What drives community culture at MITCH? ● At MITCH, we strive to create a school community that cultivates a sense of belonging for each and every student. We celebrate knowing that our diversity is our strength. We listen to our families. We engage our staff and school leadership in reflective, complex conversations that develop capacity and commitment to Culturally Responsive Teaching and Social Emotional Learning. ● School culture is built around the three pillars of our school board's equity statement. Access| Ensure that racially and socioeconomically diverse students have equitable access to excellent educators, those teachers and leaders who are impactful and empowering. Inclusion | Involvement and empowerment; Where the fundamental value and dignity of all people are accepted. MITCH develops and maintains a sense of belonging and practices respect for the talents, abilities, backgrounds, and lifestyles of its families. Opportunity | With access and inclusion combined, we will make MITCH a beacon in our community. ● The school's Equity Team and Board of Directors have developed the All Students Belong Rule to more deeply integrate equity driven policy into our school's infrastructure.
What is unique about the MITCH curriculum? ● Core Knowledge (CK) is sequenced learning from Kindergarten through 5th grade, so units build clearly and logically on prior years’ learning objectives. CK includes History, Language Arts, and Science topics. It also includes art and music, which are covered in specials (Art, Music, PE and Agriculture). It is a thematic approach that allows for reading and writing, science, math, and the arts to be woven together during each unit. More information can be found at https://www.coreknowledge.org.
What Core Knowledge topics are covered at each grade level? ● Kindergarten History: Geography, Native American Peoples, Early Exploration and Settlement, Presidents, Symbols and Figures Science: Pushes and Pulls, Needs of Plants and Animals, Changing Environments, Weather Patterns, Biographies ● 1st Grade History: Geography, Early World Civilizations, History of World Regions, Modern Civilization and Culture: Mexico, Early American Civilizations: Maya in Mexico and Central America, Early Exploration and Settlement, The American Revolution, Early Colonial Exploration of the American West, Symbols and Figures Science: Sun, Moon and Stars, Plant and Animal Survival, Exploring Light and Sound, Simple Machines, The Human Body: Skeletal and Muscular Systems, Science Biographies ● 2nd Grade History: Geography, Mythology of Ancient Greece, American Folk Heroes and Tall Tales, Early Asian Civilizations, Modern Japanese Civilization, Ancient Greek Civilization, The American Constitution, The War of 1812, Colonial Expansion in America, The Civil War, Immigration and Citizenship, Fighting for a Cause, Symbols and Figures Science: Properties of Matter, Organisms and their Habitats, Exploring Land and Water, Electricity and Magnetism, The Human Body: Cells and Digestion, Science Biographies ● 3rd Grade History: Geography, Ancient Roman Civilization, The Vikings, Earliest Americans, The Thirteen Colonies Science: Investigating Forces, Life Cycles, Traits and Variations, Habitats and Change, Weather and Climate, The Human Body: Human Senses ● 4th Grade History: Geography, Europe in the Middle Ages, Spread of Islam, Early and Medieval African Kingdoms, American Revolution, Constitutional Government, Early Presidents and Politics, Reformers, Symbols and Figures Science: Energy Transfer and Transformation, Investigating Waves, Structures and Functions of Living, Processes that Shape the Earth, Using Natural Resources for Energy, The Human Body: Respiration & Circulation, Biographies ● 5th Grade History: Geography, Early American Civilizations, European Exploration, Trade, and the Clash of Culture, the Renaissance and the Reformation, England from the Golden Age to the Glorious Revolution, Russia: Early Growth and Expansion, Feudal Japan, Colonial Expansion in America, The Civil War, Native Americans: Cultures and Conflicts Science: Investigating Matter, Energy and Matter in Ecosystems, Modeling Earth's Systems, Protecting Earth's Resources, Astronomy: Space Systems
What is the school dress code? ● Uniform Guidelines: please refer to the Family Handbook on the Family Resources Page.
How do you do recess and lunch here? ● Most MITCH classes have two recesses. One with their grade level is 15 minutes and monitored by the grade level teachers. Lunch recess is 20 minutes long and there can be more than one grade level on the playground at a time. This recess is monitored by Art, Ag, PE, Music teachers, Admin, and Instructional Assistants. ● Students eat lunch in their classroom or at the outdoor lunch tables when weather permits.
What is homework like at this school? ● Assigned homework can vary from grade to grade, and within a grade from day to day. Parents can expect more homework when students are preparing for projects or class events. Below is a general idea of grade-level homework expectations. ○ Kindergarten - Reading; optional, supplemental Math, sight words ○ 1st Grade - Optional Math homework, 10-20 minutes reading ○ 2nd Grade - Any unfinished Math work becomes homework, fluency and comprehension questions, read to family. ○ 3rd Grade - Math homework, practice Math facts, read 20 minutes. ○ 4th Grade - Any unfinished Math work becomes homework, literacy homework, 20 minutes reading ○ 5th Grade - Any unfinished Math work becomes homework, reading log, writing, history/science study sheet.
How do you think your smaller class and school size impact student learning? ● Small class size has multiple positive effects on student learning. Teachers have more time to spend individually with students, giving students more opportunities to participate. At the same time, student anxiety about participation often decreases. Finally, small class size contributes to a tighter-knit learning community, where students are often each other’s greatest supporters and advocates. ● Kindergarten classes maintain a 15 student maximum. 1st - 5th grade maintain a 20 student maximum.
Do staff collaborate for the purpose of increasing student achievement? ● Staff collaboration exists within both grade-level teams and across the school. Teachers work together with their grade-level colleague to plan and implement curriculum. We work together across grade levels, so each teacher has the resources they need to understand students and differentiate according to their needs.
What are your specials like? ● Art Education at MITCH connects and builds upon the Core Knowledge grade level content and exposes children to a wide range of art and artists. ● The MITCH Physical Education program strives to teach students teamwork and good sportsmanship through fun physical activities and motor skills. It promotes essential body management skills, utilizes MITCH Core Knowledge grade level content, and satisfies the Oregon Core Standards for grade level achievement in physical education. ● Agriculture Education explores historical, scientific and cultural material embedded in the Core Knowledge Curriculum through hands-on lessons in the classroom and our school garden. It satisfies Next Generation Science Standards, Common Core and Learning for Justice Social Justice Standards. Classes receive quarterly agriculture classes, in which students learn about Indigenous Seed Rematriation. During class, students most often visit and tend to the school garden. In poor weather, inside experiments and observation, as well as cooking are learned. ● Music Education combines Core Knowledge music history topics, hands on learning with instruments, singing and learning to read music.
What does parent involvement look like here? ● Help in the classroom with students ● Chaperone field trips ● Help with Core Knowledge events ● Lunch/recess duty ● Read with students ● Clerical work (make copies, filing, grading, etc.). ● Work in the garden ● Help with building maintenance
What is the activity fee and what is it used for? The $300 per student activity fee pays for classroom consumables, Core Knowledge Events and field trips. Financial assistance is available. A non-refundable deposit of $100, paid at the time of accepting an offered seat or when submitting an Intent to Return for the following school year, is deducted from the $300 annual Activity Fee. Why do you ask for a family contribution and is it required? MITCH does not require a family contribution. MITCH receives 80% of the State School Fund from the district. The State School Fund is explained in more detail in the next question. We rely on family contributions (suggested at $600) in order to make up for this funding difference. Family contributions go directly toward MITCH’s operational budget to keep the doors of the school open. That is different than any donations that go to the PSO for special projects for the school. Though we do not require a family contribution, our budget depends on help from families.