About Us » Why MCS?

Why MCS?

Education is a lifelong process and the skill developed by an educated person goes far beyond what is formally taught in schools. Specific knowledge categorized under various disciplines constitutes a significant part of an educated person’s repertoire.  Such persons also possess the basic skills necessary to acquire, analyze, synthesize, evaluate, understand, and communicate knowledge and information. They have the ability to respond, in a positive way, to changes in their immediate environment, their community and the world at large. They must be problem solvers able to apply previously acquired skills to new and challenging situations.  They must be discerning consumers of information and know how to obtain and filter information.  They are always curious and anxious to expand their knowledge and experiences.  They are able to work effectively, alone or in teams, and are comfortable and content with their own company and that of others.  They are tolerant and, after critical evaluation, accepting of worthy ideas.

MCS engenders these desirable characteristics in its students through a rigorous academic curriculum, dedicated and talented teachers, field trips, stimulating interactions with outside visitors and community members, and a wonderful community atmosphere in which they feel safe and are encouraged to explore and experiment.  This environment encourages students to become effective and enthusiastic learners.

Our Focus ~ STEAM

Our view of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) is not as a supplement to the general principles of a quality education, but as a philosophy of learning to be integrated into the Idaho Content curriculum.  This philosophy embraces the scientific method – developing a hypothesis, testing this hypothesis and discarding it should its veracity come in to question.  It also encourages the scholarly questioning of ideas, the gathering and analysis of data as the basis for the synthesis of a hypothesis and thus fostering active inquiry based learning rather than passive absorption of knowledge. 

Moscow Charter School uses a curriculum focused on Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM).  This curriculum integrates all the required elements of the Idaho Content curricular standards, so that as a result, Moscow Charter School students will perform to Idaho Content standards at or above grade level.  MCS integrates the Idaho Content learning standards into the STEAM curriculum with projects in which students read, write, illustrate, and speak about information related to STEAM concepts.  These projects will introduce and reinforce the skills and concepts outlined in the Idaho Content standards for each grade level. 

Our Learning Environment

Our integrated curriculum promotes student learning by presenting concepts in a project-based context, illustrating how core concepts are used and applied in real world situations.  Students are naturally curious about the world around them and how it works.  MCS uses a STEAM-based curriculum to channel this enthusiasm and teach fundamental concepts.

The small size and community-oriented atmosphere of MCS means that all students and teachers know each other and interact as a community at weekly all-school meetings.  This helps produce a learning environment in which all students’ contributions are valued and encouraged.  

MCS teachers and administrators work to provide a classroom environment that is intellectually stimulating, calm and well organized, and structured, yet flexible enough to adapt to individual student requirements.

MCS students at different grade levels are aware of their roles as citizens of the school, community, and nation.  Students interact politely and appropriately with students, teachers, and staff at all levels throughout the school.  All students are expected to respect one another’s viewpoints.

Differentiated Instruction

The small size of MCS and our maximum class size of 22 students per grade level enables teachers to adapt the annual curriculum to the academic and relevant social needs of that year’s group of students. This provides for optimal learning conditions because the individual learning needs of each group of students can be taken into account.  Within individual grade levels, students may be further grouped by ability, to ensure that all students are challenged at appropriate levels.  Although grade acceleration (or block mathematics acceleration) is a possibility for MCS students who are sufficiently in advance of their age group, in general, different levels of accomplishment are handled using the differentiated instruction approach.

Detailed Curriculum

Mathematics, language arts, science, and social studies are taught by the classroom teachers.  Classes in technology, movement, physical education, theater, music, and visual arts are taught by specialty teachers who have experience working with young children.  Because classroom teachers at Moscow Charter School are supported by a professional staff of specialists, they can provide additional attention to teaching the fundamentals to each child.  However, classroom teachers also incorporate technology, movement, theater, music and the arts into their teaching.  For example, kindergarten students reinforce counting skills with rhythmic movement, and learn new information (days of the week, months of the year) with songs.