 May 27 June 7 Staff Orientation First Day of School – ½ Day
Labor Day – No School Parent/Teacher Conferences – ½ Days
Thanksgiving Break – No School
Teacher Work Day Holiday Break – No School
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day – No School
President’s Day – No School
Spring Break Parent/Teacher Conferences – ½ Days
Teacher Work Day Memorial Day – No School
Last Day of School – ½ Day
The MSCS school calendar presented here has been created to closely align with the PSD school
calendar year, in an effort create continuity for the families living and working in the Poudre
School District. If for any reason this calendar must be altered, MSCS may schedule makeup
dates, during scheduled school breaks and/or at the end of the calendar year presented.
Life in the Classroom: Various Narratives from Waldorf Teachers
A Day in the Life of a Waldorf Kindergartner
Every day begins with a short brisk walk around the block. The children talk, laugh, sing and
arrive back at the kindergarten with red rosy cheeks. Once inside the classroom, we gather
together for a brief greeting time and a few lively songs and finger-plays. It is then time for our
planned activity of the day: Mondays we paint, Tuesdays we model with beeswax, Wednesdays
we make bread and soup, Thursdays we draw with our beeswax crayons, and Fridays we clean
and tidy our room.
When the children have finished their daily planned activity, they are then free to play. The room
is equipped with many beautiful natural toys and objects that are used for all kinds of
imaginative play. In one corner the children might set up a restaurant, in another area several
children might construct an airplane from wooden planks. Polished stones and other natural
manipulatives provide the perfect tool for the beginnings of mathematical thinking with the
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encouragement of the teacher– counting, sorting, adding and dividing. There is no limit to the
children’s imaginations. Through this play, the children act out the world around them.
After about 45 minutes of creative playtime, we all work together to make our room tidy again.
We then wash our hands, sit down at the table, light a candle, say a verse and eat our snack. The
children participate in preparing our snack and setting our table. After snack we gather together
again for a circle time of seasonal songs, verses, and rhythmic movement. We sing good morning
to the birds and the bees, the flowers and the trees. The children form a relationship with the
world of nature through this activity.
It is then time to go outside to play in the yard. The children dig in the sand, climb, swing, work
in the garden, play games, and look for bugs. After about 45 minutes outside, we go inside again
and gather together for story-time. A candle is lit and a song is sung that takes us to the land of
the fairytale. Fairytales are chosen for the season and to meet the needs of the group of children.
After the tale is told we sing goodbye to our friends, and the children join their parents for the
journey home.
A Day in the Life of a Waldorf 2nd Grade
Our day begins as the bell rings, and the children line up to enter the classroom. As they enter, I
shake each student’s hand and make eye contact with a good morning greeting. After each
student enters the room, they quietly go to their desk to find some “bell work,” a short project to
work on that is related to our topic of study. As the students work, I take care of matters such as
roll, collect permission slips, help a child choose an evening reader, choose morning helpers and
other morning activities.
With the sound of the harp, the students put their work away and stand behind their desks to
begin our morning circle time. A “good morning” song is followed by the morning verse, recited
by Waldorf-inspired charter school students, then followed by another song, which includes
stretching and movement. A verse of galloping, hopping, skipping and tip-toeing leads us to the
back of the room, where we form into a circle for approximately twenty minutes of verses
combined with movement, arithmetical rhythms, dancing and singing. The students then return
to their desks while singing a seasonal song. A daily helper marks our calendar and leads us in a
daily counting exercise. I begin to count a pattern that the children must figure out. Then they
join in the counting. After all the students have joined us, we engage in a variety of mental math
activities.
After this time, the students will retell a story from the day before. This story may be told by
different students, acted out or artistically re-created. The lesson is concluded by adding on to the
retold story, or by telling a new one. A new story often is concluded with the unveiling of a new
picture on the chalkboard, which has been sheltered behind a cloth, to be revealed to the students
at the very end of the lesson. The next portion of the morning lesson we will be recall of lessons
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learned previously. The teacher draws out of the children, the lessons learned the day or days
before. The goal is to awaken the student’s memories and engage them in the learning and
remembering process. This is also a time when the I can see who has been paying attention, and
what they are remembering or forgetting.
The Main Lesson begins with something new. At this time, we are receiving an introduction to
borrowing and subtraction. The new lesson is very brief; from two to ten minutes so as not to
fluster the children and allow them time to ponder on it throughout the day and the night. After
the new lesson, we practice lessons learned from previous days. This practice is rich with handson activities and movement. After practicing for at least one day, and often more, the students
enter this work into their Main Lesson books. The students enter their work very carefully, and
the finished books offer beautiful glimpses of all that we have been learning in our Main
Lessons.
After we have washed our hands, we gather at the large table at the back of the room and eat
snack as a family. Snack is followed by recess. After snack recess, classes follow a weekly
pattern. They each last about forty-five minutes and throughout the week they include: academic
skill development, flutes, reading groups, Spanish, sewing and painting. Lunch and lunch-recess
are followed by a quiet time of drawing while I read to the class for about fifteen minutes. The
afternoon classes, which also change throughout the week, include: form drawing, games,
knitting, flutes, beeswax sculpturing and time for free play. There is also time set aside each day
for children to practice their reading and math skills. Children often choose a take-home-reader
at the end of the school day.
A Day in the Life of a Waldorf 5th and 6th Grade
The morning begins with a friendly handshake greeting at the door where I encounter each
student. Students often share news of an event or experience, or I will comment on a new
hairstyle or outfit. Our Main Lesson begins with a morning verse, where students recite the
importance and the love for life and learning. The introduction to the main lesson time consists
of some music or singing, and mental math practice. Once students have been ‘awakened’ with
these activities the academic portion of the Main Lesson begins.
The latter portion of the Main Lesson consists of reviewing the previous day’s lesson, taking it
deeper by working with the subject matter by recording information in the Main Lesson books.
Then I will present the new lesson, allowing time for independent work or group activity.
Depending on the subject area the Main Lesson is taught by the appropriate highly qualified core
subject teacher (6-8th grade). Most Main Lessons last 3-4 weeks, on a given subject such as math,
language arts, social studies, science, history, etc. I (or one of the other core subject teachers in
the middle school grades) will lecture, draw on the board, conduct group or individual work with
new concepts, etc. furthering the learning in the subject matter. Main Lesson Books are
Waldorf’s version of textbooks that are made by each student. This portion of the day, depending
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on the subject matter, could be copying information into the books, original student composition,
drawings, math problems, etc.
After morning snack and recess, students practice reading and math skills daily. Then they travel
into a foreign land during their Spanish class. We spend our afternoons focusing on developing
our artistic and creative sides. On Mondays, students create watercolor paintings. On Tuesdays,
they work on modeling figures relevant to the year’s lessons. On Wednesday’s we have our
choral or instrumental music class practice. On Thursdays, students participate in a games class,
where they strengthen their physical fitness levels and sportsmanship. On Fridays, students
create drawings or projects associated with the current month’s block-theme. Then, the day ends
as it began, with a friendly handshake and a goodbye.
VI. Monitoring the Program of Instruction
The Principal will be largely responsible for overseeing faculty performance in implementing the
program of instruction and integrating of Colorado Academic Standards. Regular visits to the
class, lesson plan review, monitoring student assessment data and tracking forms, and faculty
meetings will be the tools used to monitor implementation of the program of instruction. The
weekly faculty meetings will provide a forum for continual monitoring throughout the school
year, as well as providing faculty mentoring, development and support for the teachers.
Mountain Sage Community School holds itself to high standards in all realms relating to the
Mission and Vision of our school; Waldorf Education practices, Colorado Academic Standards,
sustainable living, and state and District operational components. Therefore, the focus of
monitoring of the program of instruction must be further placed in the context of the variety of
professional development opportunities are available to MSCS faculty and staff. Refer to Section
I- Employees, for our complete Professional Development plan.
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F. PLAN FOR EVALUATING PUPIL PERFORMANCE
In order to remain consistent with our vision, our authentic assessment strategies will reflect
MSCS's commitment to:
Promote an individualized approach to education
Assess students in both academic and non-academic areas
Recognize students’ individual strengths and weaknesses
Avoid labeling students
Create a non-competitive environment for our students
Provide broad in-depth assessments to assist MSCS families
MSCS teachers will work diligently to integrate Colorado Academic Standards into daily lessons
in order to ensure student preparedness for CSAP. By the completion of eighth grade, MSCS
students shall have received curriculum and instruction fully aligned to the Colorado Academic
Standards. The unique blend of Waldorf-inspired curriculum and Colorado Academic Standards
will provide students with a truly exceptional and rich educational experience.
The MSCS founding Board has worked with experienced public school teachers and Waldorf
teachers to map the Waldorf curriculum and methods with Colorado Academic Standards
represented in Appendix Y - Waldorf-inspired Curriculum based on CAS Evidence Outcomes,
Grades K-4; Mathematics, Language Arts, Science, Social Studies and World Language.
Performance standards and assessments, as well as determination of successful student progress
and attainment of outcomes for students with exceptional needs and English Language Learners,
will be defined appropriately on a case-by-case basis, according to their Individualized
Education Program (IEP) and/or English proficiency levels. English Language Learners will
demonstrate reading and writing proficiency in English after five years of attending MSCS, as
determined by a score of 4 or 5 overall, with no subtest (listening/speaking, reading and writing)
lower than a 3, on the Colorado English Language Assessment (CELA).
Specific Assessment Tools
The following table lists specific assessment tools used to evaluate pupil progress, and identifies
the grades that each assessment is used to evaluate. Descriptions of the assessment tools follow
the table.
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Table 1 – Assessment Tools Used at MSCS
Name of Assessment
CSAP Standardized
Achievement Tests
DRA2
CELA
NWEA MAP
First Grade Readiness
Assessment
Second Grade
Assessment
Student Progress
Reports (Whole-Child
Rubric)
End of Year Narrative
Report
Purpose for Administering
Measure Student Performance against State and
National Schools school-wide and by significant
subgroups
CBLA Reading Assessment
Evaluate English language fluency
Used to assess reading and math skills
Assess students’ developmental readiness for
entering first grate
Evaluate student development in terms of motor
skills, ability to cross midline and other
developmental abilities that contribute to a
student’s academic learning
Assess student progress in academic, social and
motor skills based on teacher observation
Provide teachers and parents with annual, in
depth individualized report of student progress
in all areas of study, social interactions etc.
Provide teachers and parents with annual,
Individual Student
Portfolio (Main Lesson individualized report of student progress based
on samples of student work
Book Review)
Other demonstrations of student progress:
Observe student presentations of work
Oral Recitations,
Presentations, Reports, completed or mastered. Presentations will take
Performances, Exhibits place in the classroom and at periodic schoolwide assemblies.
and Demonstrations
Student projects
Document completed student projects, both
individual and group. Exhibit samples of
completed projects at school-wide and/or public
events. Each with grade student will select a
subject of interest for in-depth independent
study. To demonstrate their learning, each
student will submit a written report and create
an oral report and artistic presentation, to be
presented at the school-wide Eighth Grade
Project Presentations at the end of the year.
Math Assessments
Assess 1st – 5th grade student math skills in
accordance with Appendix D. Note: This
assessment tool is in the developmental stage.
Language Assessments Assess 1st – 5th grade students in Language Arts
skills in accordance with Appendix E. Note: This
assessment tool is in the developmental stage.
Grades
Assessed
3–8
K–4
K–8
3–8
K–1
2
Month/Season to be
Administered
Spring each year
September, May
Annually
Fall, Winter and Spring
Spring of Kindergarten for
continuing students; spring
or summer before 1st grade
for new students
Middle of 2nd grade
K–8
mid October , early April
K–8
Annually in June
K–8
2 times per year as part of
Whole-Child Rubric
(Appendix C).
2–8
Periodically during each
school year.
1-8
Periodically during each
school year.
1-5
Fall and Spring each year;
additional assessment if
needed.
As determined by class
teacher
1-5
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In addition to the assessment tools mentioned above the daily, weekly and monthly teacher
monitoring and observation of students provides ongoing formative and summative assessments.
This is the primary mode by which students are watched over and guided in order to ensure that
they are on track to proficiency in meeting both Waldorf and Colorado Academic Standards.
Description of Assessment Tools Used by MSCS
CSAP—The Colorado Student Assessment Program (CSAP) is Colorado’s standards-based
assessment designed to provide a picture of student performance to schools, districts, educators,
parents and the community at large. The primary purpose of the assessment program is to
determine the progress Colorado students are making toward becoming proficient in the evidence
outcomes set forth in the Colorado Academic Standards. The data from CSAP assessment is also
used to keep abreast of yearly individual student, school, and district progress using the Colorado
Growth Model. The fact that CSAP is based on the Colorado Academic Standards aims to ensure
that all districts and schools are held to the same challenging standards regardless of whether
they live in urban, suburban, or rural areas. The Colorado Growth Model takes a deeper look into
individual and school progress because it allows for longitudinal data to be gathered. This creates
a more accurate picture of current levels of achievement, as well as the development of
improvement plans when necessary.
At Mountain Sage, due to the extended teacher continuity (looping) that occurs, the year-end
assessment provided by CSAP can be a truly useful and practical achievement measurement tool,
helping to direct student improvement strategies from the beginning of the coming school year.
Teachers know their students well and are enabled to continue the learning relationship during
the upcoming school year with each student, armed with the knowledge of each individual’s total
academic picture. These teachers have intimate knowledge of the scope of material that has been
taught, as each new school year begins. CSAP data from the previous school year offers another
window into the strengths and weaknesses of the students they teach.
CELA— The CELA Proficiency test is an annual assessment of ELL’s to observe and report
gains in listening, speaking, reading, writing, oral language, and comprehension. Since it is an
English proficiency test, it is not available in Spanish. The test yields scores that enable
educators to:
Compare/track student progress in language proficiency over time
Consider various instructional options
Evaluate schools’ and districts’ instructional programs for ELL’s.
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Criteria-based pre- and post-assessments—In this category, we will most commonly use four
assessments. We may add or substitute other assessment tools if our Principal and faculty
determine them to be more useful in promoting student learning. The assessments currently
proposed in this category are:
1. DRA2 reading assessment, which is a State-adopted assessment for sight word
knowledge, reading fluency, accuracy and reading comprehension; administered two
times per year in order to track the progress made over the course of the school year.
2.
The student progress reports (Whole-child Rubric, Appendix C) our teachers use to
identify the individual strengths and needs of students in specific academic, social, and
behavioral areas. Teachers complete this rubric in October and April as a basis for parentteacher conferences.
3. Math assessment of students in first through eighth grades helps us determine areas of
student strengths and needs (see Appendix D, Grades 1-5). For sixth through eighth grade
students, math assessments from textbooks may be used to help determine appropriate
placement in our leveled math program.
4.
NWEA MAP will be used in third through eighth grade to measure student growth as
well. We have chosen to begin utilizing this assessment in third grade because this
schedule will work more effectively in conjunction with the MSCS curriculum and
sequencing.
Reporting to Parents—MSCS identifies parents and teachers as two integral parts of the
student’s academic success team. As such, MSCS encourages parents and teachers to stay in
close communication regarding each child’s progress. In addition to informal discussions and
communications throughout the year, MSCS offers formal opportunities for parents and teachers
to meet individually to discuss the child’s progress. These parent-teacher conferences are
scheduled in October and April. During the conference parents receive a written summary of the
student’s academic progress and behavior, and review their child’s self-created Main Lesson
Books. Additional parent-teacher conferences may be implemented as needed on an individual
basis.
End of Year Narrative Report—In addition to the objective measures of student achievement
cited above, this end-of-year report provides an in-depth, personalized evaluation of each child’s
progress. The teacher writes the year-end report, a descriptive narrative of the child’s
achievements, challenges, and participation in major areas of schoolwork; math, reading, writing,
social studies, science, specialty subjects, social/emotional interactions, and physical activities.
These reports are mailed to parents in June and are placed in each student’s record folder along
with fall and spring Reports. Please see Appendix O- Authentic End-of-Year Narrative Report for
a 5th Grade Private Waldorf School Student, which includes a detailed narrative of the year’s
curriculum.
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Individual Student Portfolio/ Main Lesson Book—Students’ Main Lesson Books serve as part
of a portfolio that include the students’ work, and will also include various pieces of art, and
practice papers. MSCS students will demonstrate academic achievement in all of the core
academic areas. Portfolios will be assessed using Whole-Child Rubrics (Appendix C) with input
from the class teacher and Subject Specialists across all content areas.
For students in the upper grades (6-8) MSCS will begin to use a standards based grading model.
The use of traditional grading, in addition to the continued use of MSCS’s Whole Child Rubrics
and teacher narrative reports, will better prepare students for the transition to the grading system
of high school.
The First Grade Readiness Assessment helps teachers and parents determine when students are
ready to move on from Kindergarten to First Grade. The First Grade Readiness Assessment
measures fine and gross motor skills; visual, tactile and auditory development; speech, language,
and cognitive development; social and emotional integration; and other aspects of early
childhood development. The need for this assessment is based on the fact that our first graders’
learning experience requires significantly different developmental readiness than our
kindergarten program. Much of our grades curriculum is delivered through the teachers’ rich oral
presentation of international and multicultural myths, histories and biographies. Students’
experience with this material is enriched by listening, and then being able to recreate what they have
learned orally, artistically, and in writing. This means that our students, beginning in first grade,
need to be able to sit and focus quietly for extended periods of time during listening and
seatwork activities, such as writing and illustrating.
The Second Grade Assessment is focused on evaluating students’ motor-sensory development
as a basis for continued academic learning. Areas evaluated include fine and gross motor skills;
bodily coordination, such as crossing the midline, rhythm (which incorporates hearing and
timing) and hand-foot coordination; and proprioception (balance and spatial and temporal
orientation). Based on these assessments, the teacher has the opportunity to incorporate physicalspatial exercises into classroom activities, with the goal of helping students further develop the
motor capacities that support learning. Please see Appendix P to view Elements of a Traditional
Waldorf School Second Grade Assessment.
The class teacher will be responsible for monitoring each student’s mastery of performance
objectives and tracking progress in reaching state performance objectives. The teacher may track
the progress through portfolio/Main Lesson Book review, summative assessments, and testing,
hands-on activities/demonstrations, written materials, verbal responses and observations. The
teacher will be responsible for keeping clear and accurate records for each student including the
date the performance objective was introduced and the date that mastery was demonstrated. The
teacher will provide on-going instruction and review to those who have not yet mastered the
performance objective until all students in the class have shown mastery. Students may be
divided into small groups based on the need for further instruction/practice until they have
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demonstrated mastery level. These small groups can be made up of students with varying levels
of accomplishment in the subject at hand, allowing for peer teaching/learning to take place; the
student who is receiving help learns he/she can trust and learn through his fellow students,
making progress, and the student helping experiences the joy and confidence that comes from of
being able to help a fellow student who needs it.
Longitudinal Data
Longitudinal data is collected in a variety of ways. At all grade levels, direct observation is
recorded to note the child’s strengths and weaknesses in specific skill areas and is used as a
continuous measure of student progress. These assessment reports are shared at faculty meetings
and Board meetings, when applicable and appropriate, to demonstrate growth in learning.
Waldorf assessments are unique in that they “travel” with the child throughout their Waldorfinspired education. Teachers pass along these assessments to each student’s future teacher (for
example, if a teacher or student must leave the class prior to completing the 1-8 grade cycle, or
when moving on to high school). Through teacher training and alignment of the curriculum with
Colorado Academic Standards, these assessment tools are reliable and effective.
MSCS recognizes that CSAP testing and the Colorado Growth Model Standard are the
cornerstones of accountability. The school will utilize the Colorado Growth Model data compiled
by the Colorado Department of Education to analyze CSAP data regarding the growth percentile
for each student and the median growth percentile for the school. The Colorado Growth Model will
enable MSCS to better serve students, allowing the staff to identify each individual student’s
needs, providing challenges for proficient and advanced students, and also helping to identify
growth patterns of lower achieving students to work towards proficiency in a measurable and goal
centered fashion.
The growth percentile for each student will be used to determine what actions and strategies are
needed to bring about the appropriate level of growth for each child.
MSCS will also use the aforementioned assessments to monitor student progress and adjust the
curriculum to fit the needs of the child in combination with the school’s formal and informal
curriculum based assessments. The school will follow the CSAP schedule adopted by the state.
In addition, MSCS will use the Developmental Reading Assessment (DRA2). This measure has
been selected by the Poudre School District to comply with the Colorado Basic Literacy Act
(CBLA) C.R.S. 22-7-502 et. Seq. The DRA2 assessment will be administered to all students in
Kindergarten through fourth grade along with a regular program of reading assessments, to
ensure progress in reaching our literacy goals. The extended application of DRA2 in our school
is intended to expand data that will be used to validate the efficacy of our school’s literacy
program, wherein academic components of reading are introduced in 1st grade, a year later than
in most schools. An individual literacy plan (ILP) will be developed for any student through third
grade who is not reading at grade level based on results from various tests that form a body of
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evidence. In accordance with CBLA, any student on an ILP during third grade will remain on an
ILP until the child is consistently reading on grade level.
The school will use Home Language Surveys and Colorado English Language Assessment
(CELA) to assess the instructional language needs of our students. More information regarding the
ELL instructional plan will be found in the Section Q-Serving Students with Special needs.
Baseline Data
MSCS understands the important role that baseline data will play in the early operation of the
school. The District will be able to provide the CELA and DRA2 assessment data on 6 and 7
year old children that have previously been enrolled in PSD schools. This data will be an
important component in establishing baseline data for our students. The school will also
administer the CSAP test during our first year to third and fourth graders. All other benchmark
assessments will be administered to each student within the first 3 weeks of school, to establish
baseline data.
As with all Waldorf assessment tools, the students' progress will be followed with careful record
keeping that will provide data toward the goal of one year's growth in one year's time for each
student. The combination of these forms of data will provide sufficient baseline information to
demonstrate progress on accreditation goals.
For subjects not tested by CSAP, the subject matter covered will align with State and District
standards. Achievement of these goals will be measured by the detailed student observation and
documentation.
Accreditation Standards & AYP
Complying with the District’s accreditation standards and the methods for determining whether
the school has made Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) will be accomplished by CSAP (Colorado
Student Assessment Program) or CSAP alternative tests given to all eligible students in available
subject areas (currently: reading, writing, science and math) and will serve as the foundation for
determining Annual Yearly Progress (AYP) for MSCS. Additionally, CSAP will allow MSCS to
be compared to other District schools, as well as schools throughout the state, ensuring that
academic achievement remains competitive.
CSAP tests can be very informative, providing yearly information as to how well teachers are
targeting State and District academic standards, how well instruction is being delivered, and how
well the students are learning the information targeted by those standards. Each year, test results
will be formally analyzed by the MSCS School Accountability Committee (SAC), teachers and
administrative staff in order to make determinations of how to modify curriculum and instruction
that will better meet individual student learning needs.
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Data Management
Should MSCS’s charter approval be reinstated by the Poudre School District Board of Education,
MSCS will utilize the SILK student information system, in conjunction with Alpine
Achievement for other assessments and student information data. The budgetary constraints of
being a start-up school have led to the conclusion that a cooperative relationship with PSD in
terms of student information systems software (SILK) would be most desirable. We also feel that
it will allow for ease in required reporting. We are grateful for the generosity of the District in
this regard. In addition, we are happy to have the opportunity to purchase Alpine Achievement
for assessment data through the Colorado League of Charter Schools. MSCS understands it will
be responsible for any set-up costs associated with the implementation of these systems.
Unified Improvement Plan
In the early years of operation, the Administrative Assistant will be responsible for compiling
results from CSAP and other standardized tests. In addition, MSCS will submit all necessary
information to the District in a timely matter, enabling the District to comply with all state
accreditation indicators.
The Principal will review and analyze the assessment data within one month of receiving the
data and present the findings to the faculty and Board. The disaggregated data will be used by the
School Accountability Committee to monitor progress, report to the governing Board and make
recommendations for improvements. This information will be used to determine future staff and
curricular development needs. These results will also be shared with parents and the community
by posting on the school website, parent meetings and also in newsletter form.
Procedures for Corrective Action
In compliance with C.R.S. §22-30.5-106 (f), MSCS will take corrective action in the event that
pupil performance falls below the achievement goals approved by the authorizer in the charter
contract. MSCS will employ assessments and educational methods that are routinely considered
interventions in other school settings. These methods and techniques include: regular weekly
meetings between the teacher and student, development of weekly and daily work plans, students
receiving individualized lessons, and peer teaching (coordinated help from an older student, or
partnering with a classmate who demonstrates proficiency in the particular subject in order to
gain mastery). Should a student fall below performance standards and need corrective action,
teachers will collaborate with the student and parents to develop an Individualized Learning Plan
for the student, including specific teacher strategies for improved achievement. Close parental
communication will be present in all previous steps as well. Please see Section Q-Serving Students
with Special Needs for further detail.
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Closing Achievement Gaps
Since Waldorf-inspired education is individualized education, MSCS believes that the factors
that often play into gaps in student achievement will weigh less heavily on students’ ability to
achieve academic success. The power of arts-integrated curriculum is itself both motivating and
healing for student of all abilities and backgrounds. As pointed to in our research basis (found in
Section E) Waldorf-inspired, arts-integrated education can and will continue to “close the
achievement gaps.” Due to the many positive and unique features of schools such as Mountain
Sage, children are given opportunities to “stand in their own light” resulting in increased selfconfidence, community support and inner-creativity – all characteristics that contribute
significantly to student’s ability to achieve academic and personal success.
District data shows there is an achievement gap with ethnicity, gender, students with disabilities
and English Language Learners (ELL). With smaller student groups data can be expected to
demonstrate some variance in year-to-year results. Progress over time will be more measurable
as the school receives more longitudinal data from future CSAP tests. Trend data from the
school's supplemental assessments will also provide data for the body of evidence needed to
determine student achievement growth.
In addition to educational data, MSCS will compile and provide to the PSD Board of Education
an annual performance report. This report can include the following data:
A summary of major decisions and policies established by the Board during the year.
Data on the level of parent involvement in the school’s governance (and other aspects of
the school, if applicable) and summary data from an annual parent and student
satisfaction survey.
Data regarding the number of staff working at the school and their qualifications.
A copy of the school's policies and/or a summary of any major changes to those policies
during the year.
Information demonstrating whether the school implemented the means listed in the
charter to strive to achieve a racially and ethnically balanced student population.
An overview of the school's admissions practices during the year and data regarding the
numbers of students enrolled, the number on waiting lists and the numbers of students
expelled and/or suspended.
Analyses of the effectiveness of the school's internal and external dispute mechanisms
and data on the number and resolution of disputes and complaints.
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Other information regarding the educational program and the administrative, legal and
governance operations of the school relative to compliance with the terms of the charter
generally.
MSCS and the District Board of Education will jointly develop the content, evaluation criteria,
timelines and process for the annual performance report. MSCS will use the information
compiled in the performance report to evaluate and improve upon its educational programming
as necessary.
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G. BUDGET AND FINANCE
MSCS is aware that charter school finances can be a challenge. With this in mind, the budget has
been developed with conservative revenue expectations, and with the goal of reducing costs
where possible.
Please see Appendix Q-1 to view Budget Scenario 1. This budget has been calculated to account
for 130 students, with 110 total FTE.
Please see Appendix Q-2 to view Budget Scenario 2. This budget has been calculated to account
for 168 students, with 148 total FTE.
Budget Assumptions
Revenue
MSCS has conservatively planned its first year of activities using funds it can reasonably expect to
receive. Per pupil revenue (PPR) is the school’s main source of funding and MSCS expects to
receive funding per the school finance act and in accordance with applicable state statutes (C.R.S.
§ 22-30.5-112). MSCS has budgeted to receive 100% of PPR, and has accounted for having 2%
withheld by the Poudre School District for administrative costs, as a separate expense line item.
Two full-day Kindergarten and one half-day morning kindergarten program will be offered with 16
students in each class. MSCS expects that the families of 32 children per year will opt to pay for
the full day programs at $310 per month for 10 months.
An $80 enrichment fee will be charged per student at the beginning of each school year to assist
with the cost of consumable supplies. Throughout the year students create a variety of work in all
subject areas using very high quality materials. This fee will be waived for FRL students.
MSCS understands that it can expect approximately $147 per full time equivalent student in state
categorical funding to offset costs of the special education program.
Expenses
Waldorf methods classrooms require specialized materials, which typically makes starting new
classes more expensive than in other schools. However, in choosing materials, it is reasonable to
purchase core materials for the first year, and add more extended materials in subsequent years.
Therefore, if MSCS finds enrollment does not meet expectations, the school will choose to buy
only core materials in its first year of operations. The core materials will be cross-referenced with
the curriculum to make sure no gaps are created by this approach.
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•
Full-Time teacher salaries the first year will average $33,000 with reasonable variance
based on skills and experience. A $4,000 benefit package will be provided for each full
time employee, expanding to include employees that are at least .5 FTE in year two.
Average annual salary increases are anticipated at 3%. However, it is the intent of the
MSCS Board to increase teacher pay as significantly as possible (up to 13%) during our
subsequent years of operation, in conjunction with increased student enrollment and state
legislature educational funding.
•
The proposed Principal salary also reflects the constrained nature of the first year budget.
We expect pay for this position’s salary to increase in our second year of operation, in
conjunction with expected increased in student enrollment and increased educational
funding. MSCS has conservatively budgeted increases of 3% for now, given the
uncertainty in state educational funding.
•
MSCS will fully contribute to the Public Employee’s Retirement Association (PERA).
This budget assumes a contribution rate of 15.652% per salary dollar. This rate will
increase .9% per year until reaching the limit of 19%.
•
Professional Development is a high priority of MSCS. We believe highly trained teachers
provide the best education for our children, and so this remains a consistent line item in our
budget, increasing each year as the number of full time faculty grows to its full
requirement. MSCS will provide yearly professional development to support the
educational goals lined out within the application.
•
Assessment cost are based on a quote from NWEA, with a $1500 set up fee for year one,
and $1500 per year assessment cost until Year 4. At that point, there will be enough
students to adjust to the $12.50 per student rate. Other required state assessments such as
CSAP and DRA2 do not incur charges to MSCS.
•
MSCS aims to provide a simple, healthy lunch for its students (discussed in Section M).
This program is projected to begin in the second year of operation and will provide a lunch
service for families who prefer this as an option. Students not considered FRL will cover
the cost of their meals. MSCS has based its Free and Reduced lunch population at 20%
given the District average of 29% and a significantly lower FRL population at other Fort
Collins area charter schools. Upon enrollment during year one, accurate data for MSCS in
this regard will be collected from students. A small allowance has been made for students
who, in the first year, are in need of lunch provision.
•
MSCS has had preliminary negotiations for a facility, and shows a stepped up expense line
item in subsequent years as enrollment increases, in order to demonstrate good faith and
ability to be a good lessee for a future landlord who will accept a reduced rate the first year,
as well as assist with necessary up-front retrofitting costs. Facility costs assume a first year
lease rate of $82,000 and is a combination of the facility line item and the capital
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construction funding allocated to lease payments. Utilities are a separate budgeted line
item. Please see the Facilities section for the square footage calculation.
•
The school will open with 6 full-time teachers, one half time Kindergarten teacher, 5
specialty teachers (hourly), 1 full-time paraprofessional, 1 full-time Principal, 1 full-time
Administrative Assistant/office staff, and 1 half-time health provider. By year 5, this will
grow to at least 15 full-time teachers, one half time kindergarten teacher, 7 specialty
teachers (hourly), 1 full-time paraprofessional, 1 part time office staff (hourly), 1 half-time
health provider/office aid, 1 full-time Administrative Assistant, 1 full-time Principal.
•
The school will retain 3% of total fiscal year spending, as mandated by TABOR.
•
MSCS has also budgeted for a 3% contingency reserve fund to be used at Board direction,
with the goal of building funds to be used toward a facility purchase.
•
The school intends to implement a combination model for our special education services
program, in which MSCS will have a full-time SPED teacher on staff, and may choose to
contract with PSD for selected direct services, such as school psychologist.
•
Ten percent of the full day kindergarten fees are set aside for a full day kindergarten
scholarship fund beginning in year two, dependant on need (i.e. FRL status).
•
The initial Waldorf methods equipment required for a new classroom is expensive.
However, these materials are far more durable than standard classroom equipment and
textbooks. The budget allows for $200/child for these materials beginning year one.
•
MSCS has budgeted for a service and lease contract for a high quality copier.
•
Sustainability and natural food sources are an important part of the MSCS philosophy, and
the organic school garden will be started in year one, implemented through local
fundraising dollars and community partnerships, as well as a request in the CDE grant.
•
We also expect that MSCS will practice the art of sustainability in terms of resourceful use
and repurposing. We will seek quality, recycled items whenever possible (desks, tables etc)
and aim to host workshops that will facilitate the creation of usable school items made from
recycled natural materials.
Insurance
As discussed in Section J of this charter, Mountain Sage Community School shall, at all times,
maintain necessary and appropriate insurance coverage. This includes Workers Compensation,
Comprehensive General Liability Insurance, Building and Contents, Errors & Omissions (School
Leaders), and Blanket Occupational Accident Insurance.
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We have obtained an insurance quote from a Fort Collins company that will be able to tailor our
insurance to the unique needs of a charter school in our State and District. This quote is for our
first year of operation and is based upon a 130 student enrollment figure for the following
coverage: Commercial Property Coverage, Commercial General Liability Coverage, Commercial
Crime Coverage, Commercial Auto Coverage and Educators Protection Plus, which includes part
of our Errors & Omission policy. Directors and Operators/Employee Practices Liability
encompasses the remainder of Errors and Omissions. We will also have an umbrella policy.
Contracted Financial Services
MSCS has retained the services of a professional accountant who will be responsible for tracking
school finances. This finance professional, Sarah-Gennie Colazio, owner of Conscious
Accounting LLC, will coordinate with the school’s Administrative Assistant and Principal to
continually keep the school’s financial picture in focus. This contracted financial service
provider is experienced and displays full understanding of finance and budgeting with regard to
Colorado charter schools, and will provide regular financial reports to the Principal and the
Board of Directors. In addition Conscious Accounting LLC will provide Quickbooks set up,
training, and maintenance, payroll once a month, as well as all budget creation and scenarios,
bank reconciliations, budget review and management of accounts payable and accounts
receivable. The school’s finance professional, Sarah-Gennie Colazio, will ensure that the fiscal
functions of MSCS adhere to all applicable federal and state laws and regulations.
Independent Audit: Plan for Fiscal Accountability
Through the previously stated practices, MSCS will establish, maintain and retain appropriate
financial records in accordance with all applicable federal and state laws, and School District
rules, policies and regulations to the extent not waived or amended in writing by the School
District, and to make such records available to the School District as requested from time to time.
MSCS shall participate in, and pay the cost of an annual audit of its financial operations by a
certified public accountant selected by MSCS. MSCS shall provide information required for the
annual audits in accordance with the School District’s closing schedule and reporting deadlines,
and adequate documentation to support financial information required for the audits, in a format
prescribed by the auditor. If MSCS or the School District wishes to conduct an additional
independent audit or to obtain additional services or reports from the auditor selected by MSCS,
the cost of such additional audit, services or report shall be borne by the requesting party.
MSCS has received a proposal estimate from Anton Collins Mitchell LLP, in Greeley, Colorado, an
experienced audit firm, specifically with Charter School entities; Carbon Valley Academy, Union
Colony in Weld, and New Vision in Thompson. The cost is estimated at $5,000 per year and is
allocated within the finance and operations area of the itemized budget.
Please see Appendix R- Audit Estimate from Anton Collins Mitchell LLP.
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The results of this audit will be shared with the District, and will be made public record. The
results will also be used to plan the future financial activities of the MSCS Board of Directors and
Principal.
The MSCS Board of Directors will be responsible for oversight of the school’s finances. To fulfill
this responsibility, the Board Treasurer will have a standing Finance and Audit Committee that will
coordinate with the Principal and Conscious Accounting LLC to ensure that financial reporting is
completed in a timely manner.
Financial Reporting
MSCS will comply with the “Public School Financial Transparency Act,” and shall provide
reports, both required and/or requested, to the Poudre School District as follows:
•
A preliminary budget for the current fiscal year.
•
A copy of the MSCS’s annual, independent financial audit report for the preceding fiscal
year shall be delivered to the District, State Controller and Colorado Department of
Education. We expect that this report will likely be available 90 days after fiscal year end
(September 30th).
•
Interim financial reports for the current fiscal year.
•
A final un-audited report for the full prior year including an annual statement of all MSCS
receipts and expenditures for the preceding fiscal year.
Financial Policies and Procedure
The MSCS Board, together with the Principal, has responsibility for setting and refining financial
policies. At a minimum, those policies will include:
•
Checks over $500 must have two signatures.
•
Purchase orders must have two signatures.
•
Bank signers will not write or print checks, and those who print checks will not be signers
on MSCS bank accounts.
•
The Principal or Administrative Assistant will be responsible for petty cash disbursement
and reconciliation each period, not to exceed $300.
•
All checks and purchase orders must have supporting documents such as: purchase order,
invoice/receiving statement, approval signature, and check copy.
The MSCS Board of Directors, together with the Principal, will use District policies as guides to
develop more detailed financial policies and procedures in accordance with District and State
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requirements prior to the opening of the school, as well as generally accepted accounting
principles. MSCS will contract with Sarah-Gennie Colazio, Conscious Accounting, LLC to provide
accounting system set-up, implementation, and training for the administrative assistant to enter
daily items. Conscious Accounting, LLC will run monthly payroll through an independent payroll
company such as Qqest, will conduct monthly bank reconciliations, tax reporting, PERA reporting,
provide monthly financial reports to Principal, Board, and PSD, as well as assisting with posting of
CDE required financial transparency rules on MSCS websites. This level of separation of duties
provides increased security to MSCS finances.
Received and Anticipated Funding Sources
Since fall 2010 MSCS has secured funds that have helped tremendously with the school’s planning
process. MSCS received a $3000 development grant from the Serimus Foundation, and $2500
Stage 2 Planning Grant from the Colorado League of Charter Schools that have enabled the hiring
of professional financial, administrative and facility consulting services. In addition, funds raised at
a local silent auction benefit (totaling approximately $2000) were possible due to the generosity of
many local businesses, service providers and community members who support Mountain Sage
Community School.
MSCS’s has applied for, and anticipates the receipt of, the $2500 Stage 3 Planning Grant made
available through the Colorado League of Charter School.
In addition, MSCS expects to secure a start-up grant from the Colorado Department of Education
that will provide a total of up to $180,000 in funding for the year prior to opening, as well as for
year one and year two. MSCS will request funding up to the full $180,000 first year request limit,
to support equipment and student start-up cost needs. With the help of the previously mentioned
experienced professionals, MSCS is confident that the federal Charter School Program grant will
be awarded in 2011. Please refer to the Grant Expenditure page of the budget for a list of expected
project expenditures.
It will be the continuing effort and high priority of the MSCS Board of Directors to search out and
apply for tax-deductible grants to support additional projects.
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H. GOVERNANCE
Mountain Sage Community School fully recognizes the high level of commitment and dedication
to excellence that must exist within the Board of Directors in order to operate a successful
charter school. Throughout the creation of this charter application the founding Board of
Directors has guided the planning process and coordination of curriculum development, legal
and financial matters, operation issues, marketing initiative and outreach program.
As previously mentioned, the members of the MSCS founding Board of Directors are Liv
Helmericks, Jody Swigris, Nancy Sexton and Alisa Hicks. See Appendix A for Bios and Resumes
of Current Board of Directors Members and Consultants.
Throughout the process of our program development, the Board has engaged in conversations
with Waldorf-inspired charter schools, other charter schools in Fort Collins, the Colorado League
of Charter Schools and the Poudre School District. The result of our extensive research and
training has culminated in this charter application for Mountain Sage Community School.
The founding Board of Directors recognizes the importance of continuity among its leadership.
Board member overlap is built into the system as MSCS moves from the founding/interim Board
to an initial Board of Directors after the approval of its charter, and finally into its first election
and nomination of Board of Directors members.
The Board has filed its Articles of Incorporation (see Appendix S ) with the State of Colorado
and has approved its Bylaws (see Appendix T ) and its Conflict of Interest policy (found in
Appendix U- Conflict of Interest Policy).
Charter School Board Training
The members of the MSCS founding Board have participated in training opportunities facilitated
by the Colorado Department of Education and Colorado League of Charter Schools (CLCS).
• Liv Helmericks- Attended the CDE/CLCS Regional Board Training held on April 14, 2011,
Charter School Boot Camp 2010.
• Nancy Sexton - Attended the CDE/CLCS Regional Board Training held on April 14, 2011.
At this time all founding Board members of MSCS have partially completed the CDE Board
Training Online Modules www.boardtrainingmodules.org.
It is the guarantee of MSCS that the Board members will successfully complete all 30 CDE
Board Training Online Modules (approximately 15 hours of Board training) by October 1, 2011.
In addition, all new Board members will be required to complete these trainings before actively
serving on the MSCS Board.
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Colorado Nonprofit Corporation
Mountain Sage Community School will be an independent charter school and will be operated
as a Colorado Nonprofit Corporation, pursuant to Colorado law upon approval of this charter.
MSCS has constituted itself as a Colorado non-profit public benefit corporation pursuant to
Colorado law and plans to obtain 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status, as Mountain Sage Community
School of Fort Collins. The school shall be governed pursuant to the Bylaws adopted by the
incorporators, and subsequently amended pursuant to the amendment process specified in the
Bylaws, which shall be consistent with the terms of this charter, the Charter Schools Act, and all
other applicable laws. MSCS recognizes that any material revision to the charter also requires
approval of the District's governing Board.
The MSCS Board of Directors will abide by the District policies and state and federal laws, rules
and regulations, unless specifically waived. The MSCS Board of Directors will be autonomous
from the PSD Board of Education, as defined in the charter.
The MSCS Board of Directors will operate as a policy setting Board in accordance with the
MSCS Bylaws. The responsibility of the day-to-day operations of the school, and the assurance
of achieving the Board’s long-term goals will be delegated to the Principal. One of the Board’s
primary roles is to assure that the Principal is operating in accordance to the Board’s directives
and executive limitations. The MSCS Board has or will:
1. Determine the school’s Mission and purpose.
2. Determine all school policies in accordance with the school’s Mission, goals and educational
program.
3. Select and evaluate the Principal.
4. Provide proper financial oversight and assist in developing the annual budget.
5. Ensure adequate resources are provided for the organization to fulfill its Mission, and its short
and long-term goals.
6. Ensure legal and ethical integrity and maintain accountability.
7. Be responsible for final accountability for the school’s academic success, organizational
viability and faithfulness to the terms of the contract with its authorizer.
8. Recruit and orient new Board members, assess Board performance and assure ongoing Board
member training and development.
Upon approval of this charter application, the MSCS founding Board of Directors will begin the
search for a Principal. The founding Board plans to select and hire a Principal by February 2012.
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Upon hiring a Principal, the Board will undertake an extensive and comprehensive briefing for
the Principal on activities to date, including, but not limited to, a review of legal documents
created and filed by the Board of Directors, Board of Directors governance and structure, a
review of the charter application, a detailed explanation of Board of Directors duties and
Principal responsibilities, and the contract negotiated between MSCS and the District. It is likely
that the Board and Principal will undertake a strategic planning session that will cover short-term
and long-term goals and objectives for the school.
Number of Board of Directors Members, How Selected and Term Lengths
The MSCS Board of Directors will consist of an odd number of voting members; no less than 5,
no more than 9. Members of the Board shall be elected from and by the member class; faculty
and parents of currently enrolled students. The Principal and a teacher representative will
participate in the MSCS Board as ex-officio members. The teacher representative will be
nominated and elected by the MSCS teacher-cohort and serve a 1-year term.
Directors will serve three-year terms. The Board will be comprised of elected parent members
and non-parent community members, with 60% of positions elected during even-numbered years
and 40% of positions up for election in odd-numbered years. Board of Director members will be
elected in February of each school year at the Board’s annual meeting. The elections will
coincide with a school-wide event to increase voter turnout. Directors are eligible to serve a
maximum of 2 terms in a 10-year period.
MSCS is mindful that effective school governance requires competence in a broad range of
areas. Nine areas have been identified as especially important skills to have on the MSCS Board.
The Board of Directors will actively seek out parents and non-parent community members to fill
these roles, with the desire to create a well-rounded, professional and experienced Board:
1. Facilities management
2. Budget management and finance
3. Personnel management
4. Fundraising
5. Marketing and public relations
6. Information technology
7. Community relations and multicultural competence
8. Statutory and regulatory compliance/ legal experiences
9. Waldorf educational background
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Board of Directors Meetings
The Board of Directors will meet at least once a month when school is in session, most likely
two times per month in the first year of operation, with a minimum of ten meetings per calendar
year. Notices for meetings shall be published and posted at least 24 hours in advance of the
meeting, the notice will state time, place and purpose of the meeting in accordance with
Colorado’s Open Meetings Law. A quorum will be a majority of the Board members in office at
the time of any meeting, and a vote of the simple majority of Board members will be an official
decision for any binding action. However, a 2/3 majority vote is required to amend the school’s
bylaws.
Special Meetings
Special meetings of the Board of Directors may be held whenever called by the Board President
or at the request of any two directors, and will take place within the Poudre School District.
Notice of such a meeting shall be given personally, and e-mailed to each Director at least three
(3) days before the day on which the meeting is to be held. Notices for special meetings shall be
published at least 24 hours in advance of the meeting, the notice will state time, place and
purpose of the meeting in accordance with Colorado’s Open Meetings Law. The notice will be
posted on the MSCS website and in the administrative offices of the school.
Commitment to Nondiscrimination
MSCS shall comply with all applicable federal, state, and local laws, rules and regulations,
including, without limitation, the constitutional provisions prohibiting discrimination on the basis
of disability, age, race, creed, color, gender, national origin, religion, ancestry or sexual
orientation.
Open Meetings Law
MSCS acknowledges and agrees that it is subject to the provisions of the Colorado Open Meetings
Law, C.R.S., §§ 24-6-401 et seq., and that it will comply with the provisions of such law in
connection with all of its activities.
Board of Directors Officers
The Officers of MSCS shall be the President, Vice-President, Secretary and Treasurer. All Officers
shall be members of the MSCS Board of Directors. Officers shall be chosen annually at the first
meeting following the appointment and election of new Board of Directors members in February
of each year. The powers and duties of each Officer are outlined below:
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President: The president shall, subject to the direction and supervision of the Board of
Directors: (1) be the chief executive officer of the corporation and have general and active
control of its affairs and business and general supervision of its officers, agents and employees;
(2) preside at all meetings of the Board of Directors; (3) see that all resolutions of the Board of
Directors are carried into effect; and (4) perform all other duties incident to the office of
president and as from time to time may be assigned to such office by the Board of Directors.
The president shall be an ex-officio member of all standing committees and may be designated
chairperson of those committees by the Board of Directors.
Vice President: The vice-president shall assist the president and shall perform such duties as
may be assigned by the president or by the Board of Directors. The vice-president shall, at the
request of the president, or in the president’s absence or inability or refusal to act, perform the
duties of the president and when so acting shall have all the powers of and be subject to all the
restrictions on the president. The vice-president shall conduct Board of Directors elections.
Secretary: The secretary shall (1) keep the minutes of the proceedings of the Board of
Directors, and the members (if any); (2) see that all notices are duly given in accordance with the
provisions of these bylaws or as required by law; (3) be custodian of the corporate records and of
the seal of the corporation; (4) keep at the corporation’s registered office or principal place of
business within Colorado a record containing the names and addresses of all members (if any);
and (5) in general, perform all duties incident to the office of secretary and such other duties as
from time to time may be assigned to such office by the president or by the Board of Directors.
Assistant secretaries, if any, shall have the same duties and powers, subject to supervision by the
secretary.
Treasurer: The treasurer shall (1) have the care and custody of all its funds, securities,
evidences of indebtedness and other personal property and deposit the same in accordance with
the instructions of the Board of Directors; (2) monitor compliance with all requirements imposed
on the corporation as a tax-exempt organization described in section 501(c)(3) of the Internal
Revenue Code; (3) upon request of the Board, make such reports to it as may be required at any
time; and (4) perform all other duties incident to the office of treasurer and such other duties as
from time to time may be assigned to such office by the president or the Board of Directors.
Assistant treasurers, if any, shall have the same powers and duties, subject to the supervision by
treasurer.
Standing Committees
The Board of Directors may, by resolution adopted by a majority of the Board members in
office, establish standing committees. The Board of Directors may also establish other
committees, as it may from time to time deem necessary to assist in the governance and operations
of Mountain Sage Community School. Each committee shall consist of one or more Board
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members. Non-members may also be permitted to sit on committees and vote. Such committees
shall have and exercise only the power and authority specifically prescribed and granted by the
Board of Directors in the resolutions establishing them. Committees may only make
recommendations to the Board of Directors.
School Accountability Committee: As required in C.R.S., §§ 22-11-401 to 406, and outlined in
the MSCS and District policies, this committee will: 1) adopt school goals and objectives for the
improvement of education in the school; 2) adopt a plan to improve education achievement, reduce
the gaps in performance of groups within the school, increase the ratings on the state
accountability report, and assure the school’s accreditation status; 3) make recommendations to
the Principal regarding the prioritization of expenditures of school monies; 4) determine whether
decisions affecting the educational process are advancing or impeding student achievement; 5)
report to students and parents, as well as the MSCS Board of Directors and the PSD Board of
Education, on the educational performance of the school and providing data for the appraisal of
such performance; 6) make recommendations to the Principal on the expenditure of all school
grants; 7) make recommendations to the Principal on safety issues related to the school
environment and; 8) the SAC will also be involved with the creation of the school’s Unified
Improvement Plan.
Finance and Audit Committee: This committee shall assist the treasurer and administration in
their efforts to keep accurate accounts of all monies of the Corporation, received or disbursed;
Review the deposit of all monies, electronic fund transfers, drafts and checks; Assist
administration in the care and custody of the corporate funds and securities; Review the monthly
bank statements; Review the policies and procedures of administration related to the power to
endorse for deposit all notes, checks and drafts received by the Corporation; Review the
Disbursement of the funds of the Corporation as ordered by the Board of Directors, making
proper procedures related to vouchers therefore; Render to the Board President and the Board of
Directors, whenever required (at the monthly Board meetings), an account of all of the
transactions of the organization as compiled by the Administration of the Corporation of the
financial condition of the Corporation, sign, in the name of the corporation, instruments requiring
a second signature of the BOD; and perform such other duties and have such other powers as,
from time to time, may be prescribed by the Board of Directors or by the Board President.
Nominating Committee/ Board Development/Annual Meeting Committee: This committee, known as the Nominating Committee (NC), meets to determine the Board’s
needs as they relate to the members leaving the board (skills, interests, professions, etc.). The NC
sends information letter to members (parents & teachers) to notify them of the Board positions
that will be open for the upcoming election.
The NC meets with the parent group, teachers, staff and director to determine possible good
candidates for Board of Director positions. The NC contacts, interviews and invites potential
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candidates to an informational session. Potential Board candidates prepare bio for the
nomination process and ballot voting process.
The NC reviews the selected candidates and the Board’s needs and nominates members for
Board positions. Members will vote on these nominees in the February elections. The number
of candidates nominated will vary based on number and mix of positions coming up for election.
Any interested parents or teachers not selected by the nomination process who would like to be
included on the election ballots my contact the Board President to be included on the ballot as a
non-nominated candidate.
Charter Renewal and Strategic Planning Committee: Pursuant to the terms of the authorizer
contract, the MSCS Board will activate its charter renewal committee two years prior to the
charter renewal date. This committee is responsible for assuring that all material and data
collection systems are in place to provide a comprehensive picture of the school’s performance
and state of the school.
In concert with the renewal cycle this committee will perform a comprehensive status analysis in
all vital areas of school performance including stakeholder satisfaction, student achievement,
teacher and administrative quality and efficiency, and fiscal health and sustainability. The
results of this analysis will assist the school in developing a strategic plan for the next five years
of operations.
Parent Council: Made up of parents of children currently attending the school, and grandparent
volunteers. The Parent Council will ensure the voice of the school’s parent community and its
students’ will be heard. Please see Section K for details about Parent and Community
Involvement.
Commitment to Continued Improvement
The Mountain Sage Board of Directors will receive annual training on the topics of finance, care
and loyalty responsibilities, and best practices. Directors will sign a Mountain Sage Board
Agreement annually and will be expected to complete all CDE Board training modules prior
service on the Board. The Board will operate with confidence and effectiveness within the
governance structures previously outlined. By allowing all interested in the school to have a
voice, we will create a school community where everyone feels supported and appreciated.
Through a balanced and high functioning governance structure, we will enable a healthy school
culture and, therefore, a place where children will thrive.
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I. EMPLOYEES
Waldorf trained teachers are a critical component of an authentic Waldorf school and, therefore,
a Waldorf-inspired charter school, as well. Finding and retaining Highly Qualified, Waldorf
trained teachers will be a top priority for MSCS. We aim to recruit and hire Waldorf certified
teachers with multiple years of experience whenever possible. Waldorf teachers play a unique
role in Waldorf schools because they not only present lessons to a class of students, they must
also act as facilitators, mentors and guides to individual students. Oftentimes a Waldorf teacher
can be found giving lessons to one or two students, advising or guiding a small group of students
on particular works, or quietly observing the classroom. Waldorf teachers are trained to nurture
and inspire the human potential, leading children to ask questions, think for themselves, explore,
investigate and discover.
The combination of a prepared environment, self-directed work, and an expectation of students
to practice grace and courtesy in their interactions with each other allows for a class size of 2024 students to flow with ease. To facilitate this ideal learning environment, teaching assistants
may be hired, as budget constraints ease, in years two and beyond. Teaching assistants typically
do not give lessons to students, but help manage the classroom with the teacher. MSCS may
choose to hire one full-time teaching assistant for each kindergarten class as budget constraints
ease after year one.
The school will open with 6 full-time teachers, one half time Kindergarten teacher, 5 specialty
teachers (hourly), 1 full-time paraprofessional, 1 full-time Principal, 1 full-time Administrative
Assistant/office staff, and 1 half-time health provider. By year 5, this will grow to at least 15 fulltime teachers, one half time kindergarten teacher, 7 specialty teachers (hourly), 1 full-time
paraprofessional, 1 part time office staff (hourly), 1 half-time health provider1 full-time
Administrative Assistant, 1 full-time Principal. One half-time Assessment Coordinator may be
hired in year three, based on administrative needs assessment.
See Appendix V to view the MSCS Organizational Chart for Year 1.
Personnel Overview
MSCS is committed to hiring and retaining staff that support the school’s educational Mission
and vision. In addition, staff should display a passion for lifelong learning, strive for excellence
in their chosen field, and be flexible and innovative. The Board of Directors shall define
minimum, specific employee qualifications that shall include, but not be limited to, the
following:
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Willingness to continue education through additional courses and training in Waldorf –
methodology as used in a public school setting, workshops, seminars and staff
development
Willingness to commit time, energy, and effort in developing MSCS’s program
Belief in the basic philosophy of emphasizing Waldorf-inspired methods and curriculum,
and sustainability
Commitment to working with parents as educational partners
Strong written and verbal communication skills
Awareness of the social, emotional and academic needs of students
Ability to plan cooperatively with other staff
Job Descriptions and Qualifications
Principal-Job Description
MSCS will retain or employ a Principal who holds appropriate credentials and/or degrees, and/or
has demonstrated abilities in administering a school or related management/administration
experience. As well, the Principal must be passionate about the goals and objectives of MSCS.
There is a preference for charter school, Waldorf methods experience in management or
administration. The Principal is accountable to the MSCS Board of Directors for all aspects of
the schools operations, including enrollment, education programs, community relations, fiscal
management, personnel management and property management. These responsibilities should
be carried out in a manner consistent with the school’s Mission and vision, and in the best
interest of MSCS. The Principal will delegate responsibilities, provide appropriate leadership,
and work with the Board of Directors, staff, parents, and community to effectively achieve the
school’s goals and objectives.
Specifically the Principal is responsible for:
1. Management of the school.
2. Managing the office environment.
3. Oversight of the program of instruction, including the integration of Colorado Academic
Standards into instruction, curriculum alignment with the school’s Mission, Waldorf
pedagogy, and the analysis of student assessment data to improve and enhance instruction and
curriculum.
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4. Developing and maintaining effective communications systems to ensure regular and clear
communication within the school community, and working directly with parents to address
questions and concerns and facilitate problem solving.
5. Maintaining current knowledge of State policies and laws that apply to charter schools;
applies that knowledge to ensure compliance and oversees CSAP procedures.
6. Fiscal and administrative operations of the school, including oversight of contracted services,
and supervision of the administrative assistant.
7. Investigating student misconduct and taking appropriate action in cases where suspension or
expulsion is indicated.
8. Overseeing the planning and conduct of extracurricular activities such as field studies,
festivals, multi-cultural events, etc. to ensure appropriateness and safety.
9. Supervising the faculty, and working collaboratively/overseeing the development of innerfaculty mentoring and training, curriculum development, and implementing the annual ongoing school wide self-evaluation and improvement plan.
10. Overseeing the staff recruiting and hiring process.
11. Attending Board of Directors meetings. Helping to facilitate and ensure open and positive
communication among the school’s Board of Directors, the faculty, and the Parent Council.
Principal Qualifications:
Masters Degree in Education/ Management Related Content.
Principal license preferred, but not required.
Principal Qualified designation according to the Colorado Department of Human
Services, preferred but not required.
Colorado first aid and CPR training certification.
Adequate administrative experience in an elementary and/or middle school education
environments.
Effective communication and delegation skills.
Able to demonstrate knowledge of Colorado Academic Standards, or commitment to
doing so.
Thorough understanding of the Waldorf methods philosophy preferred.
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The Principal will be evaluated annually. The evaluation process spans the academic year
starting with goals and objectives established at the start of the school year, and culminating with
a written evaluation prepared and delivered in the spring. Input for the evaluations will be
obtained from faculty; selected parents, including the leadership of the Parent Council, Poudre
School District, and MSCS Board of Directors. Please see Appendix W- Evaluation of Principal:
Policy Manual and Evaluation Form.
Faculty- Job Description
A lead class teacher is hired as the primary teacher for each class. All lead teachers will be
“Highly Qualified” which under Colorado law means that charter school teachers will hold at
least a Bachelor’s degree and will be able to demonstrate subject matter competency in all core
academic areas in which they are assigned. The core academic subject areas include
mathematics, the arts (visual, drama, music), language arts, science, and history/social
studies/geography. To demonstrate subject matter competency, elementary teachers must:
Pass the adopted Elementary Education content assessment; or
Be a Nationally Board of Directors Certified Teacher for the elementary level; or
Pass the Elementary HOUSSE provision
Lead teachers are responsible for overseeing the students’ academic progress and monitoring
assessment. Additional desired qualifications and training will be determined by the MSCS
Board of Directors with recommendation by the MSCS Principal and faculty. MSCS will seek
highly trained Waldorf teachers with a minimum of 5 years teaching experience.
As mentioned previously, faculty members will meet weekly (on early release Thursdays) to
discuss the life of the school and its students, and in order to provide time for ongoing professional
development. MSCS aims to represent the organizational model of a “Professional Learning
Community,” wherein faculty engages in peer mentorship, stimulating and motivating teachers to
continually improve and develop their skills. This model also results is a high degree of selfreflection, resulting in a school of engaged and mindful teachers.
In addition to their primary role as class teachers, the faculty ensures the quality of the educational
program and maintains the highest possible standards in the conduct of the school’s activities. The
faculty will act as an advisory group to the MSCS Board of Directors concerning curriculum,
policy, and program issues, and will elect a representative to serve as an ex-officio member of the
Board of Directors each year.
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Faculty Duties:
1. Teach a Waldorf curriculum in alignment with the program of instruction, Mission and
methodologies of the school.
2. Integrate Colorado Academic Standards into the curriculum in order to ensure that children
are on track to proficiency each year.
3. Assess students for mastery of performance objectives and track student progress.
4. Keep accurate records of student progress and assessments toward meeting charter outcomes
and State achievement targets.
5. Provide remediation and advanced learning opportunities for students using available
classroom resources, volunteers, peers, and individualized programs.
6. Participate in school committees, development and implementation of IEPs, and Student
Success Teams.
7. Attend trainings and continuing education classes related to the program of instruction.
8. Integrate teaching styles, philosophies, and methodologies outlined in the curricular emphasis
into daily lessons.
9. Attend weekly the faculty meetings to participate in peer mentoring, child studies, Colorado
standards curriculum integration and planning of school-wide themes, special events.
10. Prepare lesson plans for teaching grade specific Main Lessons to students.
Lead Teacher – Qualifications
B.A/B.S. degree or higher.
Able to meet the qualifications for a Highly Qualified teacher as outlined above.
Colorado first aid training and CPR training certification.
Ability to lift a child of 40 pounds
Ability to interact with children at floor level.
Demonstrated knowledge of and commitment to Colorado Academic Standards.
Lead teachers will need to have met one of the following 3 criteria:
o
Rudolf Steiner/Waldorf teacher certification
o
Teaching experience in a Waldorf classroom
o
A commitment to enter a Waldorf teacher training program
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Familiarity with or willingness to be trained in MSCS’s Waldorf methods curriculum,
instructional methodology, and developmental model of the child, as well as procedural
compliance.
Demonstrable effectiveness in teaching.
Commitment to students and their success in learning.
The ability to accept parents as vital partners in the learning process.
Willingness to accept responsibility and accountability for instruction and student success
Ability and willingness to work cooperatively with colleagues, Principal, and staff
Commitment to the philosophy and Mission of MSCS
Lead faculty will be supplemented by additional staff who teach specialty classes and activities
on a limited basis. These instructional staff members, or specialty teachers, are not bound by the
same requirements, as they do not teach the core curriculum and do not teach college preparatory
courses. As such, they will be considered instructional support staff teaching under the
supervision of the Highly Qualified lead class teacher. Specialists/instructional support staff will
demonstrate appropriate subject matter expertise and the capacity to work successfully in the
classroom environment. MSCS’s will survey teachers annually to identify areas where they feel
the need for additional support.
Our subject specialists may teach a variety of subjects, including, but not limited to, foreign
languages, music, handwork, woodworking, games (PE), gardening, orchestra or strings, and
eurythmy. Student assessments by subject specialists are included in the students’ end-of-year
narrative reports provided by the lead class teacher, as well as in the parent teacher conferences
that are held twice per year.
MSCS will provide 1) notice at the start of each school year that parents are entitled to request
specific information about the qualifications of their child’s teacher; and 2) notification (if
necessary) that a particular child has been assigned to or taught by a teacher who has not met the
Highly Qualified standards for four or more consecutive weeks. MSCS may hire ESEA qualified
instructional aides to support the core curriculum staff in both regular and special education. The
aides will only assign student work with the approval of a teacher.
Teachers will be evaluated by the Principal and a qualified observer, bi-annually. During our first
year of operation, all teachers will be evaluated twice per year. Please see Appendix X - MSCS
Teacher Evaluation and Improvement Plan: Procedure and Form.
In addition, MSCS will continue to improve its teacher evaluation strategy through the utilization
of upcoming Colorado standards for teacher observation and evaluation.
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Learning Leader (Curriculum Expert)
It is the intent of MSCS that one full-time, classroom teacher will serve as Learning Leader. In
concert with the Principal, this teacher/Learning Leader will have the responsibility to be a
leader of the MSCS team of educators, guiding professional growth and improvement, and
centering on individual and team growth, and the best practices of Waldorf education. In
addition, this Learning Leader will serve as the school’s expert on Waldorf curriculum and
Waldorf-methods teaching, and will also serve as a primary mentor to class teachers, and an
advisor to the Principal and Board of Directors regarding Waldorf-methods curriculum.
Special Education Teacher
The role of special educator at MSCS is a dynamic position. The MSCS special educator works
as part of a consensus driven, teacher led, collaborative team. In addition to special education
duties, special educators are expected to take on leadership roles, attend frequent staff meetings,
assist in many aspects of curriculum design, and provide expertise that benefit the program and
student body as a whole.
Special educators in this setting support instruction across the curriculum using a variety of
service delivery models (co-teaching, pull-asides, pull-outs). Their schedules are fluid and shift
according to the specific needs of their students and the demands of the curriculum/educational
setting. Special educators tailor all aspects of the curriculum to the individual needs of special
education students by accommodating, paralleling, or overlapping the general content
requirements. They also collaborate extensively with regular education staff, and show interest in
learning and in-servicing staff on new and specialized approaches for atypical learners.
Additionally, special educators provide strategic instruction in the areas of reading, written
language, and math for identified students. They carefully track the progress of students with
learning, attention, and behavioral deficits.
In order to assist special education students in successfully completing project-based
assignments, special educators assist students in developing options that inspire passion and
motivation where students can build on their strengths. Special educators carefully monitor each
student’s progress on their project, and break down tasks into manageable components. They
also use numerous strategies to assist students in working as independently as possible.
It is essential for the MSCS special educator to use methods of best practice when complying
with special education laws and procedures. Due process procedures and timelines will be
accurately followed. The IEP process will be coordinated effectively and efficiently. The special
educator at MSCS develops comprehensive IEPs that incorporate transition needs and all
necessary adaptations to ensure student success.
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Contracted Financial Services
As outlined in Section G -Budget and Finance, MSCS has retained the services of a professional
accountant who will be responsible for tracking school finances. This finance professional,
Sarah-Gennie Colazio, owner of Conscious Accounting LLC, will coordinate with the school’s
Administrative Assistant and Principal to continually keep the school’s financial picture in focus.
This contracted financial service provider has demonstrated her experience and full
understanding of finance and budgeting with regard to Colorado charter schools, and will
provide regular financial reports to the Principal and the Board of Directors. In addition
Concious Accounting LLC will provide Quickbooks set up, training, and maintenance, payroll
once a month, as well as all budget creation and scenarios, bank reconciliations, budget review
and management of accounts payable and accounts receivable. The school’s finance
professional, Sarah-Gennie Colazio, will ensure that the fiscal functions of MSCS adhere to all
applicable federal and state laws and regulations.
Classified Staff
Classified employees are hired based on relevant education, training and/or experience in their
fields. MSCS will retain or employ additional administrative staff to assist in managing the
office environment as the need arises. The following qualifications will be considered in
recruiting administrative staff: high level of organizational skills, experience working in an
office environment, experience with office systems and office skills with the ability to
communicate with our contracted service provider, the ability to work well under pressure, the
ability to work well with children and families, support of the curriculum and philosophy of the
school, and the possession of an appropriate license/certificate/degree when required.
In addition MSCS may have staff members who do not have instructional or administrative
duties (e.g., site maintenance personnel). Such staff will be employed at the will of the Board of
Directors and/or as needs arise determined by the Principal. Staff employed in this capacity will
have demonstrated the ability to perform required duties and will hold any required state and
local licenses as may be warranted.
Compensation and Benefits
MSCS’s goal is to continually monitor our compensation and benefits package in accordance
with our budget to provide an increasingly competitive package for teachers. Currently we have
budgeted for a $4000 health benefit package per full time employee. The school is committed to
ensuring that as student enrollment (and thus revenue) increases, MSCS will continually improve
the scope of its employee healthcare package and overall compensation plan. MSCS will
maintain current research on health plan options with a goal of providing more practical and
affordable alternatives to faculty and staff, and will annually monitor compensation and benefits
in relation to other schools.
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Teacher Support and Professional Development
MSCS recognizes that teachers provide the heart of our school program, helping students at
Mountain Sage achieve their potential academically, socially/emotionally, and in terms of
physical ability (fine and gross motor skills). Teacher success is the basis for successful student
learning. As mentioned previously, MSCS intends to support its teachers through increasingly
competitive compensation packages, generous preparation time, opportunities for peer
connection and support, and a strong mentoring and professional development program.
MSCS recognizes the critical importance its professional development programs play in the
long-term success of the school. As a public charter school inspired by Waldorf education, we
recognize that early and ongoing training will have a direct impact on achieving our curricular
vision, as well as meeting the requirements issued to all public schools in Colorado. These two
objectives will frame our approach to professional development.
MSCS Annual Professional Development Program Features:
Annual Summer Institute - Prior to the beginning of each year, MSCS will conduct a 2-week
summer training institute for its teachers and other teachers associated with other Waldorf
inspired schools.
One week of this training will focus on achievement planning, integrated curriculum
mapping of state standards, assessment analysis, and program evaluation and
enhancement planning.
A second week will be dedicated to developing the teaching skills of our Waldorf
inspired learning environment. Teachers will train in areas of specific intervention
strategies, Waldorf literacy and numeracy methodologies, classroom culture, professional
collaboration, and school-wide program and curriculum roll out. This week of training
will also include artistic instruction training for teaching purposes.
Annual Professional Development Plans
The core component of a MSCS teacher’s professional development is a highly
customized individual growth plan. These plans will be reflect the long-term and shortterm nature of the growth cycle, be validated by a support team, tied to multiple growth
indicators, and reflect MSCS values, strategic goals and student outcomes.
Teachers will be officially and unofficially observed frequently by their peers, mentors,
and the school’s Principal.
Professional Development Days - Each year all teachers will be required to participate in 18.5
total professional development days, that will include full days within each semester. Faculty
meetings held on early release days provide teachers with at least 1 hour per week of
professional development.
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Other Program Details
MSCS expects to engage Mountain Phoenix Community School in Wheat Ridge,
Colorado as a key partner in high quality professional development. This relationship
will enable both schools to realize economies of scale with regard to reputable trainers in
specific program elements. We anticipate this strategy to reduce the costs associated with
travel to Waldorf conferences and seminars offered in California (and other states) while
increasing the frequency of trainings offered to staff.
Beginning in year three, MSCS will budget money annually for each full time employee
for the purpose of professional development. Unspent professional development dollars
can be reserved, so teachers can accumulate funds for specific and more expensive
training opportunities.
MSCS will utilize a “Train the Trainers” approach whenever appropriate by providing
key individuals with specific interests and expertise, with the opportunity to bring proven
strategies to MSCS. Time to share new methods or strategies will be included in as part
of the daily, and semester teacher schedules. We expect this strategy to produce quality
development with important cost savings.
In relation to state and District operational and assessment practices, MSCS will provide training
through the use of extended in service modules prior to our first year of operation. Staff will
receive training in the following areas, critical to a highly functioning public school:
Administrative
Silk, Student Information System
School handbooks and procedures
Alpine Achievement
Assessment
DRA2 assessment procedures, and use of results to improve student achievement
CSAP testing and procedures, and use of results to improve student achievement
CELA assessment procedures, and use of results to improve student achievement
Curriculum
Waldorf-inspired curriculum as it relates to the Colorado Academic Standards
Waldorf Education Yearly Teacher Training workshops
Colorado Academic Standards
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Educational Compliance
SPED Policy (IEP and 504 plans)
ESEA
CBLA
Intervention
RTI
ELL
Recruitment, Selection Procedures, and Evaluation of Key Staff
Principal Recruitment
Following acceptance of this charter application, the MSCS Board of Directors will begin a
search for an experienced and qualified Principal. Given the broad scope of authority envisioned
for the Principal, the Board intends to attract candidates who are able to lead both the staff and
the students in creating a dynamic, high performing Waldorf-inspired school utilizing Colorado
Academic Standards. To achieve this, the Board will advertise the position in such areas as the
MSCS website, local and regional newspapers, education journals, Waldorf teacher conferences,
Waldorf teacher training colleges and institutes, education job fairs, other national job posting
services, and international Waldorf teacher job posting websites.
Principal Selection
The MSCS Board of Directors will be responsible for reviewing all applications received, and
will undertake initial interviews with qualified candidates. An interview panel consisting of
Board members, along with at least two Principals or Consultants from other public or private
Waldorf schools in the region will interview potential qualified candidates. If possible, those
involved in the hiring process will present at least three final candidates to the entire Board of
Directors, who will ideally select the Principal by a consensus vote of the Board of Directors.
The Board of Directors is expected to hold interviews with each of the final candidates prior to
voting on the Principal position.
As noted previously, the Board of Directors is responsible for undertaking and writing a yearly
performance report of the Principal. Please see Appendix W- Evaluation of Principal: Policy
Manual and Evaluation Form.
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Staff Recruitment
Upon hiring, the Principal will begin an ambitious recruiting plan to find Highly Qualified,
Waldorf lead teachers, and an administrative assistant. When interviewing teachers, we also
consider the following: Waldorf-methods training and teaching experience; understanding of the
developmental model of the child; the ability/willingness to integrate art, music,
movement/dance and/or drama to enliven academics for improved student learning; advanced
degrees; Spanish/bi-lingual capabilities; public school teaching experience; and the ability to
meet the needs of special education students mainstreamed into the classroom. The Principal will
examine the applicant’s educational philosophy, methods for classroom management, and her/his
ability to communicate and work effectively with children, parents, and colleagues.
Avenues of recruiting for teachers will include the same outlets as were utilized in seeking the
Principal.
Staff Selection
MSCS will select its personnel directly without prior authorization from the District. MSCS will
comply with all federal and state rules and regulations regarding employment. These include,
but are not limited to, appropriate recruitment of applicants and the use of background and
criminal checks, unless a specific waiver from the State Board of Education is obtained. The
Principal for MSCS may terminate the employment of any employee so long as such termination
is not for unlawful reasons. All decisions of terminations of lead teachers and key staff will be
made in conjunction with the Board of Directors. Before being offered positions at MSCS, all
teachers will be interviewed at least once by the Principal. Because the selection of the first
group of teachers is so critical to MSCS’s success in its beginning years, the Board of Directors
will assist the Principal in conducting additional interviews for the first round of applicants.
Staff Evaluations
The Principal may use a range of formal and informal evaluations to measure teacher and staff
performance, including on-going programs of self-evaluation for all teachers. These selfevaluations may consist of a statement that describes what the teacher accomplished since his or
her last self-evaluation and what he or she plans to accomplish in the next few months. Staff
members review their self-evaluation form with the Principal, who attempts to coach those who
haven’t met their goals with suggestions as to how they might improve and continue their
professional development.
The Principal and an experienced Waldorf-methods teacher will evaluate MSCS teachers
annually to measure their performance to contractual expectations. The evaluation process spans
the academic year, starting with evaluation criteria established at the start of the school year and
culminating with a written evaluation prepared and delivered in the spring. To improve student
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learning and teacher retention, teachers in their first year at MSCS will be evaluated in both fall
and spring. The fall evaluation is designed to identify areas where the school can help new
teachers succeed and thrive by providing them with additional support and mentoring. All staff
will undergo a formal written evaluation by the Principal at least once per academic year. All
teachers and staff will also receive regular informal feedback from the Principal and from their
colleagues. Weekly faculty meeting will provides a space for sharing issues and concerns, and
possible solutions. As well, Lead Teachers will have a mentor either within the school or outside
of the school that they can refer to for reflection and problem solving. Teachers who do not meet
expectations and do not follow the goals of their improvement plan may be subject to reassignment or termination.
As previously mentioned, please see Appendix X - MSCS Teacher Evaluation and Improvement
Plan: Procedure and Form.
Employment Policies
The Board of MSCS, in conjunction with the school’s principal, will further develop its
employment policies and create its Employee Handbook after the approval of its charter contract
by PSD. The MSCS Employee Handbook will be completed prior to the hiring of faculty.
Equal Opportunity Employer
MSCS is an at-will, equal employment opportunity employer. MSCS will not discriminate
against any employee on the basis of race, creed, color, gender, national origin, religion,
ancestry, age, sexual orientation or disability in the recruitment, selection, training, utilization, or
termination of employees or any other employment-related activities.
Terms and Conditions
The terms and conditions of employment at MSCS will be reviewed with all employees in detail
during the interview process and will be described in detail in the MSCS Employee Handbook
that will be created by the MSCS Board of Directors.
Employee Welfare and Safety
MSCS shall comply with all District policies, state, and federal laws concerning employee
welfare, safety and health issues.
Employee Records
MSCS shall comply will all District policies and regulations, state and federal laws concerning
the maintenance and disclosure of all records.
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All employees must furnish, or will be expected to provide:
Medical clearance including proof of medical exam and tuberculosis (TB) testing
Proof of fingerprinting and criminal record check from the Department of Justice
Full disclosure statement regarding prior criminal record
Legal status to be employed by MSCS
Staff Retention
MSCS will develop its own policies, in full compliance with federal and state law, regarding the
recruitment, evaluation, promotion, discipline, and termination of personnel, as well as complaint
and grievance procedures.
Staff Compensation
The Principal of MSCS, in consultation with the Board of Directors, will develop the salary
schedule for the school. The first year budget reflects the budget constraints of a start-up school
in terms of salaries. After year one, salaries will increase by no less than 3% annually. However,
it is the intent of the MSCS Board to increase teacher pay as significantly as possible (up to 13%)
during our subsequent years of operation, in conjunction with increased student enrollment and
state legislature educational funding. MSCS will create a salary schedule based on Waldorfinspired charter schools and private Waldorf schools in the region. MSCS aims to offer a
competitive salary schedule in relation to other charter schools in the Poudre School District, and
to use best practices in salary schedules among national charter schools.
Compliance with the Elementary and Secondary Education Act
MSCS understands the requirement that all teachers be “Highly Qualified” as defined by ESEA.
MSCS will comply with this requirement in all aspects of hiring and staff selection.
Teacher Certification
As a public charter school, MSCS will request a waiver from hiring exclusively licensed
instructional staff.
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J. INSURANCE COVERAGE
A. Insurance and Liability
Mountain Sage Community School shall, at all times, maintain necessary and appropriate
insurance coverage. This includes Workers Compensation, Comprehensive General Liability
Insurance, Building and Contents, Errors & Omissions (School Leaders), and Blanket
Occupational Accident Insurance.
We have obtained an insurance quote from a Fort Collins company that will be able to tailor our
insurance to the unique needs of a charter school in our State and District. This quote is for our
first year of operation and is based upon a 130 student enrollment figure for the following
coverage: Commercial Property Coverage, Commercial General Liability Coverage,
Commercial Crime Coverage, Commercial Auto Coverage and Educators Protection Plus, which
includes part of our Errors & Omission policy. Directors and Operators/Employee Practices
Liability encompasses the remainder of Errors and Omissions. We will also have an umbrella
policy.
In order to provide safety for all students and staff, MSCS will adopt and implement full health
and safety procedures and risk management policies at our school site in consultation with the
school’s insurance carriers and risk management experts.
B. Faith and Credit
MSCS agrees that it will not extend the faith and credit of the District to any third person or
entity. MSCS acknowledges and agrees it has no authority to enter into a contract that would
bind the Poudre School District, and that MSCS’s authority to contract is limited by the same
provisions in law of District policy that apply to the District itself, unless specific exemptions
have been obtained. MSCS is also limited in its authority to contract by the amount of funds
obtained from the District, as provided hereunder, or from other independent sources. MSCS’s
Board of Directors of Directors shall be delegated the authority to approve contracts to which
MSCS is a party, subject to the requirements and limitations of the Colorado Constitution, State
law, PSD policies, the provisions of the contract, and this Charter.
C. Indemnification
To the extent not covered by insurance or otherwise barred by the Colorado Governmental
Immunity Act, MSCS agrees to indemnify and hold the District and its agents and employees
harmless from all liability, claims and demands on account of injury, loss or damage, including,
without limitation, claims arising from bodily injury , personal injury, sickness, disease, death,
property loss or damage or any other losses of any kind whatsoever which arise out of or are in
any manner connected with MSCS’s operations. The foregoing provision shall not be deemed a
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relinquishment or waiver of any kind of applicable limitations of liability provided by the
Colorado Governmental Immunity Act.
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K. PARENT INVOLVEMENT AND COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT
The creation of Mountain Sage Community School has been led by a dedicated group of parents
and educators. As MSCS becomes a reality, both the opportunities and importance of parent
involvement will remain high. Indeed, the importance of dedicated parents cannot be
underestimated.
As outlined in the Section D of this application, many different avenues have been utilized to
keep interested parents informed. We will greatly expand our outreach efforts should our charter
be re-approved by the Poudre School District.
MSCS acknowledges that the school will thrive with the active support of its parent community.
Parents/guardians are asked to provide as many volunteer hours as possible. MSCS’s intention is
to focus on the joy of service, recognizing the importance research has demonstrated that parent
involvement improves student learning. Parent involvement at MSCS also shows students that
their parents care about their school, and creates a community atmosphere. MSCS recognizes
that some families may have limited volunteer hours to offer, due to economic restraints for
example, and so parent volunteerism is not a required, but highly encouraged.
Parent Council
Parent and community member involvement at MSCS begins with the school’s Parent Council, a
parent-governed committee. Every parent/guardian of a currently enrolled MSCS student is
welcome to participate in the Parent Council. In addition, parents who serve as “Class Parent”
(lead parent volunteer for each classroom) will serve on the Parent Council. This service enables
dissemination of Parent Council information to the parent body of every class.
The Parent Council’s Mission is to uphold the central role of the parents in preserving the vision
of the school, and the role of parent volunteers in contributing to all aspects of the school
community. The Parent Council, in conjunction with MSCS’s administration and Board, will
publish the Parent Handbook and make necessary revisions annually.
The Parent Council consists of parent/guardian and grandparent volunteers who meet regularly
(at least monthly) to support the life of the school. At least one member of the MSCS Board of
Directors will attend Parent Council meetings to ensure communication between the Board,
administration and Parent Council is continuous and effective.
The Parent Council will:
Create a forum for discussion of matters of interest and concern to the parents of the
school.
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Act as a communication channel between the parents and other individuals and groups,
both within and outside the school community.
Facilitate cultural and social activities that contribute to the life of the school.
Coordinate and sponsor committees, clubs and other activities that contribute to the life
of the school.
Coordinate fundraising activities.
In addition, the Parent Council provides general oversight of parent-led committees, and
membership, (as needed) on administrative committees.
Intended Parent Committees
Festivals
The Festival Committee creates a festival life for the school. Working closely with the faculty, it
coordinates the Harvest Festival, the Winter Festival, and the Spring Festival, creating
meaningful celebrations for the entire school community and their families.
Hospitality
The Hospitality Committee ensures a welcoming environment at MSCS. They provide healthy
meals and snacks for meetings and events throughout the year. They also may host overnight
visitors to our school.
Parent Handbook
The Parent Handbook Committee, working closely with administration and MSCS Board, creates
and distributes an annual Parent Handbook to keep parents informed about school activities,
policies, and the important interrelationship between school life and home life in supporting
children’s learning.
Library
The Library Committee organizes and maintains the student library, the parent education library,
and the faculty reference library. The Library Committee selects and purchases library materials,
based on faculty, student, and administrative recommendations.
Gardening/Campus Beautification
The Gardening/Campus Beautification Committee maintains the school garden, allowing for
gardening opportunities that teachers and students utilize as part of the school curriculum.
Gardening creates beauty and a connection to the earth and the life-cycle of the plant world. It
also gives students the experience of growing and eating the food they produce. In the
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summertime, this committee organizes the overseeing of the school community garden by
creating a sign-up sheet that allows for at least 2 families each week of summer to maintain the
garden. They also coordinate harvest and garden share pick-up for those families who participate
in the school community garden in the summer months.
School Lunch Committee
A half-time Registered Dietitian and at least 1 half-time cook/kitchen aid will be deciding the
school lunch menu, ordering and receiving food, and preparing meals, as facilities and finances
allow. Parent/guardian volunteers will comprise the additional labor needed to make our lunch
program successful. Volunteer jobs will include helping to prepare school meals and helping to
clean the kitchen facility after each meal. For details of our lunch program see Section M.
Additional Parent Involvement
To encourage additional parent involvement, MSCS shall also maintain a list citing a wide
variety of participation opportunities for parents. Possible volunteer activities can include, but
are not limited to:
Service on a school committee or Board
Assisting in the classroom in small reading groups beginning in second grade
Playground supervision before and after school and during recess
Assisting during festivals
Assisting in a specialty class
Hospitality (hosting a visiting teacher candidate or speaker)
Site maintenance
Service as a “Class Parent” - Each class has one or two class parents who are central to
the parent support base for the classroom. Typically, class parents assist with
communication between teacher and parents, using the e-mail and phone trees; help
organize field trips and drivers; help schedule parent-teacher conferences; and coordinate
parent volunteers for festivals, fundraising, class plays, and other class activities. The
“Class Parent” also serves on the Parent Council.
Service as MSCS Board of Directors representatives
Coordinating and chaperoning field trips
Coordinating sets and costumes, and helping with rehearsals, for annual class plays
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Assisting with fundraisers
Assisting in the school office
All parent volunteers will be required to read and sign a Volunteer Agreement prior to engaging
in any volunteer activities. Parents who will be working closely with students will be required to
undergo a background check to ensure child safety. Additionally, parents who offer to drive
multiple students to and from school activities will be required to produce a valid Colorado
driver’s license and provide proof that their vehicle is insured. The MSCS Board will develop a
detailed field trip driving policy, to be published in the parent handbook.
Community Partners
MSCS will develop partnerships with community organizations as appropriate, but will begin by
further developing the partnerships outlined in Section D of this application. MSCS will maintain
contact with interested organizations by sending them an annual newsletter of school
accomplishments and activities, and direct communication. Local organizations will also be
invited to attend and participate in MSCS’s annual festivals. Local organizations that have
relevant and age appropriate presentations will be invited to come to the school.
MSCS teachers, the Principal and the Administrative Assistant will be responsible for
coordinating activities with community organizations, based on the input of parents faculty and
the Board.
Service to their community will be a strong theme for students at MSCS. With the assistance of
their teachers, students will be encouraged to pick one or two community organizations to
support during the year. Depending on the ages of the class, this might involve donating gently
used toys and clothes to a local homeless shelter or other organizations that assists children in
need, adopting families during the holidays, or volunteering time at nursing homes, soup
kitchens, hospitals, or building and tending small family gardens for families in need. Classes
may decide to raise money for local or global organizations, such as “Pennies for Peace” which
builds schools for children in Pakistan and Afghanistan or the “Plant a Row” program to donate
surplus garden grown veggies to families in need. Children will also be able to develop a love of
the environment by participating in park clean-ups, maintaining the gardens at Mountain Sage,
volunteering at local farms or collecting old computers and cell phones to donate to local
technology refurbishing groups.
MSCS aims to be highly visible within our community in order to help spread the wisdom and
beauty of Waldorf education and sustainability to wider audiences within our community. We
believe an involved and highly satisfied parent community will be a key to success in spreading
the news about Mountain Sage Community School.
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L. ENROLLMENT POLICY
The founders of MSCS are grateful to have an opportunity to bring the beauty of Waldorfinspired education and sustainable living into the public school realm.
MSCS shall admit all pupils who wish to attend the school up to capacity, accepting students
based on the Poudre School District age guidelines. No test or assessment shall be administered
to students prior to acceptance into the school. Although, admission tests will not be required,
individual assessments will be given to serve as diagnostics of students’ reading, writing, math
and physical skills.
A minimum of four Parent-Teacher Nights per class, per year will be offered. Attendance at
these events, by at least one parent per family, will be strongly encouraged.
MSCS's admissions operate without regard to actual or perceived sex, sexual orientation, ethnic
group identification, race, ancestry, national origin, religion, age, gender, color or physical or
mental disability.
It is anticipated that enrollment requests will exceed the capacity of the school, in both the first
year of operation and in subsequent years. As such, MSCS will adhere to the following criteria
for enrollment into the school.
Currently enrolled students have priority for enrollment in MSCS for the following school year.
Beginning in January, parents, guardians or legal custodians of students currently attending
MSCS must declare their intentions to return to the school in the next academic school year. The
MSCS website will post a reminder to parents/ legal guardians of the need to return intent to reenroll forms, along with the forms and the final day that intent to re-enroll forms will be
accepted. It will be the parent’s /legal guardian’s responsibility to return the intent to re-enroll
form by the last business day in January. On the first business day of February, the Principal will
determine the number of spaces available for new students in each grade level for the upcoming
school year. If there are more applicants for positions than available spots, the Principal will hold
a lottery. Priority for available Kindergarten through 8th grade spots will be allocated to the
following groups:
1. Children of Founding Families, defined as:
a. Children of current or former MSCS Board members; or
b. Children of full-time MSCS Teachers and staff
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2. Siblings of Returning MSCS Students
a. Should there be more siblings of returning MSCS students than enrollment openings for
a given grade, enrollment shall be offered by computerized random selection from within
this priority group for the affected grade level.
b. Any child/ children living in the same household or with a common parent(s)/ legal
guardian(s) in separate households. This includes children who become siblings by
marriage and/or adoption. Any sibling born while a student is enrolled may retain that
status even if the original student graduates from MSCS before he/she reaches
Kindergarten.
c. Any sibling offered a position in the first semester must enroll or forfeit their position,
and are then subject to general lottery rules.
3. All District Residents on the Enrollment List.
4. All non-District Residents.
The combination of children of founding families, and children of full-time MSCS teachers and
staff will not exceed twenty percent (20%) of the total MSCS enrollment population in any given
year. Should these two groups of children exceed the twenty percent (20%) limit of the total
enrollment population in any given year, priority within this group shall be given to:
1. Children of current or former MSCS Board members;
2. Children of full-time MSCS teachers and staff
In the beginning years of operations any children from these two categories who fall outside of
the 20% limit shall be eligible for the general school lottery.
Kindergarten Lottery
1. MSCS will offer both full-day and half-day Kindergarten positions. The half-day positions will
be offered free of charge due to public funding received by the school. Full-day Kindergarten spots
will require an additional $310 monthly tuition payment to cover the portion of the school day not
covered by public funds. Both full-day and half-day Kindergarten classes are subject to lottery.
3. Whether a child is enrolled in a full-day Kindergarten program or a half-day Kindergarten
program, all Kindergarten students will be assessed for academic and social preparedness.
Lottery Eligibility
1. Prior to enrolling in the lottery, interested parents/ legal guardians of potential students
strongly encouraged to attend an informational workshop. These workshops will be lead by
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Principal and/or faculty, and will provide an overview of Waldorf as it applies to child
development, the academic content of the Waldorf curriculum, and details about MSCS and the
enrollment process. Dates, times and places for the workshops will be listed on the MSCS website,
local print media outlets, various community calendars and regional parenting blogs.
2. Parents who wish to be considered for the lottery must complete an Intent to Enroll form by
the last business day in January. The Administrative Assistant will compile a database of all
families with completed Intent to Enroll forms in order to ensure their inclusion in the lottery.
3. Each lottery wait list will remain active for one school year. In order to participate in the
subsequent year’s lottery, parents must indicate that they want their child to be considered for
that lottery, and must update their enrollment form by coming in to the school office and
completing the appropriate paperwork prior to the January 31st. Parents will be reminded via email, or phone if preferred.
4. Any potential student who is offered a position and refuses placement will lose any and all
lottery positions for that potential student. Students may reapply for the lottery the following
day; however their names will be placed at the end of the compiled wait list.
5. After available spots for each grade level have been filled by the lottery, remaining students
will be placed on an “order drawn” list that will become the wait list for openings that may arise
in the upcoming school year.
Lottery Dates
The school’s hand-drawn lottery will be coincide with that of the Poudre School District in
February, unless MSCS notifies otherwise, for available positions in the upcoming school year.
Families interested in having their child or children included in the lottery must have completed
enrollment forms submitted to the Administrative Assistant no later than the last business day in
January. Parents/ legal guardians whose children are selected in the lottery for available spots in
the upcoming school year will be notified the same day by phone of their child or children’s
selection. If the parents cannot be reached on the same day, the Administrative Assistant will
continue to attempt verbal notification for the next four (4) days. If parents/legal guardians are
not reached during that time, they will forfeit their child/children’s position in the lottery, and
their child/ children’s names will be placed at the bottom of the wait list. Notification in Spanish
will be provided for those parents/ legal guardians who have indicated a Spanish language
preference. MSCS must receive a verbal confirmation of intent to enroll each selected student no
later than five (5) business days after the lottery and notification, and parents/legal guardians
must complete an Enrollment Packet within ten (10) days after the lottery and notification.
Should a family not respond to the lottery notification after five (5) business days, their child’s
name shall be withdrawn and that available spot will be offered to the child at the top of the wait
list. Should a position in the school become available from August 1st to October 10th,
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parents/legal guardians with children on the wait list will have two (2) days upon verbal
notification to notify MSCS of acceptance of those positions. MSCS will attempt to contact
parents/legal guardians for two (2) days only during this time period. It is the responsibility of
the parents/ legal guardians of a potential student to maintain current contact information with the
school.
The official MSCS Enrollment Application/ Enrollment Packet that will be distributed to lottery
“winners” will be developed upon charter approval, and will be based upon the Poudre School
District’s enrollment form. The opening year Parent Handbook will also be distributed at this
time. Parents of enrolled students of MSCS will be required, prior to the school year, to attend a
school informational workshop that will provide an overview of Waldorf as it applies to child
development, the academic content of the Waldorf curriculum and Colorado Academic
Standards, and details about MSCS.
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M. TRANSPORTATION AND FOOD SERVICE
Transportation
In order to facilitate transportation to and from school, we will develop carpool and bike pool
programs, with and for interested families. Using maps to help enable self-organizing carpool
and bike pools, we will also work with the City of Fort Collins Bike Coordinator, Dave Kemp to
help us create a series of safe routes to and from school for those families interested in biking or
bike pooling.
Depending on the location of MSCS, public transportation may be a viable option for families. If
public transportation is within close proximity of MSCS, the Board has considered the possibility
of providing bussing/transportation for families in need - for whom transportation is prohibitive
to attendance at the school. This option will be explored for years two and beyond, correlating
with an easing of first year budget constraints.
All three of these strategies play a large part in the school’s ability to teach and practice
sustainable transportation strategies within our community.
In addition to these daily transport needs, Mountain Sage may choose to work with PSD, based
on a contracting fee, to meet the needs of our school community for occasions that may require
the use of buses (i.e. field trips).
Food Service
At Mountain Sage Community School we believe it is imperative to teach students a healthy
appreciation of diet, nutrition and earth sustainability from an early age. Students learn better
when they eat wholesome, balanced meals and our lunch program will promote health and
wellness as students will be offered more organic, less processed choices. During our first year,
in order to meet the needs of FRL students and those who forget their lunches, MSCS will
purchase non-perishable and simple, natural foods items that will be on hand at all times. By year
two, it is the goal of MSCS to work with parent and community volunteers to bring a farm to
classroom-type lunch program to the students of Mountain Sage Community School. We will
team up with local farmers and the Fort Collins Food Coop to provide the healthiest, most
nutritious ingredients for school meals. We will meet government and District guidelines while
supporting our local food economy, a key element of sustainability. We seek to eventually have a
greenhouse on the school property that will supplement this program during the “off season”
(November-March). Cold frames (mini-greenhouses) made from repurposed building materials
will be used during the first year of our garden program.
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In our first year of operation students will be asked to bring their own “brown bag” lunches. A
small allowance has been made in the first year budget for students who require lunch provision,
for whatever reason (economic constraints, forgot their lunch etc.). There will be healthy food on
hand (for example: fresh fruit, carrot sticks, cheese sticks, bread, peanut butter and jelly) for such
needs.
By year two, MSCS will be able to offer all students this exceptional food program, with
significant fund allocations put toward FRL students’ needs in this regard. Non-FRL students
will be expected to cover the cost of these meals, should they choose this partake in this option.
Mission of the Mountain Sage Farm to School Program:
To provide the students, staff, teachers, and administrators of Mountain Sage Community School
simple, nutritious, and delicious lunches made from scratch, using local and organic ingredients
whenever possible, in a sustainable and environmentally-friendly manner.
The following goals are based on those used in the Edible School Yard Program started by Alice
Walker and the Chez Panisse Foundation in Berkeley California - www.edibleschoolyard.org.
Goal 1: To incorporate lunch into the school day.
From planting, tending, and harvesting the school garden to helping prepare the lunches that will
be served, the students of MSCS will benefit from an integrated “seed-to-table” curriculum. This
curriculum will be integrated into the academic subjects of reading, writing, social studies, math,
health, and science. All grades will participate in some aspect of this unique experience.
Goal 2: To give children a hands-on education.
Children learn by doing. Working in the vegetable beds and on the cutting boards will give each
child a first-hand experience that fosters life-long learning.
Goal 3: To support local farms and businesses.
We will utilize local, seasonal, and organic food whenever possible. This will be done to
promote the health of our students and an awareness of their community and the environment.
Goal 4: To provide the student of MSCS a beautiful eating experience.
A beautifully prepared environment, where deliberate thought has gone into the cuisine as well
as the table settings, will show our students that we care about them.
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Menu:
The menu will consist of soup, salad, vegetable, fruit, bread and cheese each day.
Meals will be made from scratch.
MSCS will use local and organic ingredients whenever possible.
We will partner with local farmers to provide students with fresh, seasonal produce.
We will partner with local dairies and bakeries to provide students with fresh bread and
cheese.
We will also use the produce in our own school garden for the lunch program.
Labor:
Depending on the kitchen capacity/facility and budget, a half-time registered dietitian
(RD) will be added to the school staff to make sure each lunch meets one-third of the
daily requirements for children. Kitchen staff will be hired as needed.
The RD will ensure all food safety and health department codes are upheld.
The RD will also be a nutrition/health teacher, providing a “seed to table” curriculum for
all students like the one developed by Alice Waters at Martin Luther King Jr. Middle
School in Berkley California - www.edibleschoolyard.org/
Parents and other volunteers will provide additional labor.
School Garden:
As previously mentioned, the school garden will provide fresh seasonal produce for our
lunch program.
The garden will also provide countless opportunities for academic integration into all
subject areas. Students will plant, tend and harvest food from the garden. They will also
be involved in cooking, serving and eating the gifts that our garden provides.
Schools are positioned to influence students’ current health and academic achievement as well as
create healthy habits and smart choices for adulthood. Our school will start with the lunch
program, with the intention of expanding our food program to include breakfast for students.
In addition, the food service program will accommodate a variety of diets. We will offer
vegetarian options, gluten-free and dairy-free options as well. MSCS will work hard to create a
diverse menu meeting the needs and tastes of all the students. MSCS feels fortunate to have
Jody Swigris, a registered dietician, on the Board of Directors who will voluntarily set-up and
manage this program in it’s infancy. Initial research and conversations with the Colorado Health
Department have begun in order to ensure compliance. We anticipate parent volunteers being
highly involved in the actualization of this program.
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N. FACILITIES
The MSCS Board is actively working to find a facility that can accommodate our student
population and support our program in a financially viable way. We have identified several
strategies or concepts that our group will pursue upon receiving authorization. We have
developed these strategies based on a basic space program that identifies the initial and on-going
needs of the school.
Based on current real estate market conditions, existing available real estate for lease in Fort
Collins, and research performed by real estate agents with The Group Inc. and Realtec, MSCS
believes it can locate a facility that fits the needs of the school for $12 per square foot or less.
As referenced in our budget scenarios, facility costs assume a first year expenditure of $106,000.
We anticipate $82,000 of property related expenditures to be associated with lease or loan
payments and $24,000 to be associated with maintenance, utilities, etc.
MSCS has had preliminary negotiations with property owners that indicate the likely acceptance of
a stepped-up lease rate in subsequent years as enrollment increases. Progressive Leases are
commonplace in the market. We anticipate successful negotiations that will enable MSCS to have
the space needed for our programs.
We have identified 50 square feet per-pupil as a base requirement for space in years 1-3. However,
we anticipate that this number will grow to approximately 62 square feet per-pupil as the school
expands to the middle school grades due to the duplication of some program space. MSCS will
approach the interior floor plan of the school in a manner that eliminates most corridor spaces in
favor of shared, multi-use learning areas. Learning can take place in the classroom and in adjacent
commons spaces that will offer room for differentiated learning experiences for students. This
approach to facility design allows for a lower gross interior space and for the school to attain
maximum utility out of the space available while reducing costs.
Requirements:
Located within the Poudre School District, preferably within Fort Collins City limits
Safe surroundings
Meets all applicable building codes, health and safety laws, within the requirements of
the American with Disabilities Act (ADA), Larimer County, and the State of Colorado.
A minimum of 6500 square feet to house 130 students in year one, and approximately
20,000 square feet by year 5.
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Anticipated cost per square foot of leased space - $12; Anticipated cost per-square foot
utilities - $4
Facility cost < 25% of PPR.
Minimum Required space for year 1 (numbers subject to increase if enrollment of 3rd and 4th
grade students requires an additional classroom and teacher)
Space name
Size (sq ft)
Number
Total
Kindergarten classrooms
600
3
1800
Grade 1-4 classrooms
600
4
2400
Washrooms
300
1
300
Reception/lobby
150
1
150
Administrative Office
150
1
200
Supply room
150
1
150
Multipurpose commons, circulation,
reception, dining
1500
1
1500
Total yr. 1 space required
6500
Facilities Program Progression (minimum requirements)
Year
Number of students
SF per-student
Total SF
2012-2013
130
50
6500
2013-2014
178
50
8900
2014-2015
226
50
11300
2015-2016
274
60
16440
2016-2017
322
62
19964
We also require ample outdoor space to allow for safe outdoor play. Space for a playground is
necessary, as well as a bit of land to create our school community garden.
Space for art and library materials will be available in each classroom. Therefore, MSCS has not
set aside a separate art room for the first year activities.
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164
Facility Concepts
Concept 1: Temporary Commercial Real Estate with Tenant Improvements
In our search for a temporary commercial real estate option site, we will seek a facility that can
support the expected student population for at least the first five years. However, if necessary the
school may have to move to a different facility or expand the existing facility between years one
and five.
Description:
This site can provide MSCS with a viable 2 to 3 year lease in a building that requires
minimal leasehold improvements.
The site would need to have the capacity to be transitioned to E-occupancy requirements
without significant costs passed on through lease payments (greater than $12 sq ft.)
Location for this site is a compromise. The turn-key nature of this site would have to
outweigh a challenging location and other less than ideal compromises.
Example site: retail box, church, office building (1 story)
Possible Facility Examples
With the support of a local realtor we have identified sites with good locations and
reasonable lease rates currently on the market that fit into our criteria for a temporary
facility.
2310 E. Prospect Rd. – $8 - $11 (NNN); 11,000 sf available
3030 S. College Ave. – $9.50 (NNN) 10,019 sf available
120 Hemlock – $5.50 (NNN); 8,050 sf available
Concept 2: Permanent Leased Facility with Tenant Improvements
This building has the potential to be a long-term site for the school. Likely leasehold
improvements to bring the building into code for education purposes will be a phased process
commensurate with the school’s projected growth plan. Initial interior improvements will serve
the school’s needs for the first two years of operation. When sufficient funds have been reserved,
the school will embark on a conventionally financed renovation to re-task the building to our
vision of an ideal learning environment.
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165
Description:
The lease agreement will be designed to accommodate the school’s growth; be within the $12
range for year 1 and 2; detail the nature of renovation/improvement process; ensure the
protection of the school’s long-term viability and any capital investments. Core to our approach
will be the negotiation of an option to purchase the facility from the property owner. While
building ownership is in the best interest of the school, we will not embark on this path until the
school has a proven record of stable enrollment and strong academic results.
The school is willing to engage in a longer term lease (6-8 years or even 10 years in the right
conditions) with the idea that the lessor will do some tenant improvements in expansion years to
make the space qualify as an E-occupancy facility, as well as serviceable as an elementary
school.
This plan assumes an initial build-out in the summer of 2012 ready for an August opening; it also
assumes the lessor would back a build-out between years 2 and 3. The school would consider
renegotiating the lease to incorporate the build-out costs into a new 8-10 year term.
The school is willing to consider cooperative agreements that would enable third parties to sublease space from the school but would want ultimate control of that process as the primary
building tenant.
The ideal lessor would understand that the school is capable of a higher lease rate in its third year
of operation (with some escalation in year 2). With this understanding, and the anticipated
growth (student enrollment/revenue) and sound management of the school, the ideal lessor
would finance a final build-out project in the school's 5th year.
If the lessor is unable to finance our first build-out, the school would consider a site that has an
open floor plan, that would require little demolition, and would use systems furnishings to create
classroom divisions. This site should have a restroom and a basic warming kitchen block that is
adequate for the school's initial population or could be remodeled to meet code.
Location is for this concept is important but the school is willing to consider a broad range of
options.
One of our chief concerns is locating the school on a site that has some green space attached or
immediately accessible. At the minimum, the school needs space large enough for a playground
and some raised garden beds. If the green space around the property is less than an acre it would
be important to locate the school near a wooded green belt or natural area (water with riparian
zone is ideal). The connection to green space, and reasonable outdoor space adjacent to the
school is critical to ensure the school’s sustainable, nature-based learning vision is realized.
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166
The school would be very interested in partnering with a property owner or municipality to
reclaim/remediate a safe site capable of naturally supporting vegetation. Locations in the south
end of Fort Collins have been eliminated by the school’s founders due to the high number of new
schools in the area. North, east, west and central are still viable at this stage.
Example sites: retail box, church, office building (1 story), updated warehouse, and unfinished
office building with expansion potential.
Possible Facility Example
Upon the conditional approval of the MSCS charter application in 2010, the MSCS Board
of Directors began lease negotiations with the owners of, what is still the most viable
option for a facility, 608 East Drake Rd. in Fort Collins. In our early lease negotiations,
we reached a lease rate that was well within the facility budget. We have remained in
contact with the owners of this property. They are aware of our needs as a school, and it
is the understanding of the MSCS Board that Mountain Sage Community School
continues to be the most attractive potential tenant. MSCS remains a viable consideration
for the owners, even while they are in other short-term lease negotiations with temporary
tenants. The property is currently for sale or lease, and houses (rent-free) a church
congregation that utilizes the space on a limited basis.
This property has 18,143 square feet plus a modular building and storage. It is centrally
located along a main city bus route and in close proximity to bikes paths and rests on 5.05
acres of land. It also has an existing 190-space parking lot. It is our hope that this
property will be available when we would be ready to take occupancy. It is ideal in many
ways for Mountain Sage Community School, providing solutions for numerous short and
long-term needs.
Concept #3: Land Lease with Option to Own, Temporary Structure
This concept involves the development of the school using temporary modular structure(s) to
house its programs prior to building a permanent facility. This concept may be the most
complex and possibly too expensive to pursue in year one or two but could be the most viable in
terms a long-term location for the school and would be appropriate to consider for our 3rd year of
operations. We believe this concept would best compliment the school’s curricular programs and
focus on sustainability. It would provide arable land to support the school's gardening and
sustainability programs, as well as a suitable building site for a permanent, sustainably built
facility.
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167
The basic approach is to establish a long-term vision for the land that begins with a temporary
structure or swing space, and after 5 years use bond funding or other mechanisms to fund the
construction of a permanent K-8 school facility. This site would need to be large enough and
have enough sites to build upon to phase this progression. The school would lease the temporary
structure from the manufacturer for 5 years. After 5 years, the structure would be removed from
the site and remitted back to the manufacturer or sold following the completion of a permanent
facility.
The ideal the site would be at least 5 acres; be adjacent to sewage lines, power, low voltage
cable, and water; support adequate parking; and have water to support gardens, and landscape.
Sites within the City would be highly desirable; sites beyond the City limits would need to be
easily accessible (ideally near a bus stop). For reasons previously stated, land in the south end of
town will not be considered for this concept.
The school would be interested in leasing land from a willing landowner with the option or
intention to purchase the land in 3-5 years. The school would seek landowners interested in
selling, and also willing to act as lender. However, the school will pursue a lease arrangement
for the first years of operation. The school is also willing to consider industrial or semi industrial
sites that have close proximity to woodland, green space, water, prairie, parks etc. Rural land
would need to have adequate options to meet code for fire suppression. Donated land would
need to pass all tests for flexibility, accessibility for families, code and other local restrictions.
Municipal purchase or lease: The School is interested in City or County owned land that can be
re-tasked to serve as a public school site. Working with municipal land managers may yield
suitable locations that fit within our criteria.
Possible Facility Example: We have investigated a tensioned membrane structure
produced by Sprung Industries. Because a new charter school has an unproven track
record, it is difficult to find loans to finance the purchase of a facility. However, this type
of facility is leasable, and highly suitable as learning space for our programs. Most
importantly, this structure is scalable/expandable to coincide with the school’s growth,
thus maximizing economic efficiency. Annual costs associated with this concept:
Structure lease: $36,660; Build-out construction loan (10 yr) $51,324.
Possible Land Example: 126 Bristlecone Dr Fort Collins CO – 5.3 Acers available;
$124,552 cost per-acre; Zoned Mixed use
Concept #4: Existing school
MSCS believes that the option of utilizing a District facility (or a former school that is owned by
a private party), if available, would offer several distinct advantages to all parties.
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168
It would allow the District to take advantage of the excess capacity in the system.
It would allow MSCS to locate in a building that was designed to be a school rather than
trying to reconfigure a space that was not intended to serve that purpose.
MSCS would realize capital improvement cost and time savings assuming the facility met
E-occupancy standards.
It could provide much needed financial relief in the first year, allowing MSCS to reach
financial stability quickly. This, in turn, would enhance the long-term prospects for success.
District schools are often in accessible locations, allowing MSCS to draw a diverse
student population.
MSCS could likely assume a significant portion of the expense of maintaining the
facility, but the facility would continue to be a District-owned asset.
MSCS will improve the conditions of any District property. Through land cultivation and
the inherent beauty of the Waldorf school aesthetic, we would enrich the surroundings for
any future occupant or purchaser of the property.
Facilities Development Plan
In the fall of 2011, our facilities search committee, with the continued help of local realtors, will
further its search and due diligence process on the 4 concepts. We anticipate the identification of
an array of options that will need to be narrowed down by our criteria set (e.g. cost, location,
costs-to-open, quality learning environment, match to Mission) to a list of 2-3 possible sites.
Between December and January 30th, we will conduct a more comprehensive evaluation of these
locations to determine which site to prioritize and which to reserve as back-up options.
Concurrently, our facilities search team, will work with property owners or developers to
develop and apply a basic conceptual design for the interior floor plan of the school to our top
selected sites as part of the cost-to-open estimating process. At this time we will also engage
local authorities to determine whether the sites will meet all zoning requirements. By the end of
February 2012 (possibly sooner), we will have determined which site is the best to pursue.
Through the spring months of 2012, we will work with partners and selected vendors to develop
a schematic design for the interior build-out of the school, and develop a highly accurate cost
estimate that can be used to pursue funding for the renovations. Because we plan to use systems
walls for our initial 2 years, we believe our initial costs for interior renovations of an existing
building will be low and could be financed by the lessor. We will also pursue additional funding
sources including conventional financing. We anticipate the construction period to occur
between May and the end of July. MSCS will take occupancy no later than August 1st . Ideally all
renovations would be completed by July 15th of 2012.
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169
O. WAIVERS
Requested State Statute Waivers
Pursuant to the Charter Schools Act, the Mountain Sage Community School (MSCS) requests
waivers of certain Colorado Revised Statutes listed below. Each statute is identified and the
reason for each request given, as well as a replacement plan. The waivers will enable the MSCS
to better meet its Mission, goals and objectives, and implement its education program. Although
a replacement plan is identified with each waiver requested, additional replacement policies and
refinement of the noted plans will occur prior to the start of school operations.
The first section addresses waivers considered Automatically Granted (13 in total) if requested of
the State Board of Education.
Mountain Sage Community School also reserves the right to identify, during its implementation
period, those Colorado Revised Statutes that are impediments to effective operation and to
request waivers of those statutes, as specified in C.R.S. § 22-2-117 and 22-30.5-104 (6) and 2230.5-105 (3).
C.R.S. § 22-9-106 Local Board of Education - Duties-
Automatic State Waiver
Establishes the duties and requirements of school districts regarding the evaluation of certificated
personnel, the district's reporting requirements to the Colorado Board of Education, and the
minimum information required in the district's written evaluation system.
Rationale: In order for the School to function according to its unique needs and design, the
Principal and MSCS Board of Directors must develop and adopt its own system of evaluation.
Replacement Plan: MSCS will provide a yearly evaluation for all staff. Teachers will be
held accountable to the Principal. The evaluation system will be further developed and submitted
to the District prior to commencing school operations. Please reference Appendix X to view the
current Teacher Evaluation and Improvement Plan form.
Duration of the Waivers: MSCS requests that the waiver be for the duration of its Charter.
Financial Impact: None to either the District or MSCS.
How the Impact of the Waivers will be evaluated: The impact will be measured by
the same performance criteria and assessments that apply to MSCS as set forth in this application.
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170
Expected Outcome: With this waiver, MSCS will be able to implement its program and
evaluate its teachers in a manner that produces a greater accountability to the school. This will
benefit staff members as well as students and the community.
C.R.S. § 22-32-109 (1)(f) Board of Education - Specific Duties
Automatic State Waiver
Requires the Board of Education to employ all personnel and fix their compensation.
Rationale: MSCS will be responsible for its own personnel matters, including employing its
own staff and establishing its own terms and conditions of employment, policies, rules, and
regulations. Therefore, MSCS requests that these statutory duties be waived or delegated from
the District Board of Education to the MSCS Board of Directors. The success of MSCS will
depend largely upon its ability to select and employ its own staff and to train and direct that staff.
Replacement Plan: MSCS will be responsible for these matters rather than the Poudre
School District. A teacher contract will be developed by the MSCS Board of Directors, with legal
counsel.
Duration of the Waivers: MSCS requests that the waiver be for the duration of its Charter.
Financial Impact: None to either the District or MSCS.
How the Impact of the Waivers will be evaluated: The impact of the waivers will be
measured by the same performance criteria and assessments that apply to MSCS as set forth in
this application.
Expected Outcome: As a result of the waiver MSCS will select, employ, and provide
professional development for its own teachers and staff in accordance with the terms and
conditions set by the Charter School Act.
C.R.S. § 22-32-110(1)(h)
Automatic State Waiver
Makes Board of Education responsible for terminating personnel.
Rationale: MSCS will be responsible for its own personnel matters, including employing its
own staff and establishing its own terms and conditions of employment, policies, and rules and
regulations. Therefore, MSCS requests that these statutory duties be waived or delegated from the
District to the MSCS Board of Directors. The success of MSCS will depend in large part upon its
ability to select, employ and terminate its own personnel.
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171
Replacement Plan: MSCS will be responsible for these matters rather than the District. A
dismissal procedure will be written by the MSCS Board of Directors, prior to the beginning of
operations.
Duration of the Waivers: MSCS requests that the waiver be for the duration of its Charter.
Financial Impact: None on either the District or MSCS.
How the Impact of the Waivers will be evaluated: The impact of the waivers will be
measured by the same performance criteria and assessments that apply to the MSCS as set forth in
this application.
Expected Outcome: As a result of the waiver, MSCS will employ staff in accordance with
the terms and conditions set by the Charter School Act.
C.R.S. § 22-32-126 Principals - Employment and Authority—
Automatic State Waiver
"(1) The Board of Education may employ, through written contract, public school principals who
shall hold supervisory administrative certificates and who shall supervise the operation and
management of the school and such property as the Board of Directors shall determine
necessary.(2) The Principal shall assume the administrative responsibility and instructional
leadership, under the supervision of the superintendent and in accordance with the rules and
regulations of the Board of Education, for the planning, management, operation, and evaluation
of the educational program of the schools to which he is assigned. (3) The Principal shall submit
recommendations to the superintendent regarding the appointment, assignment, promotion,
transfer, and dismissal of all personnel assigned to the school under his supervision. (4) The
Principal shall perform such other duties as may be assigned by the superintendent pursuant to
the rules and regulations of the Board of Education."
Rationale: Pursuant to the Charter Schools Act, a charter school is responsible for its own
personnel matters. Charter schools have unique status and are expected to be experimental and
innovative in education reform. MSCS must be able to look beyond the traditional supervisory
administrative certification in selecting its administrator/Principal.
Replacement Plan: MSCS will employ a Principal (Principal) who will report to the
school's Board of Directors. The Principal does not have to hold a Principal’s License to perform
the listed duties.
Duration of the Waivers: MSCS requests that the waiver be for the duration of its Charter.
Financial Impact: None on either the District or MSCS.
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172
How the Impact of the Waivers will be evaluated: The impact of the waivers will be
measured by the established performance criteria as set forth in this application.
Expected Outcome: As a result of the waiver, MSCS will select, employ and provide
professional development for its administrative staff, in accordance with the terms and conditions
set by the Charter School Act. The school will employ a Principal who holds the necessary
experience to operate a Waldorf-inspired public school, in accordance with our Mission and vision.
C.R.S. § 22-63-201
Automatic State Waiver
Prohibits Board of Directors from entering into an employment contract with a person who does
not hold a teacher’s certificate or letter of authorization.
C.R.S. § 22-63-202
Automatic State Waiver
Requires a written employment contract with teachers, including a damages provision. Provides
for temporary suspension of employment and cancellation of contract.
C.R.S. § 22-63-203
Automatic State Waiver
This section establishes specific requirements for the employment of probationary teachers and
the renewal, or not, of their contracts.
C.R.S. § 22-63-206
Automatic State Waiver
Permits transfer of teachers between schools upon recommendation of the District’s chief
administrative officer.
Rationale: The Charter Schools Act allows a charter school to be responsible for its own
personnel matters. It is inconsistent with this statute for the District to make transfers with/or for
MSCS.
Replacement Plan: MSCS will make staff assignments based on its needs and educational
goals. No staff will be assigned to positions for which they are not qualified.
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173
Duration of the Waivers: MSCS requests that the waiver be for the duration of its Charter.
Financial Impact: None on either the District or MSCS.
How the Impact of the Waiver will be evaluated: The impact of these waivers will
be measured by the performance criteria and assessments that apply to MSCS as set forth in this
application.
Expected Outcome: MSCS expects that, as a result of this waiver, it will be able to manage
its own personnel affairs.
C.R.S. § 22-63-301
Automatic State Waiver
Provides grounds and procedures for dismissal of teachers.
C.R.S. § 22-63-302
Automatic State Waiver
This section describes the procedures for dismissal of a non-probationary teacher including
review by a hearing officer and judicial review in the Court of Appeals.
Rationale: The success of MSCS in accomplishing its Mission is dependent primarily upon
the talents, skills and personal commitment of its teachers. MSCS must be able to terminate
employees who cannot deliver the school’s educational program successfully.
Replacement Plan: Continued employment in MSCS will be subject to an annual
satisfactory performance evaluation, a policy and procedure established by the MSCS Board of
Directors. Teachers who are rated unsuccessful may be terminated by MSCS.
Duration of the Waivers: MSCS requests that the waiver be for the duration of its Charter.
Financial Impact: None on either the District or MSCS.
How the Impact of the Waiver will be evaluated: The impact of these waivers will
be measured by the performance criteria and assessments that apply to MSCS as set forth in the
application.
Expected Outcome: As a result of these waivers, MSCS will be able to terminate teachers
who are not able to provide instruction in accordance with the philosophy and Mission of the
school.
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C.R.S. § 22-63-401
Automatic State Waiver
This section requires school districts to adopt a salary schedule, which shall apply to all teachers
in the district and sets forth the requirements for modifications to the schedule.
Rationale: The employees of MSCS will not be employees of the District. Thus, section 2263-401 does not apply and is in contrast to the independent fiscal responsibility stated in the
Charter School Act.
Replacement Plan: MSCS established salary and payment obligations based on educational
goals.
Duration of the Waivers: MSCS requests that the waiver be for the duration of its Charter.
Financial Impact: None on either the District or MSCS.
How the Impact of the Waiver will be evaluated: The impact of these waivers will
be measured by the performance criteria and assessments that apply to MSCS as set forth in this
application.
Expected Outcome: As a result of this waiver, MSCS will be able to attract qualified
personnel and provide instruction in accordance with the philosophy and Mission of the school.
C.R.S. § 22-63-402
Automatic State Waiver
This section prohibits the payment of school district funds to any teacher unless that teacher
holds a valid teacher's certificate, letter of authorization, or written authorization from the
Department of Education.
Rationale: MSCS will be solely responsible for selecting, supervising, disciplining,
determining compensation for and terminating its employees. Selection of personnel is subject to
compliance with all federal and state rules and regulations including regulations of "Highly
Qualified" staff as defined in NCLB.
Replacement Plan: MSCS may, where possible, hire certified teachers and/or administrative
staff. However, it may be beneficial for MSCS be able to hire teachers and/or a Principal without
a certificate who possess unique background and/or skills, or fill a need for the school. MSCS
may require such persons to obtain a certificate within a designated period of time.
Duration of the Waivers: MSCS requests that the waiver be for the duration of its Charter.
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175
Financial Impact: None to either the District or MSCS.
How the Impact of the Waiver will be evaluated: The impact of these waivers will
be measured by the evaluation system set forth in this application.
Expected Outcome: As a result of these waivers, MSCS will be able to employ professional
staff possessing unique skills, and/or backgrounds, or filling needed positions.
C.R.S. § 22-63-403
Automatic State Waiver
Governs payment of salaries upon termination of employment of a teacher.
Rationale: MSCS should be granted the authority to develop its own employment terms and
conditions of employment. Given the “at-will” nature of employees, MSCS should not be
required to give non-probationary status and probationary periods to its teachers.
MSCS will be operating differently from other schools with a unique curriculum for which
having the proper teachers are essential.
Replacement Plan: The contract between MSCS and the District will have staff, to be
employed on a year-to-year basis, as "at-will" employees. The MSCS Board of Directors will
develop an appropriate teacher's contract.
Duration of the Waivers: MSCS requests that the waiver be for the duration of its Charter.
Financial Impact: None on either the District or MSCS.
How the Impact of the Waiver will be evaluated: The impact of these waivers will
be measured by the performance criteria and assessments that apply to MSCS as set forth in the
application and the contract.
Expected Outcome: MSCS expects that as a result of these waivers, it will be able to
operate its educational program in a more efficient and productive manner and will be
accountable for the performance of its teachers and students.
Requested District Waivers
Listed below are the waivers requested from the Poudre School District. In some instances,
waivers are requested not because of any substantive disagreement with the scope, intent or
language of a policy, but rather because the subject policy specifies that the District School
Board of Directors, the Superintendent or a school Principal bears responsibility for performing a
Mountain Sage Community School Charter Application
176
particular action or function; where in the Mountain Sage Community School (MSCS) model for
governance/administration these functions would be performed by the MSCS Board of Directors
of Directors and/or the Principal.
Rationale: Charter schools have unique status and are expected to be innovative in
educational reform. In order for MSCS to be successful and operate in a manner consistent with
its Mission and Vision as outlined in this charter application, it must be able to operate beyond
certain policy limits of traditional educational approaches.
Replacement Policies: Replacement policies will be developed to be consistent with the
philosophy of Mountain Sage Community School prior to the start of operations.
Duration of PSD Policy Waivers: All of the following waivers are requested for the
duration of the Charter.
Financial Impact: MSCS anticipates no financial impact of these waivers to either the
District or the School.
How the Impact of the Waivers will be evaluated: The impact will be measured by
the same performance criteria and assessments that apply to MSCS as set forth in this application.
Expected Outcome: As a result of these waivers, MSCS will be able to implement its
program in a manner consistent with its educational philosophy and the Mission and vision of the
school.
SECTION C: General School Administration
CF
School Building Administration
CFD
Site Based Management
CFD-R
Site or School Based Management
Rationale: The MSCS Board of Directors will hire a Principal with responsibilities delegated
to him/her for implementing policies and rules of the Board of Directors. All recruitment and
hiring will comply with applicable laws governing employee rights and equal opportunity
provisions. In conjunction with the Principal, the MSCS Board will further develop its own
evaluation practices for all staff members and assign staff to positions where they can contribute
most to the school’s educational objectives. Site based management for the school will be
established by the MSCS Board and Principal.
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177
SECTION D: Fiscal Management
DJA
Purchasing Authority
DJB
Purchasing Procedures
DKA
Payroll Procedures/Schedules
DKC
Expense Authorization/Reimbursement (Mileage and Travel)
DN
School Properties Disposition
Rationale: The charter contract sets forth the plan for budget negotiations and fiscal reporting
complying with District deadlines. The budget of MSCS shall be the responsibility of the MSCS
Board of Directors. The Board of Directors will establish its own business practices and budget
priorities. All equipment or materials purchased by MSCS will be purchased and sold in
accordance with best practices and guidelines established by the MSCS Board of Directors.
SECTION E: Support Services
ECAF- Video Surveillance
Rationale: Although the facility for Mountain Sage has yet to be determined, should the
school be given the opportunity to utilize a District facility, the MSCS Board of Directors will
create and adopt its own policies regarding the use of technology within the school for
surveillance purposes.
ECF
Energy Conservation
Rationale: Although energy efficiency will be a top priority for Mountain Sage, the MSCS
Board of Directors will be responsible for developing its own rigorous energy conservation
policies and practices. The Principal will be responsible for maintaining accurate records of
energy consumption and associated costs.
SECTION F: Facilities Planning and Development
FEA
Educational Specifications for Construction
FEB
Architect Engineer Construction Manager
FEG
Construction Contracts for New Facilities
FEH
Construction Supervision
FF
Naming District Sites and Facilities
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178
Rationale: The MSCS Board of Directors is responsible for all real estate, finance, leases,
purchases and building construction involving MSCS. In the event that MSCS will obtain a nonDistrict facility, it will choose a qualified architect and contractor to construct or carry out the
leasehold improvements following all state and local specifications. The MSCS Board of
Directors and the Principal will oversee the work and naming of the facility.
SECTION G: Personnel
GBGD
Worker’s Compensation
Rationale: MSCS is responsible for its own Worker’s Compensation Insurance policy and
thus will adhere to the guidelines set forth within this policy.
GBJ
Personnel Records and Files
Rationale: Following PSD’s guidelines, MSCS will implement its own comprehensive system
to maintain personnel records. MSCS will keep all records on site and comply with open records
laws.
GC
Professional Staff
GCBA
Instructional Staff Contracts/Compensations/Salary Schedules
GCE/GCF
Recruiting
GCE/GCF-R
Professional Staff Recruiting/Hiring
GCEC
Posting and Advertizing of Professional Vacancies
GCG-GCGA
Part-Time and Substitute Professional Staff Employment
GCHA/GCHB
Mentor Teachers/Administrators
GCHC
Professional Staff Induction Program
GCI
Professional Staff Development
GCKA
Instructional Staff Assignments and Transfers
GCKB
Administrative Staff Assignments and Transfers
GCOA
Evaluation of Instructional Staff
GCOA-R Evaluation Instructional Staff
GCOC
Evaluation Of Administrative Staff
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GCOC-R Evaluation Of Administrative Staff
GCQA
Instructional Staff Reduction in Force
GCQA-R Instructional Staff Reduction in Force
GCQC/GCQD
GCQF
Resignation of Instructional Staff/Administrative Staff
Discipline, Suspension and Dismissal of Professional Staff
GCQF-R Discipline, Suspension and Dismissal of Professional Staff
GCS
Professional Research and Publishing
GCU
Professional Staff Membership in Professional Organizations
Rationale: Compensation and employment contracts will be established and approved by the
Board of Directors of Principal of MSCS. All staff employed will be “at-will” employees with
annual contracts. MSCS will determine their own school calendar and staff work day schedules.
MSCS will determine their own staffing needs recruitment and staffing procedures. MSCS will
establish its own salary schedule and benefits schedule subject to the statutory requirement that
employees of a charter school be members of the Public Employee Retirement Association.
GDI
Classified Performance Trial Periods
GDO
Evaluation of Classified Staff
GDQA
Support Staff Reduction in Force
GDQA-R Support Staff Reduction in Force
GDQD
Classified Staff Guidance, Reassignment and Discipline
GDQD-R Discipline, Suspension and Dismissal of Support Staff
Rationale: All staff employed at MSCS will be “at-will” employees. MSCS will determine its
own staffing needs and evaluation procedures. Using PSD policy as guidelines regarding
discipline of classified/support staff, the MSCS Board of Directors will create and enforce its
own procedures in this regard.
SECTION I: Instruction
IGA
Curriculum Development
IGD
Curriculum Adoption
IGDA
Secondary School Student Organizations
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IGDA-E1 Application for School-Sponsored Student Academic Organization
IGDA-E2 Application for Student Organization
IGDA-E3 Application for Student Organization
IGDA-R Secondary School Student Organizations
IGF
Curriculum Review
IGF-R
Curriculum Review
IHA
Instructional Program
IHAAA
School Sponsored Student Publications
IHAM
Health Education
IHBB
Gifted and Talented Education
IHBIA-R Kindergarten Programs
IHBIB
Primary/Preprimary Education
IHCFA
Elementary School-Based Child Care
IJ
Instructional Resources and Materials
IJ-AR
Instructional Resources and Materials
IJ-R
Instructional Resources and Materials
IJK
Supplementary Material Selection and Adoption
IJL
Library Material Selection and Adoption
IKC
Grade Point Averages/Class Ranking
IKE
Promotion, Retention and Acceleration of Students
IMA
Teaching Methods
IMBB
Student Participation in Curricular Instruction, Programs and Activities
Rationale: As presented within the MSCS charter document and pursuant to statutory
authority, MSCS will design its own educational programs, curriculum, instructional and
evaluation procedures, as well as teaching methods. After-school programs and secondary school
organizations will be authorized and overseen by the MSCS Board of Directors and Principal.
All instructional resources and materials will be approved by the Faculty, Principal and Board of
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Directors. Curriculum design, implementation and review will be a continuous process. MSCS
curriculum ensures fulfillment of the Colorado Academic Standards for grades K-8.
IJOA
Field Trips
IJOA-R
Field Trips
Rationale: MSCS will use the Poudre School District policy as a guide in developing its field
trip policy and procedures. MSCS requests authority to determine and manage its own school
field trip policy.
SECTION J: Students
JFBA
Choice/Open Enrollment
JGA
Assignment of New Students to Classes and Grade Levels
Rationale: MSCS has established its own enrollment, lottery, and assessment policies and
practices consistent with the Charter School Act.
JH/JHB
Student Attendance/Truancy
Rationale: The MSCS Board of Directors will adopt its own student attendance and truancy
policies, adhering to all state law requirements and in alignment with the school’s Mission.
JJG
Contests for Students
Rationale: Using PSD policy as a guideline, MSCS requests the authority to review its own
contest activities and determine the extent of participation.
JQ-R
Student Fees Fines and Charges
Rationale: Class fees will be determined each year by the MSCS Board of Directors and will
be based on the prorate costs of supplies and materials consumed by each student in the specific
class. These fees are currently set at $80 per student. Class fees are waived for students who are
eligible for a free or reduced-priced lunch under the federal poverty income guidelines and who
also complete the District’s fee waiver request form.
SECTION K: School-Community-Home Relations
KEC
Public Concerns about Instructional Resources
KEC-E
Public Concerns Complaint Form
KEF
Public Concerns/Complaints about Teaching
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KEF-E
Public Concerns/Complaints about Teaching
Rationale: MSCS has its own Board of Directors, and thus requests the authority to make
decisions implementing parental involvement in the school. Furthermore, the Board of Directors
will establish its own guidelines to handle all parental and community concerns and complaints
about personnel, teaching and instructional materials. Please see Section R, to view the MSCS
grievance process/policy.
KHC
Distribution/Posting of Promotional Materials
KHC-R
Distribution/Posting of Promotional Materials
Rationale: MSCS will establish and implement its own policy regarding distribution and
posting of promotional materials that best suits MSCS in accordance with its Mission and vision.
KJ
Volunteers
KJ-R
Volunteers
Rationale: MSCS Board of Directors will establish and implement its own policies regarding
volunteers while adhering to the guidelines set forth by the State of Colorado and the District.
As discussed in Section K the school will require all volunteers to sign a Volunteer Agreement
and have a background check if working closely with students.
KLGA
School Resource Officer Partnership
Rationale: The MSCS Board of Directors will manage and maintain any school resource
officer partnerships as they are deemed advantageous and in coherence with the MSCS Mission
and vision.
MSCS understands that the development of policies and procedures is an ongoing activity. It is
also understood that MSCS will ask for waivers of School policy as they become necessary.
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P. STUDENT DISCIPLINE, EXPULSION OR SUSPENSION
Discipline is an integral part of Waldorf curriculum. Building self-discipline, establishing an
aesthetic sense of order and rhythm, and understanding the consequences of behavior are central
goals of Waldorf education. The purpose of discipline is to meet students’ individual needs and
the overall needs of the learning community; it fosters the healthy development of social life,
while ensuring students learn that consequences exist for their actions. When a child knows what
is expected of him/her, and parents/guardians and teacher work together, most problems can be
prevented or resolved. Safety of our students is of highest priority, and the following conduct
expectations and community standards contribute to the security, well-being, and positive
learning experiences of all. Our goal is to maintain an atmosphere of respectful, calm behavior
that enables appropriate play and learning. The Mountain Sage Parent Handbook that will be
developed will address these issues and expectations in detail for parents. The guidelines apply
to behavior on school property and at all school functions, including field trips, festivals, and
other community wide events.
MSCS’s goal is to help each student attain the independence and self-confidence needed to become
self-disciplined. In so doing, the school will provide a community with structure and order that aids
them in the development of self-discipline. Behavior is based on cooperation, logical and natural
consequences, fairness, consistency, and the belief that all people have the ability to look at
themselves honestly, and to change and grow. MSCS’s common goal is the creation of a
supportive educational environment where an enthusiasm for learning is fostered. There are certain
rights, responsibilities, and consequences that contribute to that environment.
MSCS will take a progressive educational approach for a safe and peaceful learning environment.
Starting at the earliest ages and whenever a student first enters the school, MSCS will provide the
skills necessary not only to learn basic safety rules, but to interact with classmates, teachers,
families, and the larger school community in positive and constructive ways. Children will
develop inner discipline at MSCS.
Inner discipline at MSCS and beyond consists of four main components:
1. Distinct knowledge of safety rules;
2. Clear awareness of responsibility;
3. Respectful attitude towards the members of the school community and the larger global
learning environment;
4. Understanding and preparedness of the proper way of acting in different circumstances/places.
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Because of the open and respectful nature of this approach, students will understand that mutual
respect, care and consideration for others, and an empathetic interest in the environment are
important in school and all other places.
The Waldorf/Steiner educator sees the child as consisting of body, mind and spirit and this
evokes, within adults, a reverence and sensitivity for that child’s being. The child deserves
respect and dignity. It is the responsibility of the parents and teachers to guide the child during
the early years of life. The adults in the school must be models of positive behavior and
communication at all times.
As part of our professional development program, and parent education/information available at
MSCS, the adults of our school community will learn about the benefits and practices of
Compassionate Communication, also known as Nonviolent Communication. By giving the adult
community at MSCS the proper tools, the children of MSCS will be surrounded by role models
who embody the skills of productive and positive communication. Because it is the nature of
children to imitate, all faculty and staff at MSCS will strive to be worthy of imitation.
Please see Appendix F, Compassionate Communication & Waldorf Schools by John
Cunningham.
Managing Expectations
Our school-wide goal is to maintain an atmosphere of respect, harmony, and community in the
classroom, buildings, and grounds to support a focused imaginative learning environment.
Maintaining a strong and reliable rhythm to each day, and an orderly and predictable classroom
environment resolves most discipline issues through prevention. Behavior management includes
the reflection on the part of the teacher on how he/she manages the children. Could we have
handled a situation more effectively? What positive strengths can we build on? Have we really
thought through the kind of things we want to draw out of the child or allow to unfold in the
child to help him/her overcome difficulty?
Depending on the age and development of the children, we also use guidance methods that are
intended to help children internalize rules, get along with each other and become more selfdirected in their behavior.
MSCS faculty, Principal (and Board) will utilize The Virtues Project at MSCS to promote a
culture within the school that will lead to and support a positive environment for students. The
MSCS founding Board strongly believes that giving children opportunities to learn about the
virtues that are present in all of us, and bringing them into our everyday language and behavior,
will create the foundation for relationships based on respect and acceptance. Please see
Appendix G for further Explanation of The Virtues Project.
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Therefore, behavioral guidance methods at MSCS include:
Giving limited choices.
Redirecting children to other activities (i.e. working alongside an adult).
Problem-solving through discussion.
Improving communication skills.
Allowing for safe natural consequences.
Promoting cooperation amongst children.
Reinforcing positive behavior.
Building self-esteem and confidence.
Setting and reinforcing limits.
The teacher must be worthy of imitation, modeling positive behavior such as kindness
and respect.
Separating both aggressor and victim by giving a few minutes “time out.” This is for the
children to recover and regain their grounding; verse or song may be used to lighten and
heal the situation.
Communication and teamwork are very important in resolving behavioral problems as
they arise; parents will be told of any difficulties at the end of the school day.
Children are encouraged to:
Care for and respect all other human beings (including oneself).
Care for and respect all living creatures and plants.
Care and respect school and personal property.
Solve their own problems when possible.
Attend school regularly and arrive promptly.
Participate in all classroom activities.
Be quiet and calm in hallways.
Come to school well-rested, well-fed, and prepared.
Complete all homework on time and in a thorough, neat manner (grades 3-8).
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Be safe to themselves or others (includes verbal and non verbal).
Be respectful to others and use only kind words.
Make positive choices.
Be courteous and use manners.
Share playground and common areas and equipment.
Help clean up messes to the best of their ability.
Disciplinary Incentives and Consequences
Incentives for positive behavior will include full participation in Mountain Sage activities,
including daily activities, field trips, and festivals. Additional incentives will be provided at the
discretion of teachers and staff on an individualized an ongoing basis. Consequences may apply
in certain cases where these guidelines are not being followed. Children will be talked to in a
respectful manner, preferably in private, to discuss any behavioral concerns, prior to notifying
parents and/or guardians. Discipline procedures shall be based on individual and class needs and
expectations. Teachers will handle most cases of misbehavior in ways that are appropriate to the
specific situation. Most situations are minor, remedied through healthy interactions between
teacher and student. However, in some cases, further intervention and participation is required.
Should significant or ongoing challenges arise between a child and others, the teacher will notify
parent and/or guardian for further discussion and the following steps shall be taken:
1. The teacher will contact and meet with the parent/guardian the same day or the following
school day.
2. A meeting between teacher, parent, and child will be scheduled.
3. A plan with steps and time frames will be drawn up and discussed appropriate to the degree of
behavior.
4. Follow up meetings will happen weekly until the behavior is resolved. If this plan is not
effective the following interventions become necessary.
Restorative Processes
Following certain disciplinary situations, restorative processes may be implemented to foster
healthy relationships for all people involved. A restorative process is aimed at repairing the
physical, emotional, and/or social harm done. It also allows the person who has offended to
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reclaim self-esteem and community acceptance through personal effort. Typical restorative
procedures, or “circles” include the “victim,” “offender,” and chosen support person for both
parties. They also involve at least one community member, and two trained volunteer facilitators.
Characteristics and guidelines of successful restorative processes include the following:
All parties agree on an appropriate contract for the “offender” to complete
The reparation will be relevant to the general area of the harm
The process will humanize the “offender,” nurture the “victim,” and provide harmony to
the learning community
It is not essential that the process meets all characteristics and guidelines entirely, but it must
reflect an effort toward a healthy and creative solution to repairing the harm done. Successful
restoration is characterized by a lack of criticism, guilt, anger, shame, and/or resentment, and
also by the full re-integration and acceptance of the “offender” within the community. A sense of
being heard, with restored peace, confidence and safety exists for the “victim.”
The 5 R’s of Restorative Justice
Developed by Beverly B. Title, Ph.D. Longmont Community Justice Partnership
Respect: Respect is the key ingredient that holds the container for all restorative practices, and
it is what keeps the process safe. It is essential that all persons in a restorative process be treated
with respect. Every person is expected to show respect for others and for themselves. Restorative
processes require deep listening, done in a way that does not presume that we know what the
speaker is going to say, but that we honor the importance of the other’s point of view. Our focus
for listening is to understand other people, so even if we disagree with their thinking, we can be
respectful and try hard to comprehend how it seems to them.
Attitude toward self and others
Openness to receive without judgment
Listening without judgment
Responsibility: For restorative practices to be effective, personal responsibility must be
taken. It begins with the primary person who has caused harm being accountable for his or her
own behavior, admitting any wrong that was done. Taking responsibility also includes a
willingness to give an explanation of the harmful behavior. Ideally, the accountability then
extends to everyone, as all persons in the circle may deeply search their hearts and minds to
discover if there is any part of the matter at hand for which they have some responsibility.
Everyone needs to accept responsibility for his or her behavior; this begins with the offender.
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Accountability
Admission of any harm
Repair: The restorative approach is to repair the harm that was done to the fullest extent
possible, recognizing that harm may extend beyond anyone’s capacity for repair. It is this
principle that allows us to set aside thoughts of revenge and punishment. Once the persons
involved have accepted responsibility for their behavior and they have heard in the restorative
process about how others were harmed by their action, even if they did not intend the harm, they
are asked to make repair. It is through taking responsibility for one’s own behavior and making
repair that persons may regain or strengthen their self-respect.
Relationship: Relationships may be mended through the willingness to be accountable for
one’s actions and to make repair of harms done. Restorative justice recognizes that when a crime
occurs, individuals and communities have been violated. It is the damage to these relationships
that is primarily important and is the central focus of what restorative practices seek to address.
When relationships are strong, people experience more fulfilling lives and communities become
places where we want to live.
Reintegration: For the restorative process to be complete, the offender, and any others who
may have felt alienated, must be accepted back into the community. It is realized when all
persons have put the wrongdoing behind them and moved on into a new role in the community
that recognizes their worth and the importance of the new learning that has been accomplished.
The person having shown him or herself to be an honorable person through acceptance of
responsibility and repair of harm has transformed the criminal act. At the reintegration point, all
parties are back in right relationship with each other and with the community. This reintegration
process is the final step in achieving wholeness.
MSCS Discipline Procedures
While MSCS hopes that unwanted behaviors will be uncommon at the school, there may be
occasions where children need more formal direction. Therefore, MSCS will provide
consequences based on C.R.S. §22-33-106, “Grounds for suspension, dismissal and denial of
admittance,” as outlined below. Parents and students will receive a copy of both the Waldorf
approach to discipline discussed above along with this discipline policy at the beginning of each
school year as part of the parent/ student handbook.
Suspension
The school Principal, at his or her discretion and on a case-by-case basis, may initiate suspension
for a student if the above consequences are ineffective at improving student behavior, regardless
of the incident(s). Suspension can provide time for teachers and parents or guardians to plan a
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strategy for the student to return. It also allows the student and parent/guardian an opportunity to
reflect on behaviors and develop a new relationship to the expectation of the teacher and school.
Suspension can teach reasonable consequences directly related to negative actions. Generally,
suspension will not result from a specific conduct violation, but rather due to a student’s inability
to successfully respond to aforementioned consequences and restorative practices.
Grounds for suspension or dismissal from a public school:
1. Continued willful disobedience
2. Open and persistent defiance of proper authority
3. Willful destruction or defacing of school property
4. Behavior on or off school property which is detrimental to the welfare or safety of other pupils
or of school personnel, including behavior which creates a threat of physical harm to the child or
children.
a. An exception to this rule is if the child who creates such a threat is a disabled child
pursuant to C.R.S. § 22-20-103(5). The child may not be dismissed if the actions creating
the threat are a manifestation of the child’s disability.
b. In such instances, the child may be removed to an appropriate alternative setting within
the District where the child is enrolled for a duration that is consistent with federal law.
c. During this time, the school may reexamine the child’s Individual Education Plan (IEP)
to ensure that the needs of the child are addressed in a more appropriate manner or setting
that is less disruptive to other students in the classroom.
5. Declaration as an “habitually disruptive student” as defined in C.R.S. § 22-33-106(c.5) (I) to
(III).
6. Serious violations in a school building or in or on school property for which suspension or
dismissal shall be mandatory, except that dismissal shall be mandatory for the following
violations:
a. Carrying, bringing, using or possessing a deadly weapon as defined in C.R.S. § 22-33106 (d) (II); except in situations as defined in C.R.S. § 22-33-106 (d) (III);
b. The sale of a drug or controlled substance as defined in C.R.S. § 12-22-303;
c. The commission of an act which, if committed by an adult, would be robbery pursuant
to part 3 of article 4 of title18, C.R.S.; or
d. Assault pursuant to part 2 of article 3 of title 18, other than the commission of an act
that would be third degree assault under C.R.S. § 18-3-204, if committed by an adult.
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7. Repeated interference with the school’s ability to provide educational opportunities to other
students.
8. Failure to comply with the provisions of part 9 of article 4 of title 25, C.R.S. Any suspension,
dismissal, or denial of admission for such failure to comply shall not be recorded as a disciplinary
action but may be recorded with the student’s immunization record with an appropriate
explanation.
9. According to C.R.S. §22-33-106(2), subject to the District’s responsibilities under Article 20 of
that Title (Exceptional Children’s Education Act), the following shall be grounds for dismissal
from or denial of admission to a public school or diversion to an appropriate alternate program.
a. Physical or mental disability such that that child cannot reasonably benefit from the
programs available.
b. Physical or mental disability or disease causing the attendance of the child suffering
there from to be detrimental to the welfare of other students.
Procedures for Suspension:
1. The Principal may suspend a student from one day to up to 10 days and may require the
suspension to be in school or out of school.
2. Oral or written notification will be given to the parent(s)/guardian(s), and must include:
a. A statement of charges against the student;
b. A statement of the basis of the allegation.
3. Informal Hearing: The student will be given an opportunity to have an informal hearing before
the Principal to admit or deny the allegations. In some instances, witnesses may be presented in
order to allow the Principal to make a more informed decision. The notice and informal hearing
should precede the student’s removal from school, but there does not need to be a delay between
the time notice is given and the time of the hearing.
4. A suspended student must leave school immediately, and will not be allowed to attend any
school activities on or off campus from the time the suspension is issued to when the student is
reinstated in the school.
a. Under C.R.S. § 22-33-106 (1) (a), (1) (b), (1) (c) or (1) (e), the Principal may suspend a
student for a period not to exceed five (5) days.
b. Under C.R.S. § 22-33-106 (1) (d), the Principal may suspend a student for a period of up
to ten (10) days for serious violations.
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5. To be readmitted to the school, the student and a parent/guardian must meet with the Principal
for a reinstatement meeting.
Procedures for Dismissal from MSCS:
In instances where the Principal is considering dismissal of a student, the following procedures
will be followed:
1. Written Notice
a. The Principal will give written notice to the parent(s)/legal guardian(s) of a student
threatened with dismissal five (5) days prior to the contemplated action.
b. The written notice will be mailed to the last known address of the student or the
parent(s)/ guardian(s).
c. In the event that an emergency exists which requires a shorter period of notice, the
period of notice may be shortened provided that the student and his/her parent(s)/legal
guardian(s) have actual notice (written or verbal) of the hearing prior to the time it is held.
2. Contents of Notice - The notice must contain the following basic information:
a. A statement of the basic allegations leading to the contemplated dismissal.
b. A statement that a hearing on the dismissal will be held if requested by the student or
his/her parent(s)/ legal guardian(s) within five (5) days after the date of notice.
c. A statement of the time, date and place of the hearing.
d. A statement that the student may be present at the hearing and hear all information
against him or her; that the student will have an opportunity to resent such information as is
relevant; and that he/she may be accompanied and represented by his/her parent(s)/ legal
guardian(s) and an attorney.
e. A statement that failure to participate in such a hearing constitutes a waiver of further
rights in the matter.
3. Conduct of hearing:
a. The hearing will be conducted by an ad hoc Discipline Committee consisting of the
Principal and two MSCS faculty members. The members of the ad hoc Discipline
Committee shall not discuss the details of the hearing with anyone outside of the
Discipline Committee.
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b. The hearing will be conducted in a closed session except to those deemed necessary by
the Discipline Committee; but shall include the student, the parent(s)/ legal guardian(s) and
the student’s attorney. Such additional individuals as may have pertinent information will
be admitted to the closed hearing but only to the extent necessary to provide such
information and to answer questions related to such information as permitted by 3.c.,
below. Following such testimony, the additional individuals shall remove themselves from
the hearing.
c. Testimony and information will be presented under oath if requested by either party.
However, technical rules of evidence will not be applicable, and the Discipline Committee
may consider and give appropriate weight to such information or evidence deemed
appropriate. The student or his representative may question individuals presenting
information.
d. A sufficient record of the proceedings will be kept so by a third party unaffiliated with
either of the parties and unrelated to the hearing’s participants as to enable a transcript to
be prepared in the event either party so requests. Preparation of the transcript will be at the
expense of the party requesting the same.
e. The Discipline Committee will render a written decision no later than five (5) school
days after the hearing. The decision will be delivered only to the student or his/her
parent(s)/legal guardian(s) and the MSCS Board of Directors in the manner described
above. The Discipline Committee may establish reasonable conditions for readmission, as
well as the duration of the dismissal, which may not extend beyond one calendar year.
4. Appeal to the MSCS Board of Directors:
a. An opportunity to request an appeal may be brought to the Board whose decision will
be considered final.
b. No second appeal will be allowed unless important new facts that may possibly alter the
decision have come forward.
c. New evidence must be presented in writing to the MSCS Board of Directors. No appeal
may come more than 10 days after a decision is rendered.
d. In case of an appeal, it will consist of a review of the facts that were presented and that
were determined at the dismissal hearing conducted by the Discipline Committee,
introduction of new facts, arguments relating to the decision, and questions of clarification
from the MSCS Board of Directors.
e. Upon conclusion of the hearing, the Board of Directors may vote to affirm, reverse or
modify the decision. The Board of Directors’ decision will be communicated orally and
entered in the minutes of the meeting.
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f. Upon written request, the Board of Directors’ decision will be reduced to writing for
purposes of further judicial review pursuant to state law.
5. Re-admittance
a. No student shall be readmitted to school after dismissal until after a meeting between
the Principal and the parent(s)/legal guardian(s) has taken place, except that if the Principal
cannot contact the parent(s)/legal guardian(s) or if the parent(s)/guardian(s) repeatedly fails
to appear for scheduled meetings, the Principal may readmit the student.
b. If the student is dismissed, he/she may only be permitted to reapply for the following
school year and enter through the lottery system.
6. Notice to School District
a. MSCSS will notify the PSD Charter School Liaison and the PSD Expulsion Officer of
any dismissal within two (2) school days.
b. A copy of all written discipline reports, suspensions, and dismissal proceedings will be
sent when requested by the PSD Board of Directors or superintendent.
c. Upon dismissal from MSCS, the PSD Board of Directors may consider each instance on
a case-by-case basis and may reinstate the student in another school.
d. The MSCS Board of Directors has the final authority in determining a dismissal from
Mountain Sage Community School consistent with state and federal laws.
Discipline of Students with Disabilities
MSCS exists so that all children will have the opportunity to experience the benefits of Waldorf
curriculum in an environment that fosters their potential, self-esteem, and well-being. When
learning or physical challenges are hindering a student’s behavioral progress significantly, the
MSCS teacher will collaborate with parents/guardians, resource specialists, and community
advocacy services to create and implement an Individualized Behavior Plan (IBP) complete with
formal methods, time frames, and documentation procedures necessary to promote the child’s
behavioral growth taking their abilities and specialized needs into consideration. This process is
designed to be student-centered; all parties shall collaborate to create a nurturing environment
and obtain internal or external resources essential to this objective.
However, students with disabilities are neither immune from the MSCS disciplinary process nor
entitled to participate in programs when their behavior impairs the education of other students.
Manifestation hearings will be held as necessary and MSCS will comply with the Individuals with
Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) in disciplining these students. Students with disabilities who
engage in disruptive activities and/or actions dangerous to themselves or others will be disciplined
in accordance with their IEP, and behavioral intervention plan and this policy.
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Nothing in this policy shall prohibit an IEP team from establishing consequences for disruptive or
unacceptable behavior as a part of the student’s IEP. The plan shall be subject to all procedural
safeguards established by the IEP process.
All Students, including students with disabilities, may be suspended for up to 10 days in any given
school year for violations of the student code of conduct. The procedure for suspension is the same
as outlined above.
For suspension of a student with disabilities, a team including the Special Education Teacher and
the Principal, will determine whether the student’s behavior is a manifestation of the disability
and whether the student’s disability impaired his or her ability to control or understand the
impact or consequences of the behavior.
MSCS will immediately notify the District’s Integrated Services Director or designee when
MSCS is contemplating student discipline that is likely to result in a change of placement for one
of its special education students. The District will respond in a timely manner to ensure that all
federal and state special education and student discipline timelines are met.
MSCS will coordinate with the special education director/designee and parent(s) to schedule a
manifestation determination review by an appropriately constituted IEP team prior to
implementing any change of placement. Disciplinary procedures will comply with IDEA
requirements.
Once the team determines that the behavior was not a manifestation of the disability, disciplinary
procedures shall be applied to the student in the same manner as applied to non-disabled students.
A student with disabilities whose behavior is determined to be a manifestation of his or her
disability may not be dismissed but will be disciplined in accordance with his or her IEP, any
behavioral intervention and this policy.
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Q. SERVING STUDENTS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS
MSCS will seek to educate students with special needs in the least restrictive and most inclusive
environment possible. Waldorf education is very well suited to serving a variety of students who
fall within the spectrum of “special needs,” from those individuals requiring Individualized
Education Plans (IEPs) to Gifted and Talented students.
It may seem extraordinary that a particular type of education can meet the needs of such
disparate learners, but Waldorf education embodies techniques that work well for most students.
In particular, the Waldorf approach of allowing students to learn at their own pace ensures that
students can work at a variety of levels, and yet still be in social and educational settings with
their peers. This keeps both the advanced and the challenged learners from feeling ostracized
from their friends, or treated as an extra responsibility by the teaching staff.
Waldorf teachers are typically in an educational relationship with students for a number of years,
and thus, get to know students’ individual learning styles. This allows the teacher to introduce
new levels of challenges in a child’s studies, and in the case of children with IEPs or 504 plans,
keeps children on track without having to go through a “starting over” phase each year as a new
teacher is introduced to their particular learning challenges. Lessons are introduced either at the
individual level or in small groups of two to three students, giving children more individual
attention than they might normally receive, and yet still allowing the flow of the classroom to
proceed without interruption. The lessons themselves are demonstrated in a very precise and
orderly manner, emphasizing the orderly progression of a task from beginning to end, and are
repeated by the student multiple times until proficiency is attained. The Waldorf lessons have
built-in controls of error, allowing them to self-correct and internalize the lessons. This is helpful
for all students, and particularly for students with IEPs, as it builds their self-esteem and increases
their feeling of independence.
MSCS expects a variety of students to thrive under the Waldorf approach to education, and as
specific special needs groups are discussed below, the strengths of a traditional Waldorf program
will be highlighted for that group.
The Waldorf methods curriculum is, by nature, multi-disciplinary, involving academic learning
supported by a rich artistic curriculum along with movement instruction and social learning.
Ideally, this creates a climate where all children succeed in some areas, while seeing their
classmates excel in others. This learning atmosphere builds individual self-esteem, as well as
students’ respect for each other as important members of their classroom learning community.
Compliance with Federal and State Special Education and Disability Laws
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MSCS acknowledges and understands that it is subject to all federal and state laws and
constitutional provisions prohibiting discrimination on the basis of disability, including the
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), the Colorado Exceptional Children’s
Educational Act (ECEA), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504) and the
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). MSCS will be accountable to the Board of Education of
the Poudre School District for purposes of assuring compliance with federal and state special
education and disability laws. MSCS assures compliance with special education and disability
laws through audits of the schools special education program. MSCS will provide timely
response and cooperation to the PSD Integrated Services (Special Education) Director or
designee, in accordance with District requests, deadlines and timelines. MSCS understands that
noncompliance with federal and state special education and disability laws may result in
revocation of its charter with the District.
Responsibility for Special Education Services
MSCS acknowledges and understands it is responsible for assuring that all special education
students attending the school receive a free appropriate public education (FAPE) under the IDEA and the ECEA. MSCS intends to use the combination model for special education service delivery.
Specifically, MSCS will be responsible for providing special education instruction according to
the individualized education programs (IEPs) for each student with a disability enrolled at MSCS.
MSCS will deliver special education instruction primarily within the regular classroom, and will
provide resource room “pull-out” services as required by student IEPs. Appropriate spaces such as
rooms and enclosures within the facility will be created to provide students the best learning
conditions possible. Within this framework, MSCS will provide all necessary accommodations
and instructional/curricular modifications as required by student IEPs. The Special Education
Teacher will play the primary role in the academic planning and day-to-day learning experience
of student with special needs. Please see Section I for the full job description of the MSCS
Special Education Teacher.
Least Restrictive
Classrooms
Environment
Requirement
and
Age-Appropriate
MSCS will educate its special education students to the maximum extent appropriate in age
appropriate general education classrooms with needed accommodations, instructional/curricular
modifications and other supports. The District will make available to MSCS its continuum of
alternative placements if a MSCS student is unable to be involved in and progress in the general
education classroom with such accommodations, instructional/curricular modifications and
supports. If MSCS identifies such a student, MSCS will notify the District Integrated Services
Director to determine if a reevaluation is necessary and hold an IEP review meeting to discuss the
appropriate placement for the student.
Special Education Teacher Qualifications
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Because MSCS is responsible for special education instruction, MSCS acknowledges and
understands that it is not exempt from special education credentialing requirements under the
IDEA and the ECEA. MSCS will hire a special education teacher possessing a Colorado
teacher’s license with appropriate endorsements. MSCS will provide the District with the
opportunity to review and comment on the special education professionals providing services in
MSCS charter school.
Related Services
MSCS may choose to contract with the District to provide specific direct services required by
the IEPs, including but not limited to director services, occupational therapy, physical therapy,
school health care services, and an array of school psychology services for MSCS students.
MSCS and the District will jointly select the related services providers who will be assigned to
MSCS.
Special Education Funding
MSCS intends to use the combination model (a combination of the insurance and contract
models) for special education funding. Specifically, the District will pass through to MSCS all
federal and state special education funds for which MSCS is eligible pursuant to the Colorado
Charter Schools Act, the IDEA, and the ECEA. MSCS will hire it’s own special education
teacher and contract with providers such as the PSD for additional direct and indirect services as
required by due process and or a students IEP.
MSCS representatives (consisting of Board members and administrators) and the District’s
Integrated Services Director will meet (1) to discuss in detail how special education is funded in
the District, (2) to develop effective procedures for conducting the December special education
count day, (3) to develop effective record-keeping and reporting procedures on required student,
staff, revenue and expenditure data, and (4) to obtain copies of all District special education
policies, procedures, guidelines and other resource documents. A major purpose of this dialogue
will be to establish an agreement on how the District will pass through to MSCS the federal and
state special education funds for which MSCS is eligible.
Nondiscriminatory Enrollment/Enrollment IEP Procedures
Enrollment at MSCS will be open to any child who resides within the District. A majority of
students attending MSCS will reside in the District or in school districts that are contiguous to the
District. MSCS’s Intent to Enroll form will not ask a parent to state whether his or her child is on
an IEP or a Section 504 plan. However, at the time that a child is accepted for enrollment at
MSCS, the parent will be asked those questions.
If a child who has an IEP is accepted for enrollment at MSCS, MSCS will immediately notify the
District to facilitate the timely receipt of child’s special education records. An IEP meeting will
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be timely scheduled to determine whether MSCS can provide the child with a FAPE. The child’s
IEP team will make all placement decisions, including any decision to exit the child from special
education or any determination that MSCS is not an appropriate placement for the child. MSCS
will invite the District’s Integrated Services Director/ designee to attend the IEP meeting, and if
the child is not a resident of the District, MSCS will also invite the special education
director/designee of the child’s district of residence to attend the IEP meeting.
If a child’s IEP meeting cannot be scheduled prior to the onset of the academic school year,
MSCS and the District will provide the special education and related services specified by the
child’s current IEP. An IEP meeting will occur within 60 days of the student’s arrival at MSCS.
Transfer Students
When a student who has an IEP developed by a school district other than the District enrolls at
MSCS, MSCS will immediately notify the District’s Integrated Services Director as soon as
MSCS knows that the student is a child with a disability to facilitate the timely request of records
from the child’s last school district of attendance. In such a case, MSCS will provide interim
services comparable to those described in the student’s IEP from the previous school district or
public agency. Such interim services will continue to be provided until MSCS and the District’s
special education director or their designee adopts the child’s IEP from the child’s previous
school district or a new IEP is developed and implemented in accordance with the requirements
of the IDEA and ECEA. In all cases, MSCS will follow PSD’s policy on Transfer students.
System of Interventions
MSCS acknowledges and understands that all children can learn and achieve high standards as a
result of effective teaching, and will use the Response to Intervention (RtI) model to provide
resources to students in need of academic and/or behavior support. MSCS will regularly convene
a problem solving team to identify students who are not making expected progress. MSCS’s
problem solving team will be known as the “Student Success Team” and will typically include
MSCS’s Principal, a regular education teacher, a special education teacher, and as appropriate,
the student’s parents and classroom teacher.
Student Success Team
A Student Success Team (SST) uses a systematic problem-solving approach to assist students
with any concerns that are interfering with success. The SST clarifies problems and concerns,
develops strategies and organizes resources, and serves to assist and counsel the parent, teacher,
and student. An SST is a general education function. All students can benefit from an SST,
including but not limited to those students achieving below grade level, those who are achieving
above grade level and require greater challenge, and students who have experience emotional
trauma, behavioral issues, or language issues.
Anyone who has a concern for a student can refer that student to SST for consideration. Anyone
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connected with the student can be included in the SST to provide information about the student,
including strengths, concerns, and strategies that have been used in the past. Team members may
include but are not limited to teachers, parents, counselors, doctors, administration, social
workers, and law enforcement. The meeting is designed to bring out the best in the people
involved.
Our twelve SST meeting steps include:
1. Team members introduce themselves and their roles.
2. Purpose and process of the meeting are stated.
3. Timekeeper is appointed.
4. Strengths are identified.
5. Concerns are discussed, clarified, and listed.
6. Pertinent information and modifications are listed.
7. Concerns are synthesized; one or two are chosen for focus.
8. Strategies to address concerns are brainstormed.
9. Team chooses best strategies to carry into actions.
10. Individuals make commitments to actions.
11. Person responsible and timelines for actions are recorded.
12. Follow-up date is set.
After implementation of an SST plan and follow up, the plan will be further reviewed/revised to
address concerns that have not been adequately addressed and/or effectively resolved. In
addition, a referral for special education assessment might be deemed appropriate through the
SST process.
MSCS will implement appropriate interventions for a student at the earliest indication of student
need in order to ensure the student’s success. The Student Success Team will consider all
pertinent information and the unique needs of the child in order to generate strategies for meeting
the child’s needs in a non-special education setting. The Student Success Team will tailor
appropriate interventions to meet the unique needs of each student identified.
MSCS will use a continuum of tiered interventions with increasing levels of intensity and
duration to address the full range of student needs.
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MSCS understands that student results are improved when ongoing academic and behavioral
performance data are used to inform instructional decisions. The Student Success Team will
regularly monitor and document the progress of a student when the intervention is implemented.
MSCS will also document how the interventions are implemented to ensure they are carried out
as designed. The Student Success Team will develop criteria and indicators to determine whether
a pre-referral intervention is successful. If the Student Success Team determines that an
intervention has not been successful for a child, a new intervention with a higher degree of
intensity will be implemented.
A referral to special education for an initial evaluation will be made if the Student Success Team
suspects a child has a disability or the parent requests an evaluation. MSCS understands that the
documentation of a student’s progress when implementing an intervention will become part of
the body of evidence used in determining if a child has a disability and is eligible for special
education services.
MSCS understands that ongoing and meaningful involvement of families increases student
success. The Student Success Team will be responsible for notifying the student’s parents of the
concerns involving the student and give the parents the opportunity to share information that may
impact the student’s learning or behavior problems. The Student Success Team will inform the
parents of the intervention used for the child and the child’s progress while receiving the
intervention.
MSCS acknowledges that all members of the MSCS community must continue to gain knowledge
and develop expertise in order to build capacity and sustainability under the RtI Model. At the
beginning of each school year, the Student Success Team will conduct an in-service for MSCS’s
general education staff. The purpose of the in-service will be to train MSCS’s general education
classroom staff on pre-referral interventions and the criteria and indicators for determining
whether the interventions are successful.
It should be noted that MSCS plans to use the RtI model in all instructional and behavioral
situations. This is a key structure for the school. Though RtI is discussed under the special
education process for the school it is NOT considered as only a special education initiative but
that it is good practice for the entire school.
Initial Evaluation and Re-Evaluation Procedures
The MSCS Special Educator will be responsible for conducting all initial evaluations and reevaluations, obtaining written parental consent for evaluations, tracking required timelines,
scheduling, and facilitating eligibility determination meetings. If a child is determined to be
eligible for special education, the MSCS Special Educator will obtain written parental consent for
initial placement.
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IEP Development and Review Meetings
The MSCS Special Educator will be responsible for tracking IEP annual, triennial, and other review meeting timelines, as well as for the scheduling and facilitation of IEP meetings. MSCS Student Discipline
MSCS will immediately notify the District’s Integrated Services Director or designee when
MSCS is contemplating student discipline that is likely to result in a change of placement for
one of its special education students. The District will respond in a timely manner to ensure that
the student receives special education services in the event of placement change.
MSCS will schedule a manifestation determination review by an appropriately constituted IEP
team prior to implementing any change of placement. Disciplinary procedures will comply with
IDEA requirements.
Programming Disputes Involving Parents
If a student’s parent or legal guardian, or a student (when the student is emancipated or over the
age of 18) expresses verbal or written dissatisfaction with the student’s special education program
and of his/her intent to dispute it, MSCS will immediately engage it’s Special Education
Director. Examples of parent/student dissatisfaction include situations when (1) a parent retains
an attorney, (2) the parent threatens to request a due process hearing or to file a state complaint
with the Colorado Department of Education, or (3) the parent withdraws his/her child from the
charter school, expressing his/her dissatisfaction with the child’s special education services and
the intent to (a) enroll the child in a private school and (b) seek reimbursement for the private
school tuition.
MSCS’s legal counsel will be able to communicate with the District’s legal counsel regarding
special education legal issues and disputes upon MSCS’s reasonable request. Reasonable requests
include situations involving programming disputes and student discipline issues that may involve
a change of placement for a MSCS student.
MSCS agrees to indemnify and hold the District harmless for any errors and omissions
committed by MSCS in connection with special education disputes. MSCS will maintain liability
insurance for special education disputes if such insurance is available. MSCS will timely notify
the District if such insurance is unavailable.
The District agrees to indemnify and hold MSCS harmless for any errors and omissions
committed by the District in connection with special education disputes involving MSCS. The
District will obtain liability insurance for special education disputes if such insurance is available.
The District will timely notify MSCS if such insurance is unavailable.
Confidentiality and Special Education Records
Pursuant to the IDEA, the ECEA, the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act and the
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Colorado Public Records Act, MSCS will establish policies and procedures to maintain the
confidentiality of personally identifiable information in special education records during all
stages of their collection, storage, disclosure and destruction. MSCS will timely notify the
District’s Integrated Services office when a parent or student requests access to, or requests
copies of, the student’s special education records so that all locations and formats for storage of
the requested records within the District can be fully identified for proper production to the
parent or student.
Section 504 Eligibility, Services, Technical Assistance and Training
MSCS will use the District’s Section 504 policies and procedures for compliance with Section
504 requirements. MSCS will appoint a staff member to be the building level Section 504
coordinator and the Student Success Team will attend Section 504 training in order to become
knowledgeable about Section 504 requirements and procedures. The Student Success Team will
conduct an in-service at the beginning of each school year to train regular education staff on
Section 504 requirements, including instructional modifications and accommodations in the
general education classroom setting.
MSCS will include in its student handbook a notice of nondiscrimination on the basis of
disability and also appropriately post the nondiscrimination notice within its facility. MSCS will
be responsible for determining student eligibility for Section 504 services, and, as a best
practice, will convene a Section 504 team as necessary when a MSCS student has been
determined to be ineligible for services under the IDEA and the ECEA. MSCS will develop a
written Section 504 plan for eligible students. It will also be responsible for delivering Section
504 services.
Plan for English Language Learners
MSCS will serve students with limited English proficiency in accordance with all applicable
Federal Laws and Regulations and in compliance with C.R.S. § 22-24-105. MSCS will adhere to
the following plan with these students:
Upon enrollment into the school, all students will receive a home-language survey of
languages spoken in the home.
Students whose dominant language is not English will receive assessment of English
proficiency using instruments and techniques approved by the District, such as the
Woodcock-Munoz Language Survey. The selected assessment will be administered upon
admission into the school to determine English proficiency.
All ELL students will be given the Colorado English Language Assessment.
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CELA in January of each school year. The CELA will help MSCS track individual student
progress in language proficiency over time, and determine optimal instruction for each ELL
student. MSCS will also be able to compare earlier CELA results, when available, to
determine student progress.
Educational Programs will be responsive to these specific needs and in compliance with
state and federal guidelines.
MSCS will report the number of ELL students attending the school to the District and the
state.
If MSCS is not a student’s first Colorado public school, then MSCS will attempt to
retrieve a copy of the student’s HLS from the prior school(s) of attendance.
Just as with other special needs students, students with limited English proficiency (LEP) and
non-English proficiency (NEP) will be included in their Waldorf classroom to the greatest extent
possible. As MSCS will begin as an elementary school, it is expected that LEP and NEP
students will respond best to full-immersion in a predominantly English speaking classroom.
MSCS will also align Waldorf curriculum to ESL services to ensure that ELL students can
continue to learn in other subjects without being fluent in English.
MSCS expects to purchase services from an ESL consultant, as needed, to assist teachers in
strategies best suited for teaching ELL students. This may involve teaching techniques already
used in a Waldorf classroom, such as differentiated instruction, grouping ELL students with peer
mentors or creating well-structured cooperative activities. Other techniques may include
repeated instructional sequences with variances that connect to the overall curriculum and
teaching within a context of learning. In order to ensure that Spanish speakers acquire a fluency
of English, MSCS may also place these students in a content-based instructional program, likely
to take place either before or after regular school programming. This programming will
emphasize English discussions and lessons that are based on activities done by the students
throughout the day, in order to ensure comprehension of the material and of the English language.
MSCS will also make every effort to hire Waldorf certified teachers who are also bilingual,
primarily in Spanish. Bi-lingual teachers can provide lessons to English language learners in
their native language when necessary, thus allowing ELL students to continue working on tasks
without interruption. In the case that a bi-lingual teacher is not available for an ELL student,
MSCS may also seek out volunteers to provide translation in that student’s native language in the
classroom.
In addition, the instructional program for MSCS is designed to promote language acquisition and
proficiency, oral language development, and enriched learning opportunities for all ELLs in the
following ways:
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Students will interact through cooperative learning activities
Students will make oral presentations in all content areas
Students will collaborate for group performance and reports
Students will be provided with learning opportunities in recreation and performing arts
Students will be provided academic tutoring
Students will receive daily English language development information according to their
English language proficiency levels as identified by CELA testing
Teacher Qualifications and Training
Teachers of ELL students will be trained to use appropriate differentiated instruction to reach all
levels of English proficiency in accordance with federal law. The Waldorf methods training our
teachers receive, with its emphasis on a multi-sensory teaching methodology, the oral tradition
and the cultural diversity of the curriculum addresses the needs of English Learners.
Reclassification to Proficient Status
MSCS will use State Board of Education-identified criteria to determine fluent English
proficiency for ELLs consistent with legal requirements regarding standardized testing and other
required assessments. In addition, the MSCS will monitor to ensure on-going academic success
for reclassified students for at least three years from their reclassification date.
Reclassification procedures will utilize multiple criteria in determining whether to classify a
pupil as proficient in English including, but not limited to, all of the following:
The CSAP English/Language Arts
Assessment of language proficiency using an objective assessment instrument including,
but not limited to, the Colorado English Language Assessment (CELA)
Participation of the pupil’s classroom teacher and any other certificated staff with direct
responsibility for teaching or placement decisions of the pupil to evaluate the pupil’s
curriculum mastery,
Parental opinion and consultation, achieved through notice to parents or guardians of the
language reclassification and placement including a description of the reclassification
process and the parent’s opportunity to participate, and encouragement of the
participation of parents or guardians in the school’s reclassification procedure including
seeking their opinion and consultation during the reclassification process
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Comparison of the pupil’s performance in basic skills against an empirically established
range of performance and basic skills based upon the performance of English proficient
pupils of the same age that demonstrate to others that the pupil is sufficiently proficient in
English to participate effectively in a curriculum designed for pupils of the same age
whose native language is English.
Monitoring and Evaluation of Program Effectiveness
The evaluation for the program effectiveness for ELLs in MSCS will include:
Adherence to MSCS adopted academic benchmarks by language proficiency level and
years in program to determine adequate yearly progress. ELLs demonstrate progress from
year to year:
o
Students at Beginning, Early Intermediate and Intermediate will improve one
level each year on CELA testing
o
Students at Early Advanced and Advanced with some subtests lower than
intermediate will improve subtests to Intermediate or above
o
Students at Early Advanced and Advanced with all subtests at Intermediate or
higher will improve to Early Advanced or above
ELLs getting to Proficiency in English:
o
Students with at least four years of CELA scores will be at or above Proficient.
o
Monitoring of student identification and placement
o
Monitoring of teacher qualifications and the use of appropriate instructional
strategies based on program design
o
Monitoring of availability of adequate resources
o
Meeting annual measurable achievement objectives for ELLs under NCLB
At-risk Students
“At-risk”, as defined in the Charter Schools Act at C.R.S. § 22-30.5-103, are “those students who
because of physical, emotional, socioeconomic or cultural factors are less likely to succeed in
school.” MSCS expects to attract a diverse student body in socioeconomic terms, and the school
will make a special effort to attract students who may be termed at-risk. As discussed above,
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Waldorf classrooms are very inclusive, welcoming children of all abilities and socioeconomic
levels. Because children have the same teacher for a number of years, and are with many of the
same children over that period of time, the classroom can become like a second home for many
students, not just those considered at-risk. Other factors that will help welcome at-risk students
are the emphasis on grace and courtesy skills, mutual respect and cooperation, as well as
practical life lessons. Differences in age, speech, looks or dress are not deciding factors on “who
is my friend?” Rather, children in Waldorf programs develop a high-level of respect for all
people, and tend to not categorize themselves or others as strictly as one might find in other
programs.
Academically, at-risk students will be encouraged to become independent, self-motivated
learners, just like every other child in the class. The highly nurturing and highly stimulating
environment found in a Waldorf-inspired classroom will provide more individualized attention to
at-risk students than they might receive in a typical classroom. Also, the emphasis on respect for
self, respect for others and respect for the environment will create a comforting environment
which will allow at-risk students to flourish.
To make the school attractive and accessible to all students, MSCS hopes to find a facility near
Transfort bus lines. MSCS parents may volunteer to organize informal carpools that can assist
families in their transportation needs to the school. MSCS intends to provide daily lunch service
for studentstext. This will afford students who use FRL access to meals while attending the
school Finally, MSCS community building efforts will be held in such a manner that all families
feel welcome.
Plan for Students who are Academically High Achieving
“Gifted and talented” students are children who show, or have potential to show, a high level of
performance in one or more areas of expression, such as intellectual or leadership capabilities,
artistic or creative talents or specific academic aptitudes. MSCS believes that the Waldorf
Method can allow such children to move at an advanced pace, accepting greater academic
challenges, while at the same time remaining in a social setting with peers of the same age.
Children who present potential for greater academic or artistic achievement will be encouraged
to challenge themselves, and will be presented with lessons of greater complexity. In certain
situations, the classroom teacher may find an adult mentor in an area of interest, such as
mathematics, astrophysics or literature, whom the student may interact with and gain in-depth
knowledge from. At the same time, the differentiated learning environment will develop their
abilities as leaders through peer teaching and interaction.
When a teacher believes that a student may have exceptional talents or abilities, MSCS will
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contact the District Director of Gifted and Talented for assessment. If the child is found to be
gifted and talented, MSCS will hold a meeting with the student’s parents, the student, if
appropriate, the student’s teachers, the Principal and the District Director of Gifted and Talented
to determine whether the majority of the student’s academic and social needs can be met within a
Waldorf context. The District Director of GT will make the parents and student aware of other
enrichment programs for advanced learning which exist within the District in which the student
may participate. If deemed appropriate, a work plan may be established to meet the student’s
needs. MSCS may utilize the CoGAT to identify Gifted and Talented Students.
In addition to the Waldorf methods approach to learning, MSCS’ plan for students who are
academically high achieving includes:
Leveled reading groups engaging beginning to advanced levels of readers.
Differentiated instruction in such areas as math, writing, reading, and spelling to meet
different student learning levels in the classroom. Examples include the teacher
challenging students with different levels of math problems or spelling words on the
chalk Board of Directors or during other classroom activities. Extra credit problems and
projects may be given to more advanced students.
Leveled math programs using District textbooks in sixth through eighth grades.
Our program may include a credentialed math teacher providing algebra instruction to
seventh and eighth grade students ready for this challenge, as well as an independent
study program for eighth grade geometry. Students are placed in math levels based on
teacher recommendation/evaluation, and on placement tests from District adopted math
textbooks.
The availability of supplemental materials to teachers, such as Waldorf-methods
advanced mathematics materials. Teachers have the option to provide extra challenges to
students as needed.
Teachers providing academic and artistic leadership opportunities for students, such as
assisting their peers with math, grammar, etc.; leadership of group academic projects; and
leadership of groups performing singing and recorder parts.
Eighth grade student projects (required for all students) allow academically high
achieving students to select a subject of interest for in-depth research and reporting.
Student governance/leadership opportunities through service on a Student Board
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R. GRIEVANCE PROCESS AND DISPUTE RESOLUTION
Grievance process
The Grievance Process provides a means by which conflicts can be resolved. Parents, students or
teachers may initiate this process. Such a request must be in writing and submitted to the
Principal for further action. The Principal will then communicate with those involved in the
conflict. A meeting will take place at the end of which a plan for resolution will be agreed upon.
If, after completion of this meeting, the conflict has not been resolved to the satisfaction of the
parties involved, it may then be taken to the MSCS Board of Directors for a final ruling. The
procedure for filing concerns is as follows:
1. The parties will make every attempt to communicate the concern directly to the teacher, the
Principal, or the parent(s) for resolution. An appointment should be set up where the concern can
be expressed in private. Care should be taken to express concerns calmly and respectfully so that
an environment conducive to resolution can exist.
2. If the parties are unable to come to a resolution, they may file their concern, in writing, with
the Principal.
3. In cases where the concern has been addressed with the Principal, and any party remains
dissatisfied with the decisions made to resolve the conflict at this level, that party may take their
concerns to the MSCS Board of Directors. Such a complaint will be made in a written statement,
which details the violation, procedures taken and requested remedy, and the complaint shall be
submitted to the MSCS Board of Directors at least one week prior to the next Board of Directors
meeting. Complaints submitted later will be addressed at the subsequent meeting of the Board of
Directors. Emergency issues will be dealt with on an as-needed basis, with the Board of
Directors responding at or prior to its next regular public meeting.
4. The Board of Directors may hear arguments from the parties, review prior decisions and
evidence, and make inquiries as it deems necessary. The Board of Directors shall render a
written decision within ten business days after the meeting unless additional time is needed. The
Board of Director’s decision shall be final.
Dispute Resolution
MSCS agrees to follow the dispute resolution procedure as stated in C.R.S. §22-30.5-107.5:
In the event a dispute arises between Poudre School District (“school district”) and MSCS
concerning governing policy provisions of the school’s charter contract, either party may request
dispute resolution pursuant to this article upon written notice to the other party. Written notice of
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intent to invoke this process must include a brief description of the matter in dispute and the
scope of the disagreement between the parties. Within thirty (30) days of receipt of written
notice, MSCS and the school District shall agree to any form of alternative dispute resolution to
resolve the dispute. Any form chosen must result in final written findings by a neutral third party
within one hundred twenty (120) days after receipt of such written notice. The neutral third party
shall apportion all costs reasonably related to the mutually agreed upon dispute resolution
process. MSCS and the school District may agree to be bound by the written findings of said
neutral third party, in which case such findings are final and not subject to appeal. If the parties
do not agree to be bound by such written findings of the neutral third party, the parties may
appeal such findings to the State Board of Education. The party appealing the findings must
provide the State Board of Education and the other party with a notice of appeal within thirty
(30) days after the release of such findings, and the notice of appeal shall state a brief description
of the grounds for appeal. The State Board of Education may consider such written findings,
along with other relevant materials in reaching its decision, or it may, after sufficient notice,
conduct a de novo review and hearing on the underlying matter. The State Board of Education
shall issue its decision on the written findings of the neutral third party within sixty (60) days of
receipt of notice to appeal. If the State Board of Education decides to conduct a de novo review,
it will make its own findings within sixty (60) days of its own motion for a de novo review. If the
State Board of Education finds that either of the parties has failed to participate in good faith or
comply with a decision reached after agreeing to be bound to it, the State Board of Directors
shall resolve the dispute in favor of the aggrieved party. The decision of the State Board of
Education is final and not subject to appeal.
Mountain Sage Community School Charter Application
210
Appendix A:
Bios/Resumes of Current Board Members and Consultants
Mountain Sage Community School Charter Application
211
Founding Board Members
Liv Helmericks is an artist, mother and community activist who grew up in Fort Collins. She
holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Graphic Design from Colorado State University. Since
early 2010, Liv has directed the efforts of Mountain Sage Community School. She was
responsible for successfully bringing the school’s charter application to completion for
submission and review which lead to conditional approval by the Poudre School District in
2010. She is an experienced advocate of sustainable living practices and strives to increase her
young family’s commitment to the environment on a daily basis. She currently homeschools her
two young children in the Waldorf tradition. See attached resume.
Jody Swigris is a former middle school math teacher. Her bachelor’s degree is in Secondary
Mathematics Education and she holds a masters degree in Elementary Education. She has taught
in a variety of school settings including a large public high school near Cleveland, Ohio; an
affluent international school near London, England; and two public middle schools in Loveland
and Fort Collins, Colorado. She recently completed her thesis in human nutrition at Colorado
State University, and is now a Registered Dietitian . She is passionate about incorporating food,
gardening, and cooking into the academic curriculum, and the daily meals of students. She has
lived in Colorado for 11 years. She is married and has a one-year-old son. See attached resume.
Nancy Sexton is a mother and educator. She has worked in private Waldorf schools in New
York and Colorado in numerous capacities. Nancy is a trained Waldorf teacher who has taught
grades 1-8. She also has served in countless administrative capacities in Waldorf schools,
everything from bookkeeping to co-faculty chair. Nancy is new to the MSCS council but thrilled
to be a part of a committed team engaged in making a Waldorf-inspired education available to
every child. See attached resume.
Alisa Hicks earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Biological Anthropology from
Colorado State University prior to entering the field of education as an elementary teacher. Since
1997, she has taught elementary and middle school students in many subjects, including science,
math, social studies, and health. Alisa and her husband, who also attended CSU, are now excited
to be raising their four children in Fort Collins. The search for a school for their children led
Alisa to the Mountain Sage Community School charter initiative. Alisa has applied her
experience in the field of education to help with the creation of the school calendar, employee
practices, budget and the articulation of the curriculum for Mountain Sage Community School as
it functions within the Colorado Academic Standards. See attached resume.
Mountain Sage Community School Charter Application
212
Primary Consultant: Chris Hazelton
Chris Hazleton has been an education innovator, entrepreneur and school leader for eighteen
years. He has dedicated his professional career to the improvement of the school experience for
young people. Chris cut his teaching teeth while working with struggling teens in the outdoors.
Outdoor therapeutic recreation and education proved to be a gateway for Chris to teaching
in public schools but he struggled with the static systems and practices that continually got in the
way of great learning opportunities for students. After teaching high school and middle school
social studies, Chris was moved by the opportunity to incite change in education by starting
a charter school in Duluth, Minnesota. He designed and opened Harbor City International
School, www.harborcityschool.org, an accredited, student centered and inquiry-based public
charter school recognized for quality and innovation. As Executive Director, Chris led Harbor
City High through its first 9 years by creating learning, teaching and administrative programs
that married the best practices of a student centered, inquiry-based learning programs with
effective traditional methodologies and programs. Recognizing that a student’s success
is dependent on competent, passionate, “teacher entrepreneurs,” Chris created and refined
a consensus driven, distributed leadership and professional development model. Despite Harbor
City’s high level of economically and academically disadvantaged student population, the
school’s academic performance and attendance results as well as exceptional staff retention rate
illustrate that this educational model works.
Chris believes that the fundamental underpinnings of effective education are dependent
on teacher and student ownership of the learning process and experience. Teachers and students
thrive when they are challenged with relevant learning experiences tied to their own interests
in an environment that fosters critical thinking. He brings both a teacher’s and administrator’s
mindset to the school design and transformation process. His broad background and
understanding of best practices and top innovations equip him to offer clients support in valuebased start up support, curriculum design, stakeholder buy-in, teacher development, strategic
planning, governance development and leadership support. Chris also has experience
in managing four extensive facility expansions projects and understands the natural relationship
between a school facility and the curriculum it supports.
Conscious Accounting, LLC- Owner: Sarah-Gennie Colazio
Sarah-Gennie Colazio graduated Summa Cum Laude in 2005 from the University of Northern
Colorado with a degree in Business Administration: Accounting Emphasis. She worked in
public accounting for four years at EKS&H, both in the audit and tax areas, and was involved in
the non-profit specialty group at the firm. She has 12 years of bookkeeping and accounting
experience, from start-up and management of her own music studio, as a founding member and
Board Treasurer of New Vision Charter School, to currently working with other charter schools
and local businesses as an accountant and consultant. She is also an adjunct business/accounting
instructor for IBMC in Fort Collins and Greeley. The focus of Conscious Accounting LLC is to
use her accounting and non-profit experience to help companies and individuals who are
dedicated to making a difference in the world.
Mountain Sage Community School Charter Application
213
Appendix B:
MSCS Detailed Timeline For Opening 2012
Mountain Sage Community School Charter Application
220
Student Recruitment & Admissions (continuous)
P
P
P
P
Waldorf-inspired playgroups
Community meetings & celebrations (regular updates, festivals, etc)
Facilitate homeschool groups prior to opening of MSCS
Solicit letters of support for charter application (via google email list)
Cooperate with community organizations -- national & local (e.g. "race to
nowhere", sustainable living org, etc)
Contact & maintain relationship with headstart, early intervention services
agencies
Broader marketing campaign (targeted mailing)
School Policy & Calendar
Develop Student/Parent Handbook including code of conduct
Finalize Student/Parent Handbook
Finalize calendar
Post calendar on website
Enrollment Form
Prepare for Transition from Intent to Enroll to Enrollment Form;develop
enrollment form
Translate form into Spanish
Post Spanish form on website
Admissions Lottery & Enrollment
Establish lottery location
Establish lottery protocol
Highlight lottery date on website
Post lottery date in local papers
Practice lottery protocol
Conduct admissions lottery
Notify families of status
Establish wait list (or repeat lottery)
Send enrollment reports
Confirm acceptances
P
C
P
P
P
P
P
C
P
P+C
Waldorf-inspired study groups
Community Outreach (continuous)
P
P+C
P
P
P
P
P+C
P+C
P
P
Submit Letter of Intent to PSD (no later than 30days before Aug 15)
Training for founding board members
Confirm final PPR, SPED fees per pupil, etc with authorizer
Fine-tune & review charter application (each board member reviews
section & communicates back during board meetings+use of consultants)
Submit charter application for review by the Colorado League of Charter
Schools (May 17, 2011)
Incorporate changes
Submit charter application for final review by the Colorado League of
Charter Schools (July 9, 2011)
Final changes & final editing
Submit charter application to PSD (Aug 15, 2011)
Finalize contract exhibits
Sign contract with PSD
P
Board
Maintain contact with Poudre School District (PSD)
Charter Application Process & Contract Signing
P=Primary; S=Secondary; C=Consultant
Mountain Sage Community School: Timetable
P
P
P
P
P
P
P
P
P
P
P
P
P
P
P
Jul-11
Jun-11
May-11
Apr-11
Mar-11
Mountain Sage Community School Charter Application
S
S
S
S
S
S
S
S
S
S
S
S
S
Operations/
Business Office/
Administrator
Administrative /
Faculty
Jun-12
221
Sep-12
Aug-12
Jul-12
May-12
Apr-12
Mar-12
Feb-12
Jan-12
Dec-11
Nov-11
Oct-11
Sep-11
Aug-11
Finalize plan to move from Board of Directors to Governing Authority
Develop board calendar
Arrange board liability
Board Meetings
Practice "formal meetings" under Open Meeting Law
Finalize agenda format
"Recruit" Secretary
Finalize Minutes format
Start publishing Minutes on the website
Board Development
Governance Strategy
Tax-exemption status pending
Finalize comprehensive list of all policies that need to be created and "finetuned" before school opening
Governance
Continue negotiations with 608 E. Drake Road landlord/real estate agent
Maintain dialog with PSD re possible vacant site rental
Get real estate experts to view & evaluate sites
Negotiate lease
Sign lease
Secure financing
Perform renovations
Pass final inspection & receive occupancy certificate
Facilities Procurement
Hire gen. contractor & architect to view/evaluate potential sites
Hire lawyer to structure contract w/ cost, expans, extens priv
Preliminary inspection made
Hire contractor
Acquisition of furniture & materials
Prepare building infrastructure (lights, phone, IT networking)
Obtain property insurance
P
P
P
P
P
P
P
P
P
P
P
S
P
P
S
S
S
S
P
Jul-11
Jun-11
May-11
Apr-11
Mar-11
Mountain Sage Community School Charter Application
P/C
P
P
P
P
P
P
P
P
P
P
P
P
P
P
C
P
P
P
P
P
C
P
P
P
P+C
P
P
P
P
P
C
Facilities
"Refresh" contacts with real estate experts to look for sale/lease and
vacant properties
P
P
P
P
P
P
P
P
P
P
P
P
P
P
P+C
P
P+C
P
Board
Operations/
Business Office/
Administrator
Administrative /
Faculty
Update Enrolment Form to include Language Survey
Sign contract with ELL instructor
Identify ELL students based on student & parent interview and diagnostic
test if necessary
Activate child-study teams with ELL instructor
English Language Learners
Consult independent SPED expert/teacher re services & options
Consult with SPED administrator from PSD
Finalize SPED plan for contract
Recruit SPED coordinator/teacher
Identify SPED students (Enrolment Form includes SPED questions)
Acquire students records - SPED records
Secure parent approval
Develop IEPs - if needed (update & review)
Define service requirements for all SPED students
Special Education
Request student records
Receive student records
Home visits by class teachers (Waldorf tradition)
P=Primary; S=Secondary; C=Consultant
Mountain Sage Community School: Timetable
Jun-12
222
Sep-12
Aug-12
Jul-12
May-12
Apr-12
Mar-12
Feb-12
Jan-12
Dec-11
Nov-11
Oct-11
Sep-11
Aug-11
P
S
P
Define procedures and form necessary to track and monitor visitors
Jul-11
Jun-11
May-11
Apr-11
Mar-11
Mountain Sage Community School Charter Application
S
P
P
P
P
P
P
P
P
P
S
S
S
S
P
P
P/C
P
P
P
P
P
P
P
S
P
P
P/C
P
P
P+C
P
P
P
P/C
P
P
P
C
C
P
P
P
P
P
P
P
P
P
P
P
C
C
Operations/
Business Office/
Administrator
Administrative /
Faculty
Recruit and hire class teachers for 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th grades
Recruit part-time world language (German & Spanish) teachers, hand
work, music & Eurythmy teachers
Develop professional development plan details
Negotiate and sign agreements for contracted services
Data Management
Training in SILK student information system
Training & implementation of Alpine Achievement for student performance
data
Develop students attendance reporting system
Create filing system
Develop database for student reviews
General & Family Communication
Set up nonprofit mailing status with Post Office
Setup email, phone systems
Teachers, Teacher Assistance & Administrative Personnel
Finalize job descriptions
Advertise jobs (website, local media, community outreach programs,
dedicated Waldorf mailing groups)
Finalize compensation and benefits packages, including retirement
Design interview process
Create various "form letters" including 1) Contract Letter, 2)
Salary/benefits information sheet
Develop staff handbook
Finalize policies and procedures for evaluation of staff
Recruit and hire kindergarten teachers
Administrative
Review/design process forms (purchase orders, expense forms) & policy
Finalize financial reporting templates (budget vs actual) and policy
Retain/Maintain ongoing dialog with independent accountant
Hire business/office manager
Decide on internal accounting system (e.g. QuickBooks)
Purchase accounting software
Develop segregation of funds policy (public vs private)
Establish payroll
Define investment/savings strategy (allocation of excess funds)
Develop cash-flow plan (e.g. start dialog with banks regarding lines of
reserve credit)
Obtain insurance policies
P
P
P
P
P
P
P
Finalize/review fiscal controls and financial policies the school will employ
to track daily operational finances
Review signature policies
Financial Management
P
P
P
P
P
P
Board
Finalize board development plan, including trainings in Waldorf Education
School Administrator
Fine-tune job description for school administrator
Finalize performance benchmarks/measures for Administrator
Finalize evaluation plan for Administrator
Finalize salary range based on recent industry trends
Hire Administrator
P=Primary; S=Secondary; C=Consultant
Mountain Sage Community School: Timetable
Jun-12
223
Sep-12
Aug-12
Jul-12
May-12
Apr-12
Mar-12
Feb-12
Jan-12
Dec-11
Nov-11
Oct-11
Sep-11
Aug-11
S
S
S
S
S
P
P
P
P
P
P
P
P
P
C
C
C
P
P
P
P
P
P
P
P
P
Establish evacuation routes and procedures and schedule fire drills
Provide staff, parents students with orientation on code of conduct,
behavioral requirements, suspension and expulsion policies, and
prohibition of any and all weapons on school property
Install and operate exterior electronic and/or infra-red security system
Define procedures and form necessary to track and monitor visitors
Review & finalize curriculum
Review & finalize academic goals for student achievement & school
performance
Review & finalize assessment strategy and timeline
Purchase Waldorf instructional materials
Organize Waldorf training for teachers
Finalize teacher conferences plan
Write & submit proposals to national, state & local govt foundations &
organizations (including planning grants, start-up grants)
P+C
S
S
S
Jul-11
Jun-11
May-11
Apr-11
Mar-11
Mountain Sage Community School Charter Application
Fund Development & Fundraising -- Short & Long Term Strategy (continuous)
Curriculum, Instructional Program & Training
S
S
P
P
S
S
P
S
S
P
P
P
S
S
P
C
C
P
P
P
P
P
P
P
P+C
P+Volunteer
P
P
P
Board
Operations/
Business Office/
Administrator
Administrative /
Faculty
Acquire student medical and health forms, including most recent physical
exam, TB tests, immunization records from previous schools and/or collect
required forms from parents
Check medical and health forms for completeness and conduct follow-up if
necessary
Develop health and medical records management system, procedures for
authorizing administering of medication to students according to statutory
requirements, and storage repository for student medications
Develop policy for non-compliance by parents
Provide all staff with first aid training and ensure school has adequate first
aid supplies inventory
Identify doctor/nurse resources
Identify first aid resources
Negotiate and sign agreement with a part-time nurse
Develop school safety manual and/or health & safety policies and
emergency procedures handbook
Health & Safety
Determine standards & policies for food programs, including use of own
produce from school garden (meeting with Food & Safety authorities)
Apply for specific "food & nutrition" grants
Prepare detailed budget for different scenarios
Determine likelihood of eligibility for F&RP federal meals program (based
on target community and anticipated student population)
Finalize "food plan"
Determine dietary restrictions of students (for kindergarteners, on
enrollment forms)
Maintain ongoing dialog with local farmers & organic food suppliers
Garden & Food Service
Define how information will be communicated within school (e.g. who is
called when student is sick)
Hold pre-opening Parent Orientation meetings
Schedule Parent Orientation sessions
Write & mail family letter re: Parent Orientation
Call all families re Parent Orientation
P=Primary; S=Secondary; C=Consultant
Mountain Sage Community School: Timetable
Jun-12
224
Sep-12
Aug-12
Jul-12
May-12
Apr-12
Mar-12
Feb-12
Jan-12
Dec-11
Nov-11
Oct-11
Sep-11
Aug-11
P
P
P
P
P
P
P
P
Continue to cultivate and solicit individual donors & private foundations
Continue to cultivate and solicit Waldorf/Steiner inspired foundations,
organizations & high net worth individuals
Work towards creation of cooperative grants for Waldorf-inspired charter
schools
Fine-tune Letter of Intent/Teaser
Fine-tune presentation about Mountain Sage as a Waldorf-Inspired School
Work on targeting foundations with matching donations grants
Organize own fundraising activities and silent auctions
Board
Write & submit proposals to local private foundations (e.g. Pharos Grant,
Muse Fund, etc)
P=Primary; S=Secondary; C=Consultant
Mountain Sage Community School: Timetable
Jul-11
Jun-11
May-11
Apr-11
Mar-11
Mountain Sage Community School Charter Application
Operations/
Business Office/
Administrator
Administrative /
Faculty
Jun-12
225
Sep-12
Aug-12
Jul-12
May-12
Apr-12
Mar-12
Feb-12
Jan-12
Dec-11
Nov-11
Oct-11
Sep-11
Aug-11
Appendix C:
Whole Child Rubric for Grades 1 - 8
Mountain Sage Community School Charter Application
226
Mountain Sage Community School
1st Grade Student Report
Student’s Name:
School Year: _____________
Skill Areas
Social Skills
Symbol
Class Teacher: _____________________________
Symbol Key:
E = Exceeds Standards
M = Meets Standards
P = Progressing Towards Standards
B = Below Standards
Comments:
Interacts Well
with Peers
Cooperates with
Teacher/s
Controls Impulsivity
Work Habits
Listens Attentively
Follows Directions
Participation
Works Independently
Uses Time Productively
Is Neat and Organized
Cares for Classroom
and Materials
Artistic Work
Music
Painting/Drawing
Modeling
Mountain Sage Community School Charter Application
227
2
Student’s Name____________________________________ Grade 2
Skill Areas
Language Arts
Symbol Key:
E = Exceeds Standards
M = Meets Standards
P = Progressing Towards Standards
B = Below Standards
Comments:
Recognizes Letters
Matches Sounds to
Letters
Writes Own Words
Writes Own Sentences
Comprehension
Reading
Speech
Handwriting
Form Drawing
Mathematics
Knows and Writes
Numbers 1-100
Counts by 2,3,5,10
Adds/ Subtracts
Accurately
Social Studies
Science
Mountain Sage Community School Charter Application
228
3
Student’s Name____________________________________ Grade 2
Skill Areas
Symbol Key:
E = Exceeds Standards
M = Meets Standards
P = Progressing Towards Standards
B = Below Standards
Comments:
Handwork
Teacher –
Participation
Achievement
Spanish
Teacher -
Participation
Achievement
Mountain Sage Community School Charter Application
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Mountain Sage Community School
2nd Grade Student Report
Student’s Name:
School Year: ______________
Skill Areas
Social Skills
Symbol
Class Teacher: ______________________________
Symbol Key:
E = Exceeds Standards
M = Meets Standards
P = Progressing Towards Standards
B = Below Standards
Comments:
Interacts Well
with Peers
Cooperates with
Teacher/s
Controls Impulsivity
Work Habits
Listens Attentively
Follows Directions
Participation
Works Independently
Uses Time Productively
Is Neat and Organized
Cares for Classroom
and Materials
Artistic Work
Music
Painting/Drawing
Modeling
Mountain Sage Community School Charter Application
230
2
Student’s Name____________________________________ Grade 2
Skill Areas
Language Arts
Symbol Key:
E = Exceeds Standards
M = Meets Standards
P = Progressing Towards Standards
B = Below Standards
Comments:
Writes Own Sentences
Written Expression
Comprehension
Reading
Speech
Handwriting
Form Drawing
Mathematics
Knows and Writes
Numbers 1 - 1000
Knows Basic Facts
Computes Accurately
Solves Word Problems
Understands Concepts
Science
Nature Studies
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3
Student’s Name____________________________________ Grade 2
Skill Areas
Symbol Key:
E = Exceeds Standards
M = Meets Standards
P = Progressing Towards Standards
B = Below Standards
Comments:
Handwork
Teacher –
Participation
Achievement
Eurythmy
Teacher -
Participation
Achievement
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Mountain Sage Community School
3rd Grade Student Report
Student’s Name:
School Year: ______________
Skill Areas
Social Skills
Symbol
Class Teacher:_______________________________
Symbol Key:
E = Exceeds Standards
M = Meets Standards
P = Progressing Towards Standards
B = Below Standards
Comments:
Interacts Well
with Peers
Cooperates with
Teacher/s
Controls Impulsivity
Work Habits
Listens Attentively
Follows Directions
Participation
Works Independently
Uses Time Productively
Is Neat and Organized
Cares for Classroom
and Materials
Artistic Work
Music
Painting/Drawing
Modeling
Effort
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2
Student’s Name____________________________________ Grade 3
Skill Areas
Language Arts
Symbol Key:
E = Exceeds Standards
M = Meets Standards
P = Progressing Towards Standards
B = Below Standards
Comments:
Reading
Comprehension
Speech
Expresses Ideas
Through Writing
Grammar/Mechanics
Spelling
Handwriting
Form Drawing
Effort
Mathematics
Knows Numbers to
10,000
Knows Basic Facts
Computes Accurately
Solves Word Problems
Understands Concepts
Effort
Science
Social
Studies/History
Homework
Projects
Mountain Sage Community School Charter Application
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3
Skill Areas
Symbol
Student’s Name____________________________________ Grade 3
Symbol Key:
E = Exceeds Standards
M = Meets Standards
P = Progressing Towards Standards
B = Below Standards
Comments:
Handwork
Teacher –
Participation
Achievement
Spanish
Participation
Achievement
Games
Participation
Achievement
Eurythmy
Participation
Achievement
Mountain Sage Community School Charter Application
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Mountain Sage Community School
4th Grade Student Report
Student’s Name:
School Year:_______________
Skill Areas
Social Skills
Symbol
Class Teacher:_______________________________
Symbol Key:
E = Exceeds Standards
M = Meets Standards
P = Progressing Towards Standards
B = Below Standards
Comments:
Interacts Well
with Peers
Cooperates with
Teacher/s
Controls Impulsivity
Work Habits
Listens Attentively
Follows Directions
Participation
Works Independently
Uses Time Productively
Is Neat and Organized
Artistic Work
Music
Painting/Drawing
Modeling
Effort
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2
Student’s Name____________________________________ Grade 4
Skill Areas
Language Arts
Symbol Key:
E = Exceeds Standards
M = Meets Standards
P = Progressing Towards Standards
B = Below Standards
Comments:
Reading
Comprehension
Speech
Expresses Ideas
Through Writing
Grammar/Mechanics
Spelling
Handwriting
Form Drawing
Effort
Mathematics
Knows Basic Facts
Computes Accurately
Solves Word Problems
Understands Concepts
Effort
Science
Social
Studies/History
Homework
Projects
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3
Student’s Name____________________________________ Grade 4
Skill Areas
Symbol Key:
E = Exceeds Standards
M = Meets Standards
P = Progressing Towards Standards
B = Below Standards
Comments:
Handwork
Teacher –
Participation
Achievement
Strings
Teacher-
Participation
Achievement
Eurythmy
Teacher-
Participation
Achievement
Games
Teacher-
Participation
Achievement
Cello
Teacher-
Participation
Achievement
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4
Student’s Name____________________________________ Grade 4
Mountain Sage Community School Charter Application
239
Mountain Sage Community School
5th Grade Student Report
Student’s Name:
School Year: _______________
Skill Areas
Social Skills
Symbol
Class Teacher:__________________________________
Symbol Key:
E = Exceeds Standards
M = Meets Standards
P = Progressing Towards Standards
B = Below Standards
Comments:
Interacts Well
with Peers
Controls Impulsivity
Cooperates with Teacher/s
Cares for Classroom and
Materials
Accepts Responsibility for
Actions
Work Habits
Listens Attentively
Follows Directions
Participation
Works Independently
Uses Time Productively
Is Neat and Organized
Artistic Work
Music
Painting/Drawing
Modeling
Form Drawing
Effort
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2
Grade 5
Student Name:
Skill Areas
Symbol Key:
E = Exceeds Standards
M = Meets Standards
P = Progressing Towards Standards
B = Below Standards
Language Arts
Reads Fluently and with
Expression
Comprehension
Speech
Written Expression
Grammar/Mechanics
Spelling
Handwriting
Form Drawing
Effort
Mathematics
Computes Accurately
Solves Word Problems
Understands Concepts
Effort
Skill Areas
Symbol Key:
E = Exceeds Standards
M = Meets Standards
P = Progressing Towards Standards
B = Below Standards
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3
Grade 5
Student Name:
Ancient History
Achievement
Effort
Geometry
Achievement
Effort
Unites States Geography
Achievement
Effort
Greek Mythology
Achievement
Effort
Greek History
Achievement
Effort
Botany
Achievement
Effort
Project
Book Reports
Homework
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4
Grade 5
Student Name:
Skill Areas
Symbol Key:
E = Exceeds Standards
M = Meets Standards
P = Progressing Towards Standards
B = Below Standards
Comments:
Spanish
Teacher –
Achievement
Participation
Games
Teacher –
Achievement
Participation
Handwork
Teacher –
Achievement
Participation
Music
Teacher –
Achievement
Participation
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Mountain Sage Community School
6th Grade Student Report
Student’s Name:
School Year: ____________
Skill Areas
Personal
Development
Symbol
Class Teacher: _______________________________
Symbol Key:
A = Advanced
P = Proficient
B = Basic
BB = Below Basic
C = Credit
FB = Far Below Basic
NC = No Credit
Comments:
Interacts Positively with
Peers
Controls Impulsivity
Accepts responsibility
for actions
Cooperates with
Teacher
Work Habits
Listens Attentively
Shows Initiative
Works Independently /
Stays on Task
Is Neat and Organized
Completes Homework
on Time
Mathematics
Estimation, Percents,
and Factoring
Operations with
Fractions and Decimals
Algebra and Functions
Measurement and
Geometry
Statistics, Data Analysis
and Probability
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2
Student’s Name____________________________________ Grade 6
Skill Areas
Language Arts
Symbol Key:
A = Advanced
P = Proficient
B = Basic
BB = Below Basic
C = Credit
FB = Far Below Basic
NC = No Credit
Comments:
Book Reports
Written Expression
Grammar / Mechanics
Comprehends Text
Reading Fluency
Technology
Participation / Effort
Achievement
Artistic Work
Speech
Singing
Drawing / Painting
Handwriting
Electives
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3
Student’s Name____________________________________ Grade 6
Skill Areas
Main Lesson Blocks
Symbol Key:
A = Advanced
P = Proficient
B = Basic
BB = Below Basic
C = Credit
FB = Far Below Basic
NC = No Credit
Comments:
I.
Participation / Effort
Achievement
II.
Participation / Effort
Achievement
III.
Participation / Effort
Achievement
IV.
Participation / Effort
Achievement
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4
Student’s Name____________________________________ Grade 6
Skill Areas
Main Lesson
Blocks cont’d
Symbol Key:
A = Advanced
P = Proficient
B = Basic
BB = Below Basic
C = Credit
FB = Far Below Basic
NC = No Credit
Comments:
V.
Participation / Effort
Achievement
VI.
Participation / Effort
Achievement
VII.
Participation / Effort
Achievement
VIII.
Participation / Effort
Achievement
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5
Student’s Name____________________________________ Grade 6
Skill Areas
Main Lesson
Blocks cont’d
Symbol Key:
A = Advanced
P = Proficient
B = Basic
BB = Below Basic
C = Credit
FB = Far Below Basic
NC = No Credit
Comments:
IX.
Participation / Effort
Achievement
X.
Participation / Effort
Achievement
XI.
Participation / Effort
Achievement
XII.
Participation / Effort
Achievement
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6
Student’s Name____________________________________ Grade 6
Skill Areas
Symbol Key:
A = Advanced
P = Proficient
B = Basic
BB = Below Basic
C = Credit
FB = Far Below Basic
NC = No Credit
Comments
Spanish
Teacher –
Participation
Achievement
Handwork
Teacher –
Participation
Achievement
Math
Teacher –
Participation
Achievement
Games
Teacher –
Participation
Achievement
Music
Teacher –
Participation
Achievement
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Mountain Sage Community School
7th Grade Student Report
School Year: _____________
Student’s Name:
Skill Areas
Personal
Development
Symbol
Class Teacher: _____________________________
Symbol Key:
A = Advanced
P = Proficient
B = Basic
BB = Below Basic
C = Credit
FB = Far Below Basic
NC = No Credit
Comments:
Interacts Positively with
Peers
Controls Impulsivity
Accepts responsibility
for actions
Cooperates with
Teacher
Work Habits
Listens Attentively
Shows Initiative
Works Independently /
Stays on Task
Is Neat and Organized
Completes Homework
on Time
Mathematics
Estimation/ Percents
and Factoring
Operations with
Fractions and Decimals
Algebra and Functions
Measurement and
Geometry
Statistics, Data
Analysis, and
Probability
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2
Student’s Name____________________________________ Grade 7
Skill Areas
Language Arts
Symbol Key:
A = Advanced
P = Proficient
B = Basic
BB = Below Basic
C = Credit
FB = Far Below Basic
NC = No Credit
Comments:
Book Reports
Written Expression
Grammar / Mechanics
Comprehends Text
Reading Fluency
Technology
Participation / Effort
Achievement
Artistic Work
Speech
Singing
Drawing / Painting
Handwriting
Electives
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3
Student’s Name____________________________________ Grade 7
Skill Areas
Main Lesson Blocks
Symbol Key:
A = Advanced
P = Proficient
B = Basic
BB = Below Basic
C = Credit
FB = Far Below Basic
NC = No Credit
Comments:
I.
Participation / Effort
Achievement
II.
Participation / Effort
Achievement
III.
Participation / Effort
Achievement
IV.
Participation / Effort
Achievement
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4
Student’s Name____________________________________ Grade 7
Skill Areas
Main Lesson Blocks
cont’d
Symbol Key:
A = Advanced
P = Proficient
B = Basic
BB = Below Basic
C = Credit
FB = Far Below Basic
NC = No Credit
Comments:
V.
Participation / Effort
Achievement
VI.
Participation / Effort
Achievement
VII.
Participation / Effort
Achievement
VIII.
Participation / Effort
Achievement
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5
Student’s Name____________________________________ Grade 7
Skill Areas
Main Lesson Blocks
cont’d
Symbol Key:
A = Advanced
P = Proficient
B = Basic
BB = Below Basic
C = Credit
FB = Far Below Basic
NC = No Credit
Comments:
IX.
Participation / Effort
Achievement
X.
Participation / Effort
Achievement
XI.
Participation / Effort
Achievement
XII.
Participation / Effort
Achievement
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6
Student’s Name____________________________________ Grade 7
Skill Areas
Symbol Key:
A = Advanced
P = Proficient
B = Basic
BB = Below Basic
C = Credit
FB = Far Below Basic
NC = No Credit
Comments
Spanish
Teacher –
Participation
Achievement
Handwork
Teacher –
Participation
Achievement
Math
Teacher –
Participation
Achievement
Games
Teacher –
Participation
Achievement
Music
Teacher –
Participation
Achievement
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Mountain Sage Community School
8th Grade Student Report
Student’s Name:
School Year: __________
Class Teacher: _________________________
Skill Areas
Personal
Development
Symbol
Symbol Key:
A = Advanced
P = Proficient
B = Basic
BB = Below Basic
FB = Far Below Basic
C = Credit
NC = No Credit
Comments:
Interacts Positively with
Peers
Controls Impulsivity
Accepts responsibility
for actions
Cooperates with
Teacher
Work Habits
Listens Attentively
Shows Initiative
Works Independently /
Stays on Task
Is Neat and Organized
Completes Homework
on Time
Mathematics
Estimation, Percents
and Factoring
Operations with
Fractions and Decimals
Algebra and Functions
Measurement and
Geometry
Statistics, Data Analysis
and Probability
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2
Skill Areas
Language Arts
SPRING
Student’s Name____________________________________ Grade 8
Comments:
Book Reports
Written Expression
Grammar / Mechanics
Comprehends Text
Reading Fluency
Technology
Participation / Effort
Achievement
Artistic Work
Speech
Singing
Drawing / Painting
Handwriting
Electives
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3
Skill Areas
Main Lesson Blocks
SPRING
Student’s Name____________________________________ Grade 8
Comments:
I.
Participation/Effort
Achievement
II.
Participation / Effort
Achievement
III.
Participation / Effort
Achievement
IV.
Participation / Effort
Achievement
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4
Skill Areas
SPRING
Student’s Name____________________________________ Grade 8
Comments:
Main Lesson
Blocks Cont’d
V.
Participation / Effort
Achievement
VI.
Participation / Effort
Achievement
VII.
Participation / Effort
Achievement
VIII.
Participation / Effort
Achievement
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5
Skill Areas
SPRING
Student’s Name____________________________________ Grade 8
Comments:
IX.
Participation / Effort
Achievement
X.
Participation / Effort
Achievement
XI.
Participation / Effort
Achievement
XII.
Participation / Effort
Achievement
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6
Student’s Name____________________________________ Grade 8
Skill Areas
Symbol Key:
A = Advanced
P = Proficient
B = Basic
BB = Below Basic
C = Credit
FB = Far Below Basic
NC = No Credit
Comments
Spanish
Teacher –
Participation
Achievement
Handwork
Teacher –
Participation
Achievement
Math
Teacher -
Participation
Achievement
Games
Teacher –
Participation
Achievement
Music
Teacher –
Participation
Achievement
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Appendix D:
Waldorf Mathematic Standards & Rubric, Grades 1 – 5
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t
Waldorf Mathematics Standards, Grade 1-5
The following contains the standards for mathematics, grades 1 - 5. A great deal of study,
research and exploration of the curricula of other Waldorf-Methods schools and national math
standards have been merged with existing program goals and objectives to produce this document.
The resulting compilation for grades 1 – 5 reflects both academic excellence and the aesthetic
enlivening sought for in Waldorf-Methods schools.
MATH STANDARDS
The curriculum standards are formatted to display both the specific skills and their corresponding
assessment scores on the same page. In this manner, teachers are able to quickly diagnose
problem areas and design lessons to address specific needs. Six mathematical domains or standards
hold the skills for each grade level.
• Number Sense
• Computation and Procedures
• Patterns and Algebra
• Data Analysis, Statistics and Probability
• Geometry
• Measurement
Each of these standards is in turn formatted in three columns. The far left column names the
specific skills for the grade level. The center numerical rubric is the quantitative score of the
student in the named skill. The rubric to the far right identifies the type of assessment utilized
in determining the student’s score.
Each grade level is preceded by a short narrative summarizing the nature of the
students’ learning and the curriculum approach of that grade level. Problem solving and
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mathematical reasoning are not named as specific strands because they do not represent a
content domain—they cut across all six strands and are needed to succeed in any of these six
domains. This format is constructed, not to reduce the importance of problem solving and
reasoning, but rather to encourage teachers to promote and establish this essential component in all
areas of mathematical study. Extra attention to problem solving practice has been addressed by
specific objectives in the Computation and Procedures strand of each grade.
ASSESSMENT
It has been observed through the 80-year history of Waldorf education and current
research in Math Pedagogy that an inundation of unquestioned, cognitive information
presented in fragmented skill drills leads to a one-sided or negative relationship with
mathematics. Attempts have been made, therefore, to instill an appreciation to the realm of
mathematics through the discovery of and interaction with interesting mathematical phenomena
from the everyday world surrounding us. This includes, but is not limited to: rhythmical
patterns in nature, musical and artistic correlations, and everyday practical experiences. These
forms of curriculum implementation do not always easily lend themselves to traditional test
forms for assessment. In addition, students in the early grades (particularly grade one) may not
be proficient enough at reading to comprehend the test directions. Therefore, for these reasons,
two additional means of assessment have been added. Below is an explanation of the forms of
assessment.
Forms of Assessment
OB Observation. Visual and auditory observation of the standard named
by the teacher or aide. Rating is an objective view of the student’s
success/ability.
LB Lesson Book entries. These are problems, exercises or constructions
that the student performs in his or her lesson books in class with no
outside help. Rating results from the teacher corrections.
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AT Assessment Test. Any quiz, exam or standardized test given to measure the student’s ability of any grade level skill.
In order for this to have an objective “baseline-of-performance” for every student, a standard
grade-level test, assessing each skill, will be administered. This document includes the
assessment test for grades 1, 3 and 5. These are representative of the tests to follow. (Note that
the test for grade 1 is administered by the teacher and based on her observations. As the tests
move through the grades, they become more individually read and written by the student.
However, it is STRONGLY felt that one test does NOT accurately represent a
student’s true ability or performance skill. A better assessment is derived from a compilation
of the rubric scores gathered from various assessments (OB, LB, and AT) administered
throughout the year. Multiple assessments require time and care taken by the teacher for
record keeping.
Quantitative Rubric Scores
4
85 - 100% of the criteria presented of the named skill performed
correctly. Mastery level.
3
60 - 84% of the criteria presented of the named skill performed
correctly. Partial Mastery level. (Falls short of full understanding.)
Student can reach mastery with additional work.
2
25 - 59% of the criteria presented of the named skill performed
correctly. Fragmented Comprehension level. (Significant gaps in
understanding.) Student may be able to reach mastery with help and
additional work.
1
Less than 24% of the criteria presented of the named skill performed
correctly. Limited Comprehension level. (Little or no understanding
of concepts involved.) Student would need considerable instruction to
achieve mastery.
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GRADE ONE
In first grade, math is taught through movement, drama, music, art, and storytelling. These
multisensory approaches enliven the subject. The qualitative aspects of whole numbers one
through twelve are introduced using simple arithmetic stories and visual imaginations, as are the
quantitative relations of numbers up to 100 using visual representations (patterns, pictures, simple
geometric forms, and models). The idea that a whole can be divided into many parts is stressed.
Manipulatives, handmade or gathered from nature, give the children an opportunity to explore
these concepts. The four arithmetic operations are presented through imaginative and concrete
experiences. The natures, uses, and qualities of the four processes (addition, subtraction,
multiplication, division) are stressed via personifications, stories, and pictures. Their
interrelatedness is important, especially the ability to move from one operation to another.
Teaching often starts with archetypal number patterns from nature. Rhythmic movement exercises
are used to strengthen the memory forces and activate the children’s wills.
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GRADE ONE
STANDARDS AND SKILLS
A. NUMBER SENSE
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
B.
RUBRIC
1
2
3
ASSESSMENT
4
OB LB A T
Rote counts to 100
Demonstrates 1:1 correspondence to 30 and labels with a number
Reads and writes 2-digit whole numbers
Breaks down a 2-digit number into ones and tens
Orders numbers to 30
Compares numbers to show greater than, less than, equal to 30
Skip counts number families 2, 3, 5, 10 to the 12th multiple
Can recite the 2, 5 and 10 times tables to the 12th multiple
Can regroup objects to show different representations of the same sum to 12

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COMPUTATION AND PROCEDURES
1. Knows addition and subtraction math facts to 12
2. Can represent on paper a sum or product to 12 in algorithmic form in a variety
of ways (e.g., 4+4, 6+2, 7+1) both horizontally and vertically
3. Can show relationship between all 4 processes by acting out number stories
with real objects or by writing an algorithm that illustrates the story
4. Knows the different “jobs” of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division
5. Can solve mentally or in writing problems using all 4 processes (up to 12)





C. PATTERNS AND ALGEBRA
1. Can continue and extend a pattern rhythmically, symbolically, in shape or
color, or numerically

D. DATA ANALYSIS, STATISTICS, AND PROBABILITY
1. With a group, can collect data and form a display and be able to indicate
greater than, less than, or equal

E. GEOMETRY
1. Can kinesthetically form a circle, a square, an oval, and a rectangle with class
2. Knows right from left
3. Can arrange objects in space according to position and direction
(e.g., near, far, below, above, up, down, left, right)
4. Can order objects by shape, volume, and size
5. Can give and follow directions about location





F. MEASUREMENT
1. Uses non-standard units to measure
2. Uses non-standard units to compare and order objects
3. Estimates quantity
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267
GRADE TWO
In second grade students largely continue and deepen the work begun in first grade. Where
first grade was the foundation, second grade is the platform upon which the higher structures will
be built.
The imaginative, personified quality which still lives strongly in the 7/8- year-old is used
to fully develop inspiring pictures, with strong visual/narrative elements, of the operations
involved in the four processes. The students are taught to differentiate between the processes and
know when to use each one as well as to be able to work simple problems of each type in their
head and on paper. (In written work, a strict orderliness should be remembered.)
The concepts and mechanics of carrying and borrowing are introduced with the use of
manipulatives, imaginative pictures, and grouping and regrouping activities. The neat columnar
writing of problems is stressed. Review and practice of previous work is performed. The ability to
write dictated and read written numbers 1-100 is firmly established before the students move on
to place value. Counting by the various multiples is secured before moving on to written
multiplication and division. In second grade, rhythmic counting is transformed into the times
tables (2s, 3s, 4s, 5s, 10s). Rhythmic and patterning work increase in sophistication, emphasizing
the aesthetic and dynamic quality of the number line through arranging number families in
various ways. Students are encouraged to consciously see order and beauty in number patterns.
Visualizations of the counting patterns are introduced—string boards, group geometric forms in
space, etc. Opening exercises can be built around number work—from group forms to simple
computation games—and can include moving more geometric forms. Word problems will
continue as students write the simple algorithm that applies. Students solve written, oral story, and
mental math problems using math concepts.
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GRADE TWO
STANDARDS AND SKILLS
A. NUMBER SENSE
RUBRIC
1 2
ASSESSMENT
3 4
1. Rote counts to 1000
2. Demonstrates understanding of numbers to the hundredth place
3. Demonstrates 1:1 correspondence to 100 and labels with a number
4. Reads and writes 3-digit whole numbers
5. Breaks down a 3-digit number into ones, tens and hundreds
6. Orders numbers to 900
7. Compares numbers to show greater than, less than, equal to 900
8. Skip counts number families 6, 9, 11 forwards and backwards to the
twelfth multiple
9. Can recite the 2, 3, 4, 5, and 10 times tables to the twelfth multiple
10. Can regroup objects to show different representations of sums to 18,
products to 48, and corresponding differences and quotients
11. Can demonstrate, using manipulatives, the concept of regrouping as used in
carrying and borrowing
OB LB
B.
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








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



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












COMPUTATION AND PROCEDURES
1. Knows addition and subtraction math facts to 18
2. Can represent on paper a sum to 18 and a product to 24 or their opposite
operations in algorithmic form in a variety of ways (e.g., 4+4, 6+2, 7+1)
both horizontally and vertically
3. Can show relationship between all 4 processes by acting out number stories
with real objects or by writing an algorithm that illustrates the story
4. Knows the different “jobs” of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division
5. Can solve mentally, up to a 2-digit +, - algorithm or on paper, 3-digit one
6. Can check addition by using subtraction and vice versa
7. Can solve mentally or on paper very simple × or ÷ fact if in 2, 3, 4, 5, 10 tables
8. Can draw a model as a problem-solving tool
9. Uses number sense to justify the reasonableness of solutions to story problems


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


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

C. PATTERNS AND ALGEBRA
1. Can continue and extend a more complex pattern rhythmically,
symbolically, in shape or color, or numerically
2. Can describe and construct patterns that show relationships among basic
arithmetic facts to 18
3. Can identify missing object or number in a given pattern

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4. Can create and solve problems using words, symbols, drawings, algorithms,
or objects

D. DATA ANALYSIS, STATISTICS, AND PROBABILITY
1. Collects and sorts a set of objects with two or three attributes
2. With a group, collects data and forms a display. Able to indicate greater
than, less than, or equal
3. Analyzes data displays by making comparisons, inferences, and predictions
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AT
GRADE TWO
STANDARDS AND SKILLS
E. GEOMETRY
RUBRIC
1 2
3
ASSESSMENT
4
1. Knows right from left
2. Can order objects by shape, volume, and size
3. Can find patterns in geometric figures
4. Recognizes shapes in different orientations and in relationship to each other
(symmetry and congruence) through form drawing
OB LB AT

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





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

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


F. MEASUREMENT
1.
2.
3.
4.
Uses non-standard units to measure length and width
Uses non-standard units to compare and order objects by length and width
Uses units of measurement in simple problem-solving situations
Estimates quantity
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GRADE THREE
In third grade, the students begin to develop a basic sense for practical math and an
appreciation for the work which numbers and the processes can do. This first practical picture of
numbers can be introduced through the work with analog clocks and calendars as well as with
counting money and making change.
All forms of counting (all number families) are firmly established. (Concerns should be
raised regarding children who are still experiencing difficulty in this area.) Likewise, basic
additive/subtractive number facts are memorized as well as the times tables (2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 11).
Also, by year’s end, place value is established and computations using multiple place value are
developed. Long addition, subtraction, and multiplication will be mastered. Subtracting from
zeroes can be introduced. Students are introduced to various units of measurement, beginning
with how the standards were derived from the human form. Length, liquid weight, and money are
taught using concrete experiences of measurement and measuring tools. Some students may find
division difficult and for them, instruction proceeds methodically. Work begins with even
quotients and moves on to remainders. Personifications are still useful. (Avoid two-digit divisors
until the mechanics of division are secure and there is some sense of estimation.) Attention is paid
to memorizing the steps and their repetitive nature, as well as keeping work neatly aligned.
Checking (proving) one process by using the reverse process continues. Continued emphasis is
placed on the importance of informal guessing and estimating. Students are encouraged to
problem solve using various strategies.
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GRADE THREE
STANDARDS AND SKILLS
A. NUMBER SENSE
RUBRIC
1
ASSESSMENT
2 3 4
1. Can read, write and order numbers to 10,000
2. Knows place value concepts. Can break down a 4-digit number into ones,
tens, hundreds and thousands
3. Compares numbers to show greater than, less than, equal to 10,000
4. Can round to tens and hundreds
5. Can recite 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10 and 11 times tables, to the 12th multiple,
forwards and backwards
6. Can regroup objects to show different representations of sums and products
to 144 and corresponding differences and quotients
B.
OB LB
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




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
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


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
COMPUTATION AND PROCEDURES
1. Can access math facts (+ and – to 18; × and ÷ to 60) as a tool for
problem solving
2. Uses paper and pencil to solve:
• 3-digit addition and subtraction problems with and without regrouping
• 3- and 4-digit multiplication problems with a 1-digit multiplier
• 2-digit multiplication problems with a 2-digit multiplier
• Simple long division with a remainder (i.e., 4 into 38 = 9R2)
3. Can check one process by using the reverse process
4. Can mentally solve 2-digit addition and subtraction problems and problems
involving multiplication and division facts through the first 6 tables
5. Can use a variety of problem-solving strategies: guess and check; solve a
simpler problem; make a model or drawing; act it out
C. PATTERNS AND ALGEBRA
1. Interprets and extends number patterns
2. Describes and constructs patterns that show relationships among basic
multiplication facts to 9 × 9
3. Finds a missing number in an equation through 100 involving any of
the 4 processes
4. Can create and solve problems using words, symbols, drawings, algorithms,
or objects
D. DATA ANALYSIS, STATISTICS, AND PROBABILITY
1. Can collect data and construct displays or simple graphs. Able to indicate
greater than, less than, or equal
2. Can analyze data displays by making comparisons, inferences, and predictions
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AT
GRADE THREE
STANDARDS AND SKILLS
RUBRIC
1
E. GEOMETRY
2
3
ASSESSMENT
4
1. Develops concepts of shape, size, symmetry, congruence, and similarity with
two and three-dimensional shapes, using form drawing where appropriate
2. Determines perimeter and area of a rectangle, pictorially and arithmetically
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F. MEASUREMENT
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Uses non-standard units to estimate and order objects and measure lengths
Uses standard units (U.S.) to estimate, measure and compare objects
Can convert liquid measurement (cups, pints and gallons) with manipulatives
Can define units of weight measure
Selects and uses appropriate units of measurement for problem-solving
Reads and writes time to the nearest minute
Counts minutes by 1s, 5s and 10s
Knows terms before and after the hour
Can read a calendar
Solves problems requiring the use of a calendar
Reads and writes money notation to $10,000
Uses money in real life situations up to $10.00 to describe equivalence and
make change
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GRADE FOUR
As a fourth grade student advances in abstract reasoning ability, the experience of the
fracturing of the whole into lawfully reconstructable parts can be explored. Fractions are
introduced for the first time. However, before fractions are introduced, the 9/10-year-old must
have a good facility for working with whole numbers using all four processes in long
form. Students will continue to refine their understanding of multiplication, division, and number
relationship, and link these to the real world. Number facts must be in place. The memorization of
the tables to 12 will be completed this year, and all third grade skills are reviewed and established.
Fractions are then introduced and brought to life through story problems, manipulatives,
illustrations, and group projects. They are taught carefully and methodically, first breaking a
whole into parts, moving from analysis to synthesis, and then introducing the concept of
numerator and denominator, and methods for expanding and contracting fractions. Problemsolving techniques/strategies are continued as are simple measurement and geometry.
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GRADE FOUR
STANDARDS AND SKILLS
A. NUMBER SENSE
RUBRIC
1
2
3
ASSESSMENT
4
WHOLE NUMBERS
1. Reads, writes and orders numbers to 100,000
2. Has secure understanding of place value
3. Rounds a whole number to tens, hundreds, or thousands place
4. Can illustrate practical application or advantage for rounding
5. Writes numbers from least to greatest through 10,000
6. Can use notational symbols < >
7. Can recite times tables through 12, to the 12th multiple, forwards and
backwards
8. Can identify a prime number
9. Recognizes factors and multiples of 1-12 through 144
FRACTIONS
10. Can represent fractions through the use of numerals, manipulatives and
drawings
11. Can build one whole using fraction pieces to twelfths
12. Understands parts of a fraction — numerator and denominator
13. Can read fractions
14. Can compare fractions and use “greater than” and “less than”
15. Knows the value equivalencies of simple fractions
16. Can identify a common denominator
17. Can identify a mixed number
18. Can identify an improper fraction
B.
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COMPUTATION AND PROCEDURES
1. Can access all math facts as a tool for problem solving
2. Uses a variety of problem-solving strategies:
• Guess and check
• Solve a simpler model
• Work backwards
• Make a table or graph
• Make a model or drawing
• Act it out
3. Can check one process by using the reverse process
4. Can select and use the appropriate method to solve a problem (mental math,
estimation, paper and pencil) and choose the operation needed
5. Uses paper and pencil to solve:
WHOLE NUMBERS
• Addition and subtraction of 4-digit numbers with regrouping
• Subtraction from zeroes
• 3-digit multiplication problems with a 3-digit multiplier
• Long division problems with 1-digit divisors with remainders
• Shows clear alignment of long multiplication and division problems
on a page
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GRADE FOUR
STANDARDS AND SKILLS
FRACTIONS
• Addition and subtraction of fractions with common denominators
• Establishes a simple common denominator
6. Can mentally solve problems involving all math facts
7. Uses mental estimation
RUBRIC
1 2
3
ASSESSMENT
4
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C. PATTERNS AND ALGEBRA
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2.
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4.
Interprets, extends, and creates number patterns
Describes and constructs patterns that show relationships among all math facts
Explains how a change in one quantity can produce change in another
Finds a missing number in an equation involving any of the 4 processes
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D. DATA ANALYSIS, STATISTICS, AND PROBABILITY
1. Can collect data and construct displays (including graphs, tables, charts)
to represent it
2. Can analyze data displays by making comparisons, inferences, and predictions
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E. GEOMETRY
1. Develops concepts of shape, size, symmetry, congruence, and similarity with
two and three-dimensional shapes, using form drawing where appropriate
2. Determines the area and perimeter of right angled polygons using
physical models, pictures or arithmetic
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F. MEASUREMENT
1. Measures objects to nearest ½ inch
2. Uses a ruler to convert units of measurement: inches to feet, feet to yards,
centimeters to meters
3. Measures lengths in a problem-solving situation
4. Selects and uses appropriate units of measurement for problem-solving
5. Converts time measurements: seconds to minutes to hours to days
6. Calculates with time, adding and subtracting
7. Uses money in real life situations up to $100 to compute change
8. Describes the fractional equivalencies of a dollar
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GRADE FIVE
Fifth grade is the great period of review and consolidation. The curriculum includes all the
skills gained so far. The student needs to have all times tables in place and be comfortable doing
mental math using simple facts. They must be proficient in all operations with whole numbers
and, by the end of the year, with fractions. Similarly, the students in need of ongoing remediation
must have a firm sense that they can handle the challenges of work presented to them.
The general theme in fifth grade is fractions. The goal is that a student is able to move
among whole numbers, common fractions, and decimal fractions, percents, ratios, and
proportions, and to understand their relationship. All calculations involving both common and
decimal fractions should be able to be done freely and easily. Calculations with inverse operations
and reciprocals, brain twisters, humorous stories, and tough problems to crack, all arouse an
appetite for discovery and train active forces of thinking.
In addition to reviewing all phases of mathematics introduced heretofore, extensive mental math,
using sets and distribution will be worked with. A high degree of mastery with all types of
computation is the goal. The communicative and associative properties can be brought as well as
estimation as a tool.
The study of geometry is based on observation and imagination. The relationships of
various elements of geometric form are rendered freely, without the use of instruments. Pictures
of ancient Egypt/Chaldean geometry, and then Greek, are brought, as well as the relationship of
area and perimeter (i.e., the square being the most efficient area/perimeter). The four-, six-, and
eightfold divisions of the circle are made imaginatively, though tools may be introduced via the
ancient compass (string and stick) on sand. The basic language of geometry—line, point, segment,
angle, intersection, parallel, circle, polygon, etc.—is introduced. Radius, diameter, and
circumference are defined. The Pythagorean theorem is introduced with the example of the
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equilateral right triangle. This study proceeds in a vivid manner by having students cut the proper
triangles out of paper and prove by observation. The biography of Pythagoras and other Greek
geometers may be told.
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GRADE FIVE
STANDARDS and SKILLS
A. NUMBER SENSE
RUBRIC
1 2 3
ASSESSMENT
4
WHOLE NUMBERS
1. Reads, writes and orders numbers through the billions
2. Can round or estimate any whole number to a specific place
3. Can illustrate practical application or advantage for rounding
4. Can use notational symbols < >
5. Can recite times tables through 12, to the 12th multiple,
forwards and backwards
6. Recognizes and knows factors and multiples of 1-12 through 144
7. Knows prime and square numbers through 50
FRACTIONS
8. Understands tenths and hundredths place of fractions
9. Can place common fractions in sequential order
10. Knows the value equivalencies of fractions
11. Can reduce and expand fractions using manipulatives and numerals
12. Can establish common denominators
13. Can change mixed numbers to improper fractions
14. Can change improper fractions to mixed numbers
DECIMALS
15. Can identify decimal place value to tenths, hundredths, thousandths
16. Can order decimals
17. Can change fractions to decimals and back
18. Can change decimals to fractions and back
B.
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COMPUTATION AND PROCEDURES
1. Can access all math facts previously memorized
2. Can use a variety of problem-solving strategies:
• Guess and check
• Solve a simpler model
• Work backwards
• Make a table or graph
• Make a model or drawing
3. Can check one process by using the reverse process
4. Can select and use the appropriate method to solve a problem (mental math,
estimation, paper and pencil) and choose the operation needed
5. Uses paper and pencil to solve:
WHOLE NUMBERS
• Addition and subtraction of 4-digit numbers with regrouping
• Subtraction from zeroes
• 3-digit multiplication problems with 3-digit multiplier
• Long division problems with two-digit divisors with remainders
• Show clear alignment of long division problems on a page
FRACTIONS
• Addition and subtraction of simple fractions and mixed numbers
• Regrouping with fractions and mixed numbers
• Multiplication and division of simple fractions and mixed numbers
• Reducing a fraction to lowest Mountain
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GRADE FIVE
STANDARDS AND SKILLS
DECIMALS
• Problems involving all four processes with decimal fractions
6. Can mentally solve problems involving learned math facts and squares
7. Uses mental estimation
RUBRIC
1
2
3
ASSESSMENT
4
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C. PATTERNS AND ALGEBRA
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
Interprets, extends, and creates number patterns
Describes and constructs a math pattern using previously learned math facts
Explains how a change in one quantity can produce change in another
Can identify the rule when given pairs of numbers with a common function
Can find a missing number in an algorithm involving any of the four processes
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D. DATA ANALYSIS, STATISTICS, AND PROBABILITY
1. Can collect data and construct displays (including graphs, tables, charts and
diagrams) to represent it
2. Can analyze data displays by making comparisons, inferences, and predictions
3. Can define and calculate averages
4. Uses sampling to make probability decisions and to predict possible outcome
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E. GEOMETRY
1. Draws geometric shapes freehand
2. Imaginatively divides a circle (1/4s, 1/6s, 1/8s)
3. Recognizes different orientations of shapes in relationship to each other
(symmetry and congruence)
4. Calculates perimeter of any polygon using whole numbers and “like” fractions
5. Calculates the area of any rectangle or triangle using standard and
nonstandard measurement
6. Can apply the relationship of area/perimeter
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F. MEASUREMENT
1. Uses ruler and yardstick to measure classroom objects to the nearest ¼ inch
2. Comprehends (and problem solves) simple standard length measurements,
including conversions (inches, feet, yards, miles)
3. Comprehends (and problem solves) simple standard weight measurements,
including conversions (ounces, pounds, tons)
4. Comprehends (and problem solves) simple standard capacity measurements,
including conversions (ounces, cups, pints, quarts, gallons)
5. Comprehends (and problem solves) simple standard units of time,
including conversions (seconds, minutes, hours, days, months, years)
6. Comprehends definitions of basic metric length, mass, and capacity terms
(mm, cm, m, km; mg, g, kg; l, ml)
7. Proficiently adds and subtracts time
8. Uses money in real life situations to compute change and describe
equivalencies
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Appendix E:
Waldorf Language Arts Standards & Rubric, Grades 1 – 5
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Language Arts Standards, Grades 1-5
GRADE ONE
READING
The Waldorf-inspired approach to reading recapitulates the course of reading in human
history. The abstract symbols that we know as letters were derived from pictographs of ancient
peoples representing scenes from real life. First graders similarly begin their reading process by
discovering letters from forms in pictures drawn from stories told by their teacher (e.g.: an “S”
may be derived from a curling hissing snake). From this point, however, the Waldorf-inspired
approach differs greatly from the traditional methods of reading instruction in which reading goes
from detail to generalization, letter to word, word to sentence, etc. The Waldorf-inspired method
reverses this. Rather than proceed from the detail to the general, step by step, Waldorf-inspired
reading is a process of drawing out detail from the general concept. A rich array of verses, fairy
tales and folk stories from around the world are told in a vivid and enlivened way. Many of these
verses and stories are memorized and dramatized by the students who use them as the content for
their written books. These books become their first readers.
Students in Waldorf-inspired methodology will be exposed to less decoding and word
attack instruction and may even test lower in initial reading evaluations than students in more
traditional approaches. However what is encouraged from the beginning is the child’s inherent
interest in life and ability to find meaning in their written language. Understanding and
comprehension are a natural result. From the story, to the picture, to the sentence, to the word,
children develop a love for language, putting all aspects together as a whole. The skill of learning
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to read will emerge out of the student’s inner experience of pictorial representation and image
making. This process is accompanied by phonetic work in songs, poems and games which help
establish a joyful and living experience of language.
The Waldorf-inspired curriculum’s use of high quality literature and verse establishes a rich
oral vocabulary and a story comprehension beyond that which could be provided by watered-down
word family and simple vocabulary texts.
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CURRICULUM STANDARDS
DEMONONSTRATIONS OF STANDARDS
1 . Listens to and experiences a wide range of literature
from rich, powerful and diverse archetypal fairy and folk
tales, verses and songs from around the world (e.g.:
Germany, Russia, Japan, Norway, India, Ireland and
Africa).
• Show enthusiasm and attentive behavior while
listening to the stories.
2. Comprehends and inwardly interprets the content of the • Retell the story.
story.
• Talk to others about the story, participate in discussions.
• Create projects such as drawings, paintings, and models
related to the story.
• Dramatize the story through acting and puppetry.
• Use pictures to make predictions.
• Select favorite stories.
3. Develops proficiency in beginning reading skills and
strategies appropriate to the pace of Waldorf-inspired
methodology.
• Show knowledge of how print is organized and read.
• Read from left to right and top to bottom.
• Identify the front and back of a book.
• Match some spoken words with print.
• Identify upper case letter names, shapes and sounds.
• Identify some high frequency words.
• Demonstrate knowledge of phonemic awareness
• Identify beginning, middle and ending sounds of words.
• Clap syllables in words and sentences.
• Orally recognize rhyming words.
• Recognize words that start and end the same.
• Substitute words in a rhyming pattern.
• Blend sounds into words.
• Apply knowledge of letter-sound correspondences.
• Recognize some word families.
• Read unknown words using meaning cues (pictures,
knowledge of the story, etc.).
• Show knowledge of decoding strategies (sound out
words, compare similar words, break words into smaller
words).
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WRITING
Like the current language experience approach to reading in mainstream education, Waldorf-inspired
students learn to read through their own writing. Therefore a strong emphasis is placed on the writing process.
Unique to the Waldorf-inspired curriculum is form-drawing. Children begin by walking and gesturing the two
basic forms, the straight line and the curve. These are carefully brought to the actual process of writing. The
students then proceed to practice a diverse array of patterns, utilizing the line and curve which enhances their
ability to write letters and measure spatial relationships used in writing.
After several form drawing lessons, the students will make their own books featuring simple sentences
and colorful illustrations, from the verses and stories told to them by their teacher.
CURRICULUM STANDARDS
1. Participates in form drawing instruction.
DEMONONSTRATIONS OF STANDARDS
• Walk and gesture straight lines and curves.
• Draw straight lines and curves and patterns that arise
from combining these.
2. Begins to assimilate the necessary skills for writing.
3. Begins to organize thoughts and information for
writing.
• Form letters out of practice with form drawing.
• Copy written words from verses and story segments.
• Begin to organize ideas for simple sentences.
• Begin to include details when brainstorming for writing.
4. Uses writing to communicate.
• Read and explain own drawings and writings.
• Copy sentences from stories or verses.
• Dictate own story or contribute to group story.
5. Begins to use the appropriate conventions of written
language.
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Write using a left to right, top to bottom progression.
Write own name.
Use letters to write and copy.
Understand the meaning of a sentence.
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SPEAKING/LISTENING
Waldorf-inspired instruction relies heavily on oral presentation. The oral tradition is used for its ability to
develop rich vocabulary and deepened inner comprehension as well as its ability to expand the listening and
perceiving capacities of the student. Both the content of the speech and the articulation are conscientiously
brought into the daily lessons.
CURRICULUM STANDARDS
DEMONONSTRATIONS OF STANDARDS
1. Uses daily speech to develop awareness and
skills.
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2. Uses listening to develop awareness and skills,
through the daily listening to quality folk
literature.
Recognize rhythms and patterns of language in
verses.
Develop correct pronunciation.
Learn to speak clearly and audibly.
Build a rich resource of words.
Use an increasingly broad vocabulary.
Build comprehension through retelling of stories.
Participate in creative dramatics and choral
speaking.
Learn to respectfully take turns when speaking.
Express ideas orally in complete sentences.
Begin to develop higher thinking skills through
the retelling of stories (e.g.: sequencing,
inferring and deducting).
• Show increased vocabulary and conceptual
comprehension.
• Enhance pictorial thinking.
• Develop an enthusiasm for the oral tradition.
• Follow simple directions.
• Recite short poems, rhymes, songs and stories
with repeated patterns.
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GRADE TWO
READING
Reading instruction continues with the oral presentation of stories and verses from which the children make
their own readers. A stronger emphasis is given in this second year to word attack and decoding strategies. The
oral tradition continues to allow the student to utilize a higher level vocabulary and deeper conceptual
comprehension in their work than simplified lower grade texts and readers allow. Animal fables and legendary
tales of virtuous and courageous deeds from cultures around the world are studied.
CURRICULUM STANDARDS
DEMONONSTRATIONS OF STANDARDS
1. Listens to and experiences a wide range of
literature from the above mentioned sources.
• Show enthusiasm and attentive behavior while
listening to the stories.
2. Comprehends and inwardly interprets the content
of the story. Starts to read simple student or
teacher made books
• Respond to what has been heard or read to
develop understanding.
• Retell stories and events using beginning, middle
and end.
• Describe and identify the setting, characters or
events.
• Recognize topic or main idea.
• Relate previous experiences to what is heard.
• Make predictions about the content.
• Restate ideas from the text.
3. Develops proficiency in beginning reading skills
and strategies appropriate to the pace of
Waldorf-inspired methodology.
• Read aloud familiar materials of the quality and
complexity illustrated in grade appropriate
materials.
• Use knowledge of phonemic awareness and
phonics to blend sounds for more complex words.
• Change beginning, middle and ending sounds of
words to make new words.
• Use decoding strategies, i.e.: sounding out words,
comparing similar words, breaking words into
smaller words.
• Integrate knowledge of phonics, meaning clues
and language structure when reading.
• Use conventions of print (e.g.: capitals and
periods) to facilitate oral reading.
• Have rhythm breathing and intonation that
sounds like natural speech.
• Use strategies such as rereading, cross checking
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and self-correcting to facilitate reading.
WRITING
Writing in the second grade continues to be centered around the children’s handmade books and their
form drawing. Children start to write their own sentences for these books as well as copying what the teacher has
written. Simple punctuation and lower case/upper case distinctions are introduced. Cursive is usually brought in
the final term of the year. Form drawing patterns become more challenging and continue to improve the spatial
relationships and legibility required in the writing process.
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CURRICULUM STANDARDS
DEMONONSTRATIONS OF STANDARDS
1. Participates in form drawing instruction.
• Draw complicated patterns of straight and curves
lines
• Begin to draw and understand symmetrical
patterns.
2. Continues to assimilate the necessary skills for
writing.
• Form upper and lower case print and cursive
letters.
• Write words both on their own as well as those
copied from the board or dictation.
3. Begins to organize thoughts and information for
writing and continues to use writing for
communication.
• Organize ideas into sentences and simple
paragraphs.
• Write simple paragraphs from told stories or
from life experiences. These paragraphs include
appropriate details and stay within the assigned
topic.
• Self correct spelling of familiar high-frequency
words.
• Correct simple punctuation and capitalization
4. Begins to use, with some assistance, appropriate
conventions of written language.
• Use a simple, informative sentence out of the
appreciation for the word and what is being
learned.
• Capitalize the first word in a sentence and the
pronoun “I.”
• Use correct punctuation at the end of a simple
statement and the end of a simple question.
• Be attentive to proper margins, indentations and
the appearance of the page.
• Use conventional spelling for high frequency
words and those words with regular spelling
patterns.
• Be able to spell common sight words, basic
reading vocabulary words and word families.
• Write from dictations of simple sentences
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SPEAKING/LISTENING
The students’ attentive listening span continues to improve as the stories, verses and games become
more complicated. Clear articulation is individually encouraged through choral recitation of poetry verses, and
dramatizations from the language blocks are still the main vehicle for student practice. During the retelling and
discussion of the lesson content, respectful listening to others’ points of view is emphasized.
CURRICULUM STANDARDS
DEMONONSTRATIONS OF STANDARDS
1. Uses daily speech to develop awareness and
skills.
• Speak with clear pronunciation and enunciation.
• Use increasingly descriptive oral vocabulary.
• Begin to ask questions for understanding and
respond to the questions of others.
• Begin to participate in group discussions.
• Participate in choral reading, recitation of
rhymes, poems, songs and stories.
• Participate in dramatics.
• Retell stories in logical order.
• Create oral stories to share with others.
2. Uses daily listening to develop awareness and
skills.
• Listen responsively and respectfully.
• Follow simple two- to three-step directions.
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GRADE THREE
READING
The students continue to read from their own books, which they make from content given orally from the
teacher. However, the narrative and compositional writing requirements for their books are increased. More
published materials, both fictional and expository, are utilized.
Legends, native tales and stories about the origins of living on the earth; farming, gardening, house building,
animal husbandry, etc., are studied.
CURRICULUM STANDARDS
DEMONONSTRATIONS OF STANDARDS
1. Listens to and reads from a diverse collection of
texts and stories.
2. Reads, comprehends and inwardly interprets a
wide range of materials appropriate to the grade
level.
3. Is proficient in basic reading skills and strategies
and continues to develop vocabulary and
fluency in reading.
• Read fiction, including self-selected and teacher
selected traditional and contemporary literature
from a variety of cultures.
• Read and respond to narrative materials to
develop understanding.
• Make, confirm or reverse predictions.
• Exact significant information about settings,
characters and events.
• Identify the problem or solution.
• Recognize topic, main idea and supporting
details.
• Relate what is read to prior knowledge and
experience.
• Ask and answer questions.
• Restate and summarize information.
• Read aloud accurately, familiar materials of the
quality and complexity illustrated in grade appropriate
materials.
• Use a range of cueing systems, e.g.: phonics,
meaning, content, to determine pronunciation and
meanings.
• Use all decoding strategies mentioned in grade two
including looking for word parts/affixes.
• Use a rhythm, pace and intonation that sounds like
natural speech.
• Use conventions of print, including commas, to
facilitate oral reading.
• Use strategies such as rereading, monitoring,
checking, predicting and confirming and self correcting
to facilitate reading.
• Continue to develop vocabulary.
• Determine the meaning of unknown words using
context and dictionaries.
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WRITING
Students continue in their form drawing instruction and in the making of their own books. Narrative and
compositional writing requirements are increased. Students are introduced to sentence structure, simple
paragraphing, all punctuation markings, beginning grammar, and use of reference and research material.
CURRICULUM STANDARDS
1. Increases proficiency in form drawing.
DEMONONSTRATIONS OF STANDARDS
• Continue drawing complex patterns of straight
and curved lines.
• Draw mirror forms in four areas of 2-D space.
2. Begins to organize thoughts and information for
writing.
3. Uses writing to communicate for a variety of
purposes.
4. Uses appropriate conventions of written language
which include grammar, spelling, punctuation,
language usage, capitalization, legibility,
sentence structure and paragraphing.
•
•
•
•
•
Organize ideas for writing.
Include appropriate facts and details.
Stay with the assigned topic.
Begin to edit and correct spelling.
Begin to edit for appropriate capitalization and
punctuation.
• Begin to revise work to further develop the story.
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Write to tell a story.
Include setting, characters and events.
Begin to use dialogue.
Include beginning, middle and end.
Maintain focus.
Write to inform reader.
Reflect literal understanding of the topic.
Organize content.
Include appropriate facts and details.
Use descriptive words.
Use efficiency of expression.
• Spell correctly high frequency words on third
grade level spelling lists.
• Spell using continued phonic work and encoding
skills.
• Use complete sentences, both simple and
compound.
• Use paragraphs to organize information and
ideas.
• Capitalize all proper nouns and words at the
beginning of a sentence, use correct punctuation
at the end of a sentence.
• Use commas correctly in the greetings and
closures in a letter and with dates and words in a
series.
• Identify nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs and
use them correctly in a sentence.
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SPEAKING/LISTENING
Students will further develop and expand their speaking skills through choral and individual speaking of the
memorization of poetry, verse and selections from the lesson content mentioned in the literature section.
Dramatizations and class discussions continue with the emphasis on respectful listening.
CURRICULUM STANDARDS
DEMONONSTRATIONS OF STANDARDS
1. Uses daily speech to develop awareness and
skills.
• Speak clearly and audibly.
• Use descriptive and oral vocabulary.
• Use appropriate grammar and word choice when
speaking.
• Ask appropriate questions to gain information
and maintain or clarify understanding.
• Respond to the questions of others.
• Summarize information shared orally by others.
• Clarify and explain words and ideas orally.
• Contribute to group discussions.
• Use increasingly complex sentence structure in
oral communications.
2. Uses daily listening to develop awareness and
skills.
•
•
•
•
Listen responsively and respectfully.
Paraphrase and summarize what has been heard.
Follow oral directions with three or four steps.
Understand others’ perspectives and points of
view.
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GRADE FOUR
READING
Students continue to expand and develop their comprehension and word attack skills through the writing of
narratives and compositions for their self-made books. In addition, regular library use, recreational reading,
book reports and reference research become a part of the curriculum.
Mythologies and legends of the Norse and Teutonic Peoples of pre-Christian Europe and Celtic legends,
and stories from California history are also studied.
CURRICULUM STANDARDS
DEMONONSTRATIONS OF STANDARDS
1. Listens to and reads a wide range of literature
from the suggest fourth grade curriculum and
other materials of the quality suggested in the
reading list.
• Listen attentively to stories told in class.
• Read both fiction from a variety of cultures and
non-fiction which have been self and teacher
selected.
2. Reads, comprehends and evaluates quality
materials appropriate to the grade level.
•
•
•
•
•
3. Is proficient in reading skills and strategies and
continues to develop vocabulary and fluency in
reading.
• Read aloud accurately familiar materials of the
quality and complexity illustrated in grade level
appropriate text.
• Self correct when subsequent reading indicates
an earlier miscue.
• Use a range of cueing systems, e.g., letter-sound
correspondences (phonics), meaning, grammar,
and overall context to determine pronunciation
and meanings.
• Use a rhythm, pace and intonation that sounds
like natural speech.
• Continue to develop vocabulary.
• Determine the meaning on unknown words,
using context, glossaries and dictionaries.
Respond to fiction using evaluative processes.
Demonstrate an understanding of the text.
Make, confirm and revise predictions.
Relate what is read to prior knowledge.
Extract appropriate, significant information about
events, characters and settings.
• Select a favorite author.
• Put ideas in own words.
• State main idea in material read or heard and the
significant details in his/her own words.
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WRITING
Students continue to develop and expand their writing skills through the making of their own expository and
creative books. Form drawing continues. New lessons on styles of writing, letter writing, sentence types and
parts of speech are introduced. Spelling skills are increased through continued work on: phonetic encoding and
syllabicating, proofreading, dictionary use and formal vocabulary work.
CURRICULUM STANDARDS
DEMONONSTRATIONS OF STANDARDS
1. Participates in form drawing instruction.
• Draw complicated forms of curved and straight
lines that integrate all reversibles and symmetries.
• Draw more complicated forms of
metamorphosis.
2. Organizes thoughts and information for writing,
develops drafts, edits and revises work.
3. Writes effectively for a variety of purposes.
• Generate and organize ideas for writing.
• Include appropriate facts and details.
• Revise work by combining sentences, adding
details to support the content, and adding or
changing work to make the meaning clear to the
reader.
• Proofread writing for misspelled words using
dictionaries when necessary.
• Write to inform the reader.
• Maintain a focus throughout a piece of writing
• Provide appropriate facts and details to
accommodate the information need of the reader.
• Organize the writing so that the reader can easily
follow what is read.
• Write to tell a story both narrative and
biographical.
• Outline the main ideas and organize the writing.
Has a sense of narrative development.
• Use dialogue appropriately.
• Use well chosen detail to develop character,
setting and/or plot.
• Provide an engaging beginning that establishes
the situation, moves through sequence of events
and concludes in a logical way.
• Write to describe and express ideas.
• Explore new ideas and/or observations.
• Orient reader and use detail to elaborate on ideas.
• Exhibit clear thinking.
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CURRICULUM STANDARDS
DEMONONSTRATIONS OF STANDARDS
4. Uses appropriate conventions of written language
which include grammar, spelling, punctuation,
language usage, capitalization, legibility, sentence
structure and paragraphing.
• Use complete sentences.
• Use a variety of sentence structures with
appropriate capitalization and punctuation.
• Use paragraphs to organize information and
ideas.
• Understand declarative, interrogative,
exclamatory and imperative sentences.
• Understand the characteristics of nouns, verbs,
adjectives and adverbs.
• Use conventional spelling by:
> Referring to resources when needed.
> Working with phonetic encoding and
syllabicating.
> Working with grade level spelling words.
> Using an expanded vocabulary.
> Speaking/Listening
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SPEAKING/LISTENING
Students will continue to develop and expand their diction, pronunciation and enunciation through individual
and choral speaking and dramatization. Alternative verse and poetry will be used to strengthen a sense of
majesty of language. Respectful listening to others’ perspectives during instructional lessons is encouraged.
CURRICULUM STANDARDS
DEMONONSTRATIONS OF STANDARDS
1. Listens, understands and speaks effectively in
both formal and informal situations, using
appropriate conventions of language to
communicate these skills.
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Ask appropriate questions and respond to the
questions of others.
Use appropriate grammar, word choice, and
pacing during oral presentations.
Paraphrase and summarize to increase
understanding.
Listen responsively and respectfully to others’
points of view.
Use clear and specific language to communicate
ideas.
Use language and gestures expressively.
Participate in choral and individual recitations as
well as dramatizations.
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GRADE FIVE
READING
In addition to the continued making of their own texts and books, students further develop and expand their
reading skills through: recreational reading, the study of novels and biographies, increased reference and library
requirements and formal content area vocabulary instruction.
Stories from ancient India and Persia (e.g.: The Ramayana, Buddha and Zarathustra); ancient Babylonian,
Chaldean and Egyptian myths (e.g.: Isis and Osiris and Gilgamesh); ancient Greek myths (e.g.: Prometheus,
Odyssey and Alexander the Great); stories of the plant world—Botany.
CURRICULUM STANDARDS
DEMONONSTRATIONS OF STANDARDS
1. Listens to and reads a wide range of literature
from the fifth grade curriculum and other
materials of the quality suggested in the reading
list.
• Listen attentively to the stories told in class.
• Read both fiction from a variety of cultures and
non-fiction which have been self and teacher
selected.
2. Reads, comprehends, interprets and evaluates
quality materials appropriate to the grade level.
• Demonstrate a thorough understanding of the
text.
• Make, confirm and revise predictions.
• Identify recurring themes.
• Extract appropriate and significant information
about events, characters and settings.
• Identify characteristics of genres.
• State main ideas and significant details
3. Proficient in reading skills and strategies and
continues to develop vocabulary and fluency in
reading.
• Read aloud accurately familiar materials of the
quality and complexity illustrated in grade level
appropriate text.
• Self correct when subsequent reading indicates
an earlier miscue.
• Use a range of cueing systems, e.g., letter-sound
correspondences (phonics), meaning, grammar,
and overall context to determine pronunciation
and meanings.
• Use a rhythm, pace and intonation that sounds
like natural speech.
• Continue to develop vocabulary.
• Determine the meaning of unknown words, using
context, glossaries and dictionaries.
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WRITING
Students continue to develop and expand their writing skills through the making of their own expository texts
and creative writing assignments. Form drawing continues. Grammatical study is increased to include all parts
of speech, active and passive voices and simple and compound sentences. Increased emphasis is placed on
learning to outline main ideas and sequence supporting details. Narrative writing from history continues. New
lessons are given on learning to write research reports and business letters.
CURRICULUM STANDARDS
DEMONONSTRATIONS OF STANDARDS
1. Participates in form drawing instruction.
• Draw complex forms of interweaving curved and
straight lines that “braid together.”
2. Organizes thoughts and information for writing,
develops drafts, edits and revises work.
• Generate and organize ideas for writing.
• Include appropriate facts and details.
• Revise work by combining sentences, adding
details to support the content, and adding or
changing work to make the meaning clear to the
reader.
• Proofread his or her own writing or the writing of
others, using dictionaries.
3. Writes effectively for a variety of purposes and
audiences.
• Provide appropriate facts and details from ore
than one source to develop the subject.
• Provide an engaging beginning that establishes
the situation, moves through the sequence of
events and concludes in a logical way.
• Orient the reader and use relevant and wellchosen detail to elaborate on ideas.
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SPEAKING/LISTENING
Aural memory, diction, pronunciation, enunciation and expression continue to develop through individual
choral speaking from selections and verses of the history lessons. Dramatizations continue and at least one
formal performance to the public is given. Respect, patience and thoughtfulness in listening to others is
encouraged in group discussions and in daily interaction.
CURRICULUM STANDARDS
1. Listens, understands, evaluates and speaks
effectively in both formal and informal situations,
using the appropriate conventions of language to
communicate ideas.
EARTH SCIENCES
DEMONONSTRATIONS OF STANDARDS
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Ask appropriate questions and respond to the
questions of others.
Use appropriate grammar, word choice, and
pacing during oral presentations.
Paraphrase and summarize to increase
understanding.
Listen responsively and respectfully to others’
points of view.
Use clear and specific language to communicate
ideas to the intended audience.
Use language and gestures expressively.
Participate in choral and individual recitation as
well as dramatization.
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Appendix F:
Compassionate Communication
& Waldorf Schools
By John Cunningham
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C OMPASSIONATE
C OMMUNICATION
AND
W ALDORF
S CHOOLS
By
John Cunningham
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“Compassion is the radicalism of our age.”
His Holiness the Dalai Lama
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INTRODUCING COMPASSIONATE COMMUNICATION
Common Ground
The purpose of this booklet is to introduce the practice of
Compassionate Communication. I hope to show some of the ways
that this practice can promote understanding and compassion within
our Waldorf School communities.
Waldorf education has been a central part of my life for over
twenty-five years as a parent, class teacher and AWSNA volunteer.
I'm devoted to seeing this education thrive for the sake of our
children and have met many other people over the years who share
this commitment.
Each of us brings our unique talents, abilities, goals and
aspirations into our communities and we hope to find ways to
contribute and participate. Moment by moment we are doing the
best we can to the best of our ability and we are drawn together by
our common commitment and vision for the children. In that we are
all alike.
Unfortunately, sometimes our diverse backgrounds lead us to
differ on how to move forward in creating or sustaining our schools;
or through miscommunication and misunderstanding, our wellintended initiatives go awry.
Spectator Languaging
In those situations, much of our habitual languaging lets us
down. Rather than improving the situation, it in fact contributes to
further misunderstanding. The languaging I am referring to “traps us
in a world of ideas about rightness and wrongness–a world of
judgments. When we speak this language, we judge others and their
behavior while preoccupying ourselves with who’s good, bad, normal,
abnormal, responsible, irresponsible, etc.” (Rosenberg) Blame,
criticism, labels, diagnoses and comparisons are various and
common ways we judge one another.
These ways of communicating are referred to as life-alienating,
analytical or demand-based. Each term highlights a particular
quality. For me, I find it helpful to refer to this way of communicating
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as Spectator Languaging. The experience of a spectator is one of
otherness, isolation and duality. From our spectator consciousness,
we form judgments of others. Tragically, this spectator languaging is
creating a desperate shortage of understanding in the world.
In our schools, this languaging interferes with our intentions
around working together, embracing differences and honoring the
individual gifts of each. Too often, it takes its toll.
Does this languaging serve us? Does it serve our
school communities? Do we have any other choice?
Participatory Languaging
Three years ago I began learning a new model of communication
most commonly known as Nonviolent Communication, or
Compassionate Communication, the term I am using here.
Compassionate Communication acknowledges Spectator languaging
and gives us the freedom and choice to respond in a different way, a
way that fosters connection. This alternative is called Participatory
Languaging. It can help us unite in our shared commitments,
honoring each person's voice, despite our unique backgrounds.
Participatory Languaging focuses on getting clarity on four key
elements of communication: observation, feelings, needs and requests.
We are asked to carefully observe specific behaviors or situations
that are affecting us, sense what feelings are arising, identify the
needs at the root of those feelings, and make clear requests to
address
those needs.
Rather
than analyzing
what the problem is,
EMPATHY
, SELF
-EMPATHY
& COMPASSION
implying who's fault it is, or devising strategies to get others to
change their behavior or thinking, we focus on what is being
observed, felt, and needed. We seek to connect rather than correct.
Imagine having the ability to respond to blame, judgment, or
criticism by ‘seeing’ them as the tragic expressions of unmet needs.
Imagine being able to stay connected and in process with others
even when emotions flare up. Imagine this becoming possible simply
through shifting your languaging and focus of attention. Each of us
can do this. Furthermore, as we develop this capacity, we come to
see ourselves and others in a new light, a wrong-free light, and it
becomes possible to warm our interactions with greater compassion.
Developing this capacity, which we call empathy, is the practice of
Compassionate Communication.
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Empathy
What is empathy? We know it is of recent origin, entering the
English language in 1912. Baruch Urieli, co-author of Learning to
Experience the Etheric: Empathy, the After-Image and a New Social
Ethic, describes empathy as the "interest in and compassion for our
fellow human beings. It enables us to extend our own inner being
into that of the other person and directly experience something of
his essential nature.” He remarks that it was during the 1950s that
the American psychologist Carl Rogers first used the term to cognize
this new faculty emerging in the younger generation.
Dr. Marshall Rosenberg, who worked briefly with Rogers as a
graduate student, went on to devote his life to developing the
languaging and practice of empathy that forms the basis of
Compassionate Communication. Dr. Rosenberg’s book, Nonviolent
Communication: A Language of Compassion, has now been
translated into over ten languages.
The world is in an empathy crisis. Everywhere I travel I meet
individuals who are longing to be understood, to receive some
empathy for what it’s like to be alive. Teachers need empathy for the
enormous tasks they take up for our children. Parents need empathy
for the challenges they face parenting in the modern world.
Administrators and board members need empathy for the
overwhelming needs they see in the schools and the limits of time,
resources and support they might be experiencing. Children need
empathy for all that comes up for them in the course of growing up.
It is my hope that this booklet enlivens the activity of empathy and
compassionate communication within our Waldorf schools.
“This quality of inner interest, which demands a kind of
‘turning’ toward another, is to be found in its most archetypal form
in Parzival’s words, ‘Uncle, what is it that ails thee?’ Whenever
one human being is willing to take an active interest in the
existence and destiny of another, to turn toward him, a glimmer of
Parzival’s question breaks through and enables the person asking
the question to extend part of his own being beyond its usual
boundaries.” Baruch Urieli, Learning to Experience the Etheric World
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PARTICIPATORY LANGUAGING & CONSCIOUSNESS:
FOSTERING UNDERSTANDING & PARTNERSHIP
“The awakening through the soul of the other begins when
attention is directed not only to the contents of another’s words
but to the soul gesture and soul movement which precedes the
speaking.”
Johannes Tautz, The Meditative Life of the Teacher
OBSERVATIONS
•
•
•
•
•
•
FEELINGS
NEEDS
REQUESTS
Differentiate from evaluations.
The stimulus, not the cause of my reaction.
Factual, observable phenomena.
What a video camera might record.
Establishes a common ground.
Remain open to clarification
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Differentiate from thoughts.
Thoughts interpret; feelings inform.
Feelings are messages that point to our needs.
We are responsible for our feelings.
“I feel that…” & “I feel like…”, or “I feel you/
she/they…” are thoughts, not feelings.
Differentiate from strategies.
Needs are universal; strategies personal & specific.
Needs are the root of our feelings.
Needs are our shared, universal human nature.
Identification of needs leads to understanding.
Needs express the process of our becoming.
•
•
•
•
•
Differentiate from demands.
Demands have conditions; requests don’t.
Use positive language when making requests.
Make requests concrete & presently doable.
Clarifies what’s been heard, what feelings are
present, or what action might meet the needs.
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SPECTATOR LANGUAGING & CONSCIOUSNESS:
BEING RIGHT, AT ODDS & ALONE
“This language is from the head. It is a way of mentally
classifying people into varying shades of good and bad, right
and wrong. Ultimately, it provokes defensiveness, resistance,
and counterattack. It is a language of demands.”
Marshall Rosenberg, Nonviolent Communication
•
•
JUDGING
Good/Bad & Right/Wrong
Binary (i.e., Professional/Unprofessional)
•
•
BLAMING
•
•
LABELING
Thinking in terms of Wrongness
Fault-Finding
Classifying & Categorizing
Static Attributes & Stereotypes
•
•
OBEYING
•
•
ASSUMING
Denying Choice
Denying Responsibility
Interpretations, Analyses & Diagnoses
Jumping to Conclusions
•
•
SHOULD
•
•
COMPARING
BEING RIGHT
Inner/Outer “Shoulds”
Deserve, as in Punishment & Reward
Measuring, Testing, Grading & Tracking
Competing for Winners & Losers
•
•
Convincing & Persuading
Debating & Arguing
“To live in love of action, and to let live in understanding
of the other’s will, is the fundamental maxim of free human
beings. They know no other “should” than the one with which
their willing is intuitively in harmony.”
Rudolf Steiner, Intuitive Thinking as a Spiritual Path
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HOW WE LISTEN: FOUR CHOICES
We can choose how we listen to, and makes sense of, what comes
to us. If we reflect a bit, we see that our choices have quite different
results. Given our default languaging, we are likely to react out of
habit. Through Compassionate Communication, we see that we have
a choice.
For example, suppose someone says to us, “Do you have any idea
how thoughtless you’ve been?” What are our choices?
When I hear this comment, I can choose to respond by...
Taking it personally. I internalize the judgment, blame
myself for being thoughtless, tell myself I should be more
thoughtful and begin a free fall toward shame, guilt and
depression. I choose, “I’m at fault & to blame.”
Concluding I’m under attack. I interpret what’s been said
as a critical judgment and react defensively. “That’s not
true. What about what you did!” I choose that the other
person must be wrong & therefore to blame.
Or I have another option. I can choose to respond by...
Sensing my own feelings and needs. I can take a breath
and connect to whatever might be stimulated in me when I
hear what the other person is saying to me. I ask myself,
“What am I feeling...frustrated, confused, scared? What am
I needing...consideration, understanding respect?” I choose
to empathize with myself. This is self-empathy.
Sensing the feelings and needs of the other. I seek to
sense what the person is feeling...frustrated? What the
person is needing...consideration?” I might guess to see if I
understand them as they would like. If my guess “lands”,
the person will feel understood. If not, they will say it again.
It’s not about me guessing correctly. I can try again. I am
choosing to empathize. This is empathy.
Choosing consciously leads to greater
compassion, freedom, and connection
in all of our relationships.
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DIFFERENTIATIONS THAT CLARIFY OUR CHOICES
PARTICIPATORY
SPECTATOR
INTENT TO CONNECT—Goal is
to create mutual understanding,
enabling all needs to be met.
INTENT TO CORRECT—Goal is
to analyze situations, find what’s
wrong and correct it.
LIFE-SERVING—Tends to
reconnect us to what is alive in
the moment in ourselves, in
others & in the world.
LIFE-ALIENATING—Tends to
alienate us from what is alive in
the moment in ourselves, in
others & in the world.
HEART—Thinking, speaking &
listening from the heart.
Sustaining connection.
HEAD—Thinking, speaking &
listening from the head. Making
judgments.
BECOMING—Life is a process of
eternal becoming.
BEING—Life is analyzed into its
intellectually grasped elements.
CHOICE—Self-initiated activity in
line with my own feelings, needs
& values.
DEFY OR COMPLY—Reacting
to external pressure.
Conditioned to authority.
INTRINSIC MOTIVES—
Creating our own meaning &
purpose while honoring the
choices of others.
EXTRINSIC MOTIVES—
Conditioned to act either to
gain approval or reward, or to
avoid consequences.
POWER WITH OTHERS—
Creating relationships where
everyone’s needs matter & are
considered. Lasting solutions
address everyone’s needs.
POWER OVER OTHERS—
Creating relationships where one
person exerts power over another
through fear, guilt or shame.
Solutions imposed.
VALUE JUDGMENTS—Based
upon values & needs.
MORALISTIC JUDGMENTS—
What’s good/bad, right/wrong.
“GIRAFFE”—Has the largest
heart of any land animal; its
long neck suggests courage,
vulnerability & a broad view, &
saliva dissolves thorns!
“JACKAL”—Packs organized
based on the “top dog”
enforcing hierarchical social
structure; pack or gang
mentality.
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CORE FAMILIES OF FEELINGS
JOY & CONTENTMENT
Adventurous
Curious
Affectionate Delighted
Alive
Determined
Amazed
Eager
Amused
Ecstatic
Astonished Encouraged
Calm
Excited
Confident
Fascinated
Content
Friendly
Giddy
Glad
Grateful
Happy
Hopeful
Inspired
Intrigued
Invigorated
Joyful
Loving
Moved
Overjoyed
Peaceful
Pleased
Proud
Refreshed
Relaxed
Relieved
Satisfied
Stimulated
Surprised
Thankful
Thrilled
Touched
Tranquil
Trusting
Upbeat
FEAR &
ANXIETY
ANGER &
FRUSTRATION
SADNESS &
GRIEF
Afraid
Alarmed
Anxious
Apprehensive
Bewildered
Cautious
Concerned
Confused
Disconcerted
Disturbed
Dubious
Embarrassed
Impatient
Jittery
Nervous
Overwhelmed
Panicky
Perplexed
Puzzled
Reluctant
Restless
Scared
Shocked
Stressed
Terrified
Worried
Aggravated
Agitated
Angry
Annoyed
Appalled
Cranky
Disgusted
Exasperated
Frustrated
Furious
Impatient
Indignant
Infuriated
Irritated
Resentful
Upset
Bored
Depressed
Disappointed
Discouraged
Disheartened
Dismayed
Despairing
Exhausted
Helpless
Hopeless
Hurt
Lonely
Melancholic
Sad
Tired
Troubled
FAUX FEELINGS
Abandoned
Abused
Attacked
Betrayed
Bullied
Interpretations
masquerading as feelings
Ignored
Intimidated
Invisible
Let Down
Manipulated
Neglected
Put Upon
Rejected
Rushed
Unappreciated
8
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NEEDS & VALUES: RHYTHMS IN BECOMING
SUBSISTENCE
Clean Air & Water
Food
Rest
Shelter
Sustenance
PROTECTION/SECURITY
Fairness
Honesty
Justice
Keeping Agreements
Nurturance
Openness
Order
Safety
Space
PARTICIPATION
Accomplishment
Belonging
Capacity
Community
Competence
Connection
Dependability
Encouragement
Harmony
Interdependence
Opportunities to Help Others
Power With
Recognition
Respect
Support
To Enrich Life
To Serve Life
To Share Life’s Joys & Sorrows
CREATION
Creativity
Expression
Inspiration
AFFECTION
Companionship
Friends
Intimacy
Kindness
To Matter to Someone
IDENTITY/MEANING
Acknowledgement
Appreciation
Challenges
Clarity
Dignity
Integrity
Learning New Skills
Privacy
Self-Development
Self-Mastery
Solitude
To Be Someone
To Make Sense of One’s World
LEISURE
Celebration
Comfort & Ease
Play & Fun
Recreation
FREEDOM
Autonomy
Choices
To Speak One’s Mind
UNDERSTANDING
Empathy
TRANSCENDENCE
Beauty to Behold
Goodness
Love
Peace
Rhythm
Spiritual Communion
9
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EXPRESSING HONESTY
When I observe (see, hear, imagine or recall) …? OBSERVATIONS
What am I observing that is stimulating these feelings that
are coming up? What is (or isn’t) contributing to my present
well-being? I want to express this without mixing in my
evaluations or thoughts about what is happening.
FEELINGS
I’m feeling …?
What am I feeling? Am I clear that I am sharing a feeling
rather than a thought or a mental image?
Because I’m needing/I value…?
NEEDS
What am I needing? What values might be in question?
What’s at the root of my feelings? What is the universal
human need underlying my feelings?
REQUESTS
Would you be willing…?
What do I want to request from the other person that
might meet or satisfy my need? Is my request positively
framed and presently doable?
RECEIVING WITH EMPATHY
When you observe (see, hear, imagine or recall)…? OBSERVATIONS
Here we are listening for & clarifying what might be
stimulating the other person’s reactions.
FEELINGS
Are you feeling …?
Here we are sensing what they might be feeling, checking
to see if we are understanding clearly.
Because you’re needing/you value…?
NEEDS
Here we are sensing what their needs might be. What
might be alive for them in this moment or this situation?
REQUESTS
I’m wondering if …?
Here we are guessing what they might be requesting that
would meet or satisfy their needs.
10
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TWO EXAMPLES OF EXPRESSING & EMPATHIZING
1. PARENT SAYS TO TEACHER: “The class is out of control & my daughter’s
miserable.”
PARENT REPHRASES:
•
•
•
•
When I see how unhappy my daughter is when she comes home and tells me
about some things that happen to her at school, (observations)
I’m feeling heartbroken and alarmed, (feelings),
Because I need clarity about what’s going on for my daughter. I need to
know that she is safe & supported at school. (needs for clarity & doing
what’s best for one’s children)
Would you be willing to share with me what you see happening and the
steps you’re taking to foster harmony among the children? (request)
TEACHER REPLIES IN FRUSTRATION: “Parents expect teachers to work miracles.
Parents are so busy they’re barely involved.”
PARENT EMPATHIZES:
•
•
•
•
When I bring my concerns about Emily’s unhappiness in school and some of
the behavior she has described (observations),
Are you feeling overwhelmed and frustrated? (feelings)
And needing some understanding around the challenges you face as well as
support for your efforts? (needs for understanding & support)
I’m wondering if I’ve understood you the way you’d like and whether
there’s something more you’d like to share? (request)
2. TEACHER SAYS TO PARENT: “It seems like Jason is spending way too much time
watching screens and he can’t focus at all in class.” TEACHER REPHRASES:
•
•
•
•
When I see how Jason struggles to stay focused on his school work and he
tells me he spends a lot of time at home watching TV or on the computer,
and I reflect on what I’ve read about sensory-integration and child
development. (observations)
I feel concerned and helpless, (feelings)
Because I need support for my efforts to protect this process of human
development that happens in childhood. (need for support)
Would you be willing to tell me what you’re hearing me say? (a request)
PARENT BLAMES HERSELF: “I’ll never be a good enough Waldorf parent. I just
can’t do it all. ”
TEACHER EMPATHIZES:
•
•
•
•
When I share my concerns about Jason and his difficulty staying focused in
class and how it might be related to his screen time, (observations)
Are you feeling overwhelmed and discouraged? (feelings)
Because you’re needing some acknowledgment for your efforts, and some
understanding for how difficult it might be to make some of these
changes at home? (needs for acknowledgment & understanding)
I’m wondering if you’d like to schedule some time for us to talk about how
we might work together to support Jason? (request)
11
Mountain Sage Community School Charter Application
315
AN INVITATION TO COMPASSIONATE CONNECTION
“What I want in my life is compassion, a flow between myself
and others based on a mutual giving from the heart.”
Marshall Rosenberg, Nonviolent Communication
We use the four steps—observations, feelings, needs and
requests—in order to be understood, in order to understand others as
they want to be understood, and to create the quality of connection
that enables everyone to get their needs met through natural giving.
At first, the step-wise structure of the Participatory Languaging
model is off-putting. I want to suggest a couple of ways to think of
the model in the beginning, and add a gentle reminder. If
it looks formulaic, think of it as a boat that you’ll sail to
the other shore, or a pair of shoes you’ll wear until you
can go inside, leaving them at the door. If it sounds stiff
and clunky, you might remind yourself you’re learning a
new language which, of course at first, you’ll speak with
a very thick accent. Think of it as enabling you to first visit and then
reside in this new, compassionate land. I assure you that a clear
mastery of these elements will inevitably foster a compassionate,
more participatory consciousness.
You saw in the examples on the previous pages that there are
two reciprocal activities involved in a conversation—expressing what
lives in us and seeking to “read” what lives in the other. At any
moment we can choose to listen for feelings and needs. Self-empathy
provides the basis for both expressing and receiving. Every
conversation becomes a weaving back and forth. From a self-ful
inner emptiness, we give our presence unto the other, seeking to
connect to their becoming. As we integrate this into our lives, our
schools will increasingly meet the needs for understanding,
community and deep connection that we all long for. I hope this
booklet has opened a door for you. I invite you to enter into the
dance.
12
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316
FOR FURTHER REFLECTION
“During the 1950s the American psychologist Carl Rogers noticed
the presence of a new faculty in the younger generation for
which he used a word originally coined in 1912: empathy. In fact,
what he was describing is a process which has become part of the experience
of an ever-increasing number of those born after the end of the Second World
War. Empathy arises out of sympathy, love, interest in and compassion for our
fellow human being; it enables us to extend our own inner being into that of
the other person and directly experience something of his essential nature.”
Baruch Luke Urieli, Learning to Experience the Etheric World
“When man faces man the one attempts to put the other to sleep and the other
continuously wants to maintain his uprightness. But this is, to speak in the
Goethean sense, the archetypal phenomenon of social science...” [This
sleeping-into] “we may call the social principle, the social impulse of the new
era: we have to live over into the other; we have to dissolve with our soul into
the other.”
Rudolf Steiner (11.10.1919)
“A person who wants to understand another has to be willing to be put to sleep by
him for a moment. He is social insofar as he gives up his own consciousness &
is filled by the nature of the other. Directly, however, his asocial drive rises up
once again, throwing out the other to assert its self-consciousness. The other
becomes the opposite, the object once again. Steiner calls this oscillation
between the social and asocial moment—the social archetypal phenomenon.”
Dieter Brüll, Anthroposophical Social Impulse
“Through training we can become aware of the subtle clues which are hidden in
the form of a sense object and which reveal the way in which it came into
being. The form then begins to reveal its motion of becoming, its gesture. Our
vision shifts out of space and into time, the stage of the ongoing work. With a
time vision we can experience all sense objects as verbs instead of as nouns.
Each object becomes itself in time.”
Dennis Klocek, Seeking Spirit Vision
“Individuality is always in the process of coming to be. The closer we can get to this
sense of individuality, the more possible it becomes to also experience the
world as always in the process of coming to be. To be able to stay in this
creative realm in which we and the world are activity, whatever content is
gained as a result of experience must be constantly relinquished as a tool to
be used, for otherwise we are relying on what we already know, and are not
usually conscious that we are confronting the ever-new. The challenge of
encountering the world through individuality is to meet the world through
what we are coming to be, not through what we already know. This challenge
is particularly acute in the domain of relationships.”
Robert Sardello, Love and the Soul
“He rose to his feet again and asked, “Uncle, what is it that ails thee?”
Wolfram von Eschenbach, Parzival
Mountain Sage Community School Charter Application
317
Serving all that...
John Cunningham
460 B Street
Ashland, OR 97520
phone: 541.482.8612
email: [email protected]
fax: 541.488.8028
web: www.empathy-conexus.com
I really enjoy providing
Compassionate Communication
trainings for Waldorf communities
and other organizations.
I'm also working on a website
for people involved or interested in
Compassionate Communication, Anthroposophy & Waldorf Education,
I invite your participation when the website is ready
in early 2003. At that time, a PDF file of this booklet
will be available for download. Until then, I invite you to copy and
freely distribute this booklet.
Warmly,
P.S. My deepest gratitude to Linda Wemhoff, without
whom this booklet wouldn’t be. Her encouragement,
enthusiasm and commitment to clear simplicity met
my needs for collaboration & support.
Please visit her website at: www.RecipeForPeace.com.
The Center for Nonviolent Communication
For further information,
visit the website at www.cnvc.org
©2002 John Cunningham
Mountain Sage Community School Charter Application
318
Appendix G:
Further Explanation of The Virtues Project for Educators
Mountain Sage Community School Charter Application
319
MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.
Intelligence plus character –
that is the goal of true
education.
“
5 Strategies for Awakening
the Gifts of Character
10 Questions
Caring Educators Ask
by Linda Kavelin Popov
Kinder Kids
Safer Schools
The Virtues Project
Mountain SageHonor
Community School
Charter Application
320 Tact
Honesty Caring Kindness Justice Compassion Loyalty
Tolerance
Excellence Forgiveness Determination Integrity
www.virtuesproject.com
For information on Virtues Project
programs, presentations, and to locate
Facilitators in your area, see our website.
Gifts of Character Poster (24” X 36”)
This colorful poster lists the 52 virtues found in the Virtues project
Educator’s Guide. Broadly used in classrooms around the world.
Educator’s Wall Cards (CD)
The Wall cards are abbreviated versions of the Virtues in the
Educator’s Guide in Portable Data Format. They can be viewed on
a computer or printed out for use in the classroom as cards or
posters.
Virtues Educator’s Cards (4” X 5”)
This set of 52 cards is designed for use in classroom “Virtues Picks.”
With illustrations reflecting the cultural and racial diversity of our
planet, each card has a brief description of the virtue, signs of success and an affirmation.
Virtues Project Educator’s Guide
For parents, teachers and counselors to create a culture of
character in our schools, day care centers and youth programs.
Chapters on each of the Five Strategies of The Virtues Project with
methods, examples, and character awakening activities and
practices for Grades K - 12. Includes 52 Virtues honored by all
cultures and traditions as “the best within us”, success stories and
sample activities from around the world.
These are a few of the virtues resources to help awaken the gifts of character
Virtues Resources for Educators
The Virtues Project
Assertiveness
Caring
Cleanliness
Commitment
Compassion
Confidence
Consideration
Cooperation
Courage
Courtesy
Creativity
Detachment
Determination
Diligence
Enthusiasm
Excellence
Flexibility
Forgiveness
Friendliness
Generosity
Gentleness
Helpfulness
Honesty
Honor
Humility
Idealism
Virtues: The Gifts of Character
Integrity
Joyfulness
Justice
Kindness
Love
Loyalty
Moderation
Modesty
Orderliness
Patience
Peacefulness
Perseverance
Purposefulness
Reliability
Respect
Responsibility
Self-Discipline
Service
Tact
Thankfulness
Tolerance
Trust
Trustworthiness
Truthfulness
Understanding
Unity
– JIM PALUCH, AUTHOR
Mountain
Sage Community School
Charter Application
321
Service Commitment Creativity Humility Modesty
Generosity
Courtesy
Patience Truthfulness Reliability Determination
Love
MAY BE REPRINTED
To support the work of The Virtues Project, you are invited to pay a one-time license of
$25.00 per person or organization for reprinting rights. To obtain your license to the PDF
version go to our virtues shop at www.virtuesproject.com. We appreciate your integrity.
Virtues Project International
www.virtuesproject.com
©2007
The Five Strategies are the signature contribution of The Virtues
Project. They are based on the virtues that are universally valued by
all people and cultures.
The Virtues Project has inspired and mobilized many thousands of
families, educators, leaders and employees to commit acts of service and
generosity, to heal violence with virtues, and to create safe and caring
communities.
The Virtues Project was founded in 1991 by Linda Kavelin Popov,
Dr. Dan Popov and John Kavelin. It is a global grassroots initiative that
inspires the practice of virtues in everyday life. The Project is a catalyst
for the renewal of kindness, justice, and integrity in more than 85 countries and was honored by the United Nations during the International
Year of the Family as a “model global program for all cultures”.
This booklet is dedicated to the memory of Alexina Keeling, a teacher who
brought hope and healing to troubled teens through the strategies of The
Virtues Project. Her steadfast love and hope transformed high risk youth
into high aiming leaders.
Dedication
The Virtues Project
“When I discover my ‘why’ to live, then my “how” to live
will just naturally follow.”
CO-FOUNDER, THE VIRTUES PROJECT
Linda Kavelin Popov
You can help transform bullies into leaders, by showing students
who they really are, and inspiring their natural idealism. They
need people in their lives who hold a vision of what is possible.
Be a vision keeper. Your positive thoughts, words and feelings
are the best investment in their future.
Awakening Idealism
Cultivating the virtues of our character is a lifelong process.
From ages 12 to 24, a strong emerging virtue is Idealism – the
need to make a meaningful difference, to make one’s mark, to
be somebody, to develop a sense of personal power. When there
is a failure of hope, or misplaced value on the use of power, that
idealism can turn into violence.
Studies show that violence is a symptom, and meaninglessness
is the disease. All cultures and beliefs teach that the meaning of
life springs from the virtues of our character, such as respect,
compassion, excellence and service.
From Violence to Virtues
In this multi-media world, children are bombarded by sounds
and images of violence merged with heroism and celebrity.
Bullying, both physical and psychological, is a constant challenge even in our best schools. What can we do to turn the tide?
Power
+ Responsibility
+ Compassion
= Leadership
Power
+ Control
= Violence
Mountain SageHonor
Community School
Charter Application
322 Tact
Honesty Caring Kindness Justice Compassion Loyalty
Tolerance
Excellence Forgiveness Determination Integrity
Strategy 5: Offer Companioning
Being deeply present and listening with compassionate curiosity guides others to find
clarity and to create their own solutions. It supports healing and growth.
Learning Activity: When anyone has strong feelings, ask what and how questions that
empower students to get to the heart of the matter. Support students to tap their own
wisdom to resolve the situation. End with a Virtues Acknowledgment
Strategy 4: Honor the Spirit
We sustain our vision and purpose by integrating virtues into our activities,
surroundings, celebrations and the arts.
Learning Activity: Pick a Virtue Card to start the day, begin a meeting, end the week,
or use when problem-solving with students, and at special times in Sharing Circles.
Strategy 3: Set Clear Boundaries
Boundaries based on respect and restorative justice create a climate of peace,
cooperation, and safety in our homes, schools and communities.
Learning Activity: Refine the school Vision Statement annually and express it through
the visual and performing arts. Make a short, simple, easy to memorize virtues-based
slogan.
Strategy 2: Recognize Teachable Moments
Recognizing the virtues needed in daily challenges helps us to become lifelong
learners open to the lessons of character.
Learning Activity: Invite students to describe both the Strength Virtues and Growth
Virtues of characters in stories and history lessons and connect these virtues to their
own lives.
Schools today face enormous challenges, with rising student
violence and armed guards at the doors. The need for dedicated,
idealistic and hopeful teachers has never been greater. Creating a
school culture of caring, character and inclusiveness is essential.
What first attracted you to become a teacher? For most, it is a
heartfelt desire to make a difference in the lives of children and
youth. True educators hold hope for a better world. They contribute to the two abiding goals of education -- to help students
become smart and to help them become good.
These strategies help us to live more authentic, purposeful lives, to raise
children of compassion and idealism, and create a culture of character in our
schools and communities.
Strategy 1: Speak the Language of Virtues
Language has the power to discourage or to inspire. Using virtues to acknowledge,
guide, correct and thank awakens the best within us.
Learning Activity: Have staff and students create a virtues profile poster, showing
Strength Virtues and Growth Virtues, including a short story, poem, pictures, or
favorite quotation.
Introduction
The Five Strategies
The Virtues Project
– HERACLITUS
“Character is destiny.”
5. What is the Virtues approach to discipline
when a Virtues Correction doesn’t work?
School-wide discipline based on restorative
justice works best. Make consequences
educative instead of punitive. Give
“Reflection Time” rather than detention.
Copy one of the Virtues pages from The
Virtues Project Educators Guide. Students
read it, rewrite the incident as if they had
used the virtue, then create a plan to make
amends.
Tip #5: Have students set a goal to work
on a Growth Virtue, creating a visual such
as footprints leading to a soccer ball. “My
Growth Virtue is Self-Discipline to turn in
homework. (Steps): Finish by 7 PM; Put in
my backpack before I go to bed; Hand it in
right away.” Acknowledge every success.
4. What can I do when a student pushes my
buttons?
We all have things that irritate us, and kids
have excellent radar. Find something you
enjoy or appreciate about the student, and
comment on it. Even acknowledging their
creativity in pushing your buttons might be
a start.
Tip #4: When you give a Virtues Correction and the student shows anything
remotely like cooperation, thank them for
it. This can dispel the power struggle and
improve the relationship.
Tip #3: Focus on the act, not the actor.
Tell them what you do want, not what you
don’t want. “James, if you want to stay
in class, you need to be peaceful now.”
Acknowledge any improvement. “James,
you’ve been more peaceful today -- two
arguments instead of seven!”
8. What is the best way to respond to a
student’s anger or resistance in a
disciplinary situation?
Become a world-class listener. The secret
is to ask non-judgmental open-ended questions starting with “What?” and “How?”
“What’s your point of view about what happened?” “What’s not fair?” “Why” puts
them on the defensive. “What” helps them
to get to the heart of the matter.
7. How can I help a bully become a leader?
Your influence is in direct proportion to the
quality of your relationship, even with the
most troubled student. Let them know you
believe they can turn themselves around
by using their obvious power to become a
leader of Responsibility, Compassion and
Respect.
Tip #7: Engage them in an activity that
builds self esteem such as music, math or
sports. Be their mentor and cheerleader.
Acknowledge them when they use their
power kindly and responsibly.
6. How can I add character education to my
already full academic plate?
Virtues strategies are not an add-on
curriculum. They are tools to help you
more effectively handle what is already on
your plate. When you use encouraging language and virtues-based discipline, students
feel better and work harder.
Tip #6: Take time yearly to create a Shared
Vision of how your class wants to treat each
other. Together, create a slogan and poster,
using 2 to 4 virtues. E.g., “We are peacemakers. We don’t put each other down.
We lift each other up. We show respect for
each other and our school at all times.”
10. How can we create a culture of caring
and character in our schools?
We are all multi-sensory learners. Hearing and speaking Virtues Language, daily
P.A. readings on the Virtue of the Week or
Month, virtues posters and bulletin boards,
Assembly skits and songs, and a virtuesbased discipline system, can transform the
culture and build a strong sense of
community.
Tip #10: Assign a class to lead the Virtue
activity for each Assembly by creating a
video, a skit or a school song.
9. How do I respond in a helpful way to grief
and loss in our school or community?
When anyone has trauma or grief, we need
two things: compassionate presence and the
freedom to talk about it as often as we need
to, without being “talked out of it”.
Companioning is a simple and powerful
tool in this process.
Tip #9: It can be very healing to sit with
others in a Sharing Circle with receptive
silence and no interruption, to share feelings
and thoughts. When each person finishes
sharing, others give a Virtues Acknowledgment, such as Caring or Courage. This is
deeply restorative.
Tip #8: With boys especially, walking
shoulder to shoulder somehow gets them
talking more than sitting face to face. After
they talk about what happened, help them
identify a virtue they could have used to
create a better result.
– WOODROW WILSOM
Mountain
Sage Community School
Charter Application
323
Service Commitment Creativity Humility Modesty
Generosity
Courtesy
Patience Truthfulness Reliability Determination
Love
Turn difficult behaviors into Teachable
Moments by calling for a specific virtue.
This approach tells them they are capable
of better, eliminates the negative impact of
sarcasm and disrespect, and conveys the
meaning of the desired behavior.
3. How can I keep from shaming children
when I correct them?
There is a great difference between praise
and a Virtues Acknowledgment. Generic
praise such as “Good girl” or “I’m proud of
you” breeds people-pleasing. Acknowledging a virtue builds capacity. It makes their
choices and actions the reference point,
rather than outside approval.
Tip #2: Help students see their Strength
Virtues and also work on their Growth
Virtues. With a student who is easily distracted say, “You were purposeful today in
getting down to work.” With a student who
often has the answers, acknowledge their
Humility or Consideration in sometimes
stepping back to give others a chance.
2. If I use Virtues Language, won’t
students become dependent on praise?
Authentic self-esteem comes from good
character, and virtues are the content of
character. Speaking Virtues Language to
acknowledge, guide and correct students
tells them they are good people capable of
giving their best.
Tip #1: Catch them in the act of committing
a virtue, and name it: “It took courage to go
on that high slide for the first time.” “Good
determination with that math assignment.”
1. How can I make a positive difference in
the lives of my students?
10 Questions Caring Educators Ask
The Virtues Project
“You are not here to merely make a living. You are here in order to enable the
world to live more amply, with greater vision, with a finer spirit of hope and
achievement. You are here to enrich the world, and you
impoverish yourself if you forget the errand.”
Appendix H:
Sample Intent to Enroll Form Used by MSCS
Mountain Sage Community School Charter Application
324
Mountain Sage Community School
A Public Charter School Inspired by Waldorf Education and Sustainable Living
Intent to Enroll Form
I support Mountain Sage Community School and am interested in having my child(ren) attend. I understand that
submitting this Intent to Enroll form does not legally obligate me, nor does it guarantee my child admission to the
school. I understand that admission will be determined by appropriate and fair criteria that will include a lottery if a
particular class has a waiting list by the pre-determined lottery date. After the lottery date has passed, students will
be enrolled in the order of the wait list for that particular class if remaining slots become available.
___________________________________________
Parent/Guardian Signature (required)
Full Name of Child
________________________
Date
Desired Year
to Enter
School
Date of
Birth
Grade Level
Entering
in 2012
School the
Child
Currently
Attends?
If you have a child entering kindergarten, do you prefer half or full day? Please note priority is extended through
the lottery process. _______ AM Half Day _______PM Half Day _______Full Day
________________________________________________________________________________________________
Names of Parents/Guardian
_____________________________________________
Phone (daytime & evening)
_______________________________________
Street Address
____________________________________________
E-mail Address
________________________
City
_________
State
_______________
Zip Code
I am interested in volunteering, please contact me.
Thank you for returning this completed form to:
Mountain Sage Community School
P.O. Box 1253, Fort Collins, CO 80522
Mountain
Sage www.mountainsagecommunityschool.org
Community School Charter Application
For more information
visit
325
Appendix I:
List of Numerous Supporters and their Letters of Support
Mountain Sage Community School Charter Application
326
Supporters:
Addy Elliot – Parent & Colorado State University Faculty Member
Alie Rich – New Belgium Brewing Company, Waste Diversion Specialist & Parent
and John Rich- New Belgium Brewing Company, Cellar Operator & Parent
Andi Brunson-Williams – Homeschooling Parent
Bailey Stenson – Owner/Operator of Happy Heart Farm CSA
& Parent of Waldorf Educated Children
Becky Dawson – Parent & Former Public School Educator
Dr. Ben Galyardt – Parent, Certified Applied Kinesiologist & Local Business Owner
Dr. Carl Nassar – Individual and Marital Counselor & Parent
Carlie Pointer – Parent & Former Waldorf German Language Teacher
Christine and Jeff Biegert – Parents
Christine Kroll – Parent
Dr. Colleen Holland – Parents & Doctor of Chiropractic
Elia Gilbert – Waldorf Educated & Waldorf Preschool Teacher
Franklin Taggart and Monica Corrado – Parents & Prospective Residents
Dr. Ruth Harmony Voorhies Tucker – Parent & Chemistry Instructor at CSU
and William Harold Tucker – Parents & Consultant, IBM
Hill Grimmett – Executive Director, Be Local, Northern Colorado
Holly Johnson – Parent, Prospective Resident & Former Educator
Ivy and Scott Scherbarth – Parents
A. Krause – Educator
Jamie Bailey – Parent
Jean Martens – Parent of Waldorf Educated Children
Jenae Huffman Proctor – Parent
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Jennifer Jeron – Parent
Jennifer Matheson – Parent & Prospective Resident
Jennifer Parker – Parent
Jeremy Huffman Proctor – Colorado State University English Instructor & Parent
Jessie Fowles – Educator and Parent
Jillian Lang –Lab Manager, Department of Bioagricultural Sciences and Pest Management,
Colorado State University & Parent
Jodi Taylor – Parent
Jon Pointer – Parent of Waldorf Educated Children
Julia Klein – Parent & Assistant Professor, Department of Ecosystem Science & Sustainability,
Colorado State University
Kari Schlobohm – Parent
Dr. Katie Godfrey – Instructor, Human Development and Family Studies, Colorado State
University & Parent
Katrin and Thomas Birner – Parents
Kellie Falbo – Executive Director, Sustainable Living Association
Kim Derry – Greenland Science Project Manager, CH2M Hill Polar Services,
National Science Foundation Arctic Program
Kristen and Lauren Ward – Parents
Kristin Vogt – Former Educator
Lauri Pointer – Parent of Waldorf Educated Children & Local Business Owner
Lori Nitzel – Parent & Local Musician
Lindsey Pointer – Waldorf Educated, College Student
Matt Fater – Board Member, Sustainable Living Association
Lindsey and Damien Parrish – Parents
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Matt Leland – Parent & Graduate Programs Coordinator, College of Business,
Colorado State University
Marika Coughlan – Waldorf Educated
Melissa and Jonas Buehl – Parents
Gene and Molly Fiechtl – Parents
Nick Brunson Williams – Parent & Local Business Owner
Patricia Sexton – Parent of Waldorf Educated Children
Roger Coughlan – Parent of Waldorf Educated Children
Dr. Rosemarie Russo – City of Fort Collins Sustainability Coordinator
Rosemary Vermouth – Waldorf Teacher
Ruth Kasl – Waldorf Teacher & Parent of Waldorf Educated Children
Sarah Albert – Waldorf Teacher
Susan Castellon – Executive Director, River Song Early Childhood
& Parent of Waldorf Educated Children
Tabitha Guasta – Parent
Tammy Breeding – Parent
Todd Simmons – Director, Wolverine Farm Publishing/Matter Bookstore & Parent
Tracey Seltzer – Parent of Waldorf Educated Children
Vanessa Hayward – Parent
Will Sampson – Waldorf Educated in Early Childhood
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Appendix J:
Detail of a 5-day Main Lesson Plan and Rubric,
for Grades K-6 in Mathematics and Language Arts
{Borrowed from Desert Star Charter School of Sedona, Arizona.}
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Kindergarten - Language Arts
(To market to market...)
Reading 00
Strand 1: Reading Process
Concept 1: Print Concepts
PO 1: Recognize that print represents spoken language and conveys meaning (e.g. his/her
own name, exit and danger signs).
PO 6: Recognize that spoken words are represented in written language by specific
sequences of letters.
PO 8: Demonstrate the one to one correlation between a spoken word and a printed word.
Writing 00
Strand 3: Writing Application
Concept 2: Expository
PO 1: Participate in creating expository texts.
Resources
• ! play stands
• ! silks
• ! baskets of manipulatives: shells, stones, corncobs, beeswax, fruits and vegetables
• ! crayons and paper
• ! beeswax
• ! paint, brushes and paper
• ! printed market theme word cards
• ! teacher generated market theme pictures
Note: Children K – 6th grade participate in daily morning group activities such as speech, verse,
song, gross/fine motor skill activities that may relate to the current theme. During this period
markets and Japanese cultural activities are woven in various aspects of the school day. Concepts
of market are introduced through poems and songs during the morning rhythmical activities (e.g.,
To market, to market to buy a fat pig, Hot Cross Buns, the Japanese hand clapping game –
Moshi-Moshi)
Day 1
Teacher
• ! Tell the Japanese fairytale Rice Cakes, emphasize words in the story that relate to the
marketplace
• ! Ask the students to remember words from the story that would be in a marketplace
• ! Paint the market place words in watercolor while speaking them
• ! Ask the children to speak each painted word
• ! Begin imagination of marketplace play at inside playtime
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Student
• ! Listens to story, intrapersonal
• ! Participates with class in word discovery (marketplace words), verbal/linguistic
• ! Observes words being formed in paint, visual/spatial
• ! Speaks and reads each painted word, verbal/ linguistic
• ! Plays inside (marketplace), body/kinesthetic, interpersonal
Day 2
Teacher
• ! Demonstrate words and symbols needed at a market through drawings, paintings and
beeswax modeling; instruct students to create labels with words and symbols for the
market (e.g., open, closed, store, for sale, money, market name, fruits, vegetables etc.)
• ! Form groups to make market products, encourage students to work cooperatively in their
groups
Student
• !Listens to and observes writing and forming of words, verbal/ linguistic, visual/spatial
• !Participates with group in market product activity, interpersonal
• !Sculpts beeswax fruits and vegetables, visual/spatial, body/kinesthetic
• !Models marketplace words out of beeswax, paints words and writes words in crayon,
visual/spatial, verbal/ linguistic, body/kinesthetic
Day 3
Teacher
• !Demonstrate drawing and labeling a market, match labels to market products and market
floor plan (apples, bananas, door, floor, etc.)
• !Instruct students to draw a market and label the parts and products
• !Demonstrate how to play matching word/symbol game (e.g., the word nut is matched to the
picture of a nut)
• !Facilitate children in marketplace play
Student
• !Listens to and observes market being drawn and labeled, verbal/ linguistic, visual/spatial
• !Draws market and labels market products with words and symbols, logical/mathematical
• !Plays word/symbol match game: matching teacher’s drawings and paintings of market
products with the printed word, visual/spatial, body/kinesthetic, verbal/ linguistic
Day 4
Teacher
• !Designate work groups
• !Instruct groups to set up the market with labels and products
• !Designate shoppers and buyers
• !Instruct students to make shopping lists with words and/or symbols, place visual aid of
shopping list examples with printed word next to picture
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• !Facilitate children at play in the market
Student
• !Works in groups (peer to peer communication), interpersonal
• !Builds market and labels the products with painted market signs, visual/spatial,
body/kinesthetic
• !Makes shopping list for market, verbal/ linguistic
• !Plays in market reading words and symbols as he or she shops, visual/spatial,
body/kinesthetic
Day 5
Teacher
• !Retell story from day 1 and review the connection between printed word and spoken word
with reference to the market story (painted words from market place)
• !Instruct students to find a word in the market with a specific sequence of letters (e.g., n-u-ts, find the card that spells nuts)
• Facilitate summative assessment
Student
• !Reads printed cards of market words from the story verbal/ linguistic, visual/spatial
• ! Finds words in the market with a specific sequence of letters (n-u-t-s), verbal/ linguistic,
logical/mathematical
• Summative assessment
Summative Assessment
• Teacher speaks a word and the child will point to that word R00-S1C1-08
• Student sounds out the word, reads the letters of the label and identifies the word R00S1C1-06
• Student will describe the meaning of the written signs that are around the market (e.g.,
open, closed, pay) R00-S1C1-01
• Teacher will ask student to walk through the play market and generate a list of 10 or more
market products by writing or drawing W00-S3 C2-01
Rubric
Concern –
Able to connect spoken word to printed word less than 50% accuracy R00-S1C108
Able to describe meaning of signs less than 50% accuracy R00-S1C1-01
Able to read words from market theme less than 50% accuracy R00-S1C1-06
Able to list market items less than 50% accuracy W00-S3C2-01
Progressing –
Able to connect spoken word to printed word 50%-89% accuracy R00-S1C1-08
Able to describe meaning of signs 50%-89% accuracy R00-S1C1-01
Able to read words from market theme 50%-89% accuracy R00-S1C1-06
Able to list market items 50%-89% accuracy W00-S3C2-01
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Mastered –
Able to connect spoken word to printed word 90%-99% accuracy R00-S1C1-08
Able to describe meaning of signs 90%-99% accuracy R00- S1C1-01
Able to read words from market theme 90%-99% accuracy R00-S1C1-06
Able to list market items 90%-99% accuracy W00-S3C2-01
Excels Able to connect spoken word to printed word 100% accuracy R00-S1C1-08
Able to describe meaning of signs 100% accuracy R00-S1C1-01
Able to read words from market theme 100% accuracy R00-S1C1-06
Able to list market items 100% accuracy W00-S3C2-01
Kindergarten-Mathematics
(To market, to market)
Mathematics 00
Strand 1: Number Sense and Operations
Concept 2: Numerical Operations
PO 1: Model addition through sums of 10 using manipulatives.
PO 2: Model subtraction with minuends of 10 using manipulatives.
PO 4: Solve word problems presented orally using addition or subtraction with numbers
through 9.
Strand 2: Data Analysis, Probability, and Discrete Mathematics
Concept 1: Data Analysis (Statistics)
PO 2: Interpret a pictograph
PO 3: Answer questions about a pictograph
Resources
• play stands
• !silks
• !shopping bags
• !baskets of manipulatives: shells, stones, corncobs, wood or beeswax fruits and vegetables
• !beeswax
• miniature tables (doll furniture)
• puppets
• colored stickers
• paper (set in columns for pictographs)
• crayons /pencils
Note: Concepts of numerical operations are introduced and practiced during morning rhythmical
activities through songs, poems and body kinesthetics using finger games and counting activities
pertaining to numerical operations in a market.
Day 1
Teacher
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• !Demonstrate sorting and categorizing different market items (manipulatives) into baskets
and modeling simple addition and subtraction operations while moving manipulatives
into or out of baskets and shopping bags.
• !Instruct students to build the market place using cooperative strategies
• !Lead students in cooperative division of labor for market place (e.g., grocers, shoppers,
baggers)
• !Demonstrate how to use the addition and subtraction operations while participating in
marketplace scene (e.g., Take 2 loaves of white bread into your shopping bag and 2
loaves of wheat bread into your bag, 2 loaves plus 2 loaves equals 4 loaves)
• !Present verbal word problems to students as they buy and sell in the market
Student
• !Observes and verbally participates in demonstration of organizing baskets of market items,
verbal/ linguistic, logical/mathematical
• !Builds market place using play stands and silks, visual/spatial, interpersonal
• !Sorts and organizes fruits and vegetables into baskets, visual/spatial,
logical/mathematical
• !Participates in cooperative division of labor activity (grocers, shoppers, baggers),
interpersonal
• !Plays in the market as grocer, shopper or bagger, intrapersonal, body/kinesthetic
• !Adds item by item to their shopping bag and reports sum to cashier (e.g., 2 peaches and 3
apples, 5 all together), logical/mathematical
• !Subtracts items from produce basket and informs grocer of minuends (e.g., basket held 10
shells, Tom took 4 shells, there are 6 shells left), logical/mathematical
• !While working and playing in market place, answers word problems presented by the
teacher, visual/spatial, logical/mathematical
Day 2
Teacher
• !Help students in sculpting miniature beeswax products (e.g. apples, bananas, bread loaves)
• !Review market place addition and subtraction operations learned the previous day
• !Instruct children to use beeswax market items (manipulatives) while telling a simple
market story that includes word problems.
Student
• !Sculpts beeswax marketplace products, intrapersonal, visual/spatial
• !Participates in review of addition and subtraction operations by stating what they
purchased in the market and how and what they added and subtracted, interpersonal,
logical/mathematical, verbal/ linguistic
• !Manipulates fruits and vegetables to represent a model of addition and subtraction
operations using word problems heard in the story, verbal/ linguistic,
logical/mathematical, body/kinesthetic
Day 3
Teacher
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•A
! sk students what they bought in day 1 market place.
•D
! emonstrate a pictograph with beeswax market produce from results of student’s response
to what was bought in the market
• !Instruct students on how to interpret graph
• !Ask students what market item was bought the most and least
• !Guide class into making a physical pictograph of height of class members (measurement
pictograph)
• !Instruct students in groups to make a miniature market using beeswax produce to sell
• !Instruct each student in the group to shop for items from the miniature market and show
each other how to add and subtract using the fruits and vegetables
• !Instruct students to make a group pictograph using manipulatives, demonstrate what was
bought most and least
• !Instruct students to interpret the pictograph
• !Ask students questions based on data displayed in graph
Student
• !Answers questions regarding market experience, verbal/ linguistic, interpersonal,
intrapersonal
• !Observes and orally participates in pictograph demonstration and instruction,
logical/mathematical, verbal/linguistic
• !Works together in groups to create miniature market, interpersonal, visual/spatial verbal/
linguistic
• !Communicates with group members in using manipulatives to model addition and
subtraction operations, intrapersonal/ interpersonal, logical/mathematical,
visual/spatial
• !Collaborates within group to create and organize a pictograph of most and least bought
items, interpersonal, verbal/linguistic
• !Interprets pictograph (student generated), logical/mathematical, visual/spatial
• !Answers verbal questions based on data displayed in graph (teacher generated),
intrapersonal, logical/mathematical, interpersonal
Day 4
Teacher
• !Review addition and subtraction operations with manipulatives by doing a puppet show in
a market place setting
• !Instruct students in creating a market theme puppet show that includes simple adding and
subtracting with manipulatives (market items)
• !Organize students into puppetry groups
• !Pass puppet basket
• !After presentations of puppet show, the teacher creates a whole class pictograph based on
the height of the puppet
• !Show children how to make a simple pictograph using stickers representing colors
• !Instruct students to create pictographs of the colors of the beeswax items in the market
• !When pictographs are complete review with students how to add up small groups of fruit
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and vegetable manipulatives to find the sum (modeling the addition operation)
• !Review with students how to subtract small groups of manipulatives to find the minuend
(modeling the subtraction operation)
• !Instruct children to add and subtract with manipulatives (market produce) sorted into color
units (e.g. 3 red apples plus 4 yellow lemons = 7 fruits all together)
Student
• !Observes puppet show, verbal/ linguistic, visual/spatial
• !Gathers into groups, chooses puppets, interpersonal
• !Cooperatively creates a table puppet show using an example of addition and subtraction
with miniature beeswax market products, body/kinesthetic, logical/mathematical,
verbal/ linguistic
• !Presents puppet show
• !Observes and verbally participates in demonstration example of puppet pictograph (by
height), logical/mathematical, verbal/ linguistic
• !Makes pictograph of market item manipulatives using stickers (by color),
logical/mathematical
• !Observes and verbally participates in review of addition and subtraction operations using
manipulatives, interpersonal
• !Adds and subtracts color groups of manipulatives and shows model, logical/mathematical,
body/kinesthetic
Day 5
Teacher
• !Instruct children to set up market place play scene
• !Review adding and subtracting with fruits and vegetables while moving through the child
created market
• !Create and interpret a pictograph of fruits and vegetables (by quantity)
• !Instruct students to use addition and subtraction operations using market products and
gather items to create pictograph of what they bought (by quantity)
• !Administer summative assessment
Student
• !Sets-up market place play scene, body/kinesthetic, verbal/ linguistic,
logical/mathematical
• !Observes and participate in review of addition/subtraction operations using manipulatives,
visual/spatial
• !Observes and participate in creating a quantity pictograph of fruits and vegetables
logical/mathematical, verbal/ linguistic
• !Works and plays in market place using manipulatives to show addition and subtraction
operations, body/kinesthetic, interpersonal, intrapersonal
• !Gathers fruits and vegetables (manipulatives) to make pictograph (a pictograph using the
beeswax sculptures), body/kinesthetic, intrapersonal
• !Makes pictograph of fruits and vegetables (by quantity), logical/mathematical,
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visual/spatial
• !Participates in assessment
Summative Assessment
• !Ask student to demonstrate addition operation using manipulatives (beeswax market
produce) to show the process through sums of 10 M00-S1C2-01
• !Ask student to demonstrate subtraction operation using manipulatives to show the process
through minuends of 10 M00-S1C2- 02
• !Give verbal word problems of addition and subtraction with numbers through 9. M00S1C2-04
• !Show student 2 different pictographs and ask for interpretation: (quantity, measurement)
M00-S2C1-02
• !Ask student questions about pictographs (e.g., most, least, descending order, ascending
order) MOO-S2C1-03
Rubric
Concern Able to model addition through sums of 10 using manipulatives less than 50%
accuracy M00-S1C2-01
Able to model subtraction through sums of 10 using manipulatives less than 50%
accuracy M00- S1C2-02
Able to solve oral word problems less than 50% accuracy M00-S1C2-04
Able to interpret pictograph less than 50% accuracy M00-S2C1-02
Able to answer questions about pictograph less than 50% accuracy M00- S2C1-03
Progressing –
Able to model addition through sums of 10 with manipulatives 50%-89%
accuracy M00-S1C2-01
Able to model subtraction through sums of 10 with manipulatives 50%-89%
accuracy M00-S1C2-02
Able to solve oral word problems using addition or subtraction with numbers
through 9, 50%-89% accuracy M00-S1C2-04
Able to interpret pictograph 50%-89% accuracy M00-S2C1-02
Able to answer questions about pictograph 50%-89% accuracy M00-S2C1-03
MasteredAble to model addition through sums of 10 using manipulatives 90%-99%
accuracy M00-S1C2-01
Able to model subtraction through sums of 10 with manipulatives 90% -99%
accuracy M00-S1C2-02
Able to solve oral word problems using addition or subtraction with numbers
through 9 90%-99% accuracy M00-S1C1-04
Able to interpret pictograph 90%-99% accuracy M00- S2C1-02
Able to answer questions about pictograph 90%-99% accuracy M00- S2C1-03
Excels –
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Able to model addition through sums of 10 using manipulatives 100% accuracy
M00-S1C2-01
Able to model subtraction through sums of 10 with manipulatives 100% accuracy
M00-S1C2-02
Able to solve oral word problems using addition or subtraction with numbers
through 9 100% accuracy M00-S1C1-04
Able to interpret pictograph 100% accuracy M00-S2C1-02
Able to answer questions about pictograph 100% accuracy M00-S2C1-03
First grade - Language Arts
(The Tsars Palace)
Reading 01
Strand 2: Comprehending Literary Text
Concept 1: Elements of Literature
PO: 1: Identify the plot of a literary selection, heard or read.
PO 2: Describe characters (e.g., traits, roles, similarities) within a literary selection, heard
or read.
PO 3: Sequence a series of events in a literary selection, heard or read.
Writing 01
Strand 2: Writing Components
Concept 5: Sentence Fluency
PO 1: Write simple sentences.
Resources
• ! drawing paper
• ! beeswax crayons
• ! pencils
• ! colored pencils (blue, red)
• ! colored aprons ( blue, red)
• ! instruments (tambourine, recorders, triangles, shakers)
• ! main lesson books
Note: During morning group activities children engage in speech, verse, song, gross/fine motor
skill activities that may relate to current Russian cultural theme. The Russian cultural
experiences are integrated into various aspects of the school day.
Day 1
Teacher
• ! Tell the story The Tsar Maiden
• ! At conclusion of story the teacher engages children in immediate recall of what the story
was about; who the characters were, what they did (roles) and what the characters were
like (traits)
• ! Instruct students to draw their favorite part of the story in their main lesson books
• ! When drawings are complete the organize the class in student led sequencing of the
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drawings in order of events
• ! Talk about beginning, middle, and end of story, relating it to complete simple sentences
with a beginning, middle and end, plus character (subject), action of story (verb), subjectverb for sentence
• ! Instruct students to write a simple sentence on the back of their drawing
• ! Check each sentence for correct grammar and word usage
Student
• ! Listens to the story The Tsar Maiden, intrapersonal, verbal/ linguistic
• ! Participates in recall of story, interpersonal, visual/spatial, logical/mathematical
• ! Draws favorite part of story, visual/spatial, intrapersonal
• ! Practices student to student communication while ordering pictures in sequence,
interpersonal, logical/mathematical
• ! Participates in discussion of complete sentences, related to beginning, middle and end,
interpersonal
• ! Writes simple sentence with basic subject/verb on back of drawing, verbal/ linguistic
Day 2
Teacher
• ! Ask students to orally retell story The Tsar’s Maiden
• ! Organize class in acting out story (role playing) emphasizing character traits, differences
and similarities
• ! After role play, hand out colored aprons to some students - blue for subject, red for action
(verb) for a sentence structure game
• ! Instruct students in character roles to be the subject (blue) of a sentence and others to play
the verb (red)
• ! Oversee class in student directed game of placing children in the sentence as a subject or
verb
• ! Write example sentences on blackboard, given by students
• ! Lead students in blackboard exercise of underlining subject (noun) and verb in blue and
red chalk
• ! Instruct students to write a sentence in their main lesson books with a subject and verb,
using blue pencil to write subject and red pencil for verb, emphasizing a complete
sentence
• ! Ask students to read each other’s sentences and help correct mistakes
• ! Check for correct sentences
Student
• ! Participates in retell of story, verbal/ linguistic, visual/spatial, interpersonal
• ! Acts out story, body/kinesthetic, interpersonal
• ! Participates in sentence structure game, logical/mathematical, body/kinesthetic
• ! Formulates simple sentence for blackboard exercise, intrapersonal, visual/spatial
• ! Participates in finding subject/verb in sentences on black board, interpersonal
• ! Writes sentences in lesson book with subject (noun) and verb, verbal/ linguistic
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• ! Checks peers sentences and helps identify complete or incomplete sentences,
interpersonal
Day 3
Teacher
• ! Tell story Ivan the Simpleton
• ! Ask children to describe the main idea (plot) of the story
• ! Ask children to describe the characters and character’s function in the story
• ! Discuss with students the important elements of the story (plot, beginning, middle and
end)
• ! Instruct students (in groups) to make up a short story with a plot, have 3 different
characters with jobs and characteristics (e.g., jolly, grumpy, weepy) then sequence the
story from beginning to end
• ! Demonstrate how to draw a map of the story
• ! Instruct students to make up a vocal or instrumental song to play or sing when the group
presents the story
• ! Organize students into groups for creating the story
• ! Assess student progress by observation
Student
• ! Listens to story, verbal/ linguistic, visual/spatial
• ! Participates in describing the plot and characters, interpersonal, verbal/ linguistic
• ! Listens to discussion about elements of a story and directions for assignment; views
demonstration of how to map the story, visual/spatial, logical/mathematical
• ! Practices person to person communication in group project, interpersonal
• ! Creates story with group, verbal/ linguistic, visual/spatial
• ! Creates vocal or instrumental song for presentation of story with group, musical/rhythmic
Day 4
Teacher
• ! Instruct story groups to recall student created stories using story maps
• ! Instruct students to practice presentation of story
• ! View presentation of stories with musical element and have students identify plot and
describe characters
• ! At the end of each story instruct group of listeners to act out the story they just heard,
emphasizing plot, characters and sequence
• ! Ask students to orally make a simple sentence about one of the stories they just heard
• ! Point out correct grammar and word usage as teacher writes the sentences
• ! Instruct students to write 5 simple sentences that tell a little story in their main lesson
books
• ! Encourage students to share the stories with classmates and classmates respond how they
feel when they hear the story
• ! Monitor progress of sentence building, plot and character development
Student
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• ! Participates in group story recall utilizing story maps, interpersonal,
logical/mathematical
• ! Practices group presentation of story, with musical element, body/kinesthetic,
musical/rhythmic
• ! Presents story with group, interpersonal, intrapersonal,
• ! Acts out story told by other groups, body/kinesthetic, verbal/ linguistic
• ! Participates in blackboard sentence structure exercise, verbal/ linguistic, interpersonal
• ! Writes 5 simple sentences, telling a short story, logical/mathematical, verbal/ linguistic
• ! Interacts with classmates in reading, listening, responding to simple sentence “little”
stories, intrapersonal, interpersonal
Day 5
Teacher
• ! Review the plot (main idea), sequence and characters of the two stories (Simpleton, The
Tsar Maiden)
• ! Ask students to identify incorrect sentences on black board (e.g., subject/verb agreement,
complete sentence) and verbally correct mistakes
• ! Facilitate summative assessment and review main lesson books
Student
• ! Participates in review of plot, sequence and character attributes, verbal/ linguistic,
logical/mathematical
• ! Participates in sentence exercise, verbal/ linguistic
• ! Summative assessment
!
Summative Assessment
• ! Students listen to the story Vasilisa the Beautiful
• ! Instruct children to write 5 simple sentences about the story using correct grammar
(complete sentence, regular plurals, noun/verb, subject/verb agreement) W01-S2C5-01
• ! Ask students what the story was about (plot) R01-S2C1-01
• ! Ask who were the characters and what the characters were like; what were the characters
jobs; how were the characters alike or not alike R01-S2C1-02
• ! Ask students to sequence the events of the story R01-S2C1-03
Rubric
Concern –
Able to write simple sentences less than 50% accuracy W01-S2C5-01
Able to describe the plot, character attributes and sequence events less than 50%
accuracy R01-S2C1-01, 02, 03
Progressing Able to write simple sentences 50%-89% accuracy W01-S2C5-O1
Able to describe plot, character attributes and sequence events 50%-89% accuracy
R01-S2C1-01, 02, 03.
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Mastered Able to write simple sentences 90%-99% accuracy W01-S2C5-PO1
Able to describe the plot, character attributes, and sequence events 90%-99%
accuracy R01-S2C1-01, 02, 03
Excels Able to write simple sentences 100% accuracy W01-S2C5-PO1
Able to describe plot, character attributes and sequence events 100% accuracy
R01-S2C1-01, 02, 03.
First Grade Mathematics
(The Tzars Palace)
Mathematics 01
Strand 1: Number Sense and Operations
Concept 1: Number Sense
PO 7: State verbally whole numbers, through 100, using correct place value (e.g., A
student will read 84 as eight tens and four ones.).
PO 8: Construct models to represent place value concepts for the one’s and ten’s places.
PO 9: Apply expanded notation to model place value through 99 (e.g., 37 = 3 groups of ten
+ 7 units).
Resources
• ! Paper
• ! pencils
• ! crayons
• ! scissors
• ! miniature goblets
• ! little bags
• ! candy cups
• ! little baskets
• ! colored aprons
• ! cups
• ! paper bags
• ! coffee cans
• ! large baskets
• ! labels
• ! main lesson books
• ! classroom manipulatives
• ! pentatonic recorders
Note: Students participate in morning rhythmical activities learning rhymes, finger games and
counting activities related to numerical operations and multicultural themes.
Day 1
Teacher
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• ! Engage class in recollection of Russian fairytales and The Tsar’s Palace
• ! Tell tale of how the Tsar kept his treasures in the towers of his palace; the ones tower
holds golden goblets, when there are ten goblets they are put in a bag and moved to the
tens tower, when there are ten bags they are put into a barrel and moved to the hundreds
tower and so on
• ! Demonstrate to students how to draw, color and cut out 4 towers (ones to thousands, place
value towers)
• ! Distribute supplies needed for towers project
• ! Demonstrate how to name and label the towers (e.g., ones place, tens place), towers are
colored by rainbow color progression, ones - red, tens - orange, hundreds - yellow,
thousands - green, and so on
• ! At completion of project hand out manipulatives for work in place value towers (columns)
miniature goblets, little bags, miniature barrels (paper candy cups)
• ! Demonstrate moving unit goblets (ones), to bags (tens), to barrels (hundreds)
• ! Lead class in verbally stating numbers using place value (e.g., 5 barrels of ten and 7 goblet
units = 57)
Student
• ! Participates in recall of Russian fairytales and listens to place value tale of Tsar’s towers,
verbal/ linguistic, visual/spatial
• ! Draws, colors, and cuts out place value towers (columns), visual/spatial
• ! Labels towers per place value column, logical/mathematical, verbal/ linguistic
• ! Works with manipulatives and place value towers, body/kinesthetic, visual/spatial
• ! Participates in oral recitation of whole numbers using place value, logical/mathematical
Day 2
Teacher
• ! Review place value (Tsar’s towers)
• ! Coordinate students into groups for imaginative game of working in Tsar’s towers
• ! Hand out red, orange, yellow and green aprons (ones, tens, hundreds, thousands)
• ! Demonstrate what large manipulatives represent; ones (cups), tens (paper bags), hundreds
(coffee cans as barrels), thousands (large baskets as crates)
• ! Instruct students to label goblets, bags, barrels and crates with ones (units), tens, hundreds,
thousands
• ! Facilitate arrangement of classroom to represent Tsar’s towers (columns for place value)
• ! Facilitate workers in towers; reds work in ones tower, oranges carry bags containing ten to
yellows (hundreds workers) and so on
• ! Facilitate clean up, instruct students to open main lesson book for verbal and written
notation of numbers
• ! Lead class in verbal and written practice of whole numbers to 100 using place value (e.g.,
say 96 is 9 tens and 6 ones (units) and write 96=9 groups of ten + 6 units (one’s)
• ! Monitor students progress in understanding place value concept!
• Lead class in discussion of “Know Thyself” (how student felt in class work/play activity)
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Student
• ! Participates in place value review, logical/mathematical, interpersonal
• ! Concentrates and focuses on organization and creation of Tsar’s Towers work/play
activity, logical/ mathematical, visual/spatial
• ! Works in groups collaboratively setting up imagination work/play activity, interpersonal
• ! Labels place value units, verbal/ linguistic
• ! Works and role plays in place value towers, body/kinesthetic, interpersonal,
visual/spatial
• ! Participates in cooperative clean-up, body/kinesthetic,
• ! Participates in verbal and written notation of numbers using place value terms,
logical/mathematic, verbal/ linguistic
• ! Participates in check-in, “Know Thyself”, intrapersonal
Day 3
Teacher
• ! Demonstrate making colored columns in main lesson books that represent place value,
(e.g., red column for ones, orange for tens etc.)
• ! Instruct students to verbally say numbers as they write them in their main lesson books
(e.g., 3 tens plus 6 ones equals 36 and vise versa 36 equals 3 tens plus 6 ones)
• ! Facilitate group and individual activities, demonstrating place value concepts using
classroom manipulatives (cuisinaire rods, snap cubes, colored tiles)
• ! Instruct children to draw a representation of the previous activity using 3 examples of
notation of place value and drawing a model of the set-up of the manipulatives (42= 4
groups of ten and 2 units of one)
Student
• ! Listens to demonstration and instruction of place value columns for main lesson book,
verbal/ linguistic, logical/mathematical
• ! Works in main lesson book, making a model of place value columns and participating in
oral and written, notation, visual/spatial, verbal/ linguistic
• ! Works in groups or individually using classroom manipulatives to demonstrate place value
up to 100, interpersonal, logical/mathematical
• ! Draws a representation of manipulatives model of place value using numbers through 99
or 100, visual/spatial, logical/mathematical
Day 4
Teacher
• ! Musical Activity; demonstrate for this activity that musical notes D, E, G, A, on the
pentatonic recorder will represent ones, tens, hundreds, thousands in progression from
low to high (low numbers, higher numbers) /students count number of D notes to
calculate how many units of ones, count E notes to calculate groups of tens and so on,
students give verbal response demonstrating place value concepts (e.g., student counts 8
E notes and 3 D notes and says 8 tens and 3 ones, 83)
• ! Facilitate student led pentatonic recorder activity as described above
• ! Expand musical activity through playing notes to obtain two-digit numbers for main
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lesson activity
• ! Instruct students in main lesson books to write one column of two-digit numbers and
opposite that column the expanded notation to model place value (e.g., 99 =9 groups of
ten + 9 units of one)
• ! Facilitate game that has students representing number of units or groups in place value
model
• ! Hand out colored aprons (red, 1's orange 10's, etc.)
• ! Demonstrate where students should place themselves if he/she is representing either a unit
of one, a group of ten, hundreds or thousands
• ! Encourage communication with peers to accomplish generating model
• ! Write the student generated number in expanded notation on blackboard as well as verbal
statement
Student
• ! Listens to and observes musical activity demonstration, musical/rhythmic
• ! Participates in playing recorder and/or listening for notes to calculate numbers for place
value, visual/spatial, musical/rhythmic
• ! Works in main lesson book, recording whole numbers through 99 from musical
indications and writing them in expanded notation modeling place value,
logical/mathematical
• ! Participates in communication/collaboration skill building to achieve goal of activity,
interpersonal, intrapersonal, logical/mathematical/ body/kinesthetic
• ! Participates in reading and speaking numbers using place value concepts, verbal/
linguistic
Day 5
Teacher
• ! Review The Tsar’s Palace with the many towers (place value concepts)
• ! Write whole numbers on the board through 100 and have children verbally state the value
using correct place value
• ! Facilitate summative assessment
Student
• ! Participates in review, verbal/ linguistic, logical/mathematical
• ! Participates in verbally stating whole numbers written on blackboard using place value
concepts, logical/mathematical
• ! Administer summative Assessment
Summative Assessment
• ! Student builds or draws place value models representing 10 different whole numbers
through 100 using classroom manipulatives (cuisinaire rods, snap cubes, tiles, etc) M01S1C1-08
• ! Student verbally states the numbers using correct place value concepts (e.g., 59 as 5 tens
and 9 ones) M01- S1C1-07
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• ! Student writes the numbers in expanded notation (e.g., 77 = 7 groups of ten + 7 units of
one) M01-S1C1-09
Rubric
Concern –
Able to model place value concepts in ones and tens using manipulatives or
drawings less than 50% accuracy M01-S1C1-08
Able to verbally state whole numbers using correct place value through 100 less
than 50% accuracy M01-S1C1-07
Able to apply expanded notation to model place value with numbers through 99
less than 50% accuracy M01-S1C1-09
Progressing Able to model place value concepts in ones and tens 50%-89% accuracy M01S1C1-08
Able to verbally state whole numbers using correct place value through 100 50%89% accuracy M01-S1C1-07
Able to apply expanded notation to model place value with numbers through 99
50%-89% accuracy M01- S1C1-09
Mastered –
Able to model place value concepts in ones and tens 90%-99% accuracy M01S1C1-08
Able to verbally state whole numbers using correct place value through 100 90%99% accuracy M01-S1C1-07
Able to apply expanded notation to model place value with numbers through 99
90%-99% accuracy M01-S1C1-09
Excels –
Able to model place value concepts in ones and tens 100% accuracy M01-S1C108
Able to verbally state whole numbers using correct place value 100% accuracy
M01-S1C1-07
Able to apply expanded notation to model place value with numbers through 99
100% accuracy M01-S1C1-09
Second Grade Language Arts
(There’s a hole in my bucket dear Liza, dear Liza)
Reading 02
Strand 3: Comprehending Informational Text
Concept 2: Functional Text
PO 1: Follow a set of written multi-step directions.
PO 2: Determine whether a specific task is completed, by checking to make sure all the
steps were followed in the right order.
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Resources
• ! main lesson books
• ! paper
• ! pencils
• colored tokens
• ! treasure (gems, polished stones)
• ! direction handout
• ! seeds
• ! potting soil
• ! tiny terra cotta pots
• ! water
• ! incomplete crafts with multi-step directions
Note: This week the teacher leads students in daily singing of the song Dear Liza and daily
recitation of The House that Jack Built and other songs, verses, games and dances related to
American Folk cultural traditions. These thematic activities are woven into various aspects of the
school day throughout the week.
Day 1
Teacher
• ! Discuss with students the directions that Liza gives Henry in the song “Dear Liza” and the
sequential order of the verse The House that Jack Built
• ! Emphasize that the outcome would be different if the sequence was in a different order
• ! Lead discussion of the differences and similarities between verbal and written directions
• ! Write on the black board the steps Liza gives Henry to fix the bucket
• ! Instruct the students to copy the steps Liza gives and number them in order
Student
• ! Participates in discussion of directions, sequence of directions, differences and similarities
in verbal and written directions, logical/mathematical, interpersonal, visual/spatial
• ! Copies into main lesson book the steps for fixing the bucket and numbers them in order,
verbal/ linguistic, logical/mathematical
Day 2
Teacher
• ! Write on the blackboard, out of order, lines from The House that Jack Built
• ! Instruct students to copy the verse in correct sequence and number the order
• ! Facilitate character roles for acting out verse, distribute costumes
• ! Facilitate the students in acting out the verse The House that Jack Built, emphasize
sequence
• ! Review importance of following directions in sequential order
• ! Hand out paper with 5 simple directions the first direction says “Read all 5 directions
before you begin”. The final direction says “Do not do directions 2,3, and 4".
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• ! Engage class in discussion of how they felt while doing this exercise; did they follow the
directions?, etc.
• ! Instruct students to write 3 simple directions for a classmate to follow and chose a partner;
exchange directions and follow through
Student
• ! Copies verse lines in correct sequence, numbering order, verbal/ linguistic,
logical/mathematical
• ! Acts out poem, body/kinesthetic, visual/spatial, verbal/ linguistic, interpersonal
• ! Participates in review of how to follow directions, verbal/ linguistic
• ! Reads handout with written multi-step directions and follows directions,
logical/mathematical
• ! Participates in follow-up discussion at completion of exercise (e.g., feelings at completion,
etc) intrapersonal
• ! Writes 3 simple directions, chooses partner, exchanges and follows written directions of
partner, interpersonal, logical/mathematical, visual/spatial, body/kinesthetic
Day 3
Teacher
• ! Write a set of multi-step directions on blackboard that engage the student in a token/
treasure hunt, instruct students to follow the directions and retrieve colored tokens at each
station as he or she completes the direction
• ! At the final completion of token hunt, instruct students to go backward through the
directions in sequential order and exchange the token at the correct station for a piece of
treasure
• ! Give handout with multi-step directions for planting a seed
• ! Show children where the supplies are for following this exercise
Student
• ! Follows directions in token/treasure hunt, logical/mathematical, body/kinesthetic,
visual/spatial
• ! Follows token hunt backward, logical/mathematical
• ! Follows multi-step written directions for planting a seed, body/kinesthetic,
logical/mathematical
Day 4
Teacher
• ! Using several examples of crafts (with something missing) and sets of directions
demonstrate to students how to read through the directions to see if any steps were
missed and if they can determine if the project was done in sequential order
• ! Place students in groups for this activity for practice in group inquiry
• ! Instruct groups to circle the step that was skipped
Student
• ! Works in groups to determine missing step in multi-step instruction for building of craft,
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logical/mathematical, interpersonal, visual/spatial
• ! Practices skills in cooperative learning strategies, sensing another, focusing/concentration
skills, intrapersonal, interpersonal
Day 5
Teacher
• ! Review tools and skills for following directions
• ! Administer summative assessment and review main lesson books
Student
• ! Participates in review, verbal/ linguistic
• ! Summative Assessment
Summative Assessment
• ! Hand out written multi-step directions for building a rope and wood block doll (American
Folk craft) e.g.: 1) attach pre-cut wooden body to head with small peg, 2) use rope to
string through arm and leg holes, 3) tie knots at ends of rope for hands and feet, 4) paint
the doll as Liza, Henry or Jack R02-S3C2-01
• ! Student examines a finished project of a specific sequence of layers (e.g., purple paper,
wax paper, folded piece of newspaper, piece of velvet cloth, piece of sand paper)
• ! Student reads directions to determine if instructions for layering were followed correctly
and in sequence R02-S3C2-02
Rubric
Concern Able to follow written multi-step directions in creating doll less than 50%
accuracy R01-S3C2-01
Able to determine if a specific task is completed by checking to make sure all
steps were followed in the right order less than 50% accuracy R02-S3C2-02
Progressing Able to follow written multi step directions in creating doll 50%-89% accuracy
R02-S3C2-01
Able to determine if a specific task is complete by checking to make sure all steps
were followed in the right order 50%-89% accuracy R02-S3C2-02
Mastered –
Able to follow multi-step directions in creating doll 90%-99% accuracy R02S3C2-01
Able to determine if a specific task is complete by checking to make sure all steps
were followed in the right order 90%-99% accuracy R02-S3C2-02
Excels –
Able to follow multi-step directions in creating doll 100% accuracy R02-S3C201
Able to determine if a specific task is complete by checking to make sure all steps
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were followed in the right order 100% accuracy R02-S3C2-02
Second Grade Mathematics/Writing
(Did you see what I saw..?)
Mathematics R02
Strand 3: Patterns, Algebra, and Functions
Concept 4: Analysis of Change
PO 1: Identify the change in a variable over time (e.g., an object gets taller, colder,
heavier).
PO 2: Make simple predictions based on a variable (e.g., a child’s height from year to
year).
Writing W02
Strand1: Writing Process
Concept 2: Drafting
P.O. 2: Organize details into logical sequence.
Strand 3: Writing Applications
Concept 2: Expository
PO. 1: Write expository texts (e.g., labels, lists, observations, journals).
Resources
• ! seedlings (planted previously)
• ! rulers
• ! height chart
• ! main lesson books
• ! musical instruments
• ! paper
• ! pencils
• ! pebbles
• ! water
• ! pitcher
• ! paper cups
• ! object with a variable (ice block, mud, flower, etc.)
• ! illustrations
Note: Students have heard nature stories and observed nature during field studies throughout the
year. These activities have enhanced their concept of the change of variables over time. Morning
group activities are chosen to emphasize the changing of the seasons, growth of plants, etc.
through song, verse, dance and rhythmical activities.
Day 1
Teacher
• ! Help class to recall some of the stories and observations earlier in the year and how the
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tree, rock or river changed
• ! Engage students in an inquiry based discussion about the sprouting of their plant seeds and
the measurement of its growth “What is it that changes in the plant?”
• ! Facilitate discussion of the variation in size as the plant grows
• ! Instruct students to again measure the growth of the plant and draw a line on their growth
chart, indicating the length in their main lesson book
• ! Demonstrate for each child to measure the height of a partner on the wall chart that has
been in place since the first day of first grade
• Discuss with students what change are they recording (variable) in their growth chart
(previously established chart)
• ! Instruct children to graph their growth on their growth chart
Student
• ! Participates in class discussion on how “things” change over time, verbal/ linguistic
• ! Charts the growth of plant in main lesson chart, logical/mathematical
• ! Find a partner and measure personal height, interpersonal, logical/mathematical
• ! Engage in discussion on what variable is changing, verbal/ linguistic
• ! Record change in height in “About Me” portfolio (growth chart included) intrapersonal
Day 2
Teacher
• ! Facilitate game at morning circle with musical instruments being added one at a time
• ! Discuss with students what variation is happening, “What variable changes lead to volume
and sound changes?”
• ! Instruct children to draw a picture mapping the instruments being added on one side of the
page and on the other side a picture of how he or she felt as the volume and sound
changed
• ! Engage students in sharing feelings regarding musical exercise - “Know Thyself”
• ! Instruct students to write a statement about the increase in volume and change in sound
and to sequence the addition of instruments; conclude with a description of personal
feeling as the variables changed
• ! Tell the fable of the Crow and the Pitcher
Student
• ! Participates in musical exercise, musical/rhythmic, body/kinesthetic
• ! Listens to and gives feedback during discussion on variances in volume and sound,
verbal/ linguistic, logical/mathematical
• ! Draws map of musical exercise (e.g., sectioned page with first one instrument, then two,
then three and so on), visual/spatial
• ! Record personal feeling through illustration, intrapersonal, visual/spatial
• ! Participate in“Know Thyself” exercise, intrapersonal, interpersonal
• ! Writes statement about changes observed, records sequence of musical addition, concludes
with written statement about how he or she felt, verbal/ linguistic, ,
logical/mathematical
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• ! Listens to fable, visual/spatial, verbal/ linguistic
Day 3
Teacher
• ! Recall with student participation the fable from previous day
• ! Discuss what changed as the crow added pebbles to the pitcher (lead to weight and water
level)
• ! Show children where the materials are to create this experiment on their own (cups,
pebbles, water)
• ! Facilitate experiment, encourage peer communication
• ! Instruct students to record the rise in water level through an illustration and feel weight
change through lifting of the cup
• ! Facilitate clean-up
• ! Instruct students to write down the steps in the experiment in sequential order and predict
what would happen if the crow were to continue adding pebbles to the top of the pitcher
Student
• ! Participates in recall of fable and discussion of weight and water level changes, verbal/
linguistic
• ! Gathers materials for experiment, engages in creating experiment, communicates with
peers in observation of changes, body/kinesthetic, logical/mathematical, visual/spatial
• ! Records changes in variable (water level) describes weight change to classmates, logical/
mathematical
• ! Engages in cooperative clean-up, interpersonal
• ! Writes experiment steps in sequential order and writes prediction of what will happen if
the crow were to continue adding pebbles, verbal/ linguistic, visual/spatial
Day 4
Teacher
• ! Display a variety of objects and illustrations with a variable that will change (e.g., objects;
ice block, mud, flower, bowl to fill or empty, illustrations; small tree, small pond)
• ! Ask students for predictions of change in variable per object or illustration
• ! Demonstrate to children how to graph the change in variables through the day for the
different objects (e.g., ice block gets smaller, mud gets drier, flower changes appearance
loses life force, bowl gets lighter or heavier)
• ! Instruct students to choose objects to monitor and record changes in their main lesson
books
• ! At close of monitoring/ charting /graphing phase, instruct students to write an introductory
statement (e.g., The ice will change its weight and size as it melts.) Write sequence of
changes in variables through the day (fresh and sturdy to limp and lifeless) and a
concluding statement (e.g., As the day went on the mud turned to dry crumbly dirt.)
Student
• ! Observes and makes prediction on what changes will occur and what the variable is (e.g.
size, moisture content, weight), logical/mathematical, visual/spatial, verbal/ linguistic
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•C
! hooses objects to monitor, intrapersonal
• ! Graphs changes throughout the day on variables, logical/mathematical, visual/spatial
• ! Reports information gathered from experiments in written form, introductory statement,
sequence of changes, concluding statement, visual/spatial, verbal/ linguistic
Day 5
Teacher
• ! Review predictions of the week, review identifying change in variable, review recording
information on changes
• ! Administer summative assessment and review main lesson books
Student
• ! Participates in review, mathematical/logical, verbal/ linguistic
• ! Summative assessment
Summative Assessment
• ! Ten objects or illustrations that have a variable that will change are set up for observation
• ! Student visits each item and verbally presents answers as to how each object will change
(identifying variable) and predict the change (the classroom baby chicks’ weights will
change week to week) M02-S3C4-01, 02
• ! Student will choose one of the 10 objects to monitor and measure changes throughout the
day, then record observations in main lesson book W02-S3C2-01
• ! Student will write the events of change in sequential order W02-S1C2-02
Rubric
Concern Able to identify variable and make predictions as to amount (weight, height, size)
of change less than 50% accuracy M02-S3C4-01, 02
Able to list observations less than 50% accuracy W02-S3C2-01
Able to list observations in sequential order less than 50% accuracy W02-S1C202
Progressing Able to identify variable and make predictions as to amount (weight, height, size)
of change 50%-89% accuracy M02-S3C4-01, 02
Able to list observations 50%-89% accuracy W02-S3C2-01
Able to list observations in sequential order 50%-89% accuracy W02-S1C2-02
Mastered Able to identify variable and make predictions as to amount (weight, height, size)
of change 90%-99% accuracy M02-S3C4-01, 02
Able to list observations 90%-99% accuracy W02-S3C2-01
Able to list observations in sequential order 90%-99% accuracy W02-S1C2-02
Excels –
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Able to identify variable and make predictions as to amount (weight, height, size)
of change 100% accuracy M02-S3C4-01, 02
Able to list observations 100% accuracy W02-S3C2-01
Able to list observations in sequential order 100% accuracy W02-S1C2-02
Third Grade Language Arts
(To swallow or not to swallow)
Reading 03
Strand 3: Comprehending Informational Text
Concept 3: Persuasive Text
PO 1: Distinguish fact from opinion in persuasive text (e.g., advertisements, product labels,
written communications).
PO 2: Identify persuasive vocabulary (e.g., emotional words) used to influence readers’
perspective.
Writing 03
Strand 3: Writing Application
Concept 6: Research
PO 1: Paraphrase information from at least one source (e.g., internet, reference materials).
Resources
• ! persuasive texts
• ! advertisements
• ! food labels
• ! paper
• ! pencils
• ! musical instruments
• ! large tag boards
• ! paints
• ! markers
Day 1
Teacher
• ! Facilitate inquiry based discussion on what persuasion is and why it is used
• ! Distribute a persuasive text on a attending a great summer camp; Camp Swallow
• ! Instruct students to read text making mental note on what words are used to entice
consumers
• ! Divide students into project groups
• ! Instruct students to create a song or poem based on the claims the text makes (e.g., “No
moms, no dads, no rules to follow, just sweet desserts, all day to swallow”) to be
presented the next day
• ! Instruct students to list words in their main lesson books that make him or her wish to
attend the camp
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Student
• ! Participates in discussion on persuasion verbal/ linguistic, interpersonal
• ! Reads persuasive text, takes mental notes on persuasive words verbal/ linguistic
• ! Works in group practicing cooperative learning strategies interpersonal
• ! Participates in peer group creating song or poem for future presentation musical/rhythmic
• ! Writes list of words that are persuasive verbal/ linguistic
Day 2
Teacher
• ! Facilitate presentation of songs or poems
• ! Instruct children to return to the groups and make up a persuasive verbal advertisement to
attend a function (e.g., party, carnival, theme park)
• ! Instruct groups to create an illustrated advertisement to accompany the verbal presentation
• ! Homework: for next days lesson, instruct children to find resources at home or library
(e.g., magazines, Internet, brochures) that advertise an event or function they would like
to attend
Student
• ! Presents song or poem with project group, musical/rhythmic, body/kinesthetic
• ! Participates in creating verbal advertisement and illustrated accompaniment, visual/spatial
• ! Homework: uses resources to find an event or function he or she would like to attend,
verbal/ linguistic, intrapersonal
Day 3
Teacher
• ! Instruct students to use the resource he or she found at home (sighting source) to write in
their own words what the event or function could be like (collect papers for review)
• ! Distribute advertisement printed off Internet, product labels (cereal boxes, frozen dinner
boxes, etc,) and instruct students to identify persuasive words
• ! Homework: student writes a brief description of what he or she thought about the all
school festival with special emphasis on persuading a friend to attend or not; some facts
about festival must be included.
Student
• ! Using resources writes in own words what an event or function may be like mentioning
source of advertisement verbal/ linguistic, intrapersonal
• ! Views advertisements and product labels and identifies persuasive vocabulary,
visual/spatial
• ! Homework: writes persuasive description, interpersonal, intrapersonal
Day 4
Teacher
• ! Facilitate presentations of persuasive festival descriptions
• ! Instruct class to identify what is fact or opinion after listening to descriptions
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• ! Instruct students to find a partner and illustrate, write, sing or orally present a persuasive
advertisement that is part fact and part opinion
• ! Facilitate presentation of advertisements, class to identify what is fact or opinion
Student
• ! Reads persuasive descriptions and receives feedback, verbal/ linguistic, body/kinesthetic
• ! Participates in listening and identifying persuasive vocabulary, visual/spatial
• ! Collaborates with partner in creating an advertisement, interpersonal
• ! Presents advertisement, body/kinesthetic, musical/rhythmic
• Identifies fact or opinion in presentations with class, interpersonal
Day 5
Teacher
• ! Review persuasive vocabulary, review weeks activities with emphasis on students
identifying their favorite aspects
• ! Facilitate summative assessment and review main lesson books
Student
• ! Participates in review and identifies personal favorite aspects, intrapersonal
• ! Summative assessment
Summative Assessment
• ! Distribute packet of three items; one advertisement, one product label, and one written
communication (simple, descriptive letter)
• ! Instruct students to circle the persuasive vocabulary used to influence the reader’s
perspective R03-S3C3-02
• ! Distribute written communication with facts and opinions, instruct students to underline
facts, circle opinions R03-S3C3-01
• ! From classroom resource (magazines, books, brochures) instruct children to find
information about a place to visit and report (paraphrase) in their own words the
information they found, acknowledging the source of information (e.g., In the Fun City
brochure it shows...) W03-S3C6-01
Rubric
Concern –
Able to identify persuasive vocabulary in texts less than 50% accuracy R03S3C3-02
Able to distinguish between fact and opinion in persuasive texts less than 50%
accuracy R03-S3C3-01
Able to paraphrase information from reference source less than 50% accuracy
W03-S3C6-01
Progressing –
Able to identify persuasive vocabulary in texts 50%-89% accuracy R03-S3C3-02
Able to distinguish between fact and opinion in persuasive texts 50%-89%
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accuracy R03-S3C3-01
Able to paraphrase information from reference source 50%-89% accuracy W03S3C6-01
Mastered –
Able to identify persuasive vocabulary in texts 90%-99% accuracy R03-S3C3-02
Able to distinguish between fact and opinion in persuasive texts 90%99% accuracy R03-S3C3-01
Able to paraphrase information from reference source 90%-99% accuracy W03S3C6-01
Excels –
Able to identify persuasive vocabulary in texts 100% accuracy R03-S3C3-02
Able to distinguish between fact and opinion in persuasive texts 100% accuracy
R03-S3C3-01
Able to paraphrase information from reference source 100% accuracy W03S3C6-01
Third Grade Mathematics
(The hands of time...)
Mathematics 03
Strand 4: Geometry and Measurement
Concept 4: Measurement-Units of Measure - Geometric Objects
PO 2: Tell time with one-minute precision (analog).
Note: Previously in the year the students have recited verses and participated in action oriented
songs with body kinesthetics representing a clock. They are familiar with the rhythms of the
year, the months, the weeks, the days, the hours, the minutes. They have learned about the
origins of time keeping and made water clocks, candle clocks and sundials from ancient cultures.
Resources
• ! paper
• ! scissors
• ! pencils
• ! circular templates
• ! brads
• ! hour/minute hands
• ! large clock
• ! time handouts
• ! main lesson books
Day 1
Teacher
• ! Daily recitation of verses, poems and songs that describe time (e.g., Time Rhyme, ‘Round
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•
•
•
•
and Round’)
! Demonstrate how to make a clock with 5 marks between each hour mark
! Distribute supplies for making clock
! Guide and assist children in placement of hour numbers and lines for minutes
! Review the 60 minutes in and hour concept, count all sixty minute lines, and count by
fives to sixty
Student
• ! Recites and memorizes daily verses, visual/spatial, body/kinesthetic, musical/rhythmic
• ! Observes and listens to demonstration on crafting the paper clock, visual/spatial, verbal/
linguistic
• ! Makes clock with precision and care to get the minute marks in correct position,
body/kinesthetic, visual/spatial
• ! Participates in review of clock (analog) concepts, verbal/ linguistic
Day 2
Teacher
• ! Large clock with distinct minute hands is placed on the wall; review minute hand
movement
• ! Distribute handout with space for recording starting time and stopping time of activities
• ! Tell students the class will frequently be writing down the time activities start and stop;
student is to write it in the space provided, underlining the minutes
• ! The last activity of the day is to refer to the time sheets and move the hands of the paper
clock to the times stated (practice)
Student
• ! Observes and participates in minute hand movement review, verbal/ linguistic
• ! Throughout the day, observes and records start and stop time of activities,
logical/mathematical
• ! Participates in manually moving the hour and minute hand of paper clocks to correct
position referring to the time log done during the day, body/kinesthetic
Day 3
Teacher
• ! During mental math activities: give word problems that have a start/stop time and students
calculate minutes passed
• ! Play game; children represent the hours and hands of a giant clock. A student states a time
and a classmate must move the hands (children) to the correct position
• ! Distribute handout with stated times
• ! Instruct children to move the hands of their clock to the correct position
• ! Homework: to record the time of their birth, supper time, bed time, arise time, depart for
school time
Student
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•
•
•
•
! Calculates minutes passed in word problems, logical/mathematical
! Participates in clock game, body/kinesthetic, interpersonal
! Participates in clock/time exercise, visual/spatial, logical/mathematical
! Homework: records required times, developing ‘Know Thyself’, intrapersonal
Day 4
Teacher
• ! Instruct students to draw five, 3 inch clocks (using classroom templates) in their main
lesson books and to demonstrate the 5 different times he or she gathered at home
• ! Consistently ask students for the time (throughout the day)
• ! Hand out sheet with analog clocks that model a specific time
• ! Instruct students to write the time that is represented on the clock in the space provided
Student
• ! Draws precise circles for clocks, adds hours and draws hands of clock in the correct
position, visual/spatial, logical/mathematical
• ! Participates and answers when asked to state time of day, verbal/ linguistic,
logical/mathematical
• ! Identifies the time on the clock model and records it in numerical notation,
logical/mathematical
Day 5
Teacher
• ! Review skills and concepts of how to tell time
• ! Administers summative assessment and review main lesson book
Student
• ! Participates in review, verbal/ linguistic
• ! Summative assessment
Summative Assessment
• ! Student is asked to respond verbally with the correct time with one- minute precision
when presented with a clock (analog) modeling different times (10 different times) M03S4C4-02
Rubric
!ConcernAble to tell time to the minute less than 50% accuracy M03-S4C4-02
!
ProgressingAble to tell time to the minute 50%-89% accuracy M03-S4C4-02
!
MasteredAble to tell time to the minute 90% -99% accuracy M03-S4C4-02
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ExcelsAble to tell time to the minute 100% accuracy M03-S4C4-02
Fourth Grade – Language Arts
(World View....)
Reading 04
Strand 1: Reading Process
Concept 4: Vocabulary
PO 5: Determine the meanings, pronunciations, syllabication, synonyms, antonyms and
parts of speech of words by using a variety of reference aids.
Writing 04
Strand 2
Concept 6
PO 1: Use capital letters.
PO 2: Punctuate ending of sentences.
PO 10: Use resources to spell correctly.
PO 11: Use paragraph breaks to indicate an organizational structure.
PO 12: Use the following parts of speech correctly in simple sentences: nouns, action verbs,
personal pronouns, adjectives, conjunctions.
Resources
• dictionary
• thesaurus
• map of Arizona
• pencil and paper
• atlas
• word walls
• colored modeling clay
Day One
Teacher
• Review how words are arranged in alphabetical order in dictionaries and a thesaurus
• Ask students for words from other cultures that are used in the English language; i.e.,
clogs, skis, siesta.. Ask students for the spelling of the word; write the word on the chalk
board
• Instruct students to look the words up in the dictionary for correct spelling and note what
part of speech is indicated in the dictionary
• Distribute papers written the previous week and instruct students to choose ten words
from their writing and replace them with new words, using a thesaurus, submit paper with
old word and new word
• Facilitate game of “Gobbledeegook”; verbally give five words with a high degree of
difficulty in spelling and meaning; student must look word up in dictionary for correct
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spelling, syllabication, part of speech and meaning of word. Player must then find 5
words that are gobbledeegook and be prepared to present words for a new round of play
Student
• Participates in review and word inquiry, verbal/ linguistic
• Works with dictionary, logical/mathematical
• Uses the thesaurus to find word replacement, verbal/ linguistic
• Plays word game, visual/spatial, verbal/ linguistic
Day Two
Teacher
• Distribute revised papers
• Ask students to contribute words from their papers (words from thesaurus)
• The entire class is asked to clap out the syllables of that word
• Facilitate game of “Fastest Draw”; teacher states a word from revised papers, players
must stand as soon as they find an antonym or synonym: first to stand goes to chalkboard
and draws picture clues of synonym or antonym; other players must guess the word
• Review pronunciation guide in dictionary
• Divide class into groups, give each group a list of five vocabulary words with difficult
pronunciations and obscure meanings
• Instruct groups to figure out pronunciation and definitions
• Facilitate groups dramatizing one of the words
• Assign homework; Students research where their family immigrated from or history of
tribal migration; bring to class any objects, songs, poems or clothing from their tribe or
country of origin
Student
• Participates in thesaurus word review, interpersonal
• Claps out the syllables, body/kinesthetic
• Plays “Fastest Draw”, verbal/ linguistic, visual/spatial, interpersonal
• Participates in review of pronunciation guide, interpersonal
• Looks up words in dictionary, verbal/ linguistic, visual/spatial
• Works in vocabulary/pronunciation skill group, intrapersonal verbal/ linguistic
• Dramatizes one of the dictionary words, body/kinesthetic, interpersonal
• Homework: works with family in achieving homework requirements interpersonal,
intrapersonal
Day 3
Teacher
• Facilitate class sharing of family immigration or migration
• Present an atlas as another reference aid
• In atlas, help students find countries of origin
• Facilitate students in sharing items from country of origin
• Organize students into groups of same or close areas of origin
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•
•
•
Instruct students to find rivers, mountains, borders of countries, anything else of interest
from country or place of origin
Review paragraph construction with game of “Give Me a Break” (teacher reads a piece of
literature twice through; second time through, when players think there should be a
paragraph they must state “Give me a break!”)
Instruct students in writing assignment; three paragraphs, an introductory paragraph,
content and closing paragraph (rough draft), topic: country or place of origin, i.e., land
features, language, specialization
Student
• Participates in class stories of immigration, verbal/ linguistic, interpersonal
• Learns to use atlas reference, finds countries of origin, logical/mathematical,
interpersonal
• Explores atlas with group, visual/spatial, logical/mathematical
• Shares items from country of origin with class, interpersonal, verbal/ linguistic
• Begins writing assignment, intrapersonal, verbal/linguistic
Day 4
Teacher
• Instruct students to proofread paragraphs - check for capitalization, punctuation, spelling,
and complete sentences, underline parts of speech: nouns in blue, verbs in red, adjectives
in purple, adverbs in orange, conjunctions in yellow and prepositions in green
• Instruct students to give the paper to a classmate to proofread, use dictionaries or word
walls to check spelling and parts of speech. Are the paragraphs in logical order?
• Facilitate students clay sculpting of familial country of origin.
• Assign writing work: “Bug’s Journey”, a short story about a bug moving across the clay
sculpture and what the bug encounters along the way, i.e., what mountains and rivers he
crossed, etc. Instruct students to make use of an atlas, dictionary, thesaurus; paragraphs
must be organized into introduction, content body and conclusion of story.
Student
• Participates in proofreading, interpersonal, verbal/ linguistic
• Proofreads peers papers (e.g., underlining, capitalization, punctuation), verbal/
linguistic/ interpersonal
• Writes short story using reference aids, interpersonal, verbal/ linguistic, visual/spatial
Day 5
Teacher
• Facilitate sharing of “Bug’s Journey” writing, instruct students to peer review; are
paragraphs clear in organization of story?
• Facilitate Summative assessment and review main lesson books.
Student
• Participates in Bug’s Journey sharing of story and peer evaluation, intrapersonal,
interpersonal
• Summative assessment
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Summative Assessment
• Instruct students to use the thesaurus and dictionary to find synonyms and antonyms for
five of the words in the story, the Bug’s Journey R04-S1C4-05
• Hand out paper with 10 words to be looked up in a dictionary and a thesaurus. Student
must look up pronunciation, (pronounce the word correctly to the teacher) clap the
syllables, give meaning of the word, and name the part of speech R04-S1C4-05
• Write a short essay with topic; if you lived in the country your family immigrated from,
describe what it would be like? How would you be different? Instruct students to use
correct sentence structure, spelling, punctuation, parts of speech, capitalization and
grammar. Essay must have at least five clear and distinct paragraphs indicating
beginning, middle and conclusion. Use resources to check spelling. W04-S2C6-01, 02,
10, 11, 12,
Rubric
Concern –
Able to write a complete simple sentence with proper punctuation, capitalization
and correct use of parts of speech less than 50% accuracy W04-S2C6-01, 02, 12
Able use a reference aid (dictionary, thesaurus, atlas) to determine correct
spelling, meanings, pronunciation syllabication, synonyms, antonyms, and parts
of speech less than 50% accuracy R04-S1C4-05 W04-S2C6-010
Able to use paragraph breaks indicating organizational structure less than 50%
accuracy W04-S2C6-011
Progressing –
Able to write a complete simple sentence with proper punctuation, capitalization
and correct use of parts of speech 50%-89% accuracy W04-S2C6-01, 02, 12
Able use a reference aid (dictionary, thesaurus, atlas) to determine correct
spelling, meanings, pronunciation syllabication, synonyms, antonyms, and parts
of speech 50%-89% accuracy R04-S1C4-05 W04-S2C6-010
Able to use paragraph breaks indicating organizational structure 50%-89%
accuracy W04-S2C6-011
Mastered –
Able to write a complete simple sentence with proper punctuation, capitalization
and correct use of parts of speech 90%-99% accuracy W04-S2C6-01, 02, 12
Able use a reference aid (dictionary, thesaurus, atlas) to determine correct
spelling, meanings, pronunciation syllabication, synonyms, antonyms, and parts
of speech 90%-99% accuracy R04-S1C4-05 W04-S2C6-010
Able to use paragraph breaks indicating organizational structure 90% - 99%
accuracy W04-S2C6-011
Excels –
Able to write a complete simple sentence with proper punctuation, capitalization
and correct use of parts of speech 100% accuracy W04-S2C6-01, 02, 12
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Able use a reference aid (dictionary, thesaurus, atlas) to determine correct
spelling, meanings, pronunciation syllabication, synonyms, antonyms, and parts
of speech 100% accuracy R04-S1C4-05 W04-S2C6-010
Able to use paragraph breaks indicating organizational structure 100% accuracy
W04-S2C6-011
Fourth Grade - Mathematics
(A beautiful area, a strong perimeter)
Mathematics 04
Strand 4: Geometry and Measurement
Concept 4: Measurement – Units of Measure, Geometric Objects
PO 8: Determine the perimeter of simple polygons.
PO 9: Determine the area of squares and rectangles.
PO 10: Differentiate between perimeter and area of quadrilaterals.
Resources
• paper
• pencil
• rulers
• yardsticks
• tape measures
• scissors
• border material
• saws
• hammers
• flowers
• seeds
• shovels
• rakes
Day 1
Teacher
• Instruct students to jog around the playground fence
• Review perimeter and demonstrate how to measure a perimeter
• Lead class in inquiry of “Why we need perimeter measurements”
• Demonstrate usefulness with discussion about fences for yards, animals, farms, building
lots, rooms for furniture, etc.
• Divide students into groups of four - designate a scribe
• Send the students back outside with tape measures, paper and pencil and measure the
perimeter of the playground, garden, goat pen, etc.
Student
• Jogs around perimeter of playground, body/kinesthetic
• Participates in discussion about perimeter, verbal/ linguistic
• Works in groups measuring school perimeters, interpersonal, logical/mathematical
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Day 2
Teacher
• Instruct students to draw a pastel picture of what is inside one of the perimeter
measurements from yesterday, i.e., chickens in the pen, vegetables in the garden
• Instruct students to label each side of the perimeter drawings with the correct lengths of
measurement
• Direct students to exchange papers with a classmate and total all the sides to obtain the
perimeter
• Discuss designing several small flower gardens for the school. Designate the sights for
the gardens and garden groups. Draw a design for garden with borders and placement of
flowers and seeds. Use natural materials from the area, such as rocks and logs for the
border, use perimeter measurements in the design
• Show class how to measure width and length and use multiplication to obtain
measurement of area (review that area can be in inches, feet, yards, etc.)
• Instruct class to calculate area of flower gardens and check other groups for correct
calculations
• Facilitate calculations of mulch or soil needed per area
• Facilitate the building of borders, preparation and planting of flower gardens
Student
• Draws what is contained in the perimeter, visual/spatial,
• Labels and calculates perimeter drawings, logical/mathematical
• Designs and draws gardens using perimeter calculations, visual/spatial,
• Measures length and width for area, logical/mathematical, visual/spatial
• Calculates area and amount of soil or mulch needed for area, visual/spatial,
logical/mathematical
• Participates in building, preparing and planting gardens, interpersonal, ,
logical/mathematical, body/kinesthetic
Day 3
Teacher
• Review regular polygon shapes and point out shapes of gardens and rooms at the school
(visual aids)
• Designate groups and instruct groups to measure the school rooms and calculate the areas
in square feet for new flooring in the future.
• Assign homework: students are to measure as many square and rectangular rooms or
other regular polygon shapes at home and calculate the perimeter for all shapes and
calculate the area for quadrilaterals
Student
• Participates in review of polygons logical/mathematical, visual/spatial
• Measures rooms in groups, visual/spatial, interpersonal
• Does homework, logical/mathematical, visual/spatial
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Day 4
Teacher
• Review homework
• Facilitate group discussion of what vocations use the concepts of area and perimeter on a
daily basis (builders, architects, interior decorators, farmers, etc.)
• Instruct students to create a skit to show what they would be doing in their job or home
using these measurements and concepts
Student
• Participates in review of polygon perimeters quadrilateral areas
• Discusses vocations with peer group using cooperative learning strategies, interpersonal,
verbal/ linguistic
• Creates and performs skit for class, body/kinesthetic, verbal/ linguistic, visual/spatial
Day 5
Teacher
• Administers assessment and reviews main lesson books.
Student
• Performs assessment
Summative Assessment
• Distribute cardboard figures of simple polygons (squares, rectangle, triangle)
• Determine the perimeter using rulers M04-S4C4-08
• Instruct students to find the area for the squares and rectangles M04-S4C4-09
• Give each student an area in the school (four can be in one room and start at different
walls) and determine perimeter and area M04-S4C4-08, 09
• Differentiate between perimeter and area M04-S4C4-10
Rubric:
Concern –
Able to measure, differentiate and determine perimeter and /or area for any figure
less than 50% accuracy M04-S4C4-08, 09, 10
Progressing –
Able to measure, differentiate and determine perimeter and/or area of figures
between 50% and 89% accuracy M04-S4C4-08, 09, 10
Mastery –
Able to measure, differentiate and determine perimeter and/or area of figures 90%
to 99% accuracy M04-S4C4-08, 09, 10
Excels –
Able to measure, differentiate and determine perimeter and/or area of figures
100% accuracy M04-S4C4-08, 09, 10
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Grade Five – Language Arts
(Ancient India)
Reading 05
Reading Strand 2 – Comprehending Literary Text
Concept 1 – Elements of Literature
PO 1. Identify the components of a plot.
PO 2. Identify the theme of a literary selection.
PO 4. Analyze how a character’s traits influence that character’s actions.
Writing 05
Writing Strand 3 – Writing applications
Concept 5 – Literary Response
PO 1. Write a reflection to a literature selection.
PO 2. Write a book report or review that identifies the: main idea, character, setting,
sequence of events, conflict/resolution.
Note: The students have been studying the cultural traditions of India including mythology,
music, art, dance, foods, clothing, etc. These activities are integrated throughout the day.
Resources
• Copy of Rama and the Monkey God for each student
• Paper, pencil
• Costumes for dramatization
Note: As a previous activity: students have read through chapter 13 the previous week.
Day 1
Teacher
• Facilitate dramatization of prediction for the next chapter. Students should portray
character traits in play acting
• Lead class discussion on creating a short story with nondescript characters and how a plot
may unfold differently as character traits are added
• Instruct students to write a short story with an unfolding plot line but not a conclusion,
the characters should be non descript
Student
• Participates in dramatization of possible outcomes in story content verbal/ linguistic,
body/kinesthetic, logical/mathematical
• Participates in skill building: plot changes as character traits change, interpersonal
• Writes short story with inconclusive plot ending and non descript characters, verbal/
linguistic
Day 2
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Teacher
• Instruct students to exchange day one’s short story assignment with a classmate
• Instruct students to predict author’s conclusion and then proceed to filling in character
traits and have the plot come to a logical conclusion based on personalities or character
traits the students give them
• Discuss the importance of the component parts of a plot, i.e., the introduction, build up,
conclusion
• Read sections of two different literary selections Rama and the Monkey God and
Gilgamesh
• Ask students to identify main theme of stories and plot components
Student
• Participates in prediction, fictional character building and plot conclusion in literature,
logical/mathematical, verbal/ linguistic
• Listens to and participates in discussion on theme and plot components, verbal/
linguistic
• Identifies plot components, logical/mathematical, verbal/ linguistic
Day Three
Teacher
• Read selections from Siddhartha
• Instruct students to write short essay on how they felt when Siddhartha left his protective
home
• Facilitate sharing essays with class, students identify feelings reflected
• Homework: instruct students to write a poem, topic: leaving all you know behind, (keep
in mind Siddhartha leaving home)
Student
• Listens to story, intrapersonal, verbal/ linguistic
• Writes reflective essay, interpersonal
• Participates and identifies classmates reflections of story, intrapersonal,
logical/mathematical
• Writes homework poem, intrapersonal
Day Four
Teacher
• Further the reading of Siddhartha
• Facilitate class discussion and analyze how Siddhartha’s character traits and environment
lead up to his finally becoming a Buddha
• Lead class in sharing of reflective poems homework
• Proofread and enter poems in main lesson book beside the picture of Buddha
• Facilitate recitation of Veda (students have been reciting the Veda for 3 weeks)
• Assign review on the Veda, students must identify main idea or theme, character, setting,
sequence of events and conflict resolution
Student
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•
•
•
•
•
Listens to story, verbal linguistic
Analyzes character traits of Siddhartha and his environment; how they relate to the
resolution of story and the unfolding of plot, intrapersonal, interpersonal,
Shares reflective poem with class and enters poem into main lesson book, verbal
/linguistic, visual/spatial
Recites Veda, verbal/ linguistic, body/kinesthetic
Writes review on Veda, verbal/ linguistic, intrapersonal
Day Five
Teacher
• Facilitate sharing of reviews; students are to check classmates work for correctness of
main idea, character, setting, etc.
• Administer summative assessment and review main lesson books.
Student
• Participates and presents his review interpersonal, verbal/ linguistic
• Summative assessment
Summative Assessment
• Write a book report on Rama and the Monkey God and identify the main idea, plot,
characters, and their traits, describe how the characters influence the plot R05-S2C1-01,
04; W05-S3C5-02,
• Students read one of the Krishna tales and identify the theme R05-S2C1-02
• Students write a short essay or poem on the feeling Krishna portrayed in the tale they
chose to write about, i.e, brave, fierce, compassionate, angry, and how these traits
influenced his actions. W05-S3C5-01
Rubric:
Concern
Able to identify the plot, character traits, main idea and describe how the
character traits influence the outcome or plot less than 50% accuracy R05-S2C101, 04; W05-S3C5-02
Able to identify theme less than 50% accuracy R05-S2C1-02
Able to write a reflective poem or essay less than 50% accuracy W05-S3C5-01
ProgressingAble to identify the plot, character traits, main idea and describe how the
character traits influence the outcome or plot 50% - 89% accuracy R05-S2C1-01,
04; W05-S3C5-02
Able to identify theme 50% -89% accuracy R05-S2C1-02
Able to write a reflective poem or essay 50%-89% accuracy
W05-S3C5-01
Mastered –
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Able to identify the plot, character traits, main idea and describe how the
character traits influence the outcome or plot 90∞-99% accuracy R05-S2C1-01,
04; W05-S3C5-02
Able to identify theme 90%-99% accuracy R05-S2C1-02
Able to write a reflective poem or essay 90%-99%% accuracy
W05-S3C5-01
ExcelsAble to identify the plot, character traits, main idea and describe how the
character traits influence the outcome or plot 100% accuracy R05-S2C1-01, 04;
W05-S3C5-02
Able to identify theme 100% accuracy R05-S2C1-02
Able to write a reflective poem or essay 100% accuracy W05-S3C5-01
Fifth Grade – Mathematics
(plane rays)
Geometry 05
Strand 4: Geometry and Measurement
Concept 1: Geometric Properties
PO 1: Recognize regular polygons.
PO 5: Draw points, lines, line segments, rays and angles with appropriate labels.
PO 7: Classify triangles as scalene, isosceles or equilateral.
Resources
• paper
• pencils and colored pencils
• rulers
• protractors
• journal
• main lesson books
Day 1
Teacher
• Discuss the meaning of the word “geometry” - earth measure; present the origin of
geometry in Egypt and Babylonia and its use in land surveying over 4000 years ago
• Review the names of six regular polygons: square, rectangle, equilateral triangle,
hexagon, octagon and pentagon
• Divide into four groups; Instruct students to explore and write a definition of a regular
polygon; class will choose most logical definition
• In main lesson books: instruct students to write definition of polygon as decided by the
class and draw and label each of the six geometric shapes in different colors with colored
pencils
• Facilitate journal entry “What was most significant to you in class today?”
• Homework: Find examples of these geometric shapes at school, home, driving in the car,
in church, in nature, ancient cave dwellings, pottery and weaving, etc.
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Student
• Participates in geometry discussion and review, verbal/ linguistic, logical/mathematical
• Works cooperatively in group defining polygon, interpersonal, logical/mathematical
• Works in main lesson books; writes definition of polygon and artistically draws each
shape, verbal/ linguistic, visual/spatial
• Journal work, intrapersonal
• Locates examples for homework, visual/spatial
Day Two
Teacher
• Class discussion – sharing results of homework of regular polygon search
• Form drawing in main lesson book – draw a quadrilateral; continue drawing smaller and
smaller quadrilaterals inside the first one until it can get no smaller. Use a different color
pencil for each quadrilateral
• Review points, lines, line segments, rays and angles
• Demonstrate vertex and diagonal
• Instruct students to mark four points on a piece of construction paper; be sure no three of
them are in a line; use rulers to draw lines to the points. Instruct children to identify shape
• Discuss three types of triangles
• Lead kinesthetic activity of same height children making an equilateral triangle, children
of different heights making scalene and isosceles triangles, continue activity with lengths
of string
• Instruct students to define and draw an equilateral triangle, scalene triangle and isosceles
triangle in the main lesson book
Student
• Discusses homework findings (geometric shapes), interpersonal
• Draws quadrilaterals colorfully and artistically in form drawing book, visual/spatial
• Measures quadrilateral, logical/mathematical, visual/spatial
• Participates in review and explores triangles, logical/mathematical, visual/spatial,
body/kinesthetic
• Enters drawings and definitions in main lesson book, visual/spatial
Day Three
Teacher
• Further presentation of point, line and plane
• Facilitate activity: classroom floor is the plane, students are the points and a string is the
line, delineate line segments with tape, other students label the parts
• Review angles with students and do similar activity with bodies and strings but students
now make angles and label: vertex, ray, point, line segments
• Lead class in writing a definition of angle using the term ray
• Lead exploration: where are angles in the world and how are they used? e.g. physical
body bends over 45 degrees, surveyors, navigators, meteorologists
• Demonstrate and review drawing three types of angles; obtuse, right and acute
• Instruct students to experiment drawing angles and label parts
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Students
• Participates in lesson on point, line and plane, verbal/ linguistic, logical/mathematical
• Participates in classroom kinesthetic activities logical/mathematical
• Participates in definition of an angle and in exploration intrapersonal
• Draws angles and labels angles, logical/mathematics, visual/spatial
Day Four
Teacher
• Distribute Origami paper
• Guide students through folding objects, i.e., cranes, hats, tables
• Instruct students, while making folds to identify different triangles, angles and find the
points, vertexes, lines, etc.
• Demonstrate straight and vertical angles
• Instruct students to draw a picture and use a specific color for all angles
Student
• Makes origami figures visual/spatial, logical/mathematical
• Identifies triangles and angles, names parts, logical/mathematical
• Participates in demonstration of more angles, verbal/ linguistic
• Draws picture with color specific angles, visual/spatial, intrapersonal
Day Five
Teacher
• Present further angle review
• Instruct students to draw angles, triangles and regular polygons
• Instruct students to name and fully label the geometric figures
• Summative assessment and review of form drawing lesson books.
Students
• Participates in angle review and concept work, verbal/ linguistic
• Draws angels, triangles and polygons, label parts and name, visual/spatial.
logical/mathematical
• Assessment, body/kinesthetic
Summative Assessment
(Written test and physically descriptive assessment)
• Draw five polygons using a ruler name the geometric form M05-S4C1-01
• Draw an obtuse, a right and an acute angle M05-S4C1-05
• Draw a point, line, ray, plane and angle , label each part M05-S4C1-05
• Draw an equilateral triangle, isosceles triangle and a scalene triangle M05-S4C1-07
Rubric
Concern –
scores less than 50% accuracy on assessment M05-S4C1-01, 05, 07
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Progressing –
scores 50-89% accuracy on assessment M05-S4C1-01, 05, 07
Mastered –
scores 90-99% accuracy on assessment M05-S4C1-01, 05, 07
Excels –
scores 100% accuracy on assessment M05-S4C1-01, 05, 07
Grade Six - Language Arts
(Special report from Mount Olympus...)
Reading 06
Strand 3: Comprehending Informational Text
Concept 1: Expository Text
PO. 1 Restate the main idea and supporting details in expository text
PO. 2 Summarize the main idea and critical details of expository text
PO. 9 Draw valid conclusions about expository text
Writing 06
Strand 2: Writing Components
Concept 1: Ideas and content
PO 1: Use clear focused ideas and details to support the topic.
PO 3: Develop a sufficient explanation and exploration of the topic.
PO 4: Include ideas and details that show original perspective.
Resources
• colored pencils
• paper
• map of Greece
Note: Students have been singing Greek songs, learning Greek dances and playing recorder
songs Greek cultural studies are integrated throughout the day
Day 1
Teacher
• Review mythical study of Greek gods and goddesses
• Guide class through creating a family tree of the Greek gods and goddesses
• Instruct students to choose one of the deities and write an outline of the gods/goddesses
life
• Draw an accompanying picture in main lesson book
• Homework: write a summary of deities life using the outline
Student
• Reviews Greek gods and goddesses, verbal/ linguistic
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•
•
Create family tree, visual/spatial, verbal/ linguistic
Writes outline, verbal/ linguistic, logical/mathematical
Draws god or goddess, visual/spatial
Achieves summary homework, verbal/ linguistic
Day 2
Teacher
• Display a map of Greece: describe the geography
• Discuss how the geography contributed to Greece's development as a group of individual
city states
• Recount a tale of a Spartan boy's life
• Hand out texts on Spartan and Athenian development, (life conditions, citizen caste,
social systems, etc.)
• Instruct students to read and prepare to restate in "character", the details of these citizens
lives at the theme dinner, (at the Greek theme dinner students will dress as a Spartan,
Athenian, mythical god or goddess, Greek food is served and the students perform
cultural music)
• Facilitate peer discussion on choice of character and costumes
Student
• Views map of Greece, visual/spatial
• Participates in class discussion, interpersonal, verbal/ linguistic
• Listens to story of life as a Spartan boy, verbal/ linguistic
• Reads expository texts, prepares to restate, verbal/ linguistic
• Participates in peer discussion and collaboration, interpersonal
Day 3
Teacher
• Introduce the development of governing forms in Greece, i.e., oligarchy, monarchy,
democracy
• Facilitate role-play of differing forms of government (how do the citizens respond?, what
are pros and cons?)
• Lead a class reading on the development of governing styles in Athens and Sparta
• Direct students to list important details of each governing style and what they believe
would be the outcome of each governments rule
• Instruct students to write a short story from a citizens viewpoint while living under the
governmental conditions: explain and explore in story the details, give ideas of change
Student
• Participates in class lesson, interpersonal, verbal/ linguistic
• Characterizes in role-play, visual/spatial
• Participates in class reading, verbal/ linguistic
• Lists important information; draws conclusion, visual/spatial, logical/mathematical
• Writes essay, verbal/ linguistic, intrapersonal
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Day 4
Teacher
• Facilitate reading of short stories from previous days writing
• Facilitate students restating what readers main idea was and state details that supported
the story
• Instruct children to draw conclusive pictures in there main lesson books; topic: living
under oligarchy, monarchy, democracy
• Homework: prepare dish for Greek theme dinner
Student
• Listens to peers stories, interpersonal, intrapersonal
• Restates main ideas, supporting details, verbal/ linguistic
• Draws conclusive pictures in main lesson book, visual/spatial, body/kinesthetic
• Prepares for Greek dinner and role-playing, interpersonal
Day 5
Teacher
• Facilitate Greek theme dinner
• Administer assessment and review main lesson books.
Student
• Participates in Greek dinner, interpersonal, body/kinesthetic
• Summative assessment
Summative Assessment
• At Greek dinner ask student to restate information and details from the given texts R06S3C1-01
•
Distribute expository texts on Greek city/state life : Student is to read and summarize
main idea, give details and give a valid conclusion of Corinthians or Thebans life from
textual information R06-S3C1-02, 09
•
•
Student is to write a story of his modern day life under the current governing style.
Instruct students to explain their position and explore the topic; use clear ideas and details
to support personal perspective W06-S2C1-01, 03, 04
Rubric
Concern Able to restate detail of life as a Greek city/state citizen less than 50% accuracy
R06-S3C1-01, 02,
Able to summarize main idea, give critical details and express a valid conclusion
in written work less than 50% accuracy R06-S3C1-02, 09
Able to use focused ideas and details to support topic, explain and explore
original perspective with clear ideas and details less than 50% accuracy W06S2C1-01, 03, 04
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ProgressingAble to restate detail of life as a Greek city/state citizen 50%-89% accuracy R06S3C1-01, 02
Able to summarize main idea, give critical details and express a valid conclusion
in written work 50%-89% accuracy R06-S3C1-02, 09
Able to use focused ideas and details to support topic, explain and explore
original perspective with clear ideas and details 50%-89% accuracy W06-S2C101, 03, 04
Mastered Able to restate detail of life as a Greek city/state citizen 90%-99% accuracy R06S3C1-01, 02,
Able to summarize main idea, give critical details and express a valid conclusion
in written work 90%-99% accuracy R06-S3C1-02, 09
Able to use focused ideas and details to support topic, explain and explore
original perspective with clear ideas and details 90%-99% accuracy W06-S2C101, 03, 04
Excels –
Able to restate detail of life as a Greek city/state citizen 100% accuracy R06S3C1-01, 02
Able to summarize main idea, give critical details and express a valid conclusion
in written work l00% accuracy R06-S3C1-02, 09
Able to use focused ideas and details to support topic, explain and explore
original perspective with clear ideas and details 100% accuracy W06-S2C1-01,
03, 04
Grade Six Mathematics
(Olympic Games)
Mathematics 06
Strand 2: Data Analysis, Probability and Discrete Mathematics
Concept 1: Data Analysis
PO 3: Interpret simple displays of data including double bar graphs, tally charts,
frequency tables, circle graphs, and line graphs.
PO 4: Answer questions based on simple displays of data including double bar graphs, tally
charts, frequency tables, circle graphs and line graphs.
PO 5: Find the mean, median, mode, range and extreme values of a given numerical data
set.
Resources
• javelins
• graph paper
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•
meter and centimeter
pencil
Day One
Teacher
• Take students to the outdoor playing field
• Review the history of the Greek Olympics from fifth grade studies
• Facilitate practice of throwing the javelin to demonstrate to the 5th grade
• Divide students into pairs, the person who throws the javelin will then measure the next
throw, in meters and centimeters
• Instruct students to record the measurement of the throw
• In the classroom review bar graphs
• Guide students in making a chalkboard bar graph with names and the length of the days
throws
Student
• Participates in review, verbal/ linguistic
• Practices the form and beauty of the javelin throw, body/kinesthetic
• Measures in meters and centimeters the throws, logical/mathematical
• Designs a bar graph with class, logical/mathematical
Day Two
Teacher
• Review the bar graphs
• Return to field to demonstrate again for the fifth grade the javelin throw - remember the
form is as important as the distance
• Divide into groups of two, return to the field
• After javelin is thrown a teammate measures the throw
• Return to class; leave fifth grade to practice
• Show an example of a double bar graph
• Instruct students to individually interpret data and design a double bar graph with the
distance from today and yesterday
• Have each student ask a question of another student from data on his graph
Student
• Participates in review, interpersonal
• Throws javelin, body/kinesthetic
• Measures distance, logical/mathematical, body/kinesthetic
• Views demonstration of double bar graph, visual/spatial
• Designs double bar graph, logical/mathematical, visual/spatial
Day Three
Teacher
• Review double bar graphs
• Return to playing field to demonstrate the long jump for the fifth grade
• Divide into groups again, instruct students to measure long jumps for each other
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•
•
•
Return to classroom
Demonstrate a simple example of a frequency chart
Write all data from the long jump on the chalkboard
Instruct students to create a frequency table with the information
Student
• Participates in review, verbal/ linguistic, interpersonal
• Demonstrates the long jump, body/kinesthetic
• Measures the jump, logical/mathematical
• Views example of frequency chart, visual/spatial, logical/mathematical
• Creates frequency table , visual/spatial
Day Four
Teacher
• Discuss mean, median, mode, range and extreme values; give examples
• Instruct students to use their frequency tables to compute data
• Compute the mean, median, mode, range and extreme values of your numerical data
• Divide students into groups
• Instruct students to discuss how this type of data analysis would be used, in what settings
Student
• Participates in lesson, verbal/ linguistic, logical/mathematical
• Computes mean, median, mode, range and extreme values, logical/mathematical
• Divides into groups, interpersonal
• Discusses use for data type, interpersonal, logical/mathematical, visual/spatial
Day Five
Teacher
• Instruct students to team up with a fifth grader on the playing field for relay runs
• Instruct students to take turns timing each other
• In classroom, write data on blackboard
• Review circle graphs and line graphs
• Ask half the class to create a circle graph and the other half to create line graphs
• Facilitate sharing graph results
• Administer assessment and review main lesson books.
Student
• Runs with peer, body/kinesthetic, interpersonal
• Times run with peer, logical/mathematical, visual/spatial
• Creates circle graphs and line graphs, logical/mathematical
• Summative assessment
Summative Assessment
• Handout written assessment of different graphs with data: student is to answer
interpretation questions M06-S2C1-03,
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•
Student is to answer questions based on graph information M06-S2C1-04
Computation of mean, mode, median, range and extreme values M06-S2C1-05
Rubric
Concern Able to interpret graph data and answer related questions less than 50% accuracy
M06-S2C1-03, 04
Able to calculate mean, mode, range and extreme values less than 50% accuracy
M06-S2C1-05
Progressing –
Able to interpret graph data and answer related questions 50%-89% accuracy
M06-S2C1-03, 04
Able to calculate mean, mode, range and extreme values 50%-89% accuracy
M06-S2C1-05
Mastered Able to interpret graph data and answer related questions 90%-99% accuracy M06-S2C1-03, 04
Able to calculate mean, mode, range and extreme values 90%-99% accuracy
M06-S2C1-05
Excels –
Able to interpret graph data and answer related questions 100% accuracy -M06S2C1-03, 04
Able to calculate mean, mode, range and extreme values 100% accuracy M06S2C1-05
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Appendix K:
Waldorf-inspired Curriculum Scope and Sequence with BenchmarksGrades K-8
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Appendix L:
Images of Waldorf-inspired School Life:
Examples of Main Lesson Books,
Materials Used and Classroom Settings
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Images of Waldorf-inspired Education
Kindergarten- Organized creative play items
Kindergarten Classroom
Child with “creative play”
silk
Classroom Storage
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To the Garden
Spring Festival Celebration
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High Quality Art Materials
Third Grade Classroom
Third Grade Crochet
Fiber Arts Supplies
Watercolor Painting and Supplies
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Lunch Table- Kindergarten
Various Waldorf Classrooms
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First Grade Letter Study
Second Grade Math Main Lesson Book
Third Grade Main Lesson Book
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Sixth Grade Main Lesson Book
Seventh Grade Main Lesson Book
Robinsunnes’s Multiplication Clock
Fifth Grade Main Lesson Book
Seventh Grade Main Lesson Book
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Appendix M.
Additional Research Supporting
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“Scientific Proof: Children Gain No Benefit From Learning To Read From The
Age Of Five”
The following article was published by the University of Otago in New Zealand on December 21,
2009. This very recent, statistical analysis is extremely relevant in the discussion of the efficacy
of Waldorf curriculum that MSCS embraces.
A University of Otago researcher has uncovered for the first time quantitative evidence that
teaching children to read from age five is not likely to make that child any more successful at
reading than a child who learns reading later, from age seven.
The groundbreaking Psychology PhD research, conducted by Dr Sebastian Suggate, has been
placed on the University’s “distinguished list” of doctoral theses for 2009. Dr Suggate has also
been awarded a prestigious Postdoctoral Research Fellowship from the Humboldt Association in
Germany to the University of Wurzburg in Bavaria to further his studies into childhood
education.
Starting in 2007, Dr Suggate conducted one international and two New Zealand studies, each one
backing up the conclusions of the other; that there is no difference between the reading ability of
early (from age five) and late (from age seven) readers by the time those children reach their last
year at Primary School by age 11.
Comparing children from Rudolf Steiner schools, who usually start learning to read from age
seven, and children in state-run schools, who start learning to read at five, he found that the later
learners caught up and matched the reading abilities of their earlier-reading counterparts by the
time they were 11, or by Year 7.
Therefore, the previously unscientifically tested and widely held view that children in New
Zealand should learn to read from age five, now appears contestable; Dr Suggate, in three years
of studies, involving regular surveys of around 400 New Zealand children, found no statistical
evidence of an advantage in reading from the earlier age of five.
He decided to study childhood reading because he could not find any quantitative controlled
study within the English-speaking world to ascertain whether later starting readers were at an
advantage or disadvantage. He found only one methodologically weak study conducted in 1974,
but nothing since that time. Yet people regularly insist that early reading is integral to a child’s
later achievement and success. He admits to being surprised, therefore, by his own findings that
this is not the case.
“One theory for the finding that an earlier beginning does not lead to a
later advantage is that the most important early factors for later reading
achievement, for most children, are language and learning experiences that
are gained without formal reading instruction,” says Dr Suggate.
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“Because later starters at reading are still learning through play,
language, and interactions with adults, their long-term learning is not
disadvantaged. Instead, these activities prepare the soil well for later
development of reading.”
“This research then raises the question; if there aren’t advantages to
learning to read from the age of five, could there be disadvantages to
starting teaching children to read earlier (at age 5). In other words, we
could be putting them off,” he says.
Dr Suggate conducted three studies over three years to obtain his data. First, he re-analysed data
collected as part of the 2006 Programme for International Student Assessment (known as the
PISA Study) across 54 countries and found that by the age of 15, there was no advantage in
learning to read early from age 5. This first study has recently been published in the International
Journal of Educational Research.
He then conducted two studies based on research in New Zealand only. The first compared the
reading ability of 54 children who had attended Rudolf Steiner Schools (who begin learning
reading from age 7) with another 50 children who had attended primary schools. Children were
tested at the age of 12, at state-run intermediate schools in Dunedin, Christchurch and Hastings.
The study controlled for their home literacy environments, the economic situation of their
parents, parental education, school decile rating, their vocabulary development (called receptive
vocabulary), ethnicity and sex. Their reading fluency and comprehension were then measured
and he found there was “no difference” by age 12 in the reading ability between the early and
later starters.
Dr Suggate’s third and final study was a longitudinal one to look at reading from day one to the
end of primary school, and to see whether differences in school experiences and the primary
curriculum at the two different types of schools would have accounted for the ability of Rudolf
Steiner school children to reach the same reading level as their state counterparts by age 12.
As well as controlling for the same variables such as economic situation of families, education of
parents, sex, ethnicity and home literacy environments, this study also looked at second language
ability, and found out how the teachers taught reading in their classes using questionnaires. This
also looked at the amount of time teachers spend on oral language activities versus reading
activities to help rule out, or control for, any differences in teaching methods that might account
for the results.
“At the end of the study, the data was analysed using Hierarchical Linear
Modelling, which is commonly used in longitudinal studies, and a
particularly robust way to analyse data, and estimated the point at which
the early starters and later starters of learning to read met – and it came
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up with 10.89 years – between 10 and 11 years of age,” he says.
“It was very exciting and unexpected – one of those science moments. The
results concurred with the results of the other two studies and there were
no differences in the abilities of the early and later readers by 11.”
The last two studies are currently in preparation for submission to publications, although he
understands his findings are controversial as this study is the first of its kind to look
quantitatively and statistically at this area of childhood learning.
“This research emphasizes to me the importance of early language and learning, while deemphasizing the importance of early reading,” he says.
“In fact, language development is, in many cases, a better predictor of later reading, than early
reading is. Secondly, this research should prompt educationalists, teachers and parents to
reconsider what is important for children at age six or seven to learn, and third, it may give heart
to parents whose children have initial difficulty learning to read. The picture is more complicated
than simply early mastery of reading skills.”
Music Training Changes Brain Networks
The following article “Music Training Changes Brain Networks” was excerpted from “Brain in
the News” and was written by Ben Mauk, May 11, 2009 (released by the Dana Foundation on
www.dana.org).
The Dana Foundation is a private philanthropic organization that supports brain research
through grants and educates the public about the successes and potential of brain research.
Dana produces free publications; coordinates the International Brain Awareness Week
campaign; supports the Dana Alliances, a network of neuroscientists; and maintains a Web site,
www.dana.org.
Music training in childhood improves related cognitive function, according to research that for
the first time demonstrates brain plasticity as a result of music instruction.
The ongoing study, led by Ellen Winner, professor of psychology at Boston College, and
Gottfried Schlaug, professor of neurology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard
Medical School, shows that children who receive weekly music instruction and practice regularly
perform better on sound discrimination and fine motor tasks. Furthermore, brain imaging shows
changes to the networks associated with those abilities.
Previous studies had shown that the brains of adult musicians have structural and functional
differences from those of non-musicians, but no study had yet examined changes in the
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developing brain in response to long-term music training. Winner and Schlaug’s findings are the
latest from several inquiries into the benefits of arts training across various areas of cognition,
including a study on attention whose results also found evidence of brain plasticity in children
who received instruction.
Two recent conferences focused on the burgeoning field of “neuroeducation” and how arts
education in particular might affect cognitive ability. “There is growing evidence that the arts ...
[have] a positive impact on your cognitive life,” neuroscientist Michael Gazzaniga said in a
taped interview shown to a group of artists, educators and scientists at the “Learning, Arts, and
the Brain” educational summit May 6 in Baltimore.
Winner and Schlaug found no difference between the music and non-music groups on skills
unrelated to music performance, such as language, perceptual reasoning or abstract reasoning.
However, a separate study has found tight correlations between music training and mathematical
reasoning, suggesting that continued longitudinal research and cooperation with educators may
yet uncover definite links.
“The interest among educators in neuroscience is enormous,” said Ken Kosik, co-director of the
Neuroscience Research Institute at the University of California, Santa Barbara. “We need
neuroscientists in schools. Just like we have teaching hospitals, we need teaching schools.”
Playing music affects the brain
Winner and Schlaug followed 59 children ages 9 to 11, 41 of whom began receiving regular
music training at the start of the study. Before training began, and then at regular intervals, the
researchers tested for whether the training had affected so-called near transfer domains—skills
closely related to those directly trained during music education—such as fine motor control in
the fingers and music listening and discrimination skills. They also tested for any changes in far
transfer domains—skills without a direct connection to music training, such as language and
reasoning abilities.
The researchers found that after 15 months the instrumental students performed much better in
the near transfer domains, even though both groups of students performed equally well at
“baseline”—before instruction began.
In addition to the battery of cognitive tests, the researchers performed brain scans on the children
using diffusion tensor imaging, which can map the brain’s connective white matter. The scans
revealed strengthened connections in musically relevant auditory and motor areas of the brain
among those students who had received 15 months of training, compared with the nonmusic
group. These changes correlated with the children’s behavioral improvements.
The researchers found no superiority in the far transfer areas of reasoning ability, language and
intelligence, although Winner did not rule out the possibility of finding evidence of far transfer
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as they analyze data from the remainder of the four-year study.
“This is the first study to show brain plasticity in young children as a function of instrumental
music instruction,” Schlaug said. “And this is correlated with the amount of practice.”
“It'd be difficult to find another activity that takes up so much real estate in the brain,” he added.
Attention and intelligence
Winner and Schlaug’s findings provide new evidence for training-induced structural brain
plasticity in early childhood. Their results dovetail with other recent research presented at the
conferences.
“Years of neuroimaging have now given us a plausible or putative mechanism by which arts
training could now influence cognition, including attention and IQ,” said Michael Posner,
professor emeritus at the University of Oregon. Posner spoke at the “Learning and the Brain”
conference May 7 in Washington, D.C., to synthesize research in arts training with his own body
of work on the brain’s attention network.
Training can strengthen regions of the brain linked to attention, self-control and general
intelligence, Posner reported. He speculated that the focus-intensive tasks involved in arts
learning might provide effective training for these areas.
“The basic idea of the theory is here. There are brain network associations with each specific art
form,” Posner said. Music, theater and the visual arts “have quite distinct neural networks,”
which respond to instruction in each individual kind of art.
“In classroom situations, children can be absorbed by practicing music,” he said. “And there are
consequences to [the] effort that the child expends.”
Posner’s research focused on the executive attention network, which consists of several regions
scattered around the brain, including the anterior cingulate gyrus and the basal ganglia, and
which enables a state of alertness and the ability to focus on a task.
In children, this network is also linked to the self-regulation of impulses. Tests had previously
shown that children displaying high levels of self-regulation also show greater activity in their
attention network.
Posner found that controlled training on attention-related tasks increased the effectiveness of the
attention network and also improved far transfer domains. When children were given training
sessions specifically designed to improve attention, “not only did attention improve, but also
generalized parts of intelligence related to fluid intelligence and IQ increased,” he said.
If controlled training can increase attention and general intelligence, Posner hypothesizes, then
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perhaps arts training, which involves sustained focus and control and previously has been shown
to change the brain, also has a far transfer effect.
“If we are able to engage children in an art form for which their brain is prepared, and they have
an openness and creativity, we can train them in this and see improvement in attention, as well as
intelligence and cognition in general,” he said.
Trying to explain the roots
Another piece of the arts-language puzzle comes from a study showing that children who studied
music intensively performed better on geometry tasks. Elizabeth Spelke, professor of psychology
at Harvard University and leader of the study, also reported that children with music training
performed better on map-reading tests than those trained in other art forms.
Spelke augmented those findings with more recent research at the May 6 summit. She reported
that children as young as 4 months seem to inherently connect geometry with sound, suggested
by their ability to learn to associate tones of different length with cartoon worms of
corresponding size. The infants could not learn to associate the stimuli when the tones did not
correspond to relative worm length.
“If an infant hears music, the melodic processing may lead to new forms of visual processing,”
Spelke said. "This may form the basis for the relationship between math and music later on.”
However, like Winner and Schlaug, Spelke cautioned that her research was not the final word.
The link between music training and mathematics is “a tight correlation—it holds for many
variables. But it does not explain the roots.”
Winner and Schlaug’s study, meanwhile, was limited by the fact that the children receiving
music instruction were self-selected, rather than randomly assigned—they were planning to
study music anyway. Thus, according to Winner, the group choosing to study music may have
been predisposed to improvement in sound discrimination and motor skills. Furthermore, Winner
called her study “messy,” as half the participants dropped out over four years.
“Is there going to be far transfer later on or not? We don't know,” said Winner. She lamented that
claims often exceed the experimental evidence from correlational studies, and so she prefers to
remain cautious. “We should never assume transfer” she said. “Transfer is very difficult to
demonstrate.”
Both the “Learning, Arts, and the Brain” summit and the “Learning and the Brain” conference
were sponsored in part by the Dana Foundation.
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Appendix N :
Learning from Steiner: The Relevance of
Waldorf in Urban Public Education
by Dr. Ida Oberman
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LEARNING FROM RUDOLF STEINER:
THE RELEVANCE OF WALDORF EDUCATION
FOR
URBAN PUBLIC SCHOOL REFORM
Ida Oberman, PhD
September 2007
[email protected]
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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
The author of this paper investigates the relevance of Waldorf education for public urban school reform.
Based on analysis of survey data from over 500 graduates of private U.S. Waldorf schools, review of
documents from the Gates Foundation, and staff-interview and student-achievement data from four public
Waldorf-methods schools, she develops the following three-part argument:
1. New three R’s and Waldorf:
Waldorf graduate survey data suggest that alumni identify something that might be summarized as
"rigor," "relevance" and "relationship" as key outcomes of Waldorf education.
2. New three R’s and urban public school youth:
The goals have shifted over the past ten years for funders and policy makers alike to encompass more
than high test scores. Now, what was “special” for “special children” begins to gain attention as
valuable for all. Bill Gates, Jr., and the Gates Foundation are leaders in articulating this shift.
Founder and foundation argue for the new three R’s for all. Importantly, for the purposes of this
analysis, they backed up their talk with dollars. In 2007 they approved funding for the first public
Waldorf methods high school, in the Sacramento Unified School District.
3.
Three key findings on urban public schools with Waldorf methods:
a. In their final year, the students in the study’s four California case study public Waldorfmethods elementary schools match the top ten of peer sites on the 2006 California test
scores and well outperform the average of their peers statewide.
b. According to teacher, administrator and mentor reports, they achieve these high test
scores by focusing on those new three R’s— rather than on rote learning and test prep—
in a distinct fashion laid out by the Waldorf model.
c. A key focus is on artistic learning, not just for students but, more importantly perhaps, for
the adults.
The author concludes by outlining key areas for further research.
INTRODUCTION
Back in 1996, when asked how she looked at the Waldorf educational model, Michelle Fine, then
distinguished speaker of the American Education Research Association’s annual conference and education
researcher, offered an answer that was clear and succinct: it is a “special philosophy for special children.”
She then proceeded to give a riveting talk on imagination and social action. The moment was telling. If
one reads the words of Waldorf education’s founding father, Rudolf Steiner (1861–1925) , imagination and
social action are at once the vehicle and the goal of Waldorf education. At its inception, Waldorf was not
to be a special, “boutique” reform. Nor was it to cater to “special” children. Steiner called for a “Volks”
pedagogy, a schooling of the people for the people bridging separate castes that had been hardened by
emerging industrialization. Yet leading educators such as Fine regarded it in 1996 as special for the
special.
At the time the notion of public, let alone urban public, Waldorf methods schools was largely unheard of.
Times have changed. Just over a decade later, at the 2007 American Education Research Association’s
annual conference, an invited panel addressed the question of Waldorf education’s relevance to the public
sector. The room was full and questions from the audience were many. A shift had happened in the
research community. The shift affected the perception of and the level of interest in Waldorf.
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In that decade, interest had begun to mount both inside and outside the walls of the academy,. Reformers,
parents and some policy makers are pushing for strategies that they feel are better able to help the system at
large and individual students better meet the challenges of today. Increasingly diverse student populations
and the new bars, under No Child Left Behind (NCLB), are perceived by these parties to task us to make
sure schools are not just places where students learn to do homework assignments but venues where
students and adults can feel they are being shaped in a way that is meaningful to them as individuals and
members of a community. Today, particularly in urban schools, youth face a growing number of
challenges as they cross to mature adulthood. Arts education is seen increasingly as a key resource to
provide support, particularly to urban youth, in this crossing.1 With this rising tide, Waldorf is gaining
recognition as one kind of schooling that offers greater sensitivity to education as an art. In the words of
acclaimed Stanford researcher Elliot Eisner, 2 “Waldorf schools, unlike most American public schools,”
afford children “a balanced educational diet” focused on academic achievement and “the development of
imagination.”
As interest is growing, so is the number of public urban Waldorf methods schools. Since the founding of
the first public Waldorf School, Urban Waldorf in Milwaukee’s inner city in 1991, in a small but growing
number of venues public Waldorf methods schools are popping up like poppies from the ground. By 2000,
California saw approximately ten public Waldorf methods schools and Arizona two. As of 2007, there are
roughly forty in the country. 3 The number of Waldorf teacher training programs equipping graduates to
teach in public schools is growing apace with two in California alone: Rudolf Steiner College’s Public
School Institute (http://www.steinercollege.edu/psi.html) and the Bay Area Center for Waldorf Teacher
Training (http://www.bacwtt.org/index.htm). Importantly, public urban Waldorf-methods4 schools are
beginning to capture the attention of national foundations. The Gates Foundation has in 2007 offered funds
to the Sacramento Unified School District to start the first public Waldorf methods high school in the
1
Fiske, E. B. (Ed.), 1999, Champions of Change: The Impacts of the Arts on Learning, Washington, DC:
Arts Education Partnership; James, N., 2005, "Act up!" Theatre as Education and Its Impact on Young
People’s Learning, Centre for Labor Market Studies Working Paper (no. 46); Upitis, R. & Smithrim, K.,
2003, Learning through the Arts: National Assessment 1999–2002. Final Report to the Royal Conservatory
of Music. Kingston, Ontario: Arts Matters, Faculty of Education.
2
Eisner, E.,1994, Cognition and Curriculum Reconsider, New York: Teachers College Press.
3
See Appendix 1, Figure 11 for chart tracking rate of growth of public Waldorf-methods, or Waldorf
inspired, schools in the U.S. See Appendix 2, Tables 2 and 3 for working index of public Waldorf-inspired
schools.
4
With the term “Waldorf methods school” we refer to schools that by their own report are committed to
the educational principles of Waldorf education. It is important to note that the definition is by self-report.
There is currently a debate underway on whether such schools should call themselves ‘Waldorf inspired’
rather than ‘Waldorf methods’ schools.
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country. As of August 2007, a building has been secured and the Waldorf Methods/Social Justice High
School is slated to open in 2008.5
With the increase in interest and the growing number of schools, the need for robust research becomes all
the more urgent. One particularly important question at this juncture is: What grounds do we have for
thinking that Waldorf might be of relevance in the broader context of education, and particularly in the
context of education reform for the traditionally underserved in our urban schools? That question is the
focus of this paper.
To get to the bottom of the question, we will:
•
In Part 1: Listen to the voices of Waldorf graduates from the past half century. To that
end we will review a set of survey data.
•
In Part 2: Consider the program priorities of the Gates Foundation along with its 2007
decision to fund the first public Waldorf methods high school in Sacramento Unified.
•
In Part 3: Review achievement test data from four elementary public urban Waldorf
methods schools in California, along with educators’ reflections on how they explain
their schools’ achievement trends.
•
In Conclusion: Reflect on lessons and areas for further research.
Conceptual framework For its conceptual frame, this article draws on a body of research synthesized in
the 2003 report from the National Research Council and the Institute of Medicine of the National
Academies, titled Relationships, Rigor, and Relevance: The Three R’s of Engaging Students in Urban
High Schools (hereafter called the National Academies report). In the words of the December 2003 press
release on this programmatic study,
High schools that successfully engage students in learning have many things in common. They set
high academic standards and provide rigorous, meaningful instruction and support so that all
students can meet them. Their structure makes it possible to give students individual attention.
The teachers take an interest in students’ lives, drawing on their real-world experiences and
current understanding to build new knowledge. Teachers also show students the connections
between success in school and long-term career plans. 6
The choice of this frame is strategic for the purposes of our discussion. Also the Gates Foundation, the
world's largest education funder, and funder for the first public Waldorf-methods high school, adopted the
same frame. When in 2005 the Gates Foundation adopted this framework to define its funding priorities, it
refined the new three R’s as follows:
5
Personal communication with Cheryl Eining, principal of John Morse Elementary School, Sacramento
Unified, August 30, 2007.
6
For press release, executive summary and full report, see News: The National Academies,
Relationships, Rigor, and Relevance: The Three R’s of Engaging Students in Urban High Schools,
December 2, 2003 <www8.nationalacademies.org>.
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Rigor: All students need the chance to succeed at challenging classes, such as algebra, writing and
chemistry
Relevance: Courses and projects must spark student interest and relate clearly to their lives in
today’s rapidly changing world
Relationships: All students need adult mentors who know them, look out for them, and push them
to achieve.7
Core argument
We will use this lens as point of entry to assess the relevance of Waldorf to public
school reform. Based on our analysis, the Waldorf model focuses on engagement through rigor, relevance
and relationship. Further, we argue, it enriches the discussion on these three conceptual categories.
Specifically, the student performance and interview data suggest that the Waldorf model offers aspects that
were not emphasized in the National Academies and Gates discourse but, we suggest, expose a richer
meaning of rigor, relevance and relationship to which Waldorf practices actually make a distinctive
contribution to public school reform.
Methodology
The study blends quantitative and qualitative methodologies. The quantitative analysis
considers student achievement data from 2000 until 2006. The quantitative and qualitative analysis draws
on the recently released Survey of Waldorf Graduates, spanning 1943–2005,8 and interview data from four
public urban Waldorf method sites.
PART 1: SPECIAL EDUCATION FOR SPECIAL STUDENTS?
A LOOK AT THE SURVEY OF WALDORF GRADUATES 1943–2005
Background
Waldorf education is based upon the educational philosophy of Rudolf Steiner. It focuses
on an imaginative approach to learning and aims to develop holistic thinking that includes creative as well
as analytic thought. Arts are a central part of curriculum, instruction and school design. In the words
Henry Barnes, founding teacher of the first Waldorf school in America—on New York City’s Upper East
Side—Waldorf education aims to develop “head, heart and hand.” 9 The ultimate goal is to provide young
people the basis with which to develop into free, moral and balanced individuals.
Indeed, this all sounds relatively boutique. But even before beginning to make inroads into the U.S. public
urban school reform arena, Waldorf has moved beyond a narrow niche market to reach more broadly
around the globe. It is already one of the largest independent educational systems in the world. Waldorf
7
See Gates Foundation Website
http://www.gatesfoundation.org/UnitedStates/Education/RelatedInfo/3Rs_Solution.htm.
8
Survey of Waldorf Graduates, Phase II, Mitchell & Gerwin, Research Institute for Waldorf Education,
2007. Note: For purposes of the discussion offered below, see in particular the chapter, “Statistical
Analysis,” pp. 67–94 http://www.waldorfresearchinstitute.org/pdf/WEPhaseII0307.pdf.
9
Personal interview, October 21, 2006.
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education is practiced in more than 950 established independent, private Waldorf schools located in about
sixty-three countries. 10 However, the focus of this study is to probe beyond numbers of private Waldorf
schools. What is Waldorf education yielding? Do the suggested outcomes of Waldorf point to qualities
that might be marked “special” in ways that can be relevant beyond private, boutique schools to public
urban schools and their children?
For the longest time the effects of a Waldorf education were only anecdotal. Now is an exciting time to
address the question of outcomes for Waldorf graduates, because in March 2007 a first-of-its-kind
quantitative study was published by the New Hampshire–based Institute for Waldorf Research under the
title Survey of Waldorf Graduates, Phase 2. Unprecedented, the report offers analysis of surveys completed
by just over 500 alumni, spanning graduation years 1943–2005 and counting graduates from twenty-seven
private Waldorf schools. The question asked of that data is: What do graduates report as the key results of
their education? Respondents were asked to reflect on both positive and negative consequences.11 Three
patterns emerged from the data, one related to rigor, one to relevance, and one to relationship.
10
See Appendix 1, Figures 5 and 6 for growth rates of private Waldorf schools globally and in the U.S.
A note on limitations of the survey: The sample size is small (N = 526) and due to lack of resources
rather than volition, the researchers worked without a control group. As well, the participants were drawn
from the records of Waldorf schools. These schools, not atypical of any school, were uneven in their
ability to remain in contact with their graduates, so the body of respondents represents a pool of the
willing—those willing to stay in touch with their alma mater and to take the survey. All that said, the data
set nevertheless offers a first invaluable look at this group’s reflections on what their education did and did
not yield.
11
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Waldorf graduate survey data
A. Rigor
Figure 1. Rigor: Graduates with more years of Waldorf reported greater influence on their ability
to do independent analysis
Mean Influence (1=not at all influential; 5=very influential)
5
4
10-14 Grades
3
1-9 Grades
2
1
0
Express
Verbally
Ability To Think Challenge Ability To Form Ability To View
Critically
Assumptions Judgement
in Wider
Context
Source: Survey of Waldorf Graduates, Phase II.
Figure 1 shows that Waldorf graduates with ten to fourteen years in a Waldorf school (left column) ranked
the level of Waldorf influence on their own development higher in the areas of ability to think critically,
form judgments, challenge assumptions and view a wider context.
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B. Relevance
Figure 2. Relevance:
Graduates with more years of Waldorf reported greater influence on their ability to serve
as global citizens
Mean Influence
(1=not at all influential,5=extremely influential)
5
4
10-14 Grades
3
1-9 Grades
2
1
Interest In Different Views
Interest in Other Cultures
Source: Survey of Waldorf Graduates, Phase II.
Figure 2 shows that Waldorf graduates surveyed with ten to fourteen years in a Waldorf school (left
column) ranked the level of Waldorf influence on their own interest in different views and interest in other
cultures higher than did Waldorf graduates with one to nine years at a Waldorf school (right column).
C. Relationship
Finally, we turn to relationships. This last aspect is of special note because recent research has signaled
growing isolation among Americans nationally. To illustrate this national trend, before we turn to the
Waldorf graduate survey data, we offer below two sets of national survey data. These two data points
provide a useful foil for the data on Waldorf graduates on time spent with friends and watching TV.
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•
National trend: FEWER relationships, MORE bowling alone
We need only think of the stark challenges to American community that Harvard professor and bestselling
author Robert Putnam outlined in 1994 in Bowling Alone.12 He conducted his analysis on the basis of the
General Social Survey (GSS) data administered from 1972 to 1994 and identified, in his words, “the
strange disappearance of civic America.”13 Based on GSS survey data from the following decade, 1994–
2004, in an elegant piece of analysis Duke University researcher Miller McPherson and colleagues
discovered an alarming trend: Americans were becoming more isolated still since 1994.
Figure 3. Relationship:
Growing decline in number of people with whom we have a relationship 1985–200414
General Social Survey (GSS) 1985&2004
100
MEAN RESPONSES (%
75
1985
50
2004
25
0
Respondents Who Reported At Least One Friend
12
Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community by Robert D. Putnam (New York:
Simon & Schuster, 2000).
13
Putnam, R. D., "The Strange Disappearance of Civic America," The American Prospect no. 24 (Winter
1996) < http://epn.org/prospect/24/24putn.html>.
14
McPherson et al., Social Isolation in America, Changes in Discussion Networks over Two Decades, June
2006 <http://www.asanet.org/galleries/default-file/June06ASRFeature.pdf>.
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Source: McPherson et al., Social Isolation in America.
Figure 3 shows that in 1985 (left column) almost 25 percent more respondents reported they had at least
one friend when compared to respondents in 2004 (right column). The report authors indicate that in 2004,
a quarter of Americans say they have no one with whom they can discuss personal troubles, more than
double the number who were similarly isolated in 1985, and that, overall, the number of people Americans
have in their closest circle of confidants has dropped from around three to about two. 15
•
National trend: MORE TV watching
Researchers Aguiar and Hurst’s 2006 report on trends in leisure time use joins others in confirming that the
rate of TV watching has grown steadily during the past five decades. 16 Further, according to the
ACNielsen company's 2001 report, the average American watches more than four hours of TV each day (or
twenty-eight a week, or two months nonstop TV-watching per year). A person who lives for sixty-five
years will have spent "nine years glued to the tube.”
•
Trend among Waldorf graduates: MORE time with relationships, LESS with TV watching
Against this background, the findings concerning Waldorf graduates come into particularly sharp relief.
15
See Shanker, Vedantam, Washington Post, June 23, 2006, p. A03.
Aguiar & Hurst, Measuring Trends in Leisure, The Allocation of Time over Five Decades (January
2006). For download go to <http://www.bos.frb.org/economic/wp/wp2006/wp0602.pdf>. For an engaging
brief on this report, see Steve Boyd, Out of Time But Watching More TV, April 2006
http://www.stoweboyd.com/message/2006/04/free_time_we_ar.html.
16
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Figure 4. Relationship: Waldorf graduates over the cohort years report less TV watching and more
hanging out with friends and artistic activity
5
4
1943-67
3
1968-2000
2
2001-2005
1
Cr
af
ts
En
ga
g
e
in
H
st
ic
an
dw
al
ly
or
k/
Ac
t
ive
us
ic
M
Be
Ha
ng
Ar
ti
O
ut
W
M
ith
ak
e
TV
Fr
ie
nd
s
0
W
at
ch
Mean Response
(1=not freqently at all; 5=very frequently)
(combining categories of artistically active and handwork/crafts).
Source: Survey of Waldorf Graduates, Phase II.
The data suggest an impact on what might be categorized as rigor, relevance and relationship reported by
Waldorf graduates.
How does that help us with our question about the relevance of Waldorf in the urban public school setting?
We turn now to the words of Gates Foundation co-founder Bill Gates, Jr., and the program priorities of the
Gates Foundation.
PART 2. FOR SPECIAL KIDS ONLY? IN 2007, GATES FUNDS FIRST
PUBLIC, URBAN WALDORF METHODS HIGH SCHOOL
Rigor, Relevance and Relationship: The New Three R’s, Funders’ Perspective
How “special”
are these qualities? How special should they be? Let us listen for a moment to Microsoft founder and
chairman Bill Gates, Jr., when he addressed his alma mater, the elite private Lakeside School in Seattle in
September 2005.
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Bill Gates’ Vision
Gates applauded Lakeside because he could “directly trace the founding of
Microsoft back to [his] earliest days here.”17 He recounted the rigor of Lakeside’s instruction, “making
sure all students are given challenging curriculum that prepares them for college and work.” He
commended further the relevance, “making sure kids have courses and projects that clearly relate to their
lives and their goals.” Finally he saluted the relationships, “making sure kids have a number of adults who
know them, look out for them, and push them to achieve.” At this moment in his address, Gates directed
the gaze of his audience pointedly beyond the grassy lawns of this academy when he concluded: “We have
invested nearly a billion dollars to re-design high schools around the country to help create an environment
where students achieve at a higher level and never fall through the cracks.” In asking, "What does this have
to do with Lakeside?" he answered his own question: “ Our foundation’s work in high schools is based on
principles that happen to be deeply ingrained in Lakeside’s culture. We call them the new three R’s, the
basic building blocks of better high schools.” 18
Gates Foundation Investment in Urban Public Waldorf High School Experiment
In step with the
vision of its founder, the Gates Foundation is investing in research and evaluation to find the ingredients
that will ready all students for college, career and citizenship. 19 One of those investments has gone to
launch the first public Waldorf methods high school, in Sacramento. The Gates Foundation is poised to put
Waldorf to the test. At the time of this writing, the Sacramento School Board and district have approved
funds and facility and a principal for the Waldorf Methods/Social Justice High School, a Gates-funded,
small public Waldorf method high school in the Sacramento Unified School District. It is the first public
Waldorf-methods high school in the United States.
PART 3: HOW ARE THEY MEASURING UP? CASE STUDY FINDINGS FROM FOUR
PUBLIC WALDORF METHODS SCHOOLS
We turn finally from the self-report from private Waldorf graduates and the noted interest of leading
funders to the public Waldorf methods schools themselves. Are they measuring up? In this section, we
consider student annual test scores and educators' reports. The guiding questions are two:
1. How are their students doing on state tests, and
2. What are their educators saying to explain their achievement trends?
What we did
We sampled urban public Waldorf-methods schools, choosing the sample according to
geography and district size. We also sorted by those who were meeting or outperforming the top ten
schools in the state with comparable demographics on the state’s annual test, the California Standards Test
17
Bill Gates, Jr., September 23, 2005,
http://www.lakesideschool.org/give/campaign/BGatesKeynoteAddress.pdf.
18
Bill Gates, Jr., September 23, 2005,
http://www.lakesideschool.org/give/campaign/BGatesKeynoteAddress.pdf.
19
Eric Robelen, “Gates Learns to Think Big,” Education Week, October 11, 2006.
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(CST). The final sample consisted of four schools. Next, we reviewed school and district documents.
Finally, we interviewed teachers and administrators. In each case we asked,
•
To what do you attribute your success?
•
What were the key ingredients if you were to boil them down to three?
•
What is the biggest challenge moving forward?
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Sacramento
Unified
Large City
19%
16%
59%
11%
38%
4%
Sonoma
Valley
Unified
Napa Valley
Unified
Urban
Fringe/Midsized
City
Urban
Fringe/Large
City
Urban
Fringe/Large
City
12%
6%
76%
6%
16%
2%
5%
5%
87%
3%
8%
1%
5%
3%
84%
8%20
-
3%
Latino
African
American
Caucasian
Other
Free &
Reduced
Price Lunch
Novato
Unified
What we learned
English
Location
John F.
Morse
Elementary
Woodland
Star
Charter
Stone
Bridge
Elementary
Novato
Charter
Learners
District
Characteristics
School
Student Body
Characteristics
Table 1. Case Study Sample: Four Urban Waldorf Methods Public Schools, 2006
We found a similar student performance pattern in all four schools. Each of the four sites performed well below
their peers in second grade. By the last year of school, however, they matched or exceeded the top ten of peer-comparable sites. This
pattern holds when looking at either English Language Arts or Mathematics on the CST. When asked how the sites explained the high
performance levels in the upper grades, the responses aligned with the National Academies and Gates Foundation terms.
The three conceptual elements aligned with the responses of public Waldorf methods principals, mentors and teachers:
•
Rigor
•
Relevance
•
Relationship
Based on interview data, we found, though, that the Waldorf model offers aspects that were not in the foreground in the National
Academies and Gates discourse but, we suggest, expose a richer meaning of rigor, relevance and relationship to which Waldorf practices
actually make a distinctive contribution.
The academy and Gates define rigor as curricula that prepare students for college and work. In our interviews, teachers stress the
preparation of lower grades for higher grades year by year. Similarly, the Academy and Gates define relevance as connecting formal
education meaningfully with people’s lives and goals. However, the sort of relevance mentioned by our Waldorf teacher interviews goes
20
The data reported here on % eligible for free & reduced price lunch at Stone Bridge are drawn from school site data. The California
Department of Education (from which Just for the Kids drew their data) posted 0 % eligible.
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in a different direction: the relevance of one academic subject for another, such as art to math, math to history, history to art. Finally, the
Academy and Gates define relationship as students having adult mentors who know them, look out for them and push them to achieve.
Waldorf teacher interviewees speak of a relationship that extends well beyond one, two or even four years to eight and to a relationship
with a student and a whole class over this extended period of time. Finally, when asked about the key ingredients for implementing these
new three R’s, one theme ran through all the answers:
•
A Focus on artistic activities for
o
Student learning and
o
Adult learning.
Data Source, How to Read the Data & Important Caveat
Data source: Where not otherwise noted, the source for all data in Part 3, Cases 1–4 is Just for the Kids California-http://www.jftk-ca.org
On how to read the data: The far left column shows the school, followed by state, region and county. The bottom row (blue) is percent
of students scoring below basic; the middle row (green) is percent of students scoring basic; and the top row (beige) is percent of students
scoring proficient and above proficient.
Important caveat: Comparisons are NOT to the state average but with the top ten peer-alike sites.
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Case 1: RIGOR AND THE ARTS – Figure 5, a-d
Large City: John F. Morse, Sacramento Unified
Free/Reduced School Lunch: 38%
English Learners: 49%
Hispanic: 19%
Black: 16%
a. Grade 2 Language Arts 2006 Results
100%
Percent of Students
80%
9%
24%
60%
40%
59%
59%
24%
24%
17%
17%
76%
67%
20%
18%
6%
0%
John F. Morse
Top Comparables Top Comparables Top Comparables
Statewide
Your Region
Your County
Below Basic
Basic
Proficient and Above
Just for Kids California - http://www.jftk-ca.org
b. Grade 8 Language Arts 2006 Results
100%
Percent of Students
80%
61%
62%
60%
Insufficient
data for
analysis
40%
18%
26%
20%
21%
12%
0%
John F. Morse
Top Comparables Top Comparables Top Comparables
Statewide
Your Region
Your County
Below Basic
Basic
Proficient and Above
Just for Kids California - http://www.jftk-ca.org
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c. Grade 2 Mathematics 2006 Results
100%
26%
Percent of Students
80%
60%
68%
68%
18%
18%
14%
14%
86%
40%
40%
20%
34%
9%
5%
0%
John F. Morse
Top Comparables Top Comparables Top Comparables
Statewide
Your Region
Your County
Below Basic
Basic
Proficient and Above
Just for Kids California - http://www.jftk-ca.org
d. Grade 8 Mathematics 2006 Results
100%
Percent of Students
80%
41%
66%
60%
33%
40%
Insufficient
data for
analysis
11%
20%
26%
23%
0%
John F. Morse
Top Comparables Top Comparables Top Comparables
Statewide
Your Region
Your County
Below Basic
Basic
Proficient and Above
Just for Kids California - http://www.jftk-ca.org
The John Morse data show an identifiable trend: In second grade in both English Language Arts and Math John Morse
underperforms its top ten peer-alike sites. Come eighth grade, John Morse students outperform students at the school’s
top ten peers.
When asked how they explained the pattern, teachers, mentor and administrators indicated that test-taking strategies
were rarely used in the early grades. In the words of one John Morse lower grades teacher, “Our focus is developmental.
… [I]n the lower grades we focus on instilling beauty, joy and self-confidence in learning. . . . It’s a focus on capacity
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Ida Oberman [email protected] September 12 2007
building. That readies them to acquire the skills, which is the focus of the upper grades." The teacher described the
artistic activities the students engaged in as they were introduced to mathematics, reading and writing absent textbook or
work sheet. Those include moving, drawing and jumping rhythmically.
She added: “But in all we do in second grade
we are thinking about the child’s needs in eighth grade. We are laying groundwork.” She knew of what she spoke. She
had taken a class to eighth grade and was now moving with her new class again from first grade up. The 2006 eighth
grade teacher whose students outperformed the state on the CST agreed and added: “I never once referred to any test
preparation materials… There [was] complete avoidance of math textbooks kindergarten through the end of grade five.”
She underscored the role of arts: “In sixth grade mathematics was still … done through story, movement and concrete
experience.… [And from] kindergarten through grade 8 singing was central to their daily school life. In grades one
through three the pentatonic flute was taught; we then switched to diatonic flute for grades four through six. In grade
four they all learned violin; in grade five the strings teacher split them up into viola, cello and violin; they played through
grade eight.” She added, “They also learned Baroque recorders in grade eight.”
A John Morse teacher mentor elaborated the thinking behind these Waldorf methods: “When thinking about building
capacity, we might think of building the sense ‘I can.’ That is where we need to focus in the lower grades. Later we
focus on skills, on the ‘I do.’ To understand what capacity is in mathematics, or number sense as some call it, think of
this example: If you have number sense, you know that when you multiply a two-digit number with another two-digit
number (for example 28 x 17) and you get a 5-digit number (for example 53,000), you see with your capacity that that
cannot be right. You have your bearings in the world of numbers and know this. In the lower grades the teacher tries to
nurture the capacity and of course in the end your aim is to get the skills in place....The road to skills is through moving,
drawing, jumping to learn the numbers. In this way you enhance the capacity, or number sense.” She concludes that this
is a worthy investment: “The more capacity, or number sense, you build in the lower grades, the quicker you can later
build skills.” Certainly the performance patterns in mathematics at John Morse bear this out. To sumup, by their
teachers’ and their mentor’s report, these students’ high performance in mathematics standardized tests in 2006 was not
because the students abandoned the arts or submerged them in test prep. Learning was scaffolded over the years. The
focus was first on capacity building, then on skills with the arts as the medium. Through this medium, the message was
brought multiple times—with rigor.
Focus on rigor
When asked to identify three key ingredients that make the school successful, principal and teachers
pointed to a culture of rigor. Says Principal Cheryl Eining,
“Currently in traditional education, direct instruction is the latest buzz word. In Waldorf education, direct
instruction is a given and I personally feel one of the strengths of the program. Waldorf teachers are champions
of delivering instruction directly to students. They individually research and study the curriculum being
presented. There is no such thing as ‘open your textbook to page 10,’ nor ‘answer the questions at the end of the
chapter.’ During main lesson time, the first two hours of the day, usually 9 to 11 a.m., learning is hands-on,
exploratory and experiential, rather than simply being told a rule, fact or concept directly. Students record their
discoveries and learning in main lesson books, but rarely if ever will be seen filling in blanks on a worksheet.
Students will be involved in listening to a related curriculum story being told by the teacher, engaged in mental
math, word games, moving to the action of a poem/song or planting seeds in the garden. Learning is brought to
the students in a meaningful way, which will hopefully be longer lasting and not limit their thinking. When
instruction comes from a real person, a higher level of ownership and rigor is involved in the learning.”
Rigor and the arts for students
A key component of the Waldorf methods curriculum is the arts, which address a
variety of learning styles in children. Eining reflects, “Some form of the arts is embedded in nearly every element of the
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Ida Oberman [email protected] September 12 2007
Waldorf classroom. Our children are not accustomed to idle sitting for a majority of their day. The diversity and color
created by children is such a joy. Even at a young age, if left alone without others’ preconceived idea of what a house or
tree looks like, a child can manufacture eloquent pieces of art representing their learning. The artistic work also provides
students practice in staying at a project with rigor.” Adds Eining,
A teacher can pull out a row of knitting and ask students to try again until they are satisfied with their piece.
Pride and completion of work is essential, and doing as good a job as they can is equally important be it knitting
or mathematics….Last week the handwork teacher was cleaning wool collected from a sheep-shearing fieldtrip
with the third grade class. It’s incredible to watch the kids’ eyes light up when they dye it with homemade dyes
made from vegetable skins. Students are engaged in their work and excited to see the finished product. They
get the sense of what it is to do something well from start to finish….
She sums up, “Art brings curriculum into a meaningful place."
Rigor and the arts for adults
At John Morse, art is not a stand-alone subject. Artistic activity for the adults is a
key ingredient for a healthy invigorated teacher. “We have Thursdays each month for staff to work together,” reflects
Eining. “Two are for staff meeting all together and one in small groups where faculty work on curriculum. In faculty
meetings, we often sing together, then aim to do an artistic activity like felting, sculpting or painting. Then we turn to
business. [The art] is critical…. It allows us time to breathe from our day-to-day routine and create beautiful images
together and [be] more refreshed to meet the child the next day.” When asked, she elaborated: “It’s that idea of life-long
learning. Not every adult has the same ability to sing, paint, etc. It is common for our teachers to take the area most
difficult for them personally and work through it sometimes in a painstaking manner. Finally,” she concludes, “it’s also
about putting yourself in students’ shoes and gives us a sense of what they experience with new learning.” The second
grade teacher adds, “The artistic work is part of capacity building.”
This teacher shared how she does painting at home
to restore herself after a day of teaching, and even traveled again to Jordan after a Fulbright there to help other students
paint….as a way to build their capacity. “And they’d never picked up a paintbrush before…but in a few lessons learned
the basics of color theory as well as problem-solving as they endeavored to create with the color,” she concluded. In
sum, art at John Morse is not only for the students. For students and adults alike, it builds capacity to do rigorous work,
problem solve, think, and take on daily challenges with an open willing heart.
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Ida Oberman [email protected] September 12 2007
CASE 2: Relevance and the Arts – Figure 6, a-d
Urban Fringe, Mid-Size City: Woodland Star Charter,
Sonoma Valley Unified
Hispanic: 12%
a. Grade 2 Language Arts 2006 Results
100%
Percent of Students
80%
51%
60%
94%
86%
76%
40%
44%
20%
0%
15%
10%
4%
5%
Woodland Star
Charter
9%
5%
1%
Top Comparables Top Comparables Top Comparables
Statewide
Your Region
Your County
Below Basic
Basic
Proficient and Above
Just for Kids California - http://www.jftk-ca.org
b. Grade 8 Language Arts 2006 Results
100%
Percent of Students
80%
60%
75%
83%
66%
89%
40%
20%
19%
17%
0%
Woodland Star
Charter
25%
8%
9%
6%
3%
Top Comparables Top Comparables Top Comparables
Statewide
Your Region
Your County
Below Basic
Basic
Proficient and Above
Just for Kids California - http://www.jftk-ca.org
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Ida Oberman [email protected] September 12 2007
c. Grade 2 General Mathematics 2006 Results
100%
Percent of Students
80%
32%
60%
98%
44%
90%
84%
6%
4%
10%
6%
40%
20%
24%
0%
Woodland Star
Charter
1%
Top Comparables Top Comparables Top Comparables
Statewide
Your Region
Your County
Below Basic
Basic
Proficient and Above
Just for Kids California - http://www.jftk-ca.org
d. Grade 8 General Mathematics 2006 Results
100%
36%
Percent of Students
80%
59%
59%
60%
31%
40%
25%
Insufficient
data for
analysis
27%
20%
33%
16%
14%
0%
Woodland Star
Charter
Top Comparables Top Comparables Top Comparables
Statewide
Your Region
Your County
Below Basic
Basic
Proficient and Above
Just for Kids California - http://www.jftk-ca.org
As the 2006 CST figures above suggest, the Woodland Star Charter School data offer encouraging patterns. What did the
site undertake that might have contributed to these rising achievement trends? When asked how they explained their
success, administrators and faculty pointed in a host of graphic ways to the importance of rigor. In addition, they
stressed relevance. But the teachers and administrators we spoke to did not stop at talk about relevance for kids. They
stressed relevance for adults and the role of the artistic in building that sense of relevance. What does that look like at
Woodland Star Charter?
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Ida Oberman [email protected] September 12 2007
Relevance and the arts for students
As one upper grade faculty member reflected, “Being familiar with the
Waldorf curriculum means understanding how the curriculum is a progression that takes students through the grades in a
way that is developmentally appropriate.” When probed, this experienced teacher added, “You want to think across the
whole year and your class, how to do the circle games, the time table of main lesson, the artistic work.” At each grade
level the lesson has to be brought in a way that is meaningful to the child then. Founding Woodland Star Charter
Administrator Chip Romer concurs: “The developmental focus of our school is a critical component to its success. It is
also a focus that unites the faculty.”
Relevance and the arts for adults
The focus on relevance extends beyond the students to the adults. Says that same
teacher, “Child study is a regular part of faculty meetings.” It is not an add-on or only for special education teachers. It
is relevant for all and done by all. “The whole faculty engages in fully developing their observation skills as
teachers.…[We] learn to be better observers…really being careful about the comments like, ‘the child is that way
because,’” says the sixth grade teacher. Teachers try to support each other and themselves in finding relevant data to
create a picture of the child. Mechanisms such as the common child study encourage a deeper level of engagement with
all students—including the strugglers—by all adults. All students are relevant to all adults, all the time. What are some
of the resources to enable this level of attention?
As in the case of John Morse, so is the story for Woodland Star. Arts are not ancillary but instrumental. And they are
not just for kids’ learning. Learning through the arts is central for adults. Personal growth gets tied to learning to be a
teacher.
Arts are the medium
The Woodland Star Charter teacher recalls, “The artistic is a huge aspect of working with new
and experienced teachers.…My whole first year in training was all artistic work to really kind of give me … what I
hadn’t done.…” and “The artistic brings the academic to life for the child … otherwise it’s dead … too much in the
head.” The artistic is not an ancillary. No, it is a key craft for any classroom teacher: “Just learning to do a chalk board
drawing … there aren’t that many chalk boards out there… what is a painting lesson; how to do form drawing … to learn
how to do all these things as a class teacher… not arts or handwork but regular class teachers need to know and learn this
in Waldorf.”
Finally this teacher excuses himself; he is working on the class play written by a veteran Waldorf teacher and focused on
Caesar. He has to return to the class. “For sixth grade these Romans have real appeal,” he concludes.
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Ida Oberman [email protected] September 12 2007
CASE 3: RELATIONSHIPS AND THE ARTS -- Figure 7, a-b
As in the case of John Morse and Woodland Star Charter, a first look at the data is in order.
Urban Fringe, Large City:
Stone Bridge, Napa Valley Unified
a. Grade 2 Mathematics 2006 Results
100%
Percent of Students
80%
38%
60%
96%
21%
92%
40%
20%
Insufficient
data for
analysis
41%
0%
Stone Bridge
5%
3%
3%
1%
Top Comparables Top Comparables Top Comparables
Statewide
Your Region
Your County
Below Basic
Basic
Proficient and Above
Just for Kids California - http://www.jftk-ca.org
23
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Ida Oberman [email protected] September 12 2007
b. Grade 8 General Mathematics 2006 Results
100%
40%
Percent of Students
80%
54%
60%
Insufficient
data for
analysis
33%
40%
38%
20%
27%
0%
8%
Stone Bridge
Top Comparables Top Comparables Top Comparables
Statewide
Your Region
Your County
Below Basic
Basic
Proficient and Above
Just for Kids California - http://www.jftk-ca.org
Stone Bridge is an example of another public Waldorf site where students in grade two perform low but in eighth grade in 2006
outperformed their peers on the state’s California Achievement Test, in both English and Mathematics. Though these data are
not conclusive, they do invite a closer look. What is Stone Bridge doing that may support student learning, in the eye of
administrators and faculty?
Stone Bridge faculty and administration affirmed the importance of rigor and relevance. In addition, in the interviews with Stone
Bridge staff, the focus on relationship came to the fore. The focus was not just on relationship among students and between
students and adults. The power of relationship among adults was stressed, and the power of the arts in building that, also in hard
times.
Relationship and the arts for students
One teacher made the following statement:
When I got the class [in seventh grade,] five of thirteen students were at a fourth grade level in math. I spent the
seventh grade year on rhythm, movement, and color to bring them up to algebra. Every main lesson [the first two hours
of the day], we spent 30–45 minutes on math-related movement. On top of that, because of perspective in the history
main lesson on the Renaissance math turned into art, and things began to appear. Then [after that artistic math work], the
students were ready to learn.
Notes Administrator Bill Bindewald, “The regular assemblies are very important to the life of the school…just the idea that the
students are part of that…gives a chance for the first graders who in the first assembly can barely contain themselves in their
chairs …the rest of the school sees them and the rest of the teachers…so their share in that progression matters.…Test scores are a
product of critical thinking skills and self-confidence. Having all grades perform in assembly and seeing the work they do as so
important in assembly, the relevance of the artistic activities also before the faculty…is primary.”
Relations and the arts for adults
At Stone Bridge the faculty meet once a week for common work and always begin with
singing. What is the value of such a time investment? One teacher noted, “Artistic activities are primary. I can’t sound good
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Ida Oberman [email protected] September 12 2007
without the other. A few months ago I had an argument. It went deep, really deep. Feelings were hurt; it was a respectful
argument but feelings were hurt deeply on both sides. That third day it was faculty meeting and time to sing, and you had to sing
with a partner. There were only two tenors in the chorus…we were the two tenors. We went and it was hard just in the warm up,
and then went to working on a difficult piece, and it was hard…but then, we were able to breathe into each other.…We both
noticed it was just how we each do it. She’s a higher tenor; I’m a lower tenor; that’s just how we do it. At the end I was able to
say, ‘Do you want to go back to that conversation we left off?’ ” Artistic activity lends support for constructive collaboration.
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Ida Oberman [email protected] September 12 2007
CASE 4. RIGOR, RELEVANCE, RELATIONSHIP & THE ARTS –
Figure 8, a-d
Urban Fringe Large City: Novato Charter,
Novato Unified School District
Hispanic: 5%
a. Grade 2 Language Arts 2006 Results
100%
Percent of Students
80%
54%
60%
94%
89%
40%
Insufficient
data for
analysis
29%
20%
17%
0%
Novato Charter
8%
4%
3%
2%
Top Comparables Top Comparables Top Comparables
Statewide
Your Region
Your County
Below Basic
Basic
Proficient and Above
Just for Kids California - http://www.jftk-ca.org
b. Grade 8 Language Arts 2006 Results
100%
Percent of Students
80%
60%
73%
84%
81%
12%
4%
16%
40%
20%
0%
Insufficient
data for
analysis
17%
10%
Novato Charter
3%
Top Comparables Top Comparables Top Comparables
Statewide
Your Region
Your County
Below Basic
Basic
Proficient and Above
Just for Kids California - http://www.jftk-ca.org
26
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493
Appendix P:
Elements of a Traditional Waldorf School
Second Grade Assessment
Mountain Sage Community School Charter Application
512
Appendix Q-1:
MSCS Budget Scenario 1;
130 students, 110 FTE
Mountain Sage Community School Charter Application
526
Mountain Sage
Community School
A Public Charter School in Fort Collins, Colorado
Inspired by Waldorf Education and Sustainable Living
Budget Projections for FY 2011 through 2017
Mountain Sage Community
1 ofSchool
9 Charter Application
527
Mountain Sage Community School
Budget Projections
Funded Pupil Count
Student Growth Percent
Per Pupil Operating Revenue
PPR increase %
Total Students
Start up
2011-2012
0
100.0%
$0
0.0%
Year 1
FY 2012-2013
110
100.0%
$6,136
0.0%
130.0
Year 2
FY 2013-2014
158
43.7%
$6,136
0.0%
178.0
Year 3
FY 2014-2015
206
30.4%
$6,136
0.0%
226.0
Year 4
FY 2015-2016
254
23.3%
$6,136
0.0%
274.0
Year 5
FY 2016-2017
302
18.9%
$6,136
0.0%
322.0
$0.00
$0.00
$2,941.77
$130,510.86
$387,842.46
$770,322.97
Description
BEGINNING FUND 13 BALANCE
13
GENERAL FUND REVENUE
Investment Earnings
Full Day Kindergarten Tuition
$0
$99,200
$50
$99,200
$1,305
$99,200
$1,344
$99,200
$1,385
$99,200
Enrichment and Supplies fees
District PPOR @ 100%
TOTAL GENERAL FUND LOCAL REVENUES
$0
$0
$0
$10,400
$673,978
$783,578
$14,240
$968,506
$1,081,996
$18,080
$1,263,034
$1,381,619
$21,920
$1,557,562
$1,680,027
$25,760
$1,852,090
$1,978,435
STATE SPEC ED FUNDING
TOTAL GENERAL FUND STATE REVENUES SPECIAL ED
$0
$0
$16,170
$16,170
$23,226
$23,226
$30,258
$30,258
$37,314
$37,314
$44,370
$44,370
OTHER REVENUE
TOTAL GENERAL FUND OTHER REVENUES
$0
$0
$0
$0
$0
$0
$0
$0
$0
$0
$0
$0
GENERAL FUND 13 REVENUE TOTALS:
$0
$799,748
$1,105,222
$1,411,878
$1,717,341
$2,022,805
13 GENERAL FUND EXPENSES
SUBSTITUTE PAY
TEACHERS
Paraprofessional
TEACHER SPECIALISTS
OFFICE OF PRINCIPAL
ADMINISTRATIVE STAFF
SPECIAL EDUCATION TEACHERS
STUDENT SERVICES- Nurse, counselor
TOTAL SALARIES
$0
$0
$0
$0
$0
$0
$0
$0
$0
$5,000
$214,500
$25,000
$30,000
$50,000
$22,000
$38,000
$12,000
$396,500
$6,000
$288,915
$25,750
$33,990
$53,000
$22,660
$39,140
$12,360
$481,815
$7,200
$367,602
$26,523
$35,010
$56,000
$23,340
$40,314
$12,731
$568,719
$8,000
$450,750
$27,318
$36,060
$58,000
$24,040
$41,524
$13,113
$658,804
$11,000
$575,698
$28,138
$37,142
$63,000
$24,761
$42,769
$13,506
$796,014
MEDICARE SUBSTITUTES
MEDICARE TEACHERS
MEDICARE Paraprofessional
MEDICARE TEACHER SPECIALIST
MEDICARE OFFICE OF PRINCIPAL
MEDICARE ADMINISTRATIVE STAFF
MEDICARE SPECIAL ED TEACHER
MEDICARE STUDENT SERVICES Nurse, counselor
TOTAL MEDICARE
$0
$0
$0
$0
$0
$0
$0
$0
$0
$73
$3,110
$363
$435
$725
$319
$551
$174
$5,749
$87
$4,189
$373
$493
$769
$329
$568
$179
$6,986
$104
$5,330
$385
$508
$812
$338
$585
$185
$8,246
$116
$6,536
$396
$523
$841
$349
$602
$190
$9,553
$160
$8,348
$408
$539
$914
$359
$620
$196
$11,542
PERA SUBSTITUTES
PERA TEACHERS
PERA Paraprofessional
PERA TEACHER SPECIALIST
PERA OFFICE OF PRINCIPAL
PERA ADMIN. STAFF
PERA SPECIAL ED TEACHER
PERA STUDENT SERVICES-Nurse, counselor
TOTAL PERA
$0
$0
$0
$0
$0
$0
$0
$0
$0
$783
$33,569
$3,913
$4,695
$7,825
$3,443
$5,947
$1,878
$62,052
$993
$47,815
$4,262
$5,625
$8,772
$3,750
$6,478
$2,046
$79,740
$1,256
$64,147
$4,628
$6,109
$9,772
$4,073
$7,035
$2,222
$99,241
$1,468
$82,713
$5,013
$6,617
$10,643
$4,411
$7,620
$2,406
$120,891
$2,118
$110,822
$5,417
$7,150
$12,128
$4,767
$8,233
$2,600
$153,233
HEALTH/D INS. TEACHERS
HEALTH/D INS. Paraprofessional
HEALTH/D INS. TEACHER SPECIALIST
HEALTH/DINS. OFFICE OF PRINCIPAL
HEALTH/DINS. ADMIN. STAFF
HEALTH/D INS. SPECIAL ED TEACHER
HEALTH/D INS. STUDENT SERVICES-Nurse, counselor
TOTAL HEALTH INSURANCE
$0
$0
$0
$0
$0
$0
$0
$0
$24,000
$4,000
$0
$4,000
$4,000
$4,000
$0
$40,000
$37,400
$4,400
$0
$4,400
$4,400
$4,400
$0
$55,000
$50,820
$4,840
$0
$4,840
$4,840
$4,840
$0
$70,180
$66,550
$5,324
$0
$5,324
$5,324
$5,324
$0
$87,846
$90,774
$5,856
$0
$5,856
$5,856
$5,856
$0
$114,200
TOTAL BENEFITS
Benefits as a % of total Labor cost
TOTAL SALARIES AND BENEFITS
Sal/Ben Cost Per Student
Labor/benefits cost % of total General fund expense
$0
$107,802
21.38%
$504,302
$4,591
63.29%
$141,727
22.73%
$623,542
$3,950
63.78%
$177,668
23.80%
$746,387
$3,626
64.65%
$218,289
24.89%
$877,094
$3,455
65.71%
$278,975
25.95%
$1,074,989
$3,561
67.70%
$0
Mountain Sage Community School Charter Application
2 of 9
528
Mountain Sage Community School
Budget Projections
Start up
2011-2012
Year 1
Year 2
Year 3
Year 4
Year 5
FY 2012-2013 FY 2013-2014 FY 2014-2015 FY 2015-2016 FY 2016-2017
$16,170
$23,226
$30,258
$37,314
$44,370
$3,000
$1,500
$1,500
$3,173
$3,773
$10,000
$5,000
$5,000
$5,000
$5,000
$5,000
$5,000
$5,000
$5,000
$5,000
$13,000
$13,000
$13,000
$13,390
$13,792
$300
$300
$300
$300
$300
$2,400
$2,472
$2,546
$2,623
$2,701
$0
$0
$23,000
$27,000
$33,000
$49,870
$50,498
$80,605
$93,800
$107,936
SPECIAL EDUCATION SVCS- CONTRACT
ASSESSMENTS
LEGAL SERVICES
AUDIT SERVICES
ACCOUNTING/CONSULTING
FINGERPRINT SERVICES
IT PURCHASED SERVICES
PROF. DEVELOPMENT SVCS.
TOTAL PROFESSIONAL CONTRACTED SERVICES
$0
$0
$0
$0
$0
$0
$0
$0
$0
Telephone/Internet
JANITORIAL SERVICES
ELECTRICITY & GAS, Water, Disposal services
REPAIRS & MAINTENANCE FACILITY
REPAIRS & MAINTENANCE GROUNDS
FACILITY RENT - (add this figure to the capital construction line for total)
TOTAL PROPERTY RELATED SERVICES
Property costs as % of gen revenue-includes all facility pmts
$0
$0
$0
$0
$0
$0
$0
$4,800
$7,600
$18,000
$6,000
$3,600
$72,114
$112,114
15.25%
$4,944
$7,828
$18,900
$6,180
$3,708
$100,000
$141,560
14.09%
$5,092
$8,063
$19,845
$6,365
$3,819
$81,474
$124,659
10.14%
$5,245
$8,305
$20,837
$6,556
$3,934
$87,154
$132,032
9.02%
$5,402
$8,554
$21,879
$6,753
$4,052
$92,834
$139,475
8.24%
LIABILITY INSURANCE
UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE
WORKERS COMP INSURANCE
POSTAGE
ADVERTISING/RECRUITING
PRINTING, BINDING, DUPLICATION
STAFF TRAVEL/ MiLEAGE
Field trip expenses
Educational Consultants, ELL, Waldorf, etc
District Purchased Services- Overhead/Administration 2% of PPR
TOTAL OTHER PURCHASED/CONTRACTED SERVICES
$0
$0
$0
$0
$0
$0
$0
$0
$0
$0
$0
$7,000
$6,939
$2,000
$500
$4,000
$4,500
$500
$1,500
$5,000
$13,480
$45,418
$7,210
$8,432
$4,000
$550
$4,000
$5,500
$500
$2,000
$5,000
$19,370
$56,562
$7,426
$9,953
$5,000
$605
$12,000
$6,500
$500
$2,500
$5,000
$25,261
$74,745
$7,649
$11,529
$6,000
$666
$12,000
$7,500
$500
$3,000
$5,000
$31,151
$84,995
$7,879
$13,930
$7,000
$732
$12,000
$8,500
$500
$3,500
$5,000
$37,042
$96,083
General Instructional Materials
GENERAL OFFICE SUPPLIES / Misc
JANITORIAL SUPPLIES
TEXTBOOKS
LIBRARY BOOKS & PERIODICALS
COMPUTERS and Equipment
EQUIPMENT RENTAL-Copy machine
TOTAL SUPPLIES AND MATERIALS
$0
$0
$0
$0
$0
$0
$0
$0
$22,000
$6,000
$2,000
$0
$0
$0
$5,000
$35,000
$35,600
$6,500
$2,500
$0
$0
$5,000
$5,000
$54,600
$45,200
$7,000
$3,000
$1,400
$5,000
$2,000
$5,000
$68,600
$54,800
$7,500
$3,500
$3,800
$5,000
$2,000
$5,000
$81,600
$64,400
$8,000
$4,000
$5,800
$5,000
$2,000
$5,000
$94,200
LICENSES/TECHNOLOGY software
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Scholarship fund for Kindergarten- 10%
Free and Reduced Lunch program expenses- 20% of population
Miscellaneous Expenses
Garden Program Expenses
TOTAL DUES/FEES/MISCELLANEOUS EXPENDITURES
$0
$0
$0
$0
$0
$1,000
$2,000
$0
$500
$1,500
$0
$5,000
$500
$2,000
$9,920
$21,182
$1,500
$3,000
$38,102
$500
$5,000
$9,920
$26,894
$1,500
$5,000
$48,814
$500
$5,000
$9,920
$32,606
$1,500
$5,000
$54,526
$500
$5,000
$9,920
$38,318
$1,500
$5,000
$60,238
$751,704
$964,864
$1,143,809
$1,324,046
$1,572,921
$0
$0
$0
$22,551
$22,551
$45,102
$6,395
$6,395
$12,790
$5,368
$5,368
$10,737
$5,407
$5,407
$10,814
$7,466
$7,466
$14,932
$0
$0
$0.00
$796,806
$799,748
$2,942
$977,653
$1,105,222
$127,569
$1,154,546
$1,411,878
$257,332
$1,334,860
$1,717,341
$382,481
$1,587,853
$2,022,805
$434,952
$0
$2,942
$130,511
$387,842
$770,323
$1,205,275
$0
TOTAL Expenditures before Reserve calculations
Contribution to Tabor Reserve 3% of expenditures
Contribution to RESERVE 3% OF expenditures
TOTAL TRANSFERS AND OTHER USES OF FUNDS
GENERAL FUND 13 EXPENSE TOTALS:
Total General Fund Revenues
General Fund Surplus (Deficit)
ENDING 13 FUND BALANCE
Mountain Sage Community School Charter Application
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529
Mountain Sage Community School
Budget Projections
Start up
2011-2012
BEGINNING FUND 22 BALANCE
Year 1
FY 2012-2013
Year 2
FY 2013-2014
Year 3
FY 2014-2015
Year 4
FY 2015-2016
Year 5
FY 2016-2017
$0
$0
$0
$0
$0
$0
CDE START UP GRANT
Capital Construction Grant revenue
TOTAL GRANTS REVENUE
$180,000
$0
$180,000
$180,000
$9,886
$189,886
$180,000
$14,206
$194,206
$0
$18,526
$18,526
$0
$22,846
$22,846
$0
$27,166
$27,166
GRANTS FUND 22 REVENUE TOTALS:
$180,000
$189,886
$194,206
$18,526
$22,846
$27,166
22 GRANTS FUND EXPENSES
CDE Start up Grant Expenditures
Capital Construction expenses
TOTAL GRANTS EXPENDITURES
$180,000
$0
$180,000
$180,000
$9,886
$189,886
$180,000
$14,206
$194,206
$0
$18,526
$18,526
$0
$22,846
$22,846
$0
$27,166
$27,166
GRANTS FUND 22 EXPENSE TOTALS:
$180,000
$189,886
$194,206
$18,526
$22,846
$27,166
ENDING FUND 22 BALANCE
$0
$0
$0
$0
$0
$0
BEGINNING FUND BALANCE ALL FUNDS
$0
$0
$2,942
$130,511
$387,842
$770,323
$180,000
$989,634
$1,299,428
$1,430,403
$1,740,187
$2,049,971
22
GRANTS FUND REVENUE
TOTAL REVENUES ALL FUNDS
Surplus/(Deficit)
TOTAL EXPENDITURES ALL FUNDS
ENDING FUND BALANCE ALL FUNDS
Detail Breakout of Fund Balance
Tabor
Board mandated 3% reserve
Unrestricted
0
2,942
127,569
257,332
382,481
434,952
$180,000
$986,692
$1,171,859
$1,173,072
$1,357,706
$1,615,019
$0
$2,942
$130,511
$387,842
$770,323
$1,205,275
$0
$22,551
$22,551
$2,942
$28,946
$28,946
$72,619
$34,314
$34,314
$319,214
$39,721
$39,721
$690,880
$47,188
$47,188
$1,110,900
$0
Mountain Sage Community School Charter Application
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530
0
Year 2
226
178
206
32
16
48
48
24
24
20
14
Year 3
2014-2015
SALARIES AND BENEFITS
Health, Dental, Vision Insurance
PERA
Teachers
Paraprofessionals
Teacher Specialists
Principal
Administrative staff
Special Education teacher
Curriculum and Achievement coordinator
Student Services, Nurse/ medical
Medicare
Substitutes
$4,000
$5,000
Year 3
Year 4
32
16
48
48
48
48
24
22
18
18
322
274
302
Year 5
2016-2017
5 of 9
274
226
254
32
16
48
48
48
24
20
20
18
Year 4
2015-2016
Year 5
Mountain Sage Community School Charter Application
$147 remains flat
$80 remains flat
Enrichment Fees
Special Education Funding
310 remains flat
6,136.00 remains flat
Year 1
178
130
158
130
82
110
Start up
32
16
48
24
24
19
15
Year 2
2013-2014
32
16
40
20
14
8
Year 1
2012-2013
Full Day Kindergarten Tuition
PPR Income
Investment interest
Assumptions per line item
REVENUES
K Students Full Day
K Students 1/2 day
1st Grade
2nd Grade
3rd Grade
4th Grade
5th Grade
6th Grade
7th Grade
8th Grade
TOTAL STUDENT COUNT
FTE's Grades 1-8
FUNDED FTE's
Student Count Assumptions
Mountain Sage Community School
Budget Projection Assumption Detail
531
please see Staffing plan tab for detail. MSCS understands it's initial salary
structure is low, but believes the market will support this salary base. The
amounts allocated for Prof. Dev. in the budget and the CDE grant will provide
the Waldorf and other training necessary to support the teaching staff.
Staffing plan detail
Staffing plan detail
Staffing plan detail
Staffing plan detail
Staffing plan detail
Staffing plan detail
Staffing plan detail
Medicare line item is calculated on 1.45% of total salary
Employer PERA expense for each year is calculated based on the schedule
on PERA website, 15.65% in 2012 and increasing .9% each year until the
maximum 19%
health, dental, vision benefit package of $4,000 per full time employee year
one, then employees .5 and above year two and forward
increases every year based on increasing class base
This represents a consumable supplies fee, given that students create their
own portfolio throughout the year,and use very high quality art materials.
MSCS has been informed that it can expect approximately $147 in federal
funding per FTE, as of 8-11-11 from PSD. MSCS has budgetd for
approximately 10% of the student population to require these services.
assumes investing unused cash in an approved type of account (sweep
account) to earn interest and maximize any interest earning potential.
Assumed earnings of 1% based on fund balance beginning year 3
based on current status of educational funding, MSCS assumes no PPR
increase for projected years
per mo/student based on a 10 month payment plan. MSCS will offer two full
day kindergarten classes and one half day class
LIABILITY INSURANCE
UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE
WORKERS COMP INSURANCE
POSTAGE
ADVERTISING/RECRUITING
PRINTING, BINDING, DUPLICATION
STAFF TRAVEL/ MiLEAGE
Field trip expenses
Educational Consultants, ELL, Waldorf, etc
District Purchased ServicesOverhead/Administration 2% of PPR
PURCHASED/CONTRACTED
SERVICES
FACILITY RENT - (add this figure to the capital
construction line for total)
TOTAL FACILITY RENT (above line and CCG
line combined)
Repair & Maintenance, Grounds, Snow removal
$19,370
$13,480
$25,261
$7,426
$9,953
$5,000
$605
$12,000
$6,500
$500
$2,500
$5,000
100,000
$81,474
$31,151
$7,649
$11,529
$6,000
$666
$12,000
$7,500
$500
$3,000
$5,000
110,000
$87,154
6 of 9
assumed 3% increase per year
assumed 3% increase per year
assumed 5% increase per year
assumed 3% increase per year
network support/ maintenance
training, updates for staff each year.
Accounting services provided by Conscious Accounting LLC, to include
monthly payroll, bank reconciliations, monthly transactions review, financial
statements and reports, 990 tax returns, and training/ support for admin.
MSCS will purchase services from the District based on the SPED population
that cannot have its needs served by the full time SpED teacher MSCS will
employ
This is a direct quote from NWEA. CSAP is provided no cost through the
district, DRA2 is no cost to MSCS as well
initial legal fees will be higher due to contract negotiations, and then remain
on a consulting basis going forward
Audit will be conducted by a reputable, experienced charter school audit firm
in Greeley, Anton Collins Mitchell LLP
expectation of minimal staff travel, as consultants will come to MSCS
assumption increase based on student population increase
based on 3-10 hours of services a week up to 40 hours a month
most cost in grant for year one and two
assumed 3% increase per year
based on estimate per State rates
based on quote from insurance agent
$37,042 2% of PPR revenue per District agreement
$7,879
$13,930
$7,000
$732
$12,000
$8,500
$500
$3,500
$5,000
532
assumed 3% increase per year
This figure is based on a combination of operation funds and capital
construction funds applied toward the facility cost, except for year two in which
MCSC will apply the Capital Construction funds toward a playground. MSCS
has had discussions with a prospective landlord regarding this rental payment
and subsequent per year increase, and they have been amenable to this
$92,834 proposal.
This line items shows the combination of operational allocation and CCG
120,000 allocation for total facility rent.
per child per
12.5 year
Mountain Sage Community School Charter Application
$7,210
$8,432
$4,000
$550
$4,000
$5,500
$500
$2,000
$5,000
100,000
82,000
$7,000
$6,939
$2,000
$500
$4,000
$4,500
$500
$1,500
$5,000
$100,000
$72,114
$300 per month for 12 months
$400 per month for 12 months
$800 per month for 9.5 months
$18,000
$500 per month for 12 months
Telephone/Internet
Janitorial Services
Electricity, Gas, Water, Disposal
Repair & Maintenance, Facility
PROPERTY/ FACILITY
$13,000
$300 ongoing cost
$2,400 assumed 3% increase per year
$10,000 ongoing line item
$5,000 5000 per year continuing
Audit services
Accounting/Consulting
Fingerprint services
IT purchased services
Professional Development/ Consulting
$10,000 5000 per year continuing
1500 base set up/ 1500 per year rate then
Assessments
Legal services
based on direct contract services through PSD
Special Education Direct services
PURCHASED SERVICES
Mountain Sage Community School
Budget Projection Assumption Detail
$0
COMPUTERS and Equipment
Capital Construction expenses
CDE Start up Grant Expenditures
GRANT FUND EXPENDITURES
Capital Construction Funding
CDE START UP GRANT
$0
$180,000
$9,886
$180,000
$9,886
$180,000
$22,551
Contribution to RESERVE 3% OF expenditures
GRANT FUND REVENUES
$22,551
$500
$1,500
$0
$0
$1,000
$2,000
Contribution to Tabor Reserve 3% of expenditures
RESERVE CONTRIBUTIONS
Free and Reduced Lunch program expenses
MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSE
Garden Program and landscaping Expenses
Scholarship fund for Kindergarten- 10%
$180,000
TOTAL DUES/FEES/MISCELLANEOUS EXPENDITURES
LICENSES/TECHNOLOGY software
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
$5,000
$0
LIBRARY BOOKS & PERIODICALS
EQUIPMENT RENTAL-Copy machine
$0
$22,000
$6,000
$2,000
TEXTBOOKS
General Instructional Materials
GENERAL OFFICE SUPPLIES / Misc
JANITORIAL SUPPLIES
TOTAL SUPPLIES AND MATERIALS
$18,526
$0
$18,526
$5,368
$5,368
$26,894
$1,500
$5,000
$9,920
$500
$5,000
$5,000
$2,000
$5,000
$1,400
$45,200
$7,000
$3,000
$22,846
$0
$22,846
$5,407
$5,407
$32,606
$1,500
$5,000
$9,920
$500
$5,000
$5,000
$2,000
$5,000
$3,800
$54,800
$7,500
$3,500
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533
MSCS will request the maximum funding for Years One-Three of the CDE
$0 startup grant- please see grant application tab for budget detail of grant
year one will be applied to facility costs, year two will be applied toward
playground equipment, then allocation toward facility year three and
$27,166 continuing
MSCS will request the maximum funding for Years One-Three of the CDE
startup grant- please see grant application tab for budget detail of grant
year one will be applied to facility costs, year two will be applied toward
playground equipment, then allocation toward facility year three and
$27,166 continuing. Assumed $90 per FTE based on past state allocations
initial year represents highest expenditure, with an increase each year to keep
restricted fund balance at 3% of current year expenditures as mandated by
$7,466 law
initial year represents highest expenditure, with an increase each year to keep
restricted fund balance at 3% of current year expenditures as mandated by
$7,466 the MSCS Board of Directors
$9,920 will begin in year two based on population need, estimated 10% of population
Year one offers students who forget lunches some type of snack/lunch.
Official Program will begin in year two based on population need, estimated at
20% of student population based on an average of District % and other area
$38,318 charter school %
$1,500
$5,000 continuing expense year 3 will include greenhouse build
$500
$5,000 cost for board training, consulting, workshops
replacing consumable Waldorf materials each year per student approx. 200
$30,000 per actual student, not student FTEs
$8,000
$4,000
Please see narrative regarding Waldorf textbook usage. Year one and two to
be funded through grant, then per year allocation for additions and
$5,800 replacements
Year one and two to be funded through grant, then per year allocation for
$5,000 additions and replacements
year one and two initial equipment funded through grant, then per year
$2,000 allocation for updates/replacements
estimated cost for copy machine rental and maintenance, paper included in
$5,000 supplies line item
Mountain Sage Community School Charter Application
$14,206
$180,000
$14,206
$180,000
$6,395
$6,395
$21,182
$1,500
$3,000
$9,920
$500
$2,000
$5,000
$5,000
$0
$0
$35,600
$6,500
$2,500
Mountain Sage Community School
Budget Projection Assumption Detail
Mountain Sage Community School
CDE Startup Grant Expenditure Detail
Grant Request Summary Tab
Year 1
Operations
Start up
This tab is to provide a summary of expenditures from
the CDE startup grant, allocated by Project Request.
2011-2012
Grant Year 1
FY 2012-2013
Grant Year 1
Year 2
Operations
FY 2013-2014
Grant Year 3
Project 1: School Set-up
Salary and Benefits for Administrator (Y1 only), and
Professinoal Services for consulting on webdesign,
school logo, graphic design and marketing
Facilities cost for ADA compliance
$47,208
$0
$12,750
$4,800
$13,250
$9,118
Initial Classroom and Administration setup to include
desks, chairs, chalkboards, modular walls, etc for K-4
classrooms and Admin office Y1, K-5 Y2, and K-8 Y3
$72,237
$29,210
$42,915
$7,190
$5,000
$0
$0
$25,710
$12,167
$11,205
$21,950
$3,600
$15,500
$0
$0
$0
$0
$240
$8,195
$750
$13,000
$6,420
$0
$0
$2,200
$350
$29,600
$3,000
$28,050
$0
$600
$9,540
$5,300
Subgrantee Training programs through CDE for Boards,
Performance management and leadership and
mentoring, Y3 includes CSSI School visit
Waldorf specific training programs (Y3 remedial ed)
Travel to Waldorf specific training programs
$4,860
$15,300
$3,350
$7,760
$10,395
$6,400
$16,610
$16,670
$7,700
Performance Management training on Alpine and NWEA
$0
$4,700
$5,200
$180,000
$180,000
$180,000
Project 2: Curricular Materials
Teacher Resource books; Live Education! Curriculum
purchased for K-8; Live Education! Technical support
and consultation Y2 includes
Eugene Schwartz, Millenial Child Waldorf Curriculum
resources
Curriculum materials for classroom instruction (Y2 to be
purchased between July 1 and the first day of school for
Fall 2011)
Equipment (curriculum materials) such as harps,
flutes,Kindergarten set-up such as play tables, rocking
chairs,play stands, etc.
Project 3: Library
Children’s (750) and parent resource books (50) Y1; 500
and 100 Y3 respectively
Online subscriptions
Library set up
Library consultant
Project 4: Technology
Equipment, admin, teacher, and student computers
Software
Purchased Services, IT server set up and infrastructure
Project 5: Professional Development
TOTAL GRANT EXPENDITURES
Mountain Sage Community School Charter Application
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534
1
Para Professional
TOTAL BENEFITS
Benefits package to include health, dental, vision, etc.
Benefits per Full time staff and above Year one
Benefits per .5 staff and above year two and beyond
TEACHERS
Paraprofessional
TEACHER SPECIALIST
OFFICE OF PRINCIPAL
ADMIN. STAFF
SPECIAL ED TEACHER
STUDENT SERVICES-Nurse, counselor
Instructional Staff Wages
TOTAL WAGES
Substitute
Specials Teachers:
Eurythmy, Language, Music, handwork
SUBTOTAL Specials Teachers
1
Special ed teacher
Teaching staff projections
Full Time Equivalents Teaching Staff not including SPED
K Teacher*
1st Grade Teacher*
2nd Grade Teacher*
3rd Grade Teacher*
4th Grade Teacher*
5th Grade Teacher*
6th Grade Teacher*
7th Grade Teacher*
8th grade teacher
SUBTOTAL full time Teachers
Salaries Expense
Full Time Equivalent Admin Staff (.5 and above)
Administrator
1
Nurse/ medical
0.4
Admin assistant/ receptionist
1
Support Staff Wages
Total Employees Full Time
0
0
0
0
0
16,000
16,000
16,000
Class Projections
Kindergarten Classes
2 full day, 1 half day class(es)
1st Grade
2nd Grade
3rd Grade/ 4th grade combined year one only
4th Grade/ 4th combined year two only
5th Grade/ 6th combined year three only
6th Grade/ 7th combined year four only
7th Grade/ 8th combined year 5 only
8th Grade
special ed teacher
SUBTOTAL no SPED
Teaching Staff Average Salaries
Teachers
Para Professional
Specials (based on 2 sessions per week each grade)
`
55,000
8.5
1
0
1
1
1
0
6
1
0
1
1
1
0
40,000
4,400
481,815
6,000
33,990
33,990
25,750
4,000
396,500
5,000
30,000
30,000
25,000
39,140
288,915
214,500
38,000
8.5
84,975
67,980
67,980
33,990
33,990
0
6.5
82,500
66,000
33,000
33,000
0
2.0
53,000
12,360
22,660
88,020
33,990
25,750
8,498
33,000
25,000
4,950
2.0
50,000
12,000
22,000
84,000
2.5
2
2
1
1
0
0
0
0
1
8.5
2.5
2
1
1
0
0
0
0
0
1
6.5
87,846
12.5
1
0
1
1
1
0
5,324
658,804
8,000
36,060
36,060
27,318
41,524
450,750
12.5
90,150
72,120
72,120
72,120
72,120
36,060
36,060
0
2.0
58,000
13,113
24,040
95,153
36,060
27,318
16,227
2.5
2
2
2
2
1
1
0
0
1
12.5
Assumed salary increase per year of:
3%
3.00%
114,200
15.5 number of staff with $4000 benefit package
1
0
1
1
1
0
5,856 assumed 10% increase per year
796,014
37,142 Specials Teachers will teach 2 classes per week per grade
37,142 Music incorporated into daily classroom, with Music Special
beginning in 4th grade
11,000
28,138
42,769
15.5
92,854
74,284
74,284
74,284
74,284
74,284
37,142
37,142
37,142
575,698
NOTES:
2.0 FT
Assumed Cost of Living increase
63,000
13,506 less than .5
24,761
101,267
37,142
28,138
20,428
2.5
2
2
2
2
2
1
1
1
1
15.5
9 of 9
Mountain Sage Community School Charter Application
70,180
10.5
1
0
1
1
1
0
4,840
568,719
7,200
35,010
35,010
26,523
40,314
367,602
10.5
87,524
70,019
70,019
70,019
35,010
35,010
0
2.0
56,000
12,731
23,340
92,071
35,010
26,523
12,253
2.5
2
2
2
1
1
0
0
0
1
10.5
Mountain Sage Community School
Staffing Plan Detail
535
Appendix Q-2:
MSCS Budget Scenario 2;
168 students, 148 FTE
Mountain Sage Community School Charter Application
536
Mountain Sage
Community School
A Public Charter School in Fort Collins, Colorado
Inspired by Waldorf Education and Sustainable Living
Budget Projections for FY 2011 through 2017
Mountain Sage Community
1 ofSchool
9 Charter Application
537
Mountain Sage Community School
Budget Projections
Funded Pupil Count
Student Growth Percent
Per Pupil Operating Revenue
PPR increase %
Total Students
Start up
2011-2012
0
100.0%
$0
0.0%
Year 1
FY 2012-2013
148
100.0%
$6,136
0.0%
168.0
Year 2
FY 2013-2014
158
6.8%
$6,136
0.0%
178.0
Year 3
FY 2014-2015
206
30.4%
$6,136
0.0%
226.0
Year 4
FY 2015-2016
254
23.3%
$6,136
0.0%
274.0
Year 5
FY 2016-2017
302
18.9%
$6,136
0.0%
322.0
$0.00
$0.00
$180,002.14
$262,133.25
$470,191.94
$801,430.92
Description
BEGINNING FUND 13 BALANCE
13
GENERAL FUND REVENUE
Investment Earnings
Full Day Kindergarten Tuition
$0
$99,200
$50
$99,200
$2,621
$99,200
$2,700
$99,200
$2,781
$99,200
Enrichment and Supplies fees
District PPOR @ 100%
TOTAL GENERAL FUND LOCAL REVENUES
$0
$0
$0
$13,440
$907,146
$1,019,786
$14,240
$968,506
$1,081,996
$18,080
$1,263,034
$1,382,936
$21,920
$1,557,562
$1,681,382
$25,760
$1,852,090
$1,979,831
STATE SPEC ED FUNDING
TOTAL GENERAL FUND STATE REVENUES SPECIAL ED
$0
$0
$21,756
$21,756
$23,202
$23,202
$30,258
$30,258
$37,314
$37,314
$44,370
$44,370
OTHER REVENUE
TOTAL GENERAL FUND OTHER REVENUES
$0
$0
$0
$0
$0
$0
$0
$0
$0
$0
$0
$0
GENERAL FUND 13 REVENUE TOTALS:
$0
$1,041,542
$1,105,199
$1,413,194
$1,718,697
$2,024,202
13 GENERAL FUND EXPENSES
SUBSTITUTE PAY
TEACHERS
Paraprofessional
TEACHER SPECIALISTS
OFFICE OF PRINCIPAL
ADMINISTRATIVE STAFF
SPECIAL EDUCATION TEACHERS
STUDENT SERVICES- Nurse, counselor
TOTAL SALARIES
$0
$0
$0
$0
$0
$0
$0
$0
$0
$5,000
$247,500
$25,000
$30,000
$50,000
$22,000
$38,000
$12,000
$429,500
$6,000
$323,925
$25,750
$33,990
$53,000
$22,660
$39,140
$12,360
$516,825
$7,200
$403,662
$26,523
$35,010
$56,000
$23,340
$40,314
$12,731
$604,779
$8,000
$487,892
$27,318
$36,060
$58,000
$24,040
$41,524
$13,113
$695,946
$11,000
$575,698
$28,138
$37,142
$63,000
$24,761
$42,769
$13,506
$796,014
MEDICARE SUBSTITUTES
MEDICARE TEACHERS
MEDICARE Paraprofessional
MEDICARE TEACHER SPECIALIST
MEDICARE OFFICE OF PRINCIPAL
MEDICARE ADMINISTRATIVE STAFF
MEDICARE SPECIAL ED TEACHER
MEDICARE STUDENT SERVICES Nurse, counselor
TOTAL MEDICARE
$0
$0
$0
$0
$0
$0
$0
$0
$0
$73
$3,589
$363
$435
$725
$319
$551
$174
$6,228
$87
$4,697
$373
$493
$769
$329
$568
$179
$7,494
$104
$5,853
$385
$508
$812
$338
$585
$185
$8,769
$116
$7,074
$396
$523
$841
$349
$602
$190
$10,091
$160
$8,348
$408
$539
$914
$359
$620
$196
$11,542
PERA SUBSTITUTES
PERA TEACHERS
PERA Paraprofessional
PERA TEACHER SPECIALIST
PERA OFFICE OF PRINCIPAL
PERA ADMIN. STAFF
PERA SPECIAL ED TEACHER
PERA STUDENT SERVICES-Nurse, counselor
TOTAL PERA
$0
$0
$0
$0
$0
$0
$0
$0
$0
$783
$38,734
$3,913
$4,695
$7,825
$3,443
$5,947
$1,878
$67,217
$993
$53,610
$4,262
$5,625
$8,772
$3,750
$6,478
$2,046
$85,534
$1,256
$70,439
$4,628
$6,109
$9,772
$4,073
$7,035
$2,222
$105,534
$1,468
$89,528
$5,013
$6,617
$10,643
$4,411
$7,620
$2,406
$127,706
$2,118
$110,822
$5,417
$7,150
$12,128
$4,767
$8,233
$2,600
$153,233
HEALTH/D INS. TEACHERS
HEALTH/D INS. Paraprofessional
HEALTH/D INS. TEACHER SPECIALIST
HEALTH/DINS. OFFICE OF PRINCIPAL
HEALTH/DINS. ADMIN. STAFF
HEALTH/D INS. SPECIAL ED TEACHER
HEALTH/D INS. STUDENT SERVICES-Nurse, counselor
TOTAL HEALTH INSURANCE
$0
$0
$0
$0
$0
$0
$0
$0
$24,000
$4,000
$0
$4,000
$4,000
$4,000
$0
$40,000
$41,800
$4,400
$0
$4,400
$4,400
$4,400
$0
$59,400
$55,660
$4,840
$0
$4,840
$4,840
$4,840
$0
$75,020
$71,874
$5,324
$0
$5,324
$5,324
$5,324
$0
$93,170
$90,774
$5,856
$0
$5,856
$5,856
$5,856
$0
$114,200
TOTAL BENEFITS
Benefits as a % of total Labor cost
TOTAL SALARIES AND BENEFITS
Sal/Ben Cost Per Student
Labor/benefits cost % of total General fund expense
$0
$113,445
20.89%
$542,945
$3,673
63.02%
$152,428
22.78%
$669,253
$4,240
65.42%
$189,323
23.84%
$794,102
$3,858
65.89%
$230,967
24.92%
$926,914
$3,652
66.81%
$278,975
25.95%
$1,074,989
$3,561
67.84%
$0
Mountain Sage Community School Charter Application
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538
Mountain Sage Community School
Budget Projections
Start up
2011-2012
Year 1
Year 2
Year 3
Year 4
Year 5
FY 2012-2013 FY 2013-2014 FY 2014-2015 FY 2015-2016 FY 2016-2017
$21,756
$23,202
$30,258
$37,314
$44,370
$3,000
$1,500
$1,500
$3,173
$3,773
$10,000
$5,000
$5,000
$5,000
$5,000
$5,000
$5,000
$5,000
$5,000
$5,000
$13,000
$13,000
$13,000
$13,390
$13,792
$300
$300
$300
$300
$300
$2,400
$2,472
$2,546
$2,623
$2,701
$0
$0
$25,000
$29,000
$33,000
$55,456
$50,474
$82,605
$95,800
$107,936
SPECIAL EDUCATION SVCS- CONTRACT
ASSESSMENTS
LEGAL SERVICES
AUDIT SERVICES
ACCOUNTING/CONSULTING
FINGERPRINT SERVICES
IT PURCHASED SERVICES
PROF. DEVELOPMENT SVCS.
TOTAL PROFESSIONAL CONTRACTED SERVICES
$0
$0
$0
$0
$0
$0
$0
$0
$0
Telephone/Internet
JANITORIAL SERVICES
ELECTRICITY & GAS, Water, Disposal services
REPAIRS & MAINTENANCE FACILITY
REPAIRS & MAINTENANCE GROUNDS
FACILITY RENT - (add this figure to the capital construction line for total)
TOTAL PROPERTY RELATED SERVICES
Property costs as % of gen revenue-includes all facility pmts
$0
$0
$0
$0
$0
$0
$0
$4,800
$7,600
$18,000
$6,000
$3,600
$72,114
$112,114
12.04%
$4,944
$7,828
$18,900
$6,180
$3,708
$100,000
$141,560
14.09%
$5,092
$8,063
$19,845
$6,365
$3,819
$81,474
$124,659
10.13%
$5,245
$8,305
$20,837
$6,556
$3,934
$87,154
$132,032
9.01%
$5,402
$8,554
$21,879
$6,753
$4,052
$92,834
$139,475
8.23%
LIABILITY INSURANCE
UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE
WORKERS COMP INSURANCE
POSTAGE
ADVERTISING/RECRUITING
PRINTING, BINDING, DUPLICATION
STAFF TRAVEL/ MiLEAGE
Field trip expenses
Educational Consultants, ELL, Waldorf, etc
District Purchased Services- Overhead/Administration 2% of PPR
TOTAL OTHER PURCHASED/CONTRACTED SERVICES
$0
$0
$0
$0
$0
$0
$0
$0
$0
$0
$0
$7,000
$7,516
$2,000
$500
$4,000
$4,500
$500
$1,500
$5,000
$18,143
$50,659
$7,210
$9,044
$4,000
$550
$4,000
$5,500
$500
$2,000
$5,000
$19,370
$57,175
$7,426
$10,584
$5,000
$605
$12,000
$6,500
$500
$2,500
$5,000
$25,261
$75,376
$7,649
$12,179
$6,000
$666
$12,000
$7,500
$500
$3,000
$5,000
$31,151
$85,645
$7,879
$13,930
$7,000
$732
$12,000
$8,500
$500
$3,500
$5,000
$37,042
$96,083
General Instructional Materials
GENERAL OFFICE SUPPLIES / Misc
JANITORIAL SUPPLIES
TEXTBOOKS
LIBRARY BOOKS & PERIODICALS
COMPUTERS and Equipment
EQUIPMENT RENTAL-Copy machine
TOTAL SUPPLIES AND MATERIALS
$0
$0
$0
$0
$0
$0
$0
$0
$33,600
$6,000
$2,000
$0
$0
$0
$5,000
$46,600
$35,600
$6,500
$2,500
$0
$0
$5,000
$5,000
$54,600
$45,200
$7,000
$3,000
$1,400
$5,000
$2,000
$5,000
$68,600
$54,800
$7,500
$3,500
$3,800
$5,000
$2,000
$5,000
$81,600
$64,400
$8,000
$4,000
$5,800
$5,000
$2,000
$5,000
$94,200
LICENSES/TECHNOLOGY software
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Scholarship fund for Kindergarten- 10%
Free and Reduced Lunch program expenses- 20% of population
Miscellaneous Expenses
Garden Program Expenses
TOTAL DUES/FEES/MISCELLANEOUS EXPENDITURES
$0
$0
$0
$0
$0
$1,000
$2,000
$0
$500
$1,500
$0
$5,000
$500
$2,000
$9,920
$21,182
$1,500
$3,000
$38,102
$500
$5,000
$9,920
$26,894
$1,500
$5,000
$48,814
$500
$5,000
$9,920
$32,606
$1,500
$5,000
$54,526
$500
$5,000
$9,920
$38,318
$1,500
$5,000
$60,238
$812,774
$1,011,164
$1,194,156
$1,376,516
$1,572,921
$0
$0
$0
$24,383
$24,383
$48,766
$5,952
$5,952
$11,903
$5,490
$5,490
$10,980
$5,471
$5,471
$10,942
$5,892
$5,892
$11,784
$0
$0
$0.00
$861,540
$1,041,542
$180,002
$1,023,068
$1,105,199
$82,131
$1,205,135
$1,413,194
$208,059
$1,387,458
$1,718,697
$331,239
$1,584,705
$2,024,202
$439,497
$0
$180,002
$262,133
$470,192
$801,431
$1,240,928
$0
TOTAL Expenditures before Reserve calculations
Contribution to Tabor Reserve 3% of expenditures
Contribution to RESERVE 3% OF expenditures
TOTAL TRANSFERS AND OTHER USES OF FUNDS
GENERAL FUND 13 EXPENSE TOTALS:
Total General Fund Revenues
General Fund Surplus (Deficit)
ENDING 13 FUND BALANCE
Mountain Sage Community School Charter Application
3 of 9
539
Mountain Sage Community School
Budget Projections
Start up
2011-2012
BEGINNING FUND 22 BALANCE
Year 1
FY 2012-2013
Year 2
FY 2013-2014
Year 3
FY 2014-2015
Year 4
FY 2015-2016
Year 5
FY 2016-2017
$0
$0
$0
$0
$0
$0
CDE START UP GRANT
Capital Construction Grant revenue
TOTAL GRANTS REVENUE
$180,000
$0
$180,000
$180,000
$13,306
$193,306
$180,000
$14,206
$194,206
$0
$18,526
$18,526
$0
$22,846
$22,846
$0
$27,166
$27,166
GRANTS FUND 22 REVENUE TOTALS:
$180,000
$193,306
$194,206
$18,526
$22,846
$27,166
22 GRANTS FUND EXPENSES
CDE Start up Grant Expenditures
Capital Construction expenses
TOTAL GRANTS EXPENDITURES
$180,000
$0
$180,000
$180,000
$13,306
$193,306
$180,000
$14,206
$194,206
$0
$18,526
$18,526
$0
$22,846
$22,846
$0
$27,166
$27,166
GRANTS FUND 22 EXPENSE TOTALS:
$180,000
$193,306
$194,206
$18,526
$22,846
$27,166
ENDING FUND 22 BALANCE
$0
$0
$0
$0
$0
$0
BEGINNING FUND BALANCE ALL FUNDS
$0
$0
$180,002
$262,133
$470,192
$801,431
$180,000
$1,234,848
$1,299,404
$1,431,720
$1,741,542
$2,051,367
22
GRANTS FUND REVENUE
TOTAL REVENUES ALL FUNDS
Surplus/(Deficit)
TOTAL EXPENDITURES ALL FUNDS
ENDING FUND BALANCE ALL FUNDS
Detail Breakout of Fund Balance
Tabor
Board mandated 3% reserve
Unrestricted
0
180,002
82,131
208,059
331,239
439,497
$180,000
$1,054,846
$1,217,273
$1,223,661
$1,410,303
$1,611,870
$0
$180,002
$262,133
$470,192
$801,431
$1,240,928
$0
$24,383
$24,383
$180,002
$30,335
$30,335
$201,463
$35,825
$35,825
$398,543
$41,295
$41,295
$718,840
$47,188
$47,188
$1,146,553
$0
Mountain Sage Community School Charter Application
4 of 9
540
0
Year 2
226
178
206
32
16
48
48
24
24
20
14
Year 3
2014-2015
SALARIES AND BENEFITS
Health, Dental, Vision Insurance
PERA
Teachers
Paraprofessionals
Teacher Specialists
Principal
Administrative staff
Special Education teacher
Curriculum and Achievement coordinator
Student Services, Nurse/ medical
Medicare
Substitutes
$4,000
$5,000
Year 3
Year 4
32
16
48
48
48
48
24
22
18
18
322
274
302
Year 5
2016-2017
5 of 9
274
226
254
32
16
48
48
48
24
20
20
18
Year 4
2015-2016
Year 5
Mountain Sage Community School Charter Application
$147 remains flat
$80 remains flat
Enrichment Fees
Special Education Funding
310 remains flat
6,136.00 remains flat
Year 1
178
130
158
168
120
148
Start up
32
16
48
24
24
19
15
Year 2
2013-2014
32
16
48
24
24
24
Year 1
2012-2013
Full Day Kindergarten Tuition
PPR Income
Investment interest
Assumptions per line item
REVENUES
K Students Full Day
K Students 1/2 day
1st Grade
2nd Grade
3rd Grade
4th Grade
5th Grade
6th Grade
7th Grade
8th Grade
TOTAL STUDENT COUNT
FTE's Grades 1-8
FUNDED FTE's
Student Count Assumptions
Mountain Sage Community School
Budget Projection Assumption Detail
541
please see Staffing plan tab for detail. MSCS understands it's initial salary
structure is low, but believes the market will support this salary base. The
amounts allocated for Prof. Dev. in the budget and the CDE grant will provide
the Waldorf and other training necessary to support the teaching staff.
Staffing plan detail
Staffing plan detail
Staffing plan detail
Staffing plan detail
Staffing plan detail
Staffing plan detail
Staffing plan detail
Medicare line item is calculated on 1.45% of total salary
Employer PERA expense for each year is calculated based on the schedule
on PERA website, 15.65% in 2012 and increasing .9% each year until the
maximum 19%
health, dental, vision benefit package of $4,000 per full time employee year
one, then employees .5 and above year two and forward
increases every year based on increasing class base
This represents a consumable supplies fee, given that students create their
own portfolio throughout the year,and use very high quality art materials.
MSCS has been informed that it can expect approximately $147 in federal
funding per FTE, as of 8-11-11 from PSD. MSCS has budgetd for
approximately 10% of the student population to require these services.
assumes investing unused cash in an approved type of account (sweep
account) to earn interest and maximize any interest earning potential.
Assumed earnings of 1% based on fund balance beginning year 3
based on current status of educational funding, MSCS assumes no PPR
increase for projected years
per mo/student based on a 10 month payment plan. MSCS will offer two full
day kindergarten classes and one half day class
LIABILITY INSURANCE
UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE
WORKERS COMP INSURANCE
POSTAGE
ADVERTISING/RECRUITING
PRINTING, BINDING, DUPLICATION
STAFF TRAVEL/ MiLEAGE
Field trip expenses
Educational Consultants, ELL, Waldorf, etc
District Purchased ServicesOverhead/Administration 2% of PPR
PURCHASED/CONTRACTED
SERVICES
FACILITY RENT - (add this figure to the capital
construction line for total)
TOTAL FACILITY RENT (above line and CCG
line combined)
Repair & Maintenance, Grounds, Snow removal
$19,370
$18,143
$25,261
$7,426
$10,584
$5,000
$605
$12,000
$6,500
$500
$2,500
$5,000
100,000
$81,474
$31,151
$7,649
$12,179
$6,000
$666
$12,000
$7,500
$500
$3,000
$5,000
110,000
$87,154
6 of 9
assumed 3% increase per year
assumed 3% increase per year
assumed 5% increase per year
assumed 3% increase per year
network support/ maintenance
training, updates for staff each year.
Accounting services provided by Conscious Accounting LLC, to include
monthly payroll, bank reconciliations, monthly transactions review, financial
statements and reports, 990 tax returns, and training/ support for admin.
MSCS will purchase services from the District based on the SPED population
that cannot have its needs served by the full time SpED teacher MSCS will
employ
This is a direct quote from NWEA. CSAP is provided no cost through the
district, DRA2 is no cost to MSCS as well
initial legal fees will be higher due to contract negotiations, and then remain
on a consulting basis going forward
Audit will be conducted by a reputable, experienced charter school audit firm
in Greeley, Anton Collins Mitchell LLP
expectation of minimal staff travel, as consultants will come to MSCS
assumption increase based on student population increase
based on 3-10 hours of services a week up to 40 hours a month
most cost in grant for year one and two
assumed 3% increase per year
based on estimate per State rates
based on quote from insurance agent
$37,042 2% of PPR revenue per District agreement
$7,879
$13,930
$7,000
$732
$12,000
$8,500
$500
$3,500
$5,000
542
assumed 3% increase per year
This figure is based on a combination of operation funds and capital
construction funds applied toward the facility cost, except for year two in which
MCSC will apply the Capital Construction funds toward a playground. MSCS
has had discussions with a prospective landlord regarding this rental payment
and subsequent per year increase, and they have been amenable to this
$92,834 proposal.
This line items shows the combination of operational allocation and CCG
120,000 allocation for total facility rent.
per child per
12.5 year
Mountain Sage Community School Charter Application
$7,210
$9,044
$4,000
$550
$4,000
$5,500
$500
$2,000
$5,000
100,000
85,420
$7,000
$7,516
$2,000
$500
$4,000
$4,500
$500
$1,500
$5,000
$100,000
$72,114
$300 per month for 12 months
$400 per month for 12 months
$800 per month for 9.5 months
$18,000
$500 per month for 12 months
Telephone/Internet
Janitorial Services
Electricity, Gas, Water, Disposal
Repair & Maintenance, Facility
PROPERTY/ FACILITY
$13,000
$300 ongoing cost
$2,400 assumed 3% increase per year
$10,000 ongoing line item
$5,000 5000 per year continuing
Audit services
Accounting/Consulting
Fingerprint services
IT purchased services
Professional Development/ Consulting
$10,000 5000 per year continuing
1500 base set up/ 1500 per year rate then
Assessments
Legal services
based on direct contract services through PSD
Special Education Direct services
PURCHASED SERVICES
Mountain Sage Community School
Budget Projection Assumption Detail
$0
COMPUTERS and Equipment
Capital Construction expenses
CDE Start up Grant Expenditures
GRANT FUND EXPENDITURES
Capital Construction Funding
CDE START UP GRANT
$0
$180,000
$9,886
$180,000
$13,306
$180,000
$24,383
Contribution to RESERVE 3% OF expenditures
GRANT FUND REVENUES
$24,383
$500
$1,500
$0
$0
$1,000
$2,000
Contribution to Tabor Reserve 3% of expenditures
RESERVE CONTRIBUTIONS
Free and Reduced Lunch program expenses
MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSE
Garden Program and landscaping Expenses
Scholarship fund for Kindergarten- 10%
$180,000
TOTAL DUES/FEES/MISCELLANEOUS EXPENDITURES
LICENSES/TECHNOLOGY software
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
$5,000
$0
LIBRARY BOOKS & PERIODICALS
EQUIPMENT RENTAL-Copy machine
$0
$33,600
$6,000
$2,000
TEXTBOOKS
General Instructional Materials
GENERAL OFFICE SUPPLIES / Misc
JANITORIAL SUPPLIES
TOTAL SUPPLIES AND MATERIALS
$18,526
$0
$18,526
$5,490
$5,490
$26,894
$1,500
$5,000
$9,920
$500
$5,000
$5,000
$2,000
$5,000
$1,400
$45,200
$7,000
$3,000
$22,846
$0
$22,846
$5,471
$5,471
$32,606
$1,500
$5,000
$9,920
$500
$5,000
$5,000
$2,000
$5,000
$3,800
$54,800
$7,500
$3,500
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543
MSCS will request the maximum funding for Years One-Three of the CDE
$0 startup grant- please see grant application tab for budget detail of grant
year one will be applied to facility costs, year two will be applied toward
playground equipment, then allocation toward facility year three and
$27,166 continuing
MSCS will request the maximum funding for Years One-Three of the CDE
startup grant- please see grant application tab for budget detail of grant
year one will be applied to facility costs, year two will be applied toward
playground equipment, then allocation toward facility year three and
$27,166 continuing. Assumed $90 per FTE based on past state allocations
initial year represents highest expenditure, with an increase each year to keep
restricted fund balance at 3% of current year expenditures as mandated by
$5,892 law
initial year represents highest expenditure, with an increase each year to keep
restricted fund balance at 3% of current year expenditures as mandated by
$5,892 the MSCS Board of Directors
$9,920 will begin in year two based on population need, estimated 10% of population
Year one offers students who forget lunches some type of snack/lunch.
Official Program will begin in year two based on population need, estimated at
20% of student population based on an average of District % and other area
$38,318 charter school %
$1,500
$5,000 continuing expense year 3 will include greenhouse build
$500
$5,000 cost for board training, consulting, workshops
replacing consumable Waldorf materials each year per student approx. 200
$30,000 per actual student, not student FTEs
$8,000
$4,000
Please see narrative regarding Waldorf textbook usage. Year one and two to
be funded through grant, then per year allocation for additions and
$5,800 replacements
Year one and two to be funded through grant, then per year allocation for
$5,000 additions and replacements
year one and two initial equipment funded through grant, then per year
$2,000 allocation for updates/replacements
estimated cost for copy machine rental and maintenance, paper included in
$5,000 supplies line item
Mountain Sage Community School Charter Application
$14,206
$180,000
$14,206
$180,000
$5,952
$5,952
$21,182
$1,500
$3,000
$9,920
$500
$2,000
$5,000
$5,000
$0
$0
$35,600
$6,500
$2,500
Mountain Sage Community School
Budget Projection Assumption Detail
Mountain Sage Community School
CDE Startup Grant Expenditure Detail
Grant Request Summary Tab
Year 1
Operations
Start up
This tab is to provide a summary of expenditures from
the CDE startup grant, allocated by Project Request.
2011-2012
Grant Year 1
FY 2012-2013
Grant Year 1
Year 2
Operations
FY 2013-2014
Grant Year 3
Project 1: School Set-up
Salary and Benefits for Administrator (Y1 only), and
Professinoal Services for consulting on webdesign,
school logo, graphic design and marketing
Facilities cost for ADA compliance
$47,208
$0
$12,750
$4,800
$13,250
$9,118
Initial Classroom and Administration setup to include
desks, chairs, chalkboards, modular walls, etc for K-4
classrooms and Admin office Y1, K-5 Y2, and K-8 Y3
$72,237
$29,210
$42,915
$7,190
$5,000
$0
$0
$25,710
$12,167
$11,205
$21,950
$3,600
$15,500
$0
$0
$0
$0
$240
$8,195
$750
$13,000
$6,420
$0
$0
$2,200
$350
$29,600
$3,000
$28,050
$0
$600
$9,540
$5,300
Subgrantee Training programs through CDE for Boards,
Performance management and leadership and
mentoring, Y3 includes CSSI School visit
Waldorf specific training programs (Y3 remedial ed)
Travel to Waldorf specific training programs
$4,860
$15,300
$3,350
$7,760
$10,395
$6,400
$16,610
$16,670
$7,700
Performance Management training on Alpine and NWEA
$0
$4,700
$5,200
$180,000
$180,000
$180,000
Project 2: Curricular Materials
Teacher Resource books; Live Education! Curriculum
purchased for K-8; Live Education! Technical support
and consultation Y2 includes
Eugene Schwartz, Millenial Child Waldorf Curriculum
resources
Curriculum materials for classroom instruction (Y2 to be
purchased between July 1 and the first day of school for
Fall 2011)
Equipment (curriculum materials) such as harps,
flutes,Kindergarten set-up such as play tables, rocking
chairs,play stands, etc.
Project 3: Library
Children’s (750) and parent resource books (50) Y1; 500
and 100 Y3 respectively
Online subscriptions
Library set up
Library consultant
Project 4: Technology
Equipment, admin, teacher, and student computers
Software
Purchased Services, IT server set up and infrastructure
Project 5: Professional Development
TOTAL GRANT EXPENDITURES
Mountain Sage Community School Charter Application
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544
Mountain Sage Community School
Staffing Plan Detail
Class Projections
Kindergarten Classes
2 full day, 1 half day class(es)
1st Grade
2nd Grade
3rd Grade
4th Grade
5th Grade
6th Grade
7th Grade
8th Grade
special ed teacher
SUBTOTAL no SPED
Teaching Staff Average Salaries
Teachers
Para Professional
Specials (based on 2 sessions per week each grade)
0
0
0
0
0
Total Employees Full Time
2.5
2
1
1
1
0
0
0
0
1
7.5
2.5
2
2
1
1
1
0
0
0
1
9.5
2.5
2
2
2
1
1
1
0
0
1
11.5
2.5
2
2
2
2
1
1
1
0
1
13.5
2.5
2
2
2
2
2
1
1
1
1
15.5
33,000
25,000
4,950
33,990
25,750
8,498
35,010
26,523
12,253
36,060
27,318
16,227
37,142
28,138
20,428
2.0
50,000
12,000
22,000
84,000
2.0
53,000
12,360
22,660
88,020
2.0
56,000
12,731
23,340
92,071
2.0
58,000
13,113
24,040
95,153
7.5
82,500
66,000
33,000
33,000
33,000
9.5
84,975
67,980
67,980
33,990
33,990
35,010
11.5
87,524
70,019
70,019
70,019
35,010
35,010
36,060
13.5
90,150
72,120
72,120
72,120
72,120
36,060
36,060
37,142
247,500
323,925
403,662
487,892
15.5
92,854
74,284
74,284
74,284
74,284
74,284
37,142
37,142
37,142
575,698
Assumed salary increase per year of:
3.00%
`
Salaries Expense
Full Time Equivalent Admin Staff (.5 and above)
Administrator
1
Nurse/ medical
0.4
Admin assistant/ receptionist
1
Support Staff Wages
16,000
16,000
Teaching staff projections
Full Time Equivalents Teaching Staff not including SPED
K Teacher*
1st Grade Teacher*
2nd Grade Teacher*
3rd Grade Teacher*
4th Grade Teacher*
5th Grade Teacher*
6th Grade Teacher*
7th Grade Teacher*
8th grade teacher
SUBTOTAL full time Teachers
NOTES:
Assumed Cost of Living increase
2.0 FT
63,000
13,506 less than .5
24,761
101,267
3%
Special ed teacher
1
38,000
39,140
40,314
41,524
42,769
Para Professional
1
25,000
25,750
26,523
27,318
28,138
30,000
30,000
33,990
33,990
35,010
35,010
36,060
36,060
5,000
6,000
7,200
8,000
37,142 Specials Teachers will teach 2 classes per week per grade
37,142 Music incorporated into daily classroom, with Music Special
beginning in 4th grade
11,000
429,500
516,825
604,779
695,946
4,000
4,400
4,840
5,324
6
1
0
1
1
1
0
9.5
1
0
1
1
1
0
11.5
1
0
1
1
1
0
13.5
1
0
1
1
1
0
40,000
59,400
75,020
93,170
Specials Teachers:
Eurythmy, Language, Music, handwork
SUBTOTAL Specials Teachers
Substitute
Instructional Staff Wages
TOTAL WAGES
Benefits package to include health, dental, vision, etc.
Benefits per Full time staff and above Year one
Benefits per .5 staff and above year two and beyond
TEACHERS
Paraprofessional
TEACHER SPECIALIST
OFFICE OF PRINCIPAL
ADMIN. STAFF
SPECIAL ED TEACHER
STUDENT SERVICES-Nurse, counselor
TOTAL BENEFITS
16,000
796,014
5,856 assumed 10% increase per year
15.5 number of staff with $4000 benefit package
1
0
1
1
1
0
114,200
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Appendix R:
Audit Estimate from Anton Collins Mitchell LLP
Mountain Sage Community School Charter Application
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August 12, 2011 Liv Helmericks, President of the Board of Directors Mountain Sage Community School Ms. Liv Helmericks, Thank you for the opportunity to present a fee estimate to become the auditors for Mountain Sage Community School (the “School”). As you know, Anton Collins Mitchell LLP (“ACM”) is a certified public accounting firm providing a wide variety of audit, tax, and consulting services to our clients. One of the benefits to our clients is they have a full range of experts, in one place, with a team working together on their behalf. Our mission is to provide clients with high levels of experience, expertise, and personal service, to help them achieve their objectives while seeking open communication throughout the year, not just during the audit. Specifically, we believe ACM is the best choice for the School for several reasons, among them are the following: • You want expertise and resources – I possess demonstrated expertise working with nonprofit and governmental organizations. I serve as one of sixteen national members on the Executive Committee of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (“AICPA”) Governmental Audit Quality Center. ACM is owned and makes decisions locally, yet has available the full resources and expertise of a national firm, BDO USA, LLP (“BDO”). In addition to a knowledgeable ACM team, we have the full backing of BDO’s technical team. • You want attention and education – We are available to you on a year‐round basis and will facilitate (at a minimum) a quarterly check‐in meeting or conference call. ACM understands that part of our value proposition is assisting in educating you to do things more efficiently and offering CPE opportunities. We will provide you with industry‐relevant educational opportunities, news briefs, technical bulletins, and other support throughout the year. We can answer most questions quickly by phone or email, and do not charge for our time on phone calls. We pledge to carry a high level of service through all that we do. • You want time savings – The School will be a priority client and our responsiveness combined with familiarity of your organization and goals will save you time and money. • You don’t like surprises and want a less stressful process – Through regular communication we will address issues during the year so there are no surprises during the audit process. • You want confidence in the quality of the engagement – ACM is firmly committed to meeting the very highest standards, which underlies our vigorous development of stringent quality control procedures. We are proud to state that ACM has received three clean PCAOB inspections and unmodified peer review opinions. ACM is the only local firm that can make this statement. We encourage you to review our report as well as the reports of the other firms you are considering at www.pcaob.org. www.acmllp.com
Northern Colorado Office 3545 West 12th Street, Suite 201 · Greeley, Colorado 80634 · 970.352.1700 · Fax 970.352.1708
Mountain Sage Community School Charter Application
Denver Office 17th & Grant Building · 303 East 17th Avenue, Suite 600 · Denver, Colorado 80203 · 303.830.1120 · Fax 303.830.8130
547
•
You want proof our clients are happy – ACM has a 97% client satisfaction rate. We use a point system to measure various aspects of service delivery and the results are clear. As previously discussed, based on the limited information supplied to us as part of this process, we believe that an audit of the School will require fees of between $5,000, and $7,000. Ultimately, you want peace of mind. We trust you will find ACM uniquely qualified to deliver. Best Regards, Randy Watkins, Partner Anton Collins Mitchell LLP Direct: 970.373.3532 Cell: 970.576.9175 E‐mail: [email protected] Mountain Sage Community School Charter Application
548
Appendix S:
Articles of Incorporation
of Mountain Sage Community School
Amended July 8, 2011
Mountain Sage Community School Charter Application
549
ARTICLES OF INCORPORATION
OF MOUNTAIN SAGE COMMUNITY SCHOOL
The undersigned adult natural person, acting as incorporator, hereby establishes a
nonprofit corporation pursuant to the Colorado Revised Nonprofit Corporation Act and adopts
the following articles of incorporation:
ARTICLE I.
NAME
The name of the corporation is Mountain Sage Community School.
ARTICLE II.
DURATION
The corporation shall have perpetual existence.
ARTICLE III.
PURPOSES AND POWERS
Section 3.1 Purposes. The corporation is organized and shall be operated exclusively
for [religious, educational and charitable] purposes within the meaning of section 501(c)(3) of
the Internal Revenue Code. Subject to the foregoing, the specific purposes and objectives of the
corporation shall include but not be limited to the following:
(1)
supporting the high quality creation and operation of a charter
school;
(2)
making tuition-free, public Waldorf-inspired education available in
the greater Northern Colorado vicinity;
(3)
supporting, encouraging, and facilitating the spread and growth of
public Waldorf-inspired education and sustainable living practices throughout the world; and
(4)
supporting other organizations, projects, and initiatives that are
organized and operated for similar purposes.
Section 3.2 Powers. In furtherance of the foregoing purposes and objectives (but not
otherwise) and subject to the restrictions set forth in Section 4.3, the corporation shall have and
may exercise all of the powers now or hereafter conferred upon nonprofit corporations organized
under the laws of Colorado and may do everything necessary or convenient for the
accomplishment of any of the corporate purposes, either alone or in connection with other
Mountain Sage Community School Charter Application
550
organizations, entities or individuals, and either as principal or agent, subject to such limitations
as are or may be prescribed by law.
Section 3.3 Restrictions On Powers. In furtherance of the foregoing purposes and
objectives (but not otherwise) and subject to the restrictions set forth in section (c) of this article,
the corporation shall have and may exercise all of the powers now or hereafter conferred upon
nonprofit corporations organized under the laws of Colorado and may do everything necessary or
convenient for the accomplishment of any of the corporate purposes, either alone or in
connection with other organizations, entities or individuals, and either as principal or agent,
subject to such limitations as are or may be prescribed by law.
(a)
No part of the net earnings of the corporation shall inure to the benefit of
or be distributable to any member, director or officer of the corporation or any other individual
(except that reasonable compensation may be paid for services rendered to or for the benefit of
the corporation affecting one or more of its purposes), and no member, director or officer of the
corporation or any other individual shall be entitled to share in any distribution of any of the
corporate assets on dissolution of the corporation or otherwise.
(b)
No substantial part of the activities of the corporation shall consist of
carrying on propaganda or otherwise attempting to influence legislation. However, if the
corporation is an organization to which section 501(h) of the Internal Revenue Code applies and
the corporation has effectively elected to have such section apply, the corporation shall have
power to carry on the activities permitted by such section, but only to the extent such activities
shall not result in the denial of exemption under such section. The corporation shall not
participate or intervene in (including the publishing or distribution of statements) any political
campaign on behalf of or in opposition to any candidate for public office.
(c)
Upon dissolution of the corporation, all of the corporation’s assets
remaining after payment of or provision for all of its liabilities shall be paid over or transferred to
and among one or more exempt organizations described in section 501(c)(3) of the Internal
Revenue Code, contributions to which are deductible under section 170(c)(2) of the Internal
Revenue Code. The organizations to receive such property, and their respective shares and
interests, shall be designated by the board of directors.
(d)
Notwithstanding any other provision of these articles of incorporation, the
corporation shall not carry on any activities not permitted to be carried on by a corporation
exempt from federal income tax as an organization described in section 501(c)(3) of the Internal
Revenue Code, or by a corporation, contributions to which are deductible under section
170(c)(2) of the Internal Revenue Code, and, during any period of time in which the corporation
is a “private foundation” as defined in section 509(a) of the Internal Revenue Code:
(1)
The corporation shall not engage in any act of “self-dealing,” as
defined in section 4941(d) of the Internal Revenue Code, so as to give rise to any liability for the
tax imposed by section 4941 of the Internal Revenue Code;
2
Mountain Sage Community School Charter Application
551
(2)
The corporation shall make distributions for each taxable year at
such time and in such manner so as not to become subject to the tax imposed by section 4942 of
the Internal Revenue Code;
(3)
The corporation shall not retain any “excess business holdings,” as
defined in section 4943(c) of the Internal Revenue Code, so as to give rise to any liability for the
tax imposed by section 4943 of the Internal Revenue Code;
(4)
The corporation shall not make any investments that would
jeopardize the carrying out of any of the exempt purposes of the corporation, within the meaning
of section 4944 of the Internal Revenue Code, so as to give rise to any liability for the tax
imposed by section 4944 of the Internal Revenue Code; and
(5)
The corporation shall not make any “taxable expenditure,” as
defined in section 4945(d) of the Internal Revenue Code, so as to give rise to any liability for the
tax imposed by section 4945 of the Internal Revenue Code.
(e)
All references in these articles of incorporation to provisions of the
Internal Revenue Code are to the provisions of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended,
and to the corresponding provisions of any subsequent federal tax laws.
ARTICLE IV.
OFFICES
Section 4.1 Principal Office. The address of the initial principal office of the
corporation is 1419 Sioux Boulevard, Fort Collins, Colorado 80526.
Section 4.2 Registered Office and Agent. The street address of the initial registered
office of the corporation is 1419 Sioux Boulevard, Fort Collins, Colorado 80526. The name of
the corporation’s initial registered agent at the initial registered office is Liv Helmericks .
ARTICLE V.
MEMBERS
The corporation shall have one class of voting members. The designation and voting
powers of members and their manner of election or appointment, qualifications, tenure, terms of
membership, rights, limitations and obligations shall be as provided from time to time in the
bylaws of the corporation. The corporation shall have no capital stock.
ARTICLE VI.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Section 6.1 General. The management of the affairs of the corporation shall be vested
in a Board of Directors, except as otherwise provided in the Colorado Revised Nonprofit
Corporation Act, these articles of incorporation or the bylaws of the corporation. The number of
3
Mountain Sage Community School Charter Application
552
directors, their classifications, if any, their terms of office and the manner of their election or
appointment shall be as provided from time to time in the bylaws of the corporation.
Section 6.2 Liability of Directors. No director shall be personally liable to the
corporation or to its members for monetary damages for breach of fiduciary duty as a director,
except that the foregoing shall not eliminate or limit liability of a director to the corporation or to
its members for monetary damages for the following: (a) any breach of the director’s duty of
loyalty to the corporation or to its members, (b) acts or omissions not in good faith or which
involve intentional misconduct or a knowing violation of law, (c) acts specified in C.R.S. Section
7-128-403, as it now exists or hereafter may be amended, or (d) any transaction from which the
director directly or indirectly derived an improper personal benefit. If the Colorado Revised
Nonprofit Corporation Act hereafter is amended to authorize the further elimination or limitation
of the liability of directors, then the liability of a director of the corporation, in addition to the
limitation on personal liability provided herein, shall be further eliminated or limited to the
fullest extent permitted by the Colorado Revised Nonprofit Corporation Act. Any repeal or
modification of this Section 7.2 shall be prospective only and shall not adversely affect any right
or protection of a director of the corporation existing at the time of such repeal or modification.
Initial Board. Between 5 and 9 directors shall constitute the initial Board of Directors.
ARTICLE VII.
BYLAWS
The initial bylaws of the corporation shall be as adopted by the Board of Directors.
Except to the extent limited by the Colorado Revised Nonprofit Corporation Act, the board of
directors shall have power to alter, amend or repeal the bylaws from time to time in force and
adopt new bylaws. The voting members at any time and from time to time may also amend the
bylaws, or may repeal the bylaws and adopt new bylaws. The bylaws of the corporation may
contain any provisions for the managing and regulating of the affairs of the corporation that are
consistent with law or these articles of incorporation, as these articles may from time to time be
amended. However, no bylaw shall have the effect of giving any member, director or officer of
the corporation or any other individual any proprietary interest in the corporation’s property,
whether during the term of the corporation’s existence or as an incident to its dissolution.
ARTICLE VIII.
AMENDMENTS
The Board of Directors shall have the exclusive power and authority at any time and from
time to time to amend these articles of incorporation by the vote of a majority of the directors
then in office.
4
Mountain Sage Community School Charter Application
553
INCORPORATOR
The name and address of the incorporator who causes this document to be delivered to
the Colorado Secretary of State are:
Liv Helmericks
1419 Sioux Boulevard
Fort Collins, Colorado 80526
5
Mountain Sage Community School Charter Application
554
Appendix T:
Mountain Sage Community School Bylaws
Amended July 8, 2011
Mountain Sage Community School Charter Application
555
MOUNTAIN SAGE COMMUNITY SCHOOL BYLAWS
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Page
Article I. OFFICES ......................................................................................................................... 1
Section 1.1
Section 1.2
Business Offices. .......................................................................................1
Registered Office.......................................................................................1
Article II. MEMBERS .................................................................................................................... 1
Section 2.1
Section 2.2
Section 2.3
Section 2.4
Classification, Qualification, Privileges and Election of Members. .........1
Suspension and Termination of Membership............................................1
Dues...........................................................................................................1
Transfer of Membership. ...........................................................................1
Article III. BOARD OF DIRECTORS ........................................................................................... 2
Section 3.1
Section 3.2
Section 3.3
Section 3.4
Section 3.5
Section 3.6
Section 3.7
Section 3.8
Section 3.9
Section 3.10
Section 3.11
Section 3.12
Section 3.13
General Powers..........................................................................................2
Qualifications, Number, Classification, Election and Tenure...................2
Resignation; Removal; Vacancies.............................................................3
Regular Meetings.......................................................................................3
Special Meetings. ......................................................................................3
Notice of Meetings. ...................................................................................3
Deemed Assent..........................................................................................4
Quorum and Voting...................................................................................4
Voting by Proxy. .......................................................................................4
Compensation. ...........................................................................................4
Committees................................................................................................4
Advisory Boards........................................................................................4
Meetings by Electronic Communication. ..................................................5
Article IV. OFFICERS AND AGENTS ......................................................................................... 5
Section 4.1
Section 4.2
Section 4.3
Section 4.4
Section 4.5
Section 4.6
Section 4.7
Designation and Qualifications. ................................................................5
Election and Term of Office......................................................................5
Compensation. ...........................................................................................5
Removal.....................................................................................................5
Vacancies...................................................................................................6
Authority and Duties of Officers...............................................................6
Surety Bonds. ............................................................................................8
Article V. FIDUCIARY MATTERS .............................................................................................. 8
Section 5.1
Section 5.2
Section 5.3
Indemnification..........................................................................................8
General Standards of Conduct for Directors and Officers. .......................7
Conflicts of Interest. ..................................................................................8
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Section 5.4
Section 5.5
Section 5.6
Liability of Directors for Unlawful Distributions. ....................................9
Loans to Directors and Officers Prohibited...............................................9
Compliance with Laws Applicable to Public Schools. ...........................10
Article VI. RECORDS OF THE CORPORATION ..................................................................... 10
Section 6.1
Section 6.2
Section 6.3
Section 6.4
Minutes, Etc.............................................................................................10
Accounting Records. ...............................................................................10
Records In Written Form.........................................................................10
Records Maintained at Principal Office. .................................................10
Article VII. CONTRACTS, LOANS, CHECKS AND DEPOSITS; SPECIAL CORPORATE
ACTS ................................................................................................................................ 11
Section 7.1
Section 7.2
Section 7.3
Section 7.4
Section 7.5
Contracts..................................................................................................11
Loans. ......................................................................................................11
Checks, Drafts, etc...................................................................................11
Deposits. ..................................................................................................11
Voting of Securities Owned by this Corporation. ...................................11
Article VIII. MISCELLANEOUS ................................................................................................ 12
Section 8.1
Section 8.2
Section 8.3
Section 8.4
Section 8.5
Section 8.6
Section 8.7
Section 8.8
Fiscal Year...............................................................................................12
Conveyances and Encumbrances. ...........................................................12
Designated Contributions. .......................................................................12
References to Internal Revenue Code. ....................................................12
Principles of Construction. ......................................................................12
Preservation of Mission...........................................................................12
Severability..............................................................................................12
Amendments............................................................................................12
-iiMountain Sage Community School Charter Application
557
BYLAWS
OF MOUNTAIN SAGE COMMUNITY SCHOOL
ARTICLE I.
OFFICES
Section 1.1 Business Offices. The initial principal office of the corporation shall
be as stated in the articles of incorporation. The corporation may at any time and from time to
time change the location of its principal office. The corporation may have such other offices,
either within or outside Colorado, as the Board of Directors may designate or as the affairs of the
corporation may require from time to time.
Section 1.2 Registered Office. The registered office required by the Colorado
Revised Nonprofit Corporation Act, C.R.S. §7-21-101 through 7-137-301 (the “Act”) to be
maintained in Colorado may be changed from time to time by the Board of Directors or by the
officers of the corporation, or to the extent permitted by the Act by the registered agent of the
corporation, provided in all cases that the street addresses of the registered office and of the
business office or home of the registered agent of the corporation are identical.
ARTICLE II.
MEMBERS
Section 2.1 Classification, Qualification, Privileges and Election of Members.
The corporation shall have one class of voting members. Teacher employees and parents of a
child currently enrolled at Mountain Sage Community School falling under the category of this
one class shall be considered one member. A parent, for purposes of these bylaws, shall mean
any parent or legal guardian having one or more children or wards enrolled at Mountain Sage
Community School. Members shall have no rights or privileges other than to elect Directors of
the corporation.
Section 2.2
Suspension and Termination of Membership. The membership of
any member shall terminate automatically once the family no longer has any children or wards
enrolled at Mountain Sage Community School.
Section 2.3
Dues. There shall be no membership fees or dues.
Section 2.4
Transfer of Membership. Membership in the corporation is
nontransferable. Members shall have no ownership rights or beneficial interests of any kind in
the assets of the corporation.
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ARTICLE III. BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Section 3.1 General Powers. Except as otherwise provided in the Act, the articles
of incorporation or these bylaws, all corporate powers shall be exercised by or under the
authority of, and the business and affairs of the corporation shall be managed by, its Board of
Directors.
Section 3.2 Qualifications, Number, Classification, Election and Tenure.
(a)
Qualifications. Each director must be a natural person who is
twenty-one years of age or older. Qualifications for board membership shall include but not be
limited to: (a) an interest in children and their education; (b) enthusiasm for Mountain Sage
Community School (MSCS) and conviction in its purpose; (c) willingness to give time and
energy to Mountain Sage Community School; (d) special skills to address specific management
and needs of Mountain Sage Community School; (e) ability to represent the community and
interpret community needs and views; (f) willingness to accept and support decisions
democratically made; and (g) ability to represent Mountain Sage Community School to the
community. The Board of Directors may not include individuals who are married to one
another.
Number. The number of voting directors shall remain odd in nunber, never fewer than
five nor more than nine, as determined by the Board of Directors. Any action of the Board of
Directors to change the number of directors, whether expressly by resolution or by implication
through the election of additional directors, shall constitute an amendment of these bylaws
changing the number of directors, provided such action otherwise satisfies the requirements for
amending these bylaws as provided in the Act, the articles of incorporation or these bylaws. The
Principal and a teacher representative will participate in the MSCS Board as ex-officio members.
(b)
Initial Classification. The initial Board of Directors shall be
comprised of founding Board members. This initial Board of Directors will be divided into two
cohorts. Sixty percent of the initial Board will serve a three year term, 40% will serve a two year
term.
(c) Election and Tenure At each annual meeting of the Directors after the
classification described in Section 3.2(c), an election shall be held to elect a number of directors
equal to the number of vacancies on the board. Directors will serve three-year terms. The Board
will be comprised of elected parent members and non-parent community members, with 60% of
positions elected during even-numbered years and 40% of positions up for election in oddnumbered years. Board of Director members will be elected in February of each school year at
the Board’s annual meeting; the elections will coincide with a school-wide event to increase
voter turnout. Directors are eligible to serve a maximum of 2 terms in a 10-year period. Each
director so elected shall hold office until such director’s term expires and thereafter until such
director’s successor shall have been elected and qualified, or until such director’s earlier death,
resignation or removal. Ex-officio teacher representatives will be nominated and elected by the
MSCS teacher-cohort and serve a one year term.
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Section 3.3 Resignation; Removal; Vacancies. Any director may resign at any
time by giving written notice to the president or to the secretary of the corporation. A director’s
resignation shall take effect at the time specified in such notice, and unless otherwise specified
therein, the acceptance of such resignation shall not be necessary to make it effective. A director
shall be deemed to have resigned in the event of such director’s incapacity as determined by a
court of competent jurisdiction. Any director may be removed at any time, with or without
cause, by the affirmative vote of two-thirds of the other directors then in office. Any vacancy of
an elected director may be filled by the affirmative vote of a majority of the remaining directors
though less than a quorum. A director appointed to fill a vacancy shall hold the office for the
unexpired term of such director’s predecessor in office. Any directorship to be filled by reason
of an increase in the number of directors shall be filled by the affirmative vote of a majority of
the directors then in office, and a director so chosen shall hold office until the next election of the
class of directors for which such director was chosen and thereafter until such director’s
successor shall have been elected and qualified, or until such director’s earlier death, resignation
or removal. A vacancy that will occur at a specific later date may be filled before the vacancy
occurs, but the new director may not take office until the vacancy occurs.
Section 3.4 Regular Meetings. The Board of Directors will meet at least once a
month when school is in session, with a minimum of ten meetings per calendar year. A regular
annual meeting of the Board of Directors shall be held each year at the time and place within
Larimer County, Colorado, as determined by the Board, for the purpose of electing directors and
officers and for the transaction of such other business as may come before the meeting. The
Board of Directors may provide by resolution the time and place within Larimer County,
Colorado, for the holding of additional regular meetings.
Section 3.5 Special Meetings. Special meetings of the Board of Directors may be
called by the Board President or at the request of any 2 directors. The person or persons
authorized to call special meetings of the Board of Directors may fix the time and place within
Larimer, Colorado, for holding any special meeting of the Board called by them. Notice of such
a meeting shall be given personally, and e-mailed to each Director at least three (3) days before
the day on which the meeting is to be held.
Section 3.6 Notice of Meetings. The corporation shall provide notice of all
meetings in compliance with the Colorado Open Meetings Law, C.R.S. § 24-6-401 et seq.
Public notice of all meeting shall be posted at the Mountain Sage Community School campus
and at the Administrative Offices of Mountain Sage Community School no less than 24 hours
prior to the holding of the meeting.
(a)
Requirements. In addition to the notice provisions of the
Colorado Open Meetings Law, notice of any special meeting of the Board of Directors stating
the date, time and place of the meeting shall be given to each director at such director’s business
or residential address at least five days prior thereto by the mailing of written notice by first
class, certified or registered mail, or at least two days prior thereto by personal delivery or
private carrier of written notice or by telephone, facsimile, electronic transmission or any other
form of wire or wireless communication (and the method of notice need not be the same as to
each director). Written notice, if in a comprehensible form, is effective at the earliest of: (i) the
date received; (ii) five days after its deposit in the United States mail, as evidenced by the
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postmark, if mailed correctly addressed and with first class postage affixed; and (iii) the date
shown on the return receipt, if mailed by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested,
and the receipt is signed by or on behalf of the addressee. Oral notice is effective when
communicated in a comprehensible manner. If transmitted by facsimile, electronic transmission
or other form of wire or wireless communication, notice shall be deemed to be given when the
transmission is complete.
Section 3.7 Deemed Assent. A director of the corporation who is present at a
meeting of the Board of Directors when corporate action is taken is deemed to have assented to
all action taken at the meeting unless (i) the director objects at the beginning of the meeting, or
promptly upon the director’s arrival, to holding the meeting or transacting business at the
meeting and does not thereafter vote for or assent to any action taken at the meeting; or (ii) the
director contemporaneously requests the director’s dissent or abstention as to any specific action
taken be entered in the minutes of the meeting; or (iii) the director causes written notice of the
director’s dissent or abstention as to any specific action to be received by the presiding officer of
the meeting before the adjournment thereof or by the corporation promptly after the adjournment
of the meeting. Such right of dissension or abstention is not available to a director who votes in
favor of the action taken.
Section 3.8 Quorum and Voting. A majority of the directors in office present at a
meeting to constitute a quorum for the transaction of business of the Board of Directors, and the
vote of a majority of the directors present in person at a meeting at which a quorum is present
shall be the act of the Board of Directors, unless otherwise required by the Act, the articles of
incorporation or these bylaws. However, a 2/3 majority vote by the Board of Directors is
required to amend these bylaws. If less than a quorum is present at a meeting, a majority of the
directors present may adjourn the meeting from time to time without further notice other than an
announcement at the meeting, until a quorum shall be present.
Section 3.9 Voting by Proxy. No director may vote or act by proxy at any
meeting of directors.
Section 3.10 Compensation. Directors shall not receive compensation for their
services on the Board.
Section 3.11 Committees. By one or more resolutions adopted by the vote of a
majority of the directors present in person at a meeting at which a quorum is present, the Board
of Directors may designate from among its members one or more committees, each of which, to
the extent provided in the resolution establishing such committee, shall have and may exercise
all of the authority of the Board of Directors, except as prohibited by the Act. The delegation of
authority to any committee shall not operate to relieve the Board of Directors or any member of
the board from any responsibility or standard of conduct imposed by law or these bylaws. Rules
governing procedures for meetings of any committee shall be the same as those set forth in these
bylaws or the Act for the Board of Directors unless the board or the committee itself determines
otherwise.
Section 3.12 Advisory Boards. The Board of Directors may from time to time
form one or more advisory boards, committees, auxiliaries or other bodies composed of such
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members, having such rules of procedure, and having such chair, as the Board of Directors shall
designate. The name, objectives and responsibilities of each such advisory board, and the rules
and procedures for the conduct of its activities, shall be determined by the Board of Directors.
An advisory board may provide such advice, service, and assistance to the corporation, and carry
out such duties and responsibilities for the corporation as may be specified by the Board of
Directors; except that, if any such committee or advisory board has one or more members thereof
who are entitled to vote on committee matters and who are not then also directors, such
committee or advisory board may not exercise any power or authority reserved to the Board of
Directors by the Act, the articles of incorporation or these bylaws. Further, no advisory board
shall have authority to incur any corporate expense or make any representation or commitment
on behalf of the corporation without the express approval of the Board of Directors or the
president of the corporation.
Section 3.13 Meetings by Electronic Communication. Members of the Board of
Directors or any committee thereof may participate in a regular or special meeting by, or conduct
the meeting through the use of, any means of communication by which all directors participating
may hear each other during the meeting. A director participating in a meeting by this means is
deemed to be present in person at the meeting.
ARTICLE IV.
OFFICERS AND AGENTS
Section 4.1 Designation and Qualifications. The elected officers of the
corporation shall be a president, vice-president, secretary and treasurer. The Board of Directors
may also appoint such other officers, including an executive director, a controller, assistant
secretaries and assistant treasurers, as it may consider necessary or useful. One person may hold
more than one office at a time, except that no person shall hold simultaneously the offices of
president and vice-president. No officer shall execute, acknowledge or verify any instrument in
more than one capacity. All officers must be natural persons who are twenty-one years of age or
older.
Section 4.2 Election and Term of Office. The Board of Directors, or an officer or
committee to which such authority has been delegated by the Board of Directors, shall elect or
appoint the officers at or in conjunction with each annual meeting of the Board of Directors. If
the election and appointment of officers shall not be held at or in conjunction with such meeting,
such election or appointment shall be held as soon as convenient thereafter. Each officer shall
hold office from the end of the meeting at or in conjunction with which such officer was elected
or appointed until such officer’s successor shall have been duly elected or appointed and shall
have qualified, or until such officer’s earlier death, resignation or removal.
Section 4.3 Compensation. No compensation shall be authorized or offered to
any director, officer or committee member for their service on the Board.
Section 4.4 Removal. Any officer or agent may be removed by the Board of
Directors at any time, with or without cause, but removal shall not affect the contract rights, if
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any, of the person so removed. Election, appointment or designation of an officer or agent shall
not itself create contract rights.
Section 4.5 Vacancies. Any officer may resign at any time, subject to any rights
or obligations under any existing contracts between the officer and the corporation, by giving
written notice to the president or to the Board of Directors. An officer’s resignation shall take
effect upon receipt by the corporation unless the notice specifies a later effective date, and unless
otherwise specified therein, the acceptance of such resignation shall not be necessary to make it
effective. An officer shall be deemed to have resigned in the event of such officer’s incapacity
as determined by a court of competent jurisdiction. A vacancy in any office, however occurring,
may be filled by the Board of Directors, or by any officer or committee to which such authority
has been delegated by the Board of Directors, for the unexpired portion of the term. If a
resignation is made effective at a later date, the Board of Directors may permit the officer to
remain in office until the effective date and may fill the pending vacancy before the effective
date with the provision that the successor does not take office until the effective date, or the
Board of Directors may remove the officer at any time before the effective date and may fill the
resulting vacancy.
Section 4.6 Authority and Duties of Officers. The officers of the corporation
shall have the authority and shall exercise the powers and perform the duties specified below and
as may be additionally specified by the president, the Board of Directors or these bylaws, except
that in any event each officer shall exercise such powers and perform such duties as may be
required by law.
(a)
President. The president shall, subject to the direction and
supervision of the Board of Directors: (i) be the chief executive officer of the corporation and
have general and active control of its affairs and business and general supervision of its officers,
agents and employees; (ii) preside at all meetings of the Board of Directors; (iii) see that all
resolutions of the Board of Directors are carried into effect; and (iv) perform all other duties
incident to the office of president and as from time to time may be assigned to such office by the
Board of Directors. The president shall be an ex-officio member of all standing committees and
may be designated chairperson of those committees by the Board of Directors.
(b)
Vice-Presidents. The vice-president shall assist the president and
shall perform such duties as may be assigned by the president or by the Board of Directors. The
vice-president shall, at the request of the president, or in the president’s absence or inability or
refusal to act, perform the duties of the president and when so acting shall have all the powers of
and be subject to all the restrictions on the president. The vice-president shall conduct Board
elections.
(c)
Secretary. The secretary shall (i) keep the minutes of the
proceedings of the Board of Directors, and the members (if any); (ii) see that all notices are duly
given in accordance with the provisions of these bylaws or as required by law; (iii) be custodian
of the corporate records and of the seal of the corporation; (iv) keep at the corporation’s
registered office or principal place of business within Colorado a record containing the names
and addresses of all members (if any); and (v) in general, perform all duties incident to the office
of secretary and such other duties as from time to time may be assigned to such office by the
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president or by the Board of Directors. Assistant secretaries, if any, shall have the same duties
and powers, subject to supervision by the secretary.
(d)
Treasurer. The treasurer shall (i) have the care and custody of all
its funds, securities, evidences of indebtedness and other personal property and deposit the same
in accordance with the instructions of the Board of Directors; (ii) monitor compliance with all
requirements imposed on the corporation as a tax-exempt organization described in section
501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code; (iii) upon request of the board, make such reports to it as
may be required at any time; and (iv) perform all other duties incident to the office of treasurer
and such other duties as from time to time may be assigned to such office by the president or the
Board of Directors. Assistant treasurers, if any, shall have the same powers and duties, subject to
the supervision by treasurer.
Section 4.7 Surety Bonds. The Board of Directors may require any officer or
agent of the corporation to execute to the corporation, at the corporation’s expense, a bond in
such sums and with such sureties as shall be satisfactory to the board, conditioned upon the
faithful performance of such person’s duties and for the restoration to the corporation of all
books, papers, vouchers, money and other property of whatever kind in such person’s possession
or under such person’s control belonging to the corporation.
ARTICLE V.
FIDUCIARY MATTERS
Section 5.1 Indemnification.
(a)
Scope of Indemnification. The corporation shall indemnify each
director, officer, employee and volunteer of the corporation to the fullest extent permissible
under the laws of the State of Colorado, and may in its discretion purchase insurance insuring its
obligations hereunder or otherwise protecting the persons intended to be protected by this
Section 5.1. The corporation shall have the right, but shall not be obligated, to indemnify any
agent of the corporation not otherwise covered by this Section 5.1 to the fullest extent
permissible under the laws of the State of Colorado.
(b)
Savings Clause; Limitation. If any provision of the Act or these
bylaws dealing with indemnification shall be invalidated by any court on any ground, then the
corporation shall nevertheless indemnify each party otherwise entitled to indemnification
hereunder to the fullest extent permitted by law or any applicable provision of the Act or these
bylaws that shall not have been invalidated. Notwithstanding any other provision of these
bylaws, the corporation shall neither indemnify any person nor purchase any insurance in any
manner or to any extent that would jeopardize or be inconsistent with the qualification of the
corporation as an organization described in section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or
that would result in the imposition of any liability under either section 4941 or section 4958 of
the Internal Revenue Code.
Section 5.2 General Standards of Conduct for Directors and Officers.
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(a)
Discharge of Duties. Each director shall discharge the director’s
duties as a director, including the director’s duties as a member of a committee of the board, and
each officer with discretionary authority shall discharge the officer’s duties under that authority
(i) in good faith; (ii) with the care an ordinarily prudent person in a like position would exercise
under similar circumstances; and (iii) in a manner the director or officer reasonably believes to
be in the best interests of the corporation.
(b)
Reliance on Information, Reports, Etc. In discharging duties, a
director or officer is entitled to rely on information, opinions, reports or statements, including
financial statements and other financial data, if prepared or presented by: (i) one or more officers
or employees of the corporation whom the director or officer reasonably believes to be reliable
and competent in the matters presented; (ii) legal counsel, a public accountant or another person
as to matters the director or officer reasonably believes are within such person’s professional or
expert competence; or (iii) in the case of a director, a committee of the Board of Directors of
which the director is not a member if the director reasonably believes the committee merits
confidence. A director or officer is not acting in good faith if the director or officer has
knowledge concerning the matter in question that makes reliance otherwise permitted by this
Section 5.2(b) unwarranted.
(c)
Liability to Corporation. A director or officer shall not be liable
as such to the corporation for any action taken or omitted to be taken as a director or officer, as
the case may be, if, in connection with such action or omission, the director or officer performed
the duties of the position in compliance with this Section 5.2.
(d)
Director Not Deemed to Be a “Trustee.” A director, regardless of
title, shall not be deemed to be a “trustee” within the meaning given that term by trust law with
respect to the corporation or with respect to any property held or administered by the corporation
including, without limitation, property that may be subject to restrictions imposed by the donor
or transferor of such property.
Section 5.3 Conflicts of Interest.
(a)
Definition. A conflict of interest arises when any “responsible
person” or any “party related to a responsible person” has an “interest adverse to the
corporation.” A “responsible person” is any individual in a position to exercise substantial
influence over the affairs of the corporation, and specifically includes, without limitation,
directors and officers of the corporation. A “party related to a responsible person” includes his
or her extended family (including spouse, ancestors, descendants and siblings, and their
respective spouses and descendants), an estate or trust in which the responsible person or any
member of his or her extended family has a beneficial interest or a fiduciary responsibility, or an
entity in which the responsible person or any member of his or her extended family is a director,
trustee or officer or has a financial interest. “An interest adverse to the corporation” includes any
interest in any contract, transaction or other financial relationship with the corporation, and any
interest in an entity whose best interests may be impaired by the best interests of the corporation
including, without limitation, an entity providing any goods or services to or receiving any goods
or services from the corporation, an entity in which the corporation has any business or financial
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interest, and an entity providing goods or services or performing activities similar to the goods or
services or activities of the corporation.
(b)
Disclosure. If a responsible person is aware that the corporation
is about to enter into any transaction or make any decision involving a conflict of interest, (a
“conflicting interest transaction”), such person shall: (i) immediately inform those charged with
approving the conflicting interest transaction on behalf of the corporation of the interest or
position of such person or any party related to such person; (ii) aid the persons charged with
making the decision by disclosing any material facts within the responsible person’s knowledge
that bear on the advisability of the corporation entering into the conflicting interest transaction;
and (iii) not be entitled to vote on the decision to enter into such transaction.
(c)
Approval of Conflicting Interest Transactions. The corporation
may enter into a conflicting interest transaction provided either:
(i)
The material facts as to the responsible person’s
relationship or interest and as to the conflicting interest transaction are disclosed or are known to
the Board of Directors or to a committee of the Board of Directors that authorizes, approves or
ratifies the conflicting interest transaction, and the board or committee in good faith authorizes,
approves or ratifies the conflicting interest transaction by the affirmative vote of a majority of the
disinterested directors on the board or committee, even though the disinterested directors are less
than a quorum; or
(ii)
The conflicting interest transaction is fair as to the
corporation.
Section 5.4 Liability of Directors for Unlawful Distributions.
(a)
Liability to Corporation. A director who votes for or assents to a
distribution made in violation of the Act or the articles of incorporation of the corporation shall
be personally liable to the corporation for the amount of the distribution that exceeds what could
have been distributed without violating the Act or the articles of incorporation if it is established
that the director did not perform the director’s duties in compliance with the general standards of
conduct for directors set forth in Section 5.2.
(b)
Contribution. A director who is liable under Section 5.4(a) for an
unlawful distribution is entitled to contribution: (i) from every other director who could be liable
under Section 5.4(a) for the unlawful distribution; and (ii) from each person who accepted the
distribution knowing the distribution was made in violation of the Act or the articles of
incorporation, to the extent the distribution to that person exceeds what could have been
distributed to that person without violating the Act or the articles of incorporation.
Section 5.5 Loans to Directors and Officers Prohibited. No loans shall be made
by the corporation to any of its directors or officers. Any director or officer who assents to or
participates in the making of any such loan shall be liable to the corporation for the amount of
such loan until the repayment thereof.
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Section 5.6 Compliance with Laws Applicable to Public Schools. In addition to
the foregoing, all officers and directors shall comply with the applicable provisions of the Code
of Ethics set forth in C.R.S. § 24-18-101, et seq.
ARTICLE VI.
RECORDS OF THE CORPORATION
Section 6.1 Minutes, Etc. The corporation shall keep as permanent records
minutes of all meetings of the Board of Directors and members (if any), a record of all actions
taken by the Board of Directors or members without a meeting, a record of all actions taken by a
committee of the Board of Directors in place of the Board of Directors on behalf of the
corporation, and a record of all waivers of notices of meetings of the Board of Directors or any
committee of the Board of Directors or members (if any). All such permanent records shall be
maintained in accordance with the Colorado Open Meetings Law.
Section 6.2 Accounting Records. The corporation shall maintain appropriate
accounting records.
Section 6.3 Records In Written Form. The corporation shall maintain its records
in written form or in another form capable of conversion into written form within a reasonable
time.
Section 6.4 Records Maintained at Principal Office. The corporation shall keep a
copy of each of the following records at its principal office:
(a)
The articles of incorporation and the corporate seal;
(b)
These bylaws;
(c)
Resolutions adopted by the Board of Directors relating to the
characteristics, qualifications, rights, limitations and obligations of the members or any class of
members;
(d)
The minutes of all meetings of the members, and records of all
action taken by the members without a meeting, for the past three years;
(e)
All written communications within the past three years to the
members generally as the members;
(f)
A list of the names and business or home addresses of the current
directors and officers;
(g)
Colorado secretary of state;
A copy of the most recent corporate report delivered to the
(h)
All financial statements prepared for periods ending during the
last three years that a member of the corporation could have requested under section 6.6(c);
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(i)
The corporation’s application for recognition of exemption and
the tax-exemption determination letter issued by the Internal Revenue Service; and
(j)
All other documents or records required to be maintained by the
corporation at its principal office under applicable law or regulation.
ARTICLE VII.
CONTRACTS, LOANS, CHECKS AND DEPOSITS;
SPECIAL CORPORATE ACTS
Section 7.1 Contracts. The Board of Directors may authorize any officer or
officers, agent or agents, to enter into any contract, to execute and deliver any instrument, or to
acknowledge any instrument required by law to be acknowledged in the name of and on behalf
of the corporation. Such authority may be general or confined to specific instances, but the
appointment of any person other than an officer to acknowledge an instrument required by law to
be acknowledged should be made by instrument in writing. When the Board of Directors
authorizes the execution of a contract or of any other instrument in the name of and on behalf of
the corporation, without specifying the executing officers, the President or Vice President, and
the Secretary or Treasurer may execute the same and may affix the corporate seal thereto.
Section 7.2 Loans. No loans shall be contracted on behalf of the corporation and
no evidences of indebtedness shall be issued in its name unless authorized by a resolution of the
Board of Directors. Such authority may be general or confined to specific instances. No loan or
advance to, or overdraft of funds by an officer or member of the Board of Directors otherwise
than in the ordinary and usual course of the business of the corporation, and on the ordinary and
usual course of the business or security, shall be made or permitted.
Section 7.3 Checks, Drafts, etc. All checks, drafts or other orders for the
payment of money, notes or other evidences of indebtedness issued in the name of the
corporation, shall be signed by such officer or officers, agent or agents, of the corporation and in
such manner as shall from time to time be determined by resolution of the Board of Directors.
Section 7.4 Deposits. All funds of the corporation not otherwise employed shall
be deposited from time to time to the credit of the corporation in such banks, trust companies or
other depositories as the Board of Directors may select.
Section 7.5 Voting of Securities Owned by this Corporation. Subject always to
the specific directions of the Board of Directors, any shares or other securities issued by any
other corporation and owned or controlled by this corporation may be voted at any meeting of
security holders of such other corporation by the President of this corporation or by proxy
appointed by the President, or in the absence of the President and the President's proxy, by the
Secretary or Treasurer of this corporation or by proxy appointed by the Secretary or Treasurer.
Such proxy or consent in respect to any shares or other securities issued by any other corporation
and owned by this corporation shall be executed in the name of this corporation by the President,
the Secretary or the Treasurer of this corporation without necessity of any authorization by the
Board of Directors, affixation of corporate seal or countersignature or attestation by another
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officer. Any person or persons designated in the manner above stated as the proxy or proxies of
this corporation shall have full right, power and authority to vote the shares or other securities
issued by such other corporation and owned by this corporation the same as such shares or other
securities might be voted by this corporation.
ARTICLE VIII.
MISCELLANEOUS
Section 8.1 Fiscal Year. The fiscal year of the corporation shall commence on
July 1 and end on June 30 of each year.
Section 8.2 Conveyances and Encumbrances. Property of the corporation may be
assigned, conveyed or encumbered by such officers of the corporation as may be authorized to
do so by the Board of Directors, and such authorized persons shall have power to execute and
deliver any and all instruments of assignment, conveyance and encumbrance; however, the sale,
exchange, lease or other disposition of all or substantially all of the property and assets of the
corporation shall be authorized only in the manner prescribed by applicable statute.
Section 8.3 Designated Contributions. The corporation may accept any
contribution, gift, grant, bequest or devise that is designated, restricted or conditioned by the
donor, provided that the designation, restriction or condition is consistent with the corporation’s
general tax-exempt purposes. Donor-designated contributions will be accepted for special funds,
purposes or uses, and such designations generally will be honored. However, the corporation
shall reserve all right, title and interest in and to and control over such contributions, and shall
have authority to determine the ultimate expenditure or distribution thereof in connection with
any such special fund, purpose or use. Further, the corporation shall acquire and retain sufficient
control over all donated funds (including designated contributions) to assure that such funds will
be used exclusively to carry out the corporation’s tax-exempt purposes.
Section 8.4 References to Internal Revenue Code. All references in these bylaws
to provisions of the Internal Revenue Code are to the provisions of the Internal Revenue Code of
1986, as amended, and to the corresponding provisions of any subsequent federal tax laws.
Section 8.5 Principles of Construction. Words in any gender shall be deemed to
include the other gender; the singular shall be deemed to include the plural and vice versa; the
words “pay” and “distribute” shall also mean assign, convey and deliver; and the table of
contents, headings and underlined paragraph titles are for guidance only and shall have no
significance in the interpretation of these bylaws.
Section 8.6 Severability. The invalidity of any provision of these bylaws shall
not affect the other provisions hereof, and in such event these bylaws shall be construed in all
respects as if such invalid provision were omitted.
Section 8.7 Amendments. These bylaws may be altered, amended or repealed
and new bylaws may be adopted by the affirmative vote of a majority of the Board of Directors
at any regular or special meeting of the Board of Directors, if a notice setting forth the terms of
the proposal has been given in accordance with the notice requirements for special meetings.
12
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(END)
13
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__________________
BYLAWS CERTIFICATE
The undersigned certifies that s/he is the Secretary of Mountain Sage Community
School, a Colorado nonprofit corporation, and that, as such, the undersigned is authorized to
execute this certificate on behalf of said corporation, and further certifies that attached hereto is a
complete and correct copy of the presently effective bylaws of said corporation.
Dated: July 8, 2011
Jody Swigris
Secretary
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Appendix U:
Conflict of Interest Policy
Adopted August 15, 2010
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CONFLICT OF INTEREST POLICY
This conflict of interest policy was adopted by the Board of Directors of Mountain Sage
Community School, a Colorado nonprofit corporation, on August 15, 2010.
Article I
Purpose
The purpose of this Policy is to protect the Corporation’s interest when it is
contemplating entering into a transaction or arrangement that might benefit the private interest of
an officer or director of the Corporation or might result in a possible excess benefit transaction.
This policy is intended to supplement but not replace any applicable state and federal laws,
including Section 7-128-501, Colorado Revised Statutes, governing conflicts of interest
applicable to nonprofit and charitable corporations.
Article II
Definitions
1.
Interested Person
Any director, principal officer, or member of a committee with Board delegated powers
who has a direct or indirect financial interest, as defined below, is an interested person. If a
person is an interested person with respect to any entity in any family of entities of which the
Corporation is a part, he or she is an interested person with respect to all entities in the family.
2.
Financial Interest
A person has a financial interest if the person has, directly or indirectly, through business,
investment or family-a.
an ownership or investment interest in any entity with which the Corporation has
a transaction or arrangement, or
b.
a compensation arrangement with the Corporation or with any entity or individual
with which the Corporation has a transaction or arrangement, or
c.
a potential ownership or investment interest in, or compensation arrangement
with, any entity or individual with which the Corporation is negotiating a
transaction or arrangement.
Compensation includes direct and indirect remuneration as well as gifts or favors that are
substantial.
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573
An interested person also has a financial interest whenever such interested person, or a
family member of such interested person, has a fiduciary duty to another entity that may prevent
the interested person from acting in the best interests of the Corporation. For purposes of this
Policy, family member includes any person related by blood or marriage to the interested person.
A financial interest is not necessarily a conflict of interest. Under Article III, Section 2 of
this Policy, a person who has a financial interest will have a conflict of interest only if the
appropriate Board or committee decides that a conflict of interest exists.
Article III
Procedures
1.
Duty to Disclose
In connection with any actual or possible conflict of interest, an interested person must
disclose the existence of his or her financial interest and all material facts to the directors and
members of committees with Board delegated powers considering the proposed transaction or
arrangement.
2.
Determining Whether a Conflict of Interest Exists
After disclosure of the financial interest and all material facts, and after any discussion
with the interested person, he or she shall leave the Board or committee meeting while the
determination of a conflict of interest is discussed and voted upon. The remaining Board or
committee members shall decide if a conflict of interest exists.
3.
Procedures for Addressing the Conflict of Interest
a.
An interested person may make a presentation at the Board or committee
meeting, but after such presentation, he/she shall leave the meeting during the
discussion of, and the vote on, the transaction or arrangement involving the
possible conflict of interest.
b.
The President of the Board or committee shall, if appropriate, appoint a
disinterested person or committee to investigate alternatives to the proposed
transaction or arrangement.
c.
After exercising due diligence, the Board or committee shall determine whether
the Corporation can obtain with reasonable efforts a more advantageous
transaction or arrangement from a person or entity that would not give rise to a
conflict of interest.
2
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d.
4.
5.
If a more advantageous transaction or arrangement is not reasonably attainable
under circumstances that would not give rise to a conflict of interest, the Board
or committee shall determine by a majority vote of the disinterested
directors whether the transaction or arrangement is in the Corporation’s best
interest and for its own benefit and whether the transaction is fair and
reasonable to the Corporation and shall make its decision as to whether to enter
into the transaction or arrangement in conformity with such determination.
Violations of the Policy
a.
If the Board or committee has reasonable cause to believe that an interested person
has failed to disclose an actual or possible conflict of interest, it shall inform the
interested person of the basis for such belief and afford the interested person an
opportunity to explain the alleged failure to disclose.
b.
If, after hearing the response of the interested person and after making such
further investigation as may be warranted by the circumstances, the board or
committee determines that the interested person has in fact failed to disclose an
actual or possible conflict of interest, it shall take appropriate disciplinary and
corrective action.
Appropriating Corporate Opportunities
a.
An interested person appropriates a corporate opportunity when he or she is aware
of an opportunity for the Corporation to engage in an activity that is related to the
Corporation’s present or planned activities, and such interested person takes
advantage of the corporate opportunity personally or for the benefit of one or
more third parties.
b.
Before appropriating a corporate opportunity, an interested person must inform
the Corporation of the opportunity and obtain approval from the Corporation.
The Corporation may provide such approval only after an informed evaluation of
the corporate opportunity and a determination by the disinterested officers or
directors (depending upon whether the opportunity would normally require
approval by the board of directors of the Corporation) that the Corporation should
not pursue such corporate opportunity.
c.
Any interested person who appropriates a corporate opportunity without approval
from the Corporation shall be deemed to have violated this Policy.
3
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Article IV Records of
Proceedings
1.
The minutes of the Board and all committees with Board delegated powers shall containa.
the names of the persons who disclosed or otherwise were found to have a
financial interest in connection with an actual or possible conflict of interest, the
nature of the financial interest, any action taken to determine whether a conflict of
interest was present, and the Board’s or committee’s decision as to whether a
conflict of interest in fact existed.
b.
the names of the persons who were present for discussions and votes relating to
the transaction or arrangement, the content of the discussion, including any
alternatives to the proposed transaction or arrangement, and a record of any votes
taken in connection therewith.
Article V
Compensation
1.
Voting Members of the Board
A voting member of the Board who receives compensation, directly or indirectly, from
the Corporation for services is precluded from voting on matters pertaining to that member’s
compensation.
2.
Voting Members of the Compensation Committee
A voting member of any committee whose jurisdiction includes compensation matters
and who receives compensation, directly or indirectly, from the Corporation for services is
precluded from voting on matters pertaining to that member’s compensation.
3.
Authority to Provide Information
No voting member of the Board or any committee whose jurisdiction includes
compensation matters and who receives compensation, directly or indirectly, from the
Corporation, either individually or collectively, is prohibited from providing information to any
committee regarding compensation.
4
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Article VI Annual
Statements
1.
Each director, principal officer and member of a committee with Board delegated
powers shall annually sign a statement which affirms that such person-a.
has received a copy of the conflict of interest policy,
b.
has read and understands the policy,
c.
has agreed to comply with the policy, and
d.
understands that the Corporation is a charitable organization and that in order to
maintain its federal tax exemption it must engage primarily in activities which
accomplish one or more of its tax-exempt purposes.
Article VII
Periodic Reviews
1.
To ensure that the Corporation operates in a manner consistent with its charitable
purposes and that it does not engage in activities that could jeopardize its status as an
organization exempt from federal income tax, periodic reviews shall be conducted. The periodic
reviews shall, at a minimum, include the following subjects:
a.
Whether compensation arrangements and benefits are reasonable (based on
competent survey information) and are the result of arm’s-length bargaining.
b.
Whether acquisitions of goods and services since the date of the previous review
result in inurement, impermissible private benefit, or in an excess benefit
transaction.
c.
Whether partnerships, joint ventures, and arrangements with management
organizations conform to the Corporation’s written policies, are properly
recorded, reflect reasonable payments for goods and services, further the
Corporation’s charitable purposes, and do not result in inurement, impermissible
private benefit, or in an excess benefit transaction.
d.
Whether all other agreements entered into by the Corporation further the
Corporation’s charitable purposes and do not result in inurement, impermissible
private benefit, or in an excess benefit transaction.
5
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Article
VIII
Use of Outside
Experts
In conducting the periodic reviews provided for in Article VII of this Policy,
the Corporation may, but need not, use outside advisors. If outside experts are used, their
use shall not relieve the board of its responsibility for ensuring that periodic reviews are
conducted.
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Appendix V :
Organization Chart for Year 1
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Full Day Kindergarten
Teacher 1
Full Day Kindergarten
Teacher 2
Half Day Kindergarten
Teacher
2nd Grade Teacher
Mountain Sage Community School Charter Application
1st Grade Teacher 2
Administrative Assistant/
Office Staff
Special Education Services
1st Grade Teacher 1
Nurse/Office Aid
Accounting, Payroll
Auditing Services
Contracted Services
School Administrator
3rd/4th Grade Teacher
Facilities
Mountain Sage Community School
Board of Directors
MSCS Organizational Chart- Year 1
Special Education
Teacher
580
Paraprofessional
Appendix W:
Evaluation of Principal:
Policy Manual and Evaluation Form
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Mountain Sage Community School
POLICY MANUAL
PRINCIPAL EVALUATION
Purpose
This policy sets forth guidelines and directions related to Principal evaluation.
The MSCS Principal is evaluated each year beginning with the selection of the Principal
evaluation committee in January and ending with a contract recommendation in March.
The Principal Evaluation Committee
The committee consists of the following Board of Directors members:
•
•
•
One faculty representative nominated by the faculty representatives to the Board of
Directors
One parent representative nominated by the parent representatives to the Board of
Directors
The Board of Directors President
The full Board of Directors ratifies the nominations.
Process
The evaluation process is overseen by the committee in accordance with the timeline indicated
below.
The committee solicits feedback as to the performance of the Principal from the following
groups or individuals:
•
•
•
Board of Directors
Faculty
District superintendent
The feedback is collected using the Principal Evaluation Forms (A) Board of Directors and (B)
Faculty Administrative Staff and Parents. In addition to the form, additional written comments
may be submitted by way of a separate letter.
The Board of Directors President is responsible the solicitation of input from the groups and
individuals indicated above.
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582
In order to assure anonymity and confidentiality, the evaluation forms are to be read only by
evaluation committee members.
Timeline
•
•
•
•
•
Early January: The committee is organized and the Principal submits a self-evaluation
using the Principal Evaluation Form.
Mid January: The Board of Directors President meets with the groups and explains how
feedback is to be submitted.
Late February: The committee collects the Principal Evaluation Forms, analyzes the
forms and prepares its findings. The findings are discussed with the Principal who may
choose to respond to the findings. The committee notes the response from the Principal, if
any, and prepares a final summary of findings.
Early March: The committee, in closed session, presents its final summary of findings to
the Board of Directors without the Principal in attendance.
The Board makes a recommendation based on one of the following:
- Rehire the Principal with a salary recommendation
- Rehire the Principal with conditions
- Place the Principal on administrative leave pending further
action
- Non-renewal of contract
•
•
The Board, in closed session, discusses the recommendation with the Principal who may
choose to respond to the recommendation.
The Board notes the response from the Principal, if any, and approves a final
recommendation.
Concerns
Any concerns that fall outside of the regular evaluation process as described herein should be
brought to the attention of the Board of Directors President. During the regular course of the
year, the President is a conduit for feedback to the Principal regarding such concerns. Concerns
of a legal or other serious nature should be brought to the attention of the Poudre School District
Superintendent. An additional evaluation may be required at any time by a majority vote of the
Board of Directors.
This policy supersedes all previous policies related to Principal evaluation.
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583
Mountain Sage Community School
Evaluation of the MSCS Principal
The MSCS Board of Directors is currently evaluating the MSCS Principal. As part of this annual
process, we are seeking input from parents, faculty, administrative staff and all Board members.
Please complete this form by rating the director in the areas indicated below by placing an X in
the box corresponding to your choice. If you have no knowledge of a given area, please write n/a
(not applicable).
You may submit comments if you wish. Please use the last page for additional comments if
needed. *Board members are required to submit comments regarding the performance of the
Principal.
Finally, please return the completed form to the individual indicated at the end of the form.
Thank you very much for your assistance with this important process.
Name: ______________________________
Date of Observation: ___________________
Date of Feedback Session: ______________
Board of Directors: ____________
Parent Council: _______________
Faculty Council: ______________
Please return this completed form to: ___________________________________
The deadline is: _____________________
Definitions of Criteria
Exemplary: Of superior merit, remarkably good, highly professional
Competent: Adequate, properly qualified, capable, proficient
Needs Attention: Qualified, but capable of doing better in specific areas
Unsatisfactory: Not qualified, unacceptable or inadequate performance
Unable to Rate: write n/a (not applicable)
Exemplary
CRITERIA
Competent
Needs
Attention
Not
Satisfactory
MSCS Governance Leadership Activities
Communicates MSCS vision and values
Coordinates and facilitates communication
between various school groups, governance
groups; MSCS Board the district, parents and teachers.
Maintains high visibility and “open door” policy with parents
Represents parent interests to faculty, staff and Board
Interacts and provides appropriate leadership for parents, faculty and staff
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Exemplary
CRITERIA
Competent
Needs
Attention
Not
Satisfactory
Demonstrates knowledge of Waldorf curriculum
Demonstrates knowledge of Colorado Academic Standards
Assists with the provision of resources
Oversees curriculum and program development
Participates in festivals and other school activities
Is familiar and up to date with respect to Colorado charter-related knowledge
and legislation
Manages crisis as necessary
Facilitates resolution of complaints and grievances
Is competent in the oversight and proper organization of financial matters
Comments:
Students and Teachers
With children, intervenes in school crisis situations
With parents, advocate for the child and for the teaching staff
With teachers, represent the interests of the child and concerns of
the parents
Schedules and chairs IEP and SST meetings or appoints a qualified
administrative designee
Consults and debriefs weekly with Faculty Chair
Attends weekly faculty meeting and disseminate school
administrative information
Oversees Specialty Teachers scheduling
Establishes a presence with students and serves as a positive role model
Coordinates disciplinary process when needed
Establishes a safe school environment including respect for differences
and diversity
Oversees maintenance of student records
Comments:
Personnel
Coordinates hiring process for certificated and classified personnel
Assembles Hiring Committee when needed
Assures timelines for selection meets the needs of the school
Oversees evaluation of certificated and program-related staff
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585
Exemplary
CRITERIA
Competent
Needs
Attention
Not
Satisfactory
Determines training needs, facilitates goal-setting and mentoring
activities
Comments:
Parent Council
Attends Monthly Parent Council meeting
With Board President, coordinates Parent Council Committees
Presents “State of the School” talk and other Educational evenings
as determined by Parent Council outreach committee
Participates in decision-making regarding Aftercare Program
MSCS Board
Attends all MSCS Board meetings
Sets and post agenda in a timely manner
Participates in fundraising processes as appropriate
Comments:
School Committees
Attends meetings, respond to reports from committees
District, State and Federal
Represents MSCS interests in the district
Ensures compliance with public school requirements
Ensures compliance with district, state and federal regulations and policies
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586
CRITERIA
Exemplary
Competent
Needs
Attention
Not
Satisfactory
State representation
As needed, represents MSCS interests with state offices and in
legal matters and matters pertaining to charter status
Comments:
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587
Appendix X:
MSCS Teacher Evaluation and Improvement
Plan: Process and Forms
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MSCS Teacher Evaluation Process
Mountain Sage Community School conducts its teacher evaluation program with the purpose of
supporting professional and personal development. We wish to recognize strengths and encourage the
striving of each staff member to expand their skills beyond their current limitations. This program is
intended to blend self-evaluation and helpful outside feedback.
All teachers, both full-time and part-time specialty, are formally evaluated on an annual basis. First-year
teachers are evaluated twice. We utilize the same form to create consistency between goal setting, selfevaluation and formal evaluation.
1. Goal Setting
We believe that we are responsible for our own professional growth. In September, teachers are asked
to set professional goals for that year using the evaluation form. These goals are shared with the
Principal in a meeting held before the end of September.
2. Self-Evaluation
Between October and December, each teacher evaluates herself or himself using the teacher evaluation
form. This is primarily for the teacher’s benefit. It is to be shared with the evaluator prior to the
evaluation and may be attached to the informal evaluation record if the teacher so chooses.
3. Classroom Observation and Conference
•
•
Between October and January, all teachers are evaluated by a qualified observer.
The evaluation consists of a two-hour morning observation, completion of the official evaluation
form and a follow-up conference between the observed teacher, the evaluator and the Principal.
(Ideally, the Principal will attend this same observation. If not possible, the Principal would
have observed some time prior to this observation.) The follow-up conference ideally happens
the same day as the evaluation but at least within 48 hours. The official evaluation form is
signed and dated by all three parties and any attachments included, no more that one week from
the evaluation date. It then becomes part of the confidential personnel record.
•
Follow-up Conference
Portfolio
Prior to the observation, the teacher should have available for the evaluator material that helps
describe elements of the program not readily observable in a two hour classroom observation:
•
•
•
•
The block rotation
Weekly/daily schedule
A list of parent meeting topics covered or planned, parent letters
Assessment materials or forms, student rubrics or conference reports
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589
•
•
•
A sampling of student work to help document that the teacher is teaching with artistry and
covering curriculum content and skills
To bring breadth to the evaluation, the teacher may also wish to include lesson plans or book,
teacher-made materials and any other relevant items
We recognize that there is a variety of skill and interest in the arts among the faculty.
Because, as a school, we are striving to constantly develop our own artistry, it is suggested
that the teacher present samples which show artistic preparation and striving.
Discussion
The discussion can be a review and clarification of the observed lesson, review of portfolio
material, or questions by the teacher or evaluator that may help complete the evaluation.
Written Statements, Rating and Signatures
The last page of the evaluation form calls for written recommendations and comments by
teacher, evaluator and Principal. The Principal will provide a rating:
1. Employee is recommended for continued employment
2 .Employee is recommended form continued employment with conditions (attached)
3. Employee is not recommended for continued employment
This rating will describe whether the staff development program, described below, is not a
condition of employment.
4. Professional Development Program
If a teacher receives the first rating (recommended for continued employment), a professional
development plan will be devised within two weeks of the evaluation. It may even be developed at the
follow-up conference if the teacher so desires. The teacher and the Principal (and the evaluator if
present) jointly discuss the recommendations and options for training and mentoring. (The Learning
Leader may be invited to join this meeting.) After the plan has been developed and written up, the
teacher and Principal should meet periodically, (March and June), to review progress of the plan.
5. Intervention/Remedial Action
In the case of the second rating (recommended for continued employment with conditions), there exists
a situation which requires timely intervention. Specific remedial strategies will be discussed and goals
will be set in the follow-up conference and noted in the narrative comments. The Principal, with input
from the teacher (and the evaluator if different from the Principal), then designs and documents the
remedial action plan, with a timeline, specific mentoring or training activities and a date for reevaluation. Remediation may include the formation of a faculty support group.
If the remediation goals have not been achieved during the time allotted the Principal may initiate the
following termination procedure:
2
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590
•
•
•
The Principal will meet with the employee and review past performance and inform the
employee of the recommendation to terminate employment .
At this meeting the employee will be apprised of his/her rights and options.
The Principal’s recommendation will be recorded and forwarded to the Board of Directors,
where in closed session the final decision will be made. The employee will be invited to the
closed session meeting.
6. Closure
At the post-school meetings in June, time will be made available to the faculty to share their progress
vis-à-vis:
•
•
•
Yearly goals
Staff development activities
Self-evaluation
3
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591
Mountain Sage Community School
Teacher Classroom Observation and General Evaluation Form
Teacher:_________________________________________________
Subject and Grade:_________________________________________
Date of Observation:________________________________________
Check one: ___Self-Evaluation ___ Annual Review ___ Follow- up Review ___Goal Setting
Definition of Criteria:
Exemplary: Of superior merit, remarkably good, highly professional
Competent: Adequate, properly qualified, capable, proficient
Needs Attention: Qualified, but capable of doing better in specific areas
Not Satisfactory: Not qualified, unacceptable or inadequate performance
Teacher Classroom Observation
Criteria
Exemplary
Competent
Needs
Attention
Not
Satisfactory
Instructional Skills
Stated objectives and purpose of lesson
Was well organized and had prepared materials for lesson
Questioning strategies were appropriate to grade level
Demonstrated ability to individualize lesson to include all abilities and learning
styles
Utilized strategies to encourage student recapitulation of lesson content
Utilized strategies to appropriately engage students in the lesson
Samples of student work demonstrated originality, neatness and accuracy
Demonstrated strategies for promoting student initiative
Attended to timing of presentation and activities
Incorporated developmental movement activities
Curriculum and Lesson Planning
Presented appropriate lesson plans
Lesson accomplished curriculum standards
Lesson and methods reflected knowledge of child development
Lesson reflected knowledge of and commitment to Waldorf-inspired education
Lesson reflected knowledge of and commitment to Colorado Academic
Standards
Classroom Management and Discipline
Established and maintained control of class
Classroom seating facilitated individual and group instruction
Had reasonable expectations during lesson
Anticipated and responded to problem situations and specific needs as they
arose
Responded to students with fairness and consistency
Provided clear rules and policies for students
Used resources and personnel appropriately during instruction
Student/Teacher Interactions
Demonstrated respect for students’ individuality
Related to students’ interests and experiences
Encouraged and accepted student responses
Helped students to self-correct inappropriate responses
Class unity was demonstrated during lesson
Used humor during lesson
Physical Setting
The room was safe and clean
All students could see and hear
There was adequate space for activities
The space was appropriate to the grade level
The room was organized and conducive to students’ use
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592
Teacher General Evaluation
Criteria
Exemplary
Competent
Needs
Attention
Not
Satisfactory
Professional Planning
Is proficient with artistic skills and materials used in a Waldorf-inspired
curriculum (e.g., chalkboard drawing, painting, music, speech, drama)
Demonstrates Waldorf-inspired methods in the classroom (e.g., content
integration, block rotation, knowledge of child development
Shows interest in ongoing professional growth and advancement
Interacts well with professional peers in planned activities
Accepts criticism and implements suggestions
Professional Development
Shows initiative for professional growth
Seeks mentoring and makes use of suggestions
Understands and utilizes assessment data to improve instruction
Parent/Staff Interaction
Communicates clearly and openly with parents
Conducts necessary parent meetings and individual conferences in a timely and
organized manner
Carries a fair share of the faculty work load
Behaves in a professional manner with colleagues in the process of doing work
for the school
Evaluator’s Comments (Suggestions for mentoring and professional development):
Principal’s Comments:
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593
Teacher General Evaluation
Teacher’s Response: (If needed to respond to any of the above evaluation - to characterize your class, condition of
facilities, nature of support staff and services or any other factors that may be relevant.)
Evaluator’s Signature:_________________________________________________ Date: ________________________________
Teacher’s Signature:___________________________________________________ Date: ________________________________
Principal’s Signature:___________________________________________________ Date: ________________________________
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594
Appendix Y:
Waldorf-inspired Curriculum Based on Colorado Academic Standards Evidence Outcomes,
Grades K-4; Mathematics, Language Arts, Science, Social Studies and World Language
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Adopted: December 10, 2009
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596
Understand quantity through estimation, precision, order of magnitude, and comparison.
The reasonableness of answers relies on the ability to judge appropriateness, compare,
estimate, and analyze error
Are fluent with basic numerical and symbolic facts and algorithms, and are able to select
and use appropriate (mental math, paper and pencil, and technology) methods based on
an understanding of their efficiency, precision, and transparency
Make both relative (multiplicative) and absolute (arithmetic) comparisons between
quantities. Multiplicative thinking underlies proportional reasoning
Recognize and make sense of the many ways that variability, chance, and randomness
appear in a variety of contexts
Understand that equivalence is a foundation of mathematics represented in numbers,
shapes, measures, expressions, and equations
Apply transformation to numbers, shapes, functional representations, and data






Mountain Sage Community School Charter Application
Understand the structure and properties of our number system. At the most basic level
numbers are abstract symbols that represent real-world quantities

Prepared Graduate Competencies in the Number Sense, Properties, and Operations
Standard are:
Prepared Graduates
The prepared graduate competencies are the preschool through twelfth-grade concepts and skills that all
students who complete the Colorado education system must master to ensure their success in a postsecondary
and workforce setting.
Number sense provides students with a firm foundation in mathematics. Students build a deep understanding of
quantity, ways of representing numbers, relationships among numbers, and number systems. Students learn that
numbers are governed by properties, and understanding these properties leads to fluency with operations.
1.Number Sense, Properties, and Operations
597
Mountain Sage Community School Charter Application
Nature of Mathematics:
1. Mathematicians use numbers like writers use letters to express ideas.
598
Relevance and Application:
1. Decimal place value is the basis of the monetary system and provides information
about how much items cost, how much change should be returned, or the amount of
savings that has accumulated.
2. Knowledge and use of place value for large numbers provides context for population,
distance between cities or landmarks, and attendance at events.
3. Place value is applied to represent a myriad of numbers using only ten symbols.
Inquiry Questions:
1. Why isn’t there a “oneths” place in decimal fractions?
2. How might the most commonly used number system be different if humans had only
five fingers instead of ten?
3. What is the difference between the base ten counting system and the system used
for telling time?
4. How is the place value in the Roman counting system different from the place value
system used today?
Students can:
a. Read and write numbers from one to
100,000 and explain place value for
five-digit numbers – Proficient by the
end of 4th grade
b. Compose and decompose multi-digit
numbers based on place value Proficient by the end of 4th grade
c. Read and write numbers to the
hundredths place – Proficient by the
end of 4th grade
d. Identify the value of any given digit in
a number with decimals to the
hundredths place – Proficient by the
end of 5th grade
21st Century Skills and Readiness Competencies
Evidence Outcomes
1. The decimal number system describes place value patterns and relationships that are
repeated in large and small numbers and forms the foundation for efficient algorithms
Concepts and skills students master:
Grade Level Expectation: Fourth Grade
Prepared Graduates:
 Understand the structure and properties of our number system. At their most basic level numbers are abstract
symbols that represent real-world quantities
Content Area: Mathematics
Standard: 1. Number Sense, Properties, and Operations
Inquiry Questions:
1. When is an estimate better than an exact answer?
2. How close is close enough in an estimate?
3. How does place value affect the accuracy of an estimate?
4. Is it possible to make multiplication and division of large numbers easy?
5. How does the commutative property help with learning the basic multiplication
facts?
Students can:
a. Use flexible and efficient methods of
computing including standard
algorithms to solve three- or four-digit
by one-digit multiplication or division
problems – Proficient by the end of 4th
grade.
b. Estimate using strategies such as
front end or rounding to justify the
reasonableness of solutions to
problems - Proficient by the end of 4th
grade
c. Demonstrate fluency with
multiplication facts and their related
division facts 0 to 12 - Proficient by
the end of 4th grade
d. Explain why multi-digit multiplication
and division procedures work based
on place value properties and use
them to solve problems - Proficient by
the end of 4th grade.
Mountain Sage Community School Charter Application
599
Nature of Mathematics:
1. Mathematicians have developed mathematical symbols and procedures to simplify
calculations that apply to many situations.
Relevance and Application:
1. Efficient and reasonable estimation allows quick determination of whether numbers
make sense such as deciding the amount of food to purchase for a party,
determining the cost of dinner at a restaurant, or calculating the number of trees in
a park.
2. Comprehension of place value helps to comprehend multiplication, division, and
other basic algorithms.
3. Multiplication is an essential component of mathematics. Knowledge of multiplication
is the basis for understanding division, fractions, geometry, and algebra.
21st Century Skills and Readiness Competencies
Evidence Outcomes
2. Formulate, represent, and use algorithms to multiply and divide with flexibility, accuracy,
and efficiency
Concepts and skills students master:
Grade Level Expectation: Fourth Grade
Prepared Graduates:
 Are fluent with basic numerical and symbolic facts and algorithms, and are able to select and use appropriate
(mental math, paper and pencil, and technology) methods based on an understanding of their efficiency,
precision, and transparency
Content Area: Mathematics
Standard: 1. Number Sense, Properties, and Operations
Inquiry Questions:
1. How can different fractions represent the same quantity?
2. How are fractions used as models?
3. Why are fractions so useful?
4. What would the world be like without fractions?
Students can:
a. Solve comparison problems using
models of fractions with like and
unlike denominators through 10 Proficient by the end of 4th grade.
b. Estimate and justify the
reasonableness of solutions to
problems involving comparison of
fractions - Proficient by the end of 4th
grade.
c. Demonstrate equivalent fractions,
decimals, and percents using drawings
and models - Proficient by the end of
4th grade.
Mountain Sage Community School Charter Application
600
Nature of Mathematics:
1. Mathematicians explore number properties and relationships because they enjoy
discovering beautiful new and unexpected aspects of number systems. They use
their knowledge of number systems to create appropriate models for all kinds of
real-world systems.
Relevance and Application:
1. Fractions and decimals are used any time there is a need to apportion such as
sharing food, cooking, making savings plans, creating art projects, timing in music,
or portioning supplies.
2. Fractions are used to represent the chance that an event will occur such as
randomly selecting a certain color of shirt or the probability of a certain player
scoring a soccer goal.
3. Fractions are used to measure quantities between whole units such as number of
meters between houses, the height of a student, or the diameter of the moon.
21st Century Skills and Readiness Competencies
Evidence Outcomes
3. Different models and representations can be used to compare fractional parts
Concepts and skills students master:
Grade Level Expectation: Fourth Grade
Prepared Graduates:
 Understand quantity through estimation, precision, order of magnitude, and comparison. The reasonableness
of answers relies on the ability to judge appropriateness, compare, estimate, and analyze error
Content Area: Mathematics
Standard: 1. Number Sense, Properties, and Operations
2.
Inquiry Questions:
1. How big is 10,000?
2. How do patterns in our place value system assist in comparing whole numbers?
3. How might the most commonly used number system be different if humans had
twenty fingers instead of ten?
Students can:
a. Read and write numbers from one to
10,000 and explain place value for
four-digit numbers – Proficient by the
end of 2nd grade
b. Generalize the change represented
when moving from one place to
another place in a number - Proficient
by the end of 2nd grade
c. Compose and decompose multi-digit
numbers based on place value Proficient by the end of 2nd grade
Mountain Sage Community School Charter Application
Nature of Mathematics:
1. Mathematicians use numbers like writers use letters to express ideas.
601
Relevance and Application:
1. Knowledge and use of place value for large numbers provides context for distance in
outer space, prehistoric timelines, and ants in a colony.
2. The building and taking apart of numbers provide a deep understanding of the base
10 number system.
21st Century Skills and Readiness Competencies
Evidence Outcomes
1. The whole number system describes place value relationships from ones to 10,000 and
forms the foundation for efficient algorithms
Concepts and skills students master:
Grade Level Expectation: Third Grade
Prepared Graduates:
 Understand the structure and properties of our number system. At their most basic level numbers are abstract
symbols that represent real-world quantities
Content Area: Mathematics
Standard: 1. Number Sense, Properties, and Operations
Inquiry Questions:
1. How many ways can a whole number be represented?
2. How can a fraction be represented in different, equivalent forms?
3. How do we show part of something?
Students can:
a. Use drawings, models, and numerals
to represent fractions (halves, thirds,
fourths, sixths, eighths) based on a
whole shape, number set, or number
line – Proficient by the end of 4th
grade
b. Estimate and justify the
reasonableness of solutions to
problems involving representations of
fractions – Proficient by the end of 4th
grade
c. Describe why equivalent fractions are
two ways of modeling the same
quantity using a model or drawing –
Proficient by the end of 4th grade
Mountain Sage Community School Charter Application
Nature of Mathematics:
1. Mathematicians use visual models to solve problems.
602
Relevance and Application:
1. Fractions are used to share fairly with friends and family such as sharing a closet
with a sibling, and splitting the cost of lunch.
2. Equivalent fractions demonstrate equal quantities even when they are presented
differently such as knowing that 1/2 of a box of crayons is the same as 2/4, or that
2/6 of the class is the same as 1/3.
21st Century Skills and Readiness Competencies
Evidence Outcomes
2. Parts of a whole can be modeled and represented in different ways
Concepts and skills students master:
Grade Level Expectation: Third Grade
Prepared Graduates:
 Understand that equivalence is a foundation of mathematics represented in numbers, shapes, measures,
expressions, and equations
Content Area: Mathematics
Standard: 1. Number Sense, Properties, and Operations
Inquiry Questions:
1. What makes a computational method sensible to use?
2. What makes a good estimate?
3. How would you know a new computation method works?
Students can:
a. Use number sense to estimate and
justify the reasonableness of solutions
to problems – Proficient by the end of
3rd grade
b. Use flexible methods of computing,
including student-generated strategies
and standard algorithms - Proficient
by the end of 3rd grade
c. Estimate using strategies such as
front-end estimation or landmark
numbers - Proficient by the end of 3rd
grade
Mountain Sage Community School Charter Application
603
Nature of Mathematics:
1. Mathematicians have developed mathematical symbols and procedures to simplify
calculations that apply to many situations.
Relevance and Application:
1. Algorithms can be used to add and subtract to solve problems such as finding the
total number of fish in two tanks, the total number of blocks to school, or the
number of cookies remaining after giving three to a friend.
2. Estimation determines the reasonableness of an answer. For example, divide 102 by
5 and get 2, then realize 102 is close to 100 and 100 divided by 5 is 20, so 2 must
be too small.
3. Estimation helps to analyze the size of objects such as how many books will fit into
a large packing box.
21st Century Skills and Readiness Competencies
Evidence Outcomes
3. Formulate, represent, and use algorithms to add and subtract multi-digit whole numbers
with flexibility, accuracy, and efficiency
Concepts and skills students master:
Grade Level Expectation: Third Grade
Prepared Graduates:
 Are fluent with basic numerical and symbolic facts and algorithms, and are able to select and use appropriate
(mental math, paper and pencil, and technology) methods based on an understanding of their efficiency,
precision, and transparency
Content Area: Mathematics
Standard: 1. Number Sense, Properties, and Operations
Inquiry Questions:
1. How are multiplication and division related?
2. How can you use a multiplication or division fact to find a related fact?
3. Why was multiplication invented? Why not just add?
4. Why was division invented? Why not just subtract?
Students can:
a.
Demonstrate fluency with
multiplication and division facts with
single-digit factors - Proficient by the
end of 3rd grade
b. Describe relationships between
related facts and between
multiplication and division - Proficient
by the end of 3rd grade
c. Represent multiplication and division
problems with drawings, models,
number sentences, and stories Proficient by the end of 3rd grade
d. Model strategies to achieve a
personal financial goal using
arithmetic operations (PFL) Proficient by the end of 3rd grade
Mountain Sage Community School Charter Application
604
Relevance and Application:
1. Many situations in daily life can be modeled with multiplication and division such as
how many tables to set up for a party, how much food to purchase for the family, or
how many teams can be created.
2. Use of multiplication and division helps to make decisions about spending allowance
or gifts of money such as how many weeks of saving an allowance of $5 per week to
buy a soccer ball that costs $32?.
3. Multiplication is an essential component of mathematics. Knowledge of multiplication
is the basis for understanding division, fractions, geometry, and algebra.
21st Century Skills and Readiness Competencies
Evidence Outcomes
4. Multiplying and dividing are inverse operations modeled in a variety of ways
Concepts and skills students master:
Grade Level Expectation: Third Grade
Prepared Graduates:
 Are fluent with basic numerical and symbolic facts and algorithms, and are able to select and use appropriate
(mental math, paper and pencil, and technology) methods based on an understanding of their efficiency,
precision, and transparency
 Apply transformation to numbers, shapes, functional representations, and data
Content Area: Mathematics
Standard: 1. Number Sense, Properties, and Operations
Also, weight and measure
Third graders learn about money –
they hole a market and experience 1st
had profit and loss concepts.
Mountain Sage Community School Charter Application
605
Nature of Mathematics:
1. Mathematicians often learn concepts on a smaller scale before applying them to a
larger situation.
Inquiry Questions:
1. How big is 1,000?
2. How does the position of a digit in a number affect its value?
3. What is the difference between first and one?
Students can:
a. Read and write numbers to 1,000 and
identify place value for three-digit
numbers – Proficient by the end of 2nd
grade
b. Describe relationships between ones,
tens, and hundreds - Proficient by the
end of 2nd grade
c. Explain the value of a digit in a threedigit number - Proficient by the end of
2nd grade
d. Order a collection of whole numbers Proficient by the end of 2nd grade
Mountain Sage Community School Charter Application
606
Nature of Mathematics:
1. Mathematicians use place value to represent many numbers with only ten digits.
Relevance and Application:
1. The ability to read and write numbers allows communication about quantities such
as the cost of items, number of students in a school, or number of people in a
theatre.
2. Place value allows people to represent large quantities. For example, 725 can be
thought of as 700 + 20 + 5.
21st Century Skills and Readiness Competencies
Evidence Outcomes
1. The whole number system describes place value relationships from ones to 1,000 and forms
the foundation for efficient algorithms
Concepts and skills students master:
Grade Level Expectation: Second Grade
Prepared Graduates:
 Understand the structure and properties of our number system. At their most basic level numbers are abstract
symbols that represent real-world quantities
Content Area: Mathematics
Standard: 1. Number Sense, Properties, and Operations
Inquiry Questions:
1. What are the ways numbers can be broken apart and put back together?
2. What strategies are used to estimate the answer?
3. What could be a result of not using pennies (taking them out of circulation)?
Students can:
a. Demonstrate fluency with basic
addition and subtraction facts to sums
of 20 – Proficient by the end of 2nd
grade
b. Find the value of a collection of coins
and choose coins to have a given
value – Proficient by the end of 3rd
grade
c. Create stories and models, including
linear and difference, to illustrate
addition and subtraction - Proficient
by the end of 2nd grade
e. Select and use appropriate methods to
estimate sums and differences or
calculate them mentally depending on
the context and numbers involved Proficient by the end of 2nd grade
d. Apply addition and subtraction
concepts to financial decision-making
(PFL) – Proficient by the end of 3rd
grade
Mountain Sage Community School Charter Application
Nature of Mathematics:
1. Mathematicians use visual models to understand addition and subtraction.
607
Relevance and Application:
1. Addition is used to find the total number of objects such as total number of animals
in a zoo, total number of students in first and second grade.
2. Subtraction is used to solve problems such as how many objects are left in a set
after taking some away, or how much longer one line is than another.
3. The ability to estimate helps to judge whether answers are reasonable such as
results on a calculator, or an answer given by someone else seems feasible.
4. The understanding of the value of a collection of coins helps to determine how many
coins are used for a purchase or checking that the amount of change is correct.
21st Century Skills and Readiness Competencies
Evidence Outcomes
2. Formulate, represent, and use algorithms to add and subtract two-digit whole numbers with
flexibility, accuracy, and efficiency
Concepts and skills students master:
Grade Level Expectation: Second Grade
Prepared Graduates:
 Are fluent with basic numerical and symbolic facts and algorithms, and are able to select and use appropriate
(mental math, paper and pencil, and technology) methods based on an understanding of their efficiency,
precision, and transparency
Content Area: Mathematics
Standard: 1. Number Sense, Properties, and Operations
Inquiry Questions:
1. How are whole numbers and fractions represented?
2. What is the meaning of the numerator and denominator in a fraction?
3. Why are fractions useful?
Students can:
a. Partition basic shapes, using common
fractions such as 1/2, 1/3, and ¼ Proficient by the end of 4th grade
b. Partition sets using common fractions
such as 1/2, 1/3, ¼ - Proficient by the
end of 4th grade
Mountain Sage Community School Charter Application
608
Nature of Mathematics:
1. Mathematics involves the understanding that not everything can be represented
with whole numbers.
Relevance and Application:
1. Fractions help to determine the fairness of situations where sharing is involved such
as sharing toys, or money.
2. The understanding of fractions helps to make sense of situations involving parts
such as 1/4 hour, 1/2 of a dollar, ¼ note in music, or 1/3 of a family.
3. Fractions help to communicate clearly about partial amounts such as ½ cup of flour,
¼ of an orange, and ½ of the stadium is filled with people.
21st Century Skills and Readiness Competencies
Evidence Outcomes
3. Fractions represent parts of a whole object or set
Concepts and skills students master:
Grade Level Expectation: Second Grade
Prepared Graduates:
 Understand the structure and properties of our number system. At their most basic level numbers are abstract
symbols that represent real-world quantities
Content Area: Mathematics
Standard: 1. Number Sense, Properties, and Operations
Inquiry Questions:
1. Can numbers always be related to tens?
2. Why not always count by one?
3. Why was a place value system developed?
4. How does a position of a digit affect its value?
5. How can I tell if I’ve made a good guess (estimate)?
6. How big is 100?
Students can:
a. Count, read, and write numbers to
100 – Proficient by the end of 1st
grade
b. Estimate quantities less than 100 Proficient by the end of 1st grade
c. Represent quantities using tens units
and ones units - Proficient by the end
of 1st grade
d. Locate numbers up to 100 on a
number display - Proficient by the end
of 1st grade
e. Compare two sets of objects, including
pennies, up to at least 25 using
language such as "three more or three
fewer" (PFL) - Proficient by the end of
1st grade
Mountain Sage Community School Charter Application
Nature of Mathematics:
1. Mathematics involves visualization and representation of ideas.
2. Numbers are used to count and order both real and imaginary objects.
609
Relevance and Application:
1. Estimation allows people to think about how many objects are in a set without
counting.
2. Locating numbers on a number line helps to see the relative size of numbers.
3. The comparison of numbers helps to communicate and to make sense of the world.
(For example, if someone has two more dollars than another, gets four more points
than another, or takes out three fewer forks than needed.
21st Century Skills and Readiness Competencies
Evidence Outcomes
1. The whole number system describes place value relationships from ones to 100 and forms
the foundation for efficient algorithms
Concepts and skills students master:
Grade Level Expectation: First Grade
Prepared Graduates:
 Understand the structure and properties of our number system. At their most basic level numbers are abstract
symbols that represent real-world quantities
Content Area: Mathematics
Standard: 1. Number Sense, Properties, and Operations
Inquiry Questions:
1. What is addition and how is it used?
2. What is subtraction and how is it used?
3. How are addition and subtraction related?
Students can:
a. Use addition when putting sets
together and subtraction for breaking
sets apart or describing the difference
between sets – Proficient by the end
of 1st grade
b. Use number relationships such as
doubles, one more or one less, and
the relationship between composing
and decomposing to solve addition
and subtraction problems– Proficient
by the end of 1st grade
c. Identify coins and find the value of a
collection of two coins(PFL) –
Proficient by the end of 3rd grade
d. Demonstrate fluency with basic
addition and related subtraction facts
through sums to 10– Proficient by the
end of 1st grade
Mountain Sage Community School Charter Application
610
Nature of Mathematics:
1. Mathematicians use addition and subtraction to take numbers apart and put them
back together in order to understand number relationships.
Relevance and Application:
1. Addition and subtraction are used to model real-world situations such as computing
saving or spending, finding the number of days until a special day, or determining
an amount needed to earn a reward.
2. Fluency with addition and subtraction facts helps to quickly find answers to
important questions.
21st Century Skills and Readiness Competencies
Evidence Outcomes
2. Adding and subtracting involve composing and decomposing using a variety of strategies
Concepts and skills students master:
Grade Level Expectation: First Grade
Prepared Graduates:
 Apply transformation to numbers, shapes, functional representations, and data
Content Area: Mathematics
Standard: 1. Number Sense, Properties, and Operations
Inquiry Questions:
1. What do fractions tell us?
2. What are some things in the world that have parts?
Students can:
a. Identify unit fractions 1/2, 1/3, and
1/4 as parts of wholes or parts of
groups– Proficient by the end of 4th
grade
b. Understand fractions as equal shares
or parts– Proficient by the end of 4th
grade
Mountain Sage Community School Charter Application
611
Nature of Mathematics:
1. Mathematicians create visual representations of problems and ideas that reveal
relationship and meaning.
2. The nature of mathematics involves curiosity, integrity, diligence, and fairness.
Relevance and Application:
1. Fractions help people to understand fairness such as dividing a set of toys into equal
parts, or sharing time on a swing.
2. Fractions are used to understand parts found in everyday life such as fraction parts
of a family, beats in music, or parts of an hour.
21st Century Skills and Readiness Competencies
Evidence Outcomes
3. Parts of objects can be shown as fractions
Concepts and skills students master:
Grade Level Expectation: First Grade
Prepared Graduates:
 Understand the structure and properties of our number system. At their most basic level numbers are abstract
symbols that represent real-world quantities
Content Area: Mathematics
Standard: 1. Number Sense, Properties, and Operations
Inquiry Questions:
1. Why do we count things?
2. Is there a wrong way to count? Why?
3. How do you know when you have more or less?
4. What does it mean to be second and how is it different than two?
Students can:
a. Count and represent objects to 20–
Proficient by the end of 1st grade
b. Identify, read, and write
corresponding numerals– Proficient by
the end of 1st grade
c. Compare sets up to 10 objects and
use language to describe more, less,
or same– Proficient by the end of 1st
grade
d. Compare two sets of objects to at
least 25 using language such as
“more,” “less,” or “the same” –
Proficient by the end of 1st grade
e. Identify small groups of objects –
fewer than five without counting,
including zero as “no objects” –
Proficient by the end of 1st grade
f. Estimate quantities less than 20–
Proficient by the end of 1st grade
Mountain Sage Community School Charter Application
Nature of Mathematics:
1. Mathematics involves visualization and representation of ideas.
2. Numbers are used to count and order both real and imaginary objects.
612
Relevance and Application:
1. Counting is used constantly in everyday life such as counting plates for the dinner
table, people on a team, pets in the home, or trees in a yard.
2. Numerals are used to represent quantities.
3. People use numbers to communicate with others such as two more forks for the
dinner table, one less sister than my friend, or six more dollars for a new toy.
21st Century Skills and Readiness Competencies
Whole numbers can be used to name, count, represent, and order quantity
Evidence Outcomes
1.
Concepts and skills students master:
Grade Level Expectation: Kindergarten
Prepared Graduates:
 Understand the structure and properties of our number system. At their most basic level numbers are abstract
symbols that represent real-world quantities
Content Area: Mathematics
Standard: 1. Number Sense, Properties, and Operations
Inquiry Questions:
1. What happens when two quantities are combined?
2. What happens when a set of objects is separated into different sets?
Students can:
a. Use objects including coins, and
drawings to model addition and
subtraction problems to 10 (PFL) –
Proficient by the end of 1st grade
b. Identify numbers one more or one less
than a given number up to 10 –
Proficient by the end of kindergarten
c. Determine if more than or less than is
needed to change one quantity to
another – Proficient by the end of
kindergarten
Mountain Sage Community School Charter Application
613
Nature of Mathematics:
1. Mathematicians create models of problems that reveal relationships and meaning.
2. Mathematics involves the creative use of imagination.
Relevance and Application:
1. People combine quantities to find a total such as number of boys and girls in a
classroom or coins for a purchase.
2. People use subtraction to find what is left over such as coins left after a purchase,
number of toys left after giving some away.
21st Century Skills and Readiness Competencies
Evidence Outcomes
2. Adding and subtracting to 10 involves composing and decomposing using a variety of
strategies and representations
Concepts and skills students master:
Grade Level Expectation: Kindergarten
Prepared Graduates:
 Apply transformation to numbers, shapes, functional representations, and data
Content Area: Mathematics
Standard: 1. Number Sense, Properties, and Operations
Are fluent with basic numerical and symbolic facts and algorithms, and are able to select
and use appropriate (mental math, paper and pencil, and technology) methods based on
an understanding of their efficiency, precision, and transparency
Understand that equivalence is a foundation of mathematics represented in numbers,
shapes, measures, expressions, and equations
Make sound predictions and generalizations based on patterns and relationships that arise
from numbers, shapes, symbols, and data
Apply transformation to numbers, shapes, functional representations, and data
Make claims about relationships among numbers, shapes, symbols, and data and defend
those claims by relying on the properties that are the structure of mathematics
Communicate effective logical arguments using mathematical justification and proof.
Mathematical argumentation involves making and testing conjectures, drawing valid
conclusions, and justifying thinking
Use critical thinking to recognize problematic aspects of situations, create mathematical
models, and present and defend solutions
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Mountain Sage Community School Charter Application
Understand the structure and properties of our number system. At the most basic level
numbers are abstract symbols that represent real-world quantities

Prepared Graduate Competencies in the 2. Patterns, Functions, and Algebraic
Structures Standard are:
614
Prepared Graduates
The prepared graduate competencies are the preschool through twelfth-grade concepts and skills that all students who
complete the Colorado education system must have to ensure success in a postsecondary and workforce setting.
Pattern sense gives students a lens with which to understand trends and commonalities. Being a student of mathematics
involves recognizing and representing mathematical relationships and analyzing change. Students learn that the structures
of algebra allow complex ideas to be expressed succinctly.
2. Patterns, Functions, and Algebraic Structures
Inquiry Questions:
1. How can we predict the next element in a pattern?
2. Why do we use symbols to represent missing numbers?
3. Why is finding an unknown quantity important?
Students can:
a. Use number relationships to find the
missing number in a sequence –
Proficient by the end of 3rd grade
b. Use a symbol to represent and find an
unknown quantity in a problem
situation – Proficient by the end of 4th
grade
c. Complete input/output tables –
Proficient by the end of 3rd grade
d. Find the unknown in simple equations
– Proficient by the end of 4th grade
Mountain Sage Community School Charter Application
Nature of Mathematics:
1. Mathematics involves pattern seeking.
2. Mathematicians use patterns to simplify calculations.
615
Relevance and Application:
1. Use of an input/output table helps to make predictions in everyday contexts such as
the number of beads needed to make multiple bracelets or number of inches of
expected growth.
2. Symbols help to represent situations from everyday life with simple equations such
as finding how much additional money is needed to buy a skateboard, determining
the number of players missing from a soccer team, or calculating the number of
students absent from school.
21st Century Skills and Readiness Competencies
Number patterns and relationships can be represented by symbols
Evidence Outcomes
1.
Concepts and skills students master:
Grade Level Expectation: Fourth Grade
Prepared Graduates:
 Understand that equivalence is a foundation of mathematics represented in numbers, shapes, measures,
expressions, and equations
Content Area: Mathematics
Standard: 2. Patterns, Functions, and Algebraic Structures
Use the commutative and associative
properties of multiplication to solve
th
problems– Proficient by the end of 4
c.
grade
the end of 3rd grade
b. Communicate the inverse relationship
between multiplication and division,
and use this relationship to efficiently
solve and check problems– Proficient
by the end of 4th grade
Mountain Sage Community School Charter Application
616
Nature of Mathematics:
1. Mathematics can be used to show that things that seem complex can be broken into
simple patterns and relationships.
Relevance and Application:
1. Patterns in the everyday world help to find solutions to problems such as noticing
that trash collection is decreasing after beginning a recycling program.
2. Number patterns help to make predictions. For example, a calendar is used to
organize time around the nature patterns of day and night, and a bus schedule
follows a pattern, so it is easy to remember.
3. The understanding of patterns helps to understand linear rates.
4. Fluency with forward and backward skip counting assists in learning multiplication
and division. For example, learning the five facts is easy if you can count by fives).
5. Comprehension of associative property helps to more easily solve problems such as
in (3 + 4) + 6 = 3 + (4 + 6), adding the 4 and 6 first is easier.
Inquiry Questions:
1. Does skip counting always produce a pattern? Why?
2. How do patterns help to skip count from randomly selected places?
3. How do patterns assist in making predictions?
4. How are patterns shown?
Use and describe number patterns for
counting by 2, 5, 9, 10, and 11 from a
given starting number – Proficient by
Students can:
a.
21st Century Skills and Readiness Competencies
Evidence Outcomes
2. Number properties and relationships can be used to solve problems
Concepts and skills students master:
Grade Level Expectation: Fourth Grade
Prepared Graduates:
 Understand the structure and properties of our number system. At their most basic level numbers are abstract
symbols that represent real-world quantities
Content Area: Mathematics
Standard: 2. Patterns, Functions, and Algebraic Structures
Inquiry Questions:
1. How do you know when there is a pattern?
2. What patterns do you notice when you count by 25, 50, and 100?
3. How are patterns useful?
Students can:
a. Extend simple arithmetic and
geometric sequences – Proficient by
the end of 4th grade
b. Count by and analyze patterns in
multiples of 2, 3, 5, 9, 10,11,25, 50
and 100– Proficient by the end of 3rd
grade
c. Use known multiplication facts to solve
unknown multiplication problems –
Proficient by the end of 3rd grade
Mountain Sage Community School Charter Application
617
Nature of Mathematics:
1. Mathematicians use creativity, invention, and ingenuity to understand and create
patterns.
2. The search for patterns can produce rewarding shortcuts and mathematical insights.
Relevance and Application:
1. The use of a pattern of elapsed time helps to set up a schedule. For example,
classes are each 50 minutes with 5 minutes between each class.
2. The ability to use patterns allows problem-solving. For example,