Can I still apply?
Short answer: Yes!
Medium answer: Applications are still accepted. We welcome and are open to all! Students will be enrolled on a first-come first-served basis after the lottery until classrooms are full. To apply, please go to the Enrollment page for introductory information, and the Enrollment Application.
Long answer: Charter school enrollment is somewhat complicated. All students who submitted an application during the open enrollment period (which ended August 25, 2016) will be enrolled unless the number of applications exceeds the capacity of a class (25), grade level, or school. A lottery was held on August 29, 2016; the results were used to determine final class placement. Factors affecting ranked enrollment include application receipt date, siblings at the school, and whether charter employees have students in the school.
Will some of our schools’ traditions continue?
The school will be what we make it! Marine’s sixth-grade play, 6-K buddy system, the school forest; Withrow’s “Battle of the Books,” school dance — these and treasured traditions brought from other schools and their families are options for MACS. Or, as a school community, we can create an entirely new culture and set of traditions.
Will some of District 834 teachers become part of the new charter school?
River Grove: A Marine Area Community School is a completely new school; teacher and school administrator hiring will begin in early February 2017. As such, all interested in working at the school will need to apply. Recruitment and hiring will be conducted using a fair and open process that follows all pertinent federal and Minnesota laws.
What is the curriculum philosophy of the school? What are some of the guiding principles the board is following as the curriculum is developed?
The learning and assessment program at River Grove/MACS will be teacher-powered, with the teaching team making the ultimate curriculum decisions. Our guiding principles include place-based education, in which students are immersed in the natural resources, history, arts, and civic stewardship of the community. The curriculum at MACS will align with the Minnesota State Standards; those standards will be used as a basis for instruction while adding depth and complexity to meet the needs of our student population. Our foundational curriculum will be consistent with District 834 to allow for a smooth transition of our students to 834 schools after sixth grade. MACS initially chose to model itself after two schools: Watershed (Fairbanks, AK) and Marine Elementary. As part of the federal Charter School Program start-up grant process, MACS will study three more successful, local charter schools: New Country (Henderson); Nerstrand Elementary (Faribault, Northfield, and Kenyon); and Prairie Creek Community (Castle Rock). MACS has also been looking closely at the teacher-powered, consensus decision-making model at Avalon Charter School in St. Paul.
Will busing to and from school be offered?
Minnesota Central bus company will be providing bus transportation to River Grove! We anticipate a school day of about 9:00am to 4:00pm. MACS will provide transportation for all students in District 834, and we are actively pursuing added coverage for surrounding areas at pick-up points.
How can I support MACS financially or otherwise?
Thank you! We have our 501(c)3 nonprofit status. To contribute money by check now, please send your check to: Marine Area Community School, PO Box 178, Marine on St Croix, MN 55047. Or, donate online!