SCHOOL OF MORGAN HILL
A group of parents, educators, business and community members
worked together to create a charter school in the community. This
effort began in February 2000 with a small group that began investigating
steps needed for this project and assessing community interest.
With a positive response from community members, this exploratory
committee moved forward, expanding into a charter launch team.
Our charter was approved in January 2001 by Morgan Hill Unified
School District's school board. Our doors opened for grades K-6
on August 29th, 2001. We added 7th grade in August 2002, and 8th
grade in August 2003.
is a Charter School?
A charter school is a public school that receives its funds directly
from the state. As a public school, it is open to all students
and cannot charge tuition. It operates independently of the education
code and district collective bargaining agreement. Subject to
fewer state regulations and separate from the existing school
district structure, charter schools are free to design innovative
educational experiences for their students, while still held accountable
for both academic results and fiscal practices. They are required
to administer the growing number of state tests as part of their
may write a charter, which must be approved by a local school
board, the county board or even a distant school district board
of trustees. A charter may be granted for a period not to exceed
five years and may subsequently be renewed. The authority that
granted the charter may inspect or observe any part of the charter
school at any time. If a charter school does not meet the pupil
outcomes specified in its charter, the charter can be revoked.
A charter school must have an oversight board guiding its activities.
charter school receives its per student state funding once the
school has opened. Groups must fundraise from numerous sources,
including private donations, state grants, and foundation dollars,
in order to raise the school start-up funds.
is a Charter?
Under California law, a charter document is a binding legal document
that authorizes the school developers to operate a charter school
pursuant to the terms of the charter and any applicable laws.
A charter can also function as an outline of the design framework
for the school, containing the school's vision, mission statement,
student learning goals, and operational principles.
School of Morgan Hill Mission Statement
Charter School of Morgan Hill uses project-based learning, strong family involvement
and community interaction to develop lifelong learners prepared to be successful and innovative participants in the global community.
We are committed
- Developing K-8 students who are self-motivated, self-disciplined,
and socially responsible
- Partnering staff, students, parents, and community, to create
a unique, challenging, and individualized learning environment
with high academic standards and expectations
- Applying academic learning to meaningful real-life activities
through project-oriented programs
- Providing advanced opportunities in science, technology, languages,
the arts, and programs that foster thinking which is independent,
critical, collaborative, reflective, and creative
- Respecting diversity and whole child development - cognitive,
emotional, social, and physical
of School Vision and Mission Statement
explorers developed a vision delineating elements that would be
critical components to the future charter school. Emphasis was
placed on creating an academically strong, community-connected
elementary/middle school program with a strong parent involvement
component. Our mission statement was written to reflect the key
elements of this early model, which are outlined below:
- Standards - Academic achievement will be highly valued;
all students are expected to perform at their highest level
and to excel in the content areas outlined in the state curriculum
- Family participation - Parents and extended family
will contribute in a variety of meaningful ways inside and outside
of the classroom to enhance the learning experience.
- Project based learning - Students will develop and
acquire new skills by participating in interactive activities,
hands on learning, and field trips, in order that learning will
be meaningful, long-lasting, and effective. Project-oriented
programs will apply academic learning to meaningful real-life
- Technology - Every student will have ready access to
computers and use technology across all curricular areas.
- Formal enrichment activities - All students will benefit
from regular exposure to a variety of programs such as extended
science, languages, life skills, music, and other fine arts.
- Community connection - Students will understand their
connection to the community and their responsibilities as citizens.
This could include community service projects and activities
as well as having community members come into the classroom.
- Diversity - A multi-ethnic and multi-lingual population
will attend the school and all cultures will be valued. The
diversity of language, culture, and occupations in our south
valley community will be an important building block in the
- Personalization - The goal is to have a small school
so that each student is well known and a differentiated curriculum
can be applied.
- Other innovative programs - The school's small size,
K-8 structure, and strong family and community involvement components
will lead to increased opportunities for implementing successful
California Department of Education's web site at www.cde.ca.gov/sp/cs/index.asp
for general information about charter schools.
listed below were used by the Charter School launch team to help
explain their vision to others at local events and parent meetings.
is Project-Based Learning? - PDF
Format, MS Word format
Information Sheet - English, PDF
format, MS Word
Information Sheet - Spanish, PDF
Q&A 1-page duplex - English, PDF
format, MS Word format
Q&A 1-page duplex - Spanish, PDF
format, MS Word format
Questions about Charter Schools in General and also specific
to Charter School of Morgan Hill, PDF
format, MS Word format.
Board org chart, Mission &
Contact List, Steering Committee
org chart, or get all three in MS
Status & Checklists
below were used by the Charter School launch team to help track
their progress toward creating the school. We've made them available
here in the hope they may help other groups who are in the process
of developing a charter school.
Beginning September 2000, MS
for keeping track of your volunteer hours,
MS Word format.
How-To's and Helpful Hints,
MS Word format.
Tours Checklist, MS