School designed with learning in mind

MCP is more than a school. We have developed our programs and schedules to respond to the best research on how learning occurs and the staff’s extensive experience with students in the classroom.

We begin our day with exercise (9 am-9:50 am)  and structured play in which all members of our community participate. Staff and students walk together and play together, building authentic relationships, strengthening our bodies and forging a strong community. The combination of routine exercise, team learning and flexible communication highlights social learning and transcends traditional teacher-student relationships.

Our Academic day begins at 9:50 am. In recent years many independent researchers have shown the educational benefits for teens of starting the school day later. These benefits are maximized when students begin academic work with their bodies centered through exercise.

Academic classes are 80 minutes long to allow for a complete learning cycle of introduction, practice, direct instruction, independent work and reflection. Each class emphasizes not only the specific skills and content expected of the course, but also the cognitive and metacognitive requirements of the subject. The learning environment includes multiple assessments and self assessments many of which are hands on and emphasize real world applications and mastery.

Developing strong habits of mind and executive function is emphasized through school-wide systems and in each class. Students review their academic performance and personal goals every Monday and chart a plan for the week. On Friday’s they review their achievements and identify what they need to complete over the weekend.

Small classes (4-8 students) allow for both academic and social collaboration, and also for personalization of content. Students are grouped by ability and need. Classes often have a mix of grade levels. Class assignments can be individualized, so students may complete their work at different levels and in different ways. 

Because all people learn at different rates we build in time for students to get additional support from their teachers for assignments, projects and homework during each school day. Students meet with teachers during office hours and during our 21st Century Skills class Monday-Thursday.