A Tuition-Free Public Middle School
Founded on Innovation
For our young people to thrive, they must become lifelong learners. MCMS will foster a culture of inquisitiveness and critical thinking through a highly-individualized education, grounded in a culture of social emotional learning and development. The foundational model includes project-based learning as a way to apply complex skills, and utilizes a set of innovative best-in-class tools to meet our diverse students where they are as we help them chart their individual pathways to excellence. MCMS provides a self-directed learning environment in which teachers are facilitators and students are learners and doers.
Mayacamas Charter Middle School will serve socio-economically, racially and ethnically diverse students through a highly personalized program that differentiates instruction to meet individual students’ needs. Mayacamas will ensure students master state content standards and grow developmentally in an inclusive, welcoming and supportive culture.
Mayacamas’ vision is to strengthen our community by developing productive citizens and leaders in our diverse democracy. Each student will thrive in a community in which all members are expected to model trust, responsibility, and respect for self and others. We will focus on meaningful and equitable instruction, purposeful assessment, supportive and inclusive culture and high school, college and career readiness.
Social Emotional Learning
Mayacamas is intent on building a culture where social emotional learning is central. At Mayacamas, each day will begin with Advisory to serve as the bridge between the students’ home life and their Mayacamas community. During Advisory and throughout the day, students’ healthy development and mental health will be a core tenet of our program. Students will learn about self-awareness and interacting with their diverse peers and adults in respectful and responsible ways. They will learn how to become more resilient and independent, to “fail,” try again, iterate, and persist with a growth mindset.
With project- and problem-based instruction, Mayacamas will transform the learning environment from a system of teacher output and student input to a self-directed learning environment in which teachers are facilitators and students are learners and doers. Mayacamas will offer an engaging, interdisciplinary project-based learning curriculum. With 90-minute block periods and real-world projects, students will explore more deeply, conduct experiments, build models, engage in research, discuss and debate, make mistakes and try again. Additionally, the faculty will integrate community members and real-life community problems into our project-based learning environment, strengthening the bonds between our school and the members of our community.
Intentional Adolescent Development and Relationship Building
Mayacamas is grounded in the science of learning and development, and will use co-teaching and looping to allow students and teachers to build strong relationships. Sixth graders will have a team of two teachers for their core classes. The 6th grade teachers share the same students and collaborate on integrated projects, review data to address individual student needs, reinforce one another's curriculum and create a balanced schedule of due dates and assessments. This model provides a transition for our young 6th graders into a middle school environment in which they move between teachers and classes.
7th and 8th graders have four core teachers (one per core subject); they will loop for two years in mixed-grade classrooms for Science and History/Social Science. Teacher looping, in which the same teacher stays with students over multiple years, offers several benefits, including the opportunity for both student and teacher to develop strong, meaningful relationships.
Visual & Performing Arts Electives
The power of art and music to heal is undeniable. Mayacamas will integrate a robust visual and performing arts program into the curriculum, allowing students with different learning styles to access the full benefits of various learning tools.
Parents/adult guardians and family members will be our partners in our collaborative school environment. Through volunteer participation in school life (never required but always appreciated), participating in parent education events, and simply communicating frequently with their child’s advisor and teachers, parents will be an important part of their students’ success at Mayacamas.