What is a charter school?
A charter school is a public school that receives public funds. All charter schools in Oregon must be associated with a school district. Charter schools are required to have a written charter that outlines student performance and educational services. Charter schools are created to provide alternatives to traditional public schools.
Teachers at Resource Link Charter School are required to meet the same rigorous state and federal standards that all traditional public school teachers must meet.
What is required of students?
Students who attend Resource Link are required to meet with their assigned teacher at minimum, one hour per week. As independent learners, students can to work at home or school to complete their assignments. A 2.5 credit minimum is required of all students per semester to maintain Resource Link as their primary school. Reduced contact at school does not reduce the amount of time required to complete assignments at home.
What are weekly meetings?
At the first meeting, the discussion is focused on the student's strengths, abilities and interests, as well as areas in which the student may need help. This information plus assessment data are then turned into learning goals from which the team selects the appropriate curriculum for the student. The curriculum may be in the form of projects, online courses, traditional courses or a combination of the three. Upon deciding, the student and teacher agree upon a contract of assignments.
Is all the course work done on the internet and the do teachers keep in contact with their students with email?
Students are required to meet with their teacher for one hour a week to establish weekly assignments. A contract is written up and signed by both student and teacher. This contract outlines the work to be done during that week. We are not an online school. We often use traditional curriculum with project based opportunities as well as a limited number of online courses. The weekly contract is a collaborative effort where the student has a voice and a choice in their education. Creativity is essential in creating the most effective education for each student. We are required to meet Common Core Standards but can accomplish this through a a variety of opportunities.
What happens when I miss a meeting?
Weekly meetings are essential in setting the pace for learning. Students who miss a total of 10 days or two weekly meetings in a row, without contact with their teacher, are dropped from Resource Link and will need to reapply.
Is there a waiting list?
When at capacity, Resource Link maintains a waiting list. This list will be reviewed periodically each semester. Although it is beneficial to apply early, students are chosen at random with a lottery system. Charter schools do not discriminate as to who can apply and enroll. Charter law states that siblings of enrolled charter school student receive priority on the waiting list. Additionally, students who were previously enrolled, and were in good standing at the time of withdraw, also receive priority on the waiting list.
Can I cross enroll?
With counselor approval, students can cross enroll at Marshfield High School taking up to three elective credits.
If I have an IEP do I need a change of placement meeting first?
No. Your right to choose an alternative public charter school is guaranteed by the federal law, Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Your right to free and appropriate public education comes first. After completing the application, interview, and lottery process, a placement meeting can be held to determine the best method for providing special education services.
As far as advanced and/or college prep courses are concerned, is there a wide variety offered to the students?
As long as students show proficiency, Resource Link can offer any course we, as teachers, are highly qualified to teach. Additionally, we can have students cross enroll at Marshfield and/or offer SOCC classes to meet the student's academic needs. This may occur for the foreign language requirement or in an area that the student excels.
This statement is from our draft policy manual.
"Students who are in good academic standing, and have been attending Resource Link for a designated period-of-time, have the option to apply for tuition reimbursement for pre-approved classes above the 100 level, or as explained in the “Expanded Options Program” or similar program. Students must submit compass test scores in advance of applying for tuition reimbursement. Reimbursement does not apply to texts or other fees. Students will submit their transcripts reflecting passing grades at the end of the term to qualify."
How would my child be able to meet the physical education requirements ?
Resource Link uses a project based tracking system called Project Foundry. We use this project management system to track student progress in independent projects created by the student and their teacher. This may include physical education with well defined, timeline/performance goals.
What is the level of interaction among students?
Students are free to attend Resource Link as often as they feel comfortable. The classroom is monitored by a teacher and regular interactions occur. There are between 10 to 20 students who attend on a regular basis to use computers or want a quiet place to work. We have three classrooms: elementary, middle, and high school. Students are independent learners and in control of their own progress. Older students may leave campus at will but can not wonder up to Marshfield campus. As teachers, we are in meetings with students hour on the hour and can help and interact with students when time allows.
If a child is able to advance at a faster rate, woulds she be allowed to take more than the required courses for the year?
Students can take as many courses as they want but RL expects quality effort and product from our students. We attempt to offer a depth and a breadth to the subject material. We are not quicker or easier but different in the way we engage our students in learning. Some students excel at being independent and accomplish more than an average student.
If the student is unable or unwilling to complete the coursework is public school enrollment an option mid-year?
Resource Link is a public school option and does not require a specific enrollment period. If this charter school does not work for you and we can't seem to find the right educational solution for your child you are free to choose another public school.
How would the credits for advanced courses be transferred back to public school? Are they equatable?
Resource Link is an accredited school with its own graduation. In terms of equitability the only thing that comes to mind here is that when students take classes at SOCC students earn both high school and college credit. Classes taken at Marshfield are given equal credit as RL offers. Coos Bay Public Schools is on a semester schedule and credits are transferred between school districts without issues.
How does the curriculum and/or offered courses compare to Oregon Connections Academy?
Oregon Connections Academy offers a specific computer based curriculum without much flexibility. We can offer a variety of traditional textbook based curriculum and change it on the fly if it's not working. We have used a variety of online vendors for online classes such as Oregon Online and Odysseyware. We feel that project based learning opportunities teach students skills not available through traditional curriculum. We've had students start a beehive for life science, fix a motorcycle for elective credit, attend RL seminars (weekly classes) for English credit, make a (large) catapult for physical science, and create a sewn flag for World Geography credit. As long as we can align projects to state standards and demonstrate that learning is occurring in these areas the sky is the limit!
What are the main differences between your program and Oregon Connections Academy or K12?
At RL we value relationships, relevance, and rigor. We can't speak for Connections Academy or K12 but we know that we communicate often and develop meaningful relationships with our students to find what is relevant to them in their education. We are obligated to challenge our students and that's where the rigor comes in.