What is a charter school?
A charter school is a tuition-free public school created and operated by parents, educators, and community groups to fill an educational need not otherwise fulfilled by traditional schools—a charter can direct its resources where its students need resources most. To find out more about charter schools, visit the CA Public Charter School FAQs page.
Will students at SFCS say the Pledge of Allegiance, salute the flag, and study the constitution?
What does science and sustainability mean in the SFCS mission?
Sustainability goes hand-in-hand with science in the SFCS Mission focus. SFCS knows that Mariposans have a strong affinity for their local environment and for their community. The sustainability focus of the SFCS mission means SFCS will teach students to honor, understand and preserve the traditional uses of land and community in Mariposa and Catheys Valley such as ranching and agriculture, and to appreciate and understand the fantastic natural resources in Mariposa County. Teaching science through the Learning Garden and the local environment is one way SFCS will do this. Students will also learn local natural history, to identify local plants and animals, and to understand what it takes to sustain a ranching culture and economy.
Who can attend Sierra Foothill Charter School?
Every family interested in participating in a small, community-focused school.
Why aren’t you called Catheys Valley Charter School?
We are a school that aims to attract students from the entire region including neighboring counties.
Do charter schools meet state standards?
Yes, as public schools, charter schools must meet state and national academic standards. In addition, they must be nonsectarian, administer all state-wide academic performance tests, and cannot discriminate based on disability, ethnicity, national origin, age or gender.
What rules govern the hiring of teachers by charter schools?
Charter schools must hire only credentialed teachers, and cannot prevent teachers from forming unions.
How are charter schools different from private schools?
Charter schools are public schools. There is NO tuition.
How would MCUSD be fiscally impacted by the opening of a charter school?
Fiscally, SFCS could contribute back to MCUSD’s bottom line by annually leasing its campus from the district, by paying encroachment fees to the district for special education services to students, and by paying contracts to the district for various administrative services. SFCS will additionally benefit MCSUD and Mariposa County by attracting new public and private investment and partnerships in the Mariposa public school system, and by helping to attract new resident property owners to Mariposa County.
What is the Land and Legacy Project?
The Land and Legacy Project was created by Mariposa County residents and is based at the former Catheys Valley Elementary campus site. The project’s purpose is to help students understand, appreciate, and conserve the natural resources, rural landscapes, history, and rural lifestyle of their Catheys Valley home. Aspects of the project include an outdoor classroom, bluebird conservation project, oral history program, and much more, as described in this Land and Legacy Project document. The project was in the early stages of integration at Catheys Valley Elementary when the campus was closed, and was endorsed by the Mariposa County Unified School District and Mariposa County Board of Supervisors in 2007. SFCS plans to build on the foundations of this project.