School designed with learning in mind
MCP is more than a school. Our programs and schedules reflect 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 for learning the subject. Classes are taught with a balance of hands-on and traditional assignments, culminating each quarter with an "anchor project".
Developing strong habits of mind for organization and executive function is embedded throughout school-wide systems and in each class. Students review their academic performance and personal goals each Monday and chart a plan for the week. On Thursdays they engage in a self-reflective review of their achievements and progress that week. On Fridays, they review the week and identify what they need to complete over the weekend.
Small classes (4-8 students) allow for academic and social collaboration, for personalization of content and for differentiation. We endeavor to group classes by academic ability, social maturity and personality. Classes often have a mix of grade levels. In order for students to complete their work at different levels and in different ways instructional practices are differentiated for each student's learning profile, and assignments are personalized when appropriate.
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.