The Ross Valley Charter Mission
Our mission at RVC is to encourage curiosity and inquiry, foster cultural competency and social-emotional learning, and develop a confident love of learning. Our program goes beyond progressive education by using inquiry, exploration, and hands-on, immersion-based experiences. The multi-age experience creates strong bonds and a solid foundation for exploration.
Inquiry is the spirit of our program. Inquiry Arcs are mindful, deep studies of a single topic. They begin with questions, observations, and research, and culminate in exhibits, performances, and reenactments. Throughout the arcs, our teachers embed state standards into students' work. Harnessing the power of curiosity and discovery, students become motivated in their academic work and develop perseverance and self-reliance. These investigations lead students to master reading, writing, mathematics, and other skills and content they need to produce high quality, original work. Our organic approach helps students excel on the standardized tests by which student and school performance are regularly measured.
At RVC, our active, learning-by-doing approach prepares students to work effectively together in teams, think critically, seek information to solve problems, and be lifelong learners and culturally competent members of our diverse global community.
"We honor each child's best approach to learning -- doing, writing, thinking -- each is different"
- Rebecca Wicker, TK/K/1 Classroom Teacher
At Ross Valley Charter School, We Believe...
- Students learn best when constructing their own knowledge in a social context that offers rich and challenging content, collaboration with fellow students and parents, and teachers acting as facilitators of this process.
- Student voice, choice, and engagement are critical to supporting student agency and knowledge construction.
- A thriving and joyful learning community has inclusive decision-making structures that foster teacher and parent engagement, collaboration, and shared ownership of the committed work of graduating students who are critical thinkers and creative problem solvers prepared for the 21st Century.
Beliefs Put Into Practice
At RVC we put our core beliefs into practice with the following techniques:
- Multi-age Classes—Two grade levels are together in one class, allowing teachers and children to enjoy a two-year relationship, and giving students the opportunity to alternate being the younger and older student in their class. Because each student has the same teacher for two years, it allows a deep relationship between teacher and student and an understanding of how best to help the student thrive.
- Inquiry-based Learning —Curriculum rely heavily on project- and problem-based learning, long-term units of study integrating many curricular areas, going in depth and examining a topic from many angles, and increasing students’ engagement and interest.
- Deep Learning Through the Gift of Time—Students are given long blocks of time in which to work on projects. Teachers have in-depth weekly meetings in which to collaborate, discuss student progress, and engage in professional development.
- Educating the Whole Child—The focus is not just on academic growth, but also physical and social-emotional development.
- Connected Community—Students, teachers, staff, and parents are all considered integral parts of the school community. Teachers focus on developing a strong community within the classroom as well as within the whole program, and will encourage students to see their role as a member of the larger community as well.
- Authentic Assessment—Students’ ongoing classwork and projects are assessed to show academic growth and progress toward Common Core State Standards, which reflect the importance of 21st Century skills such as problem solving, collaboration, and communication.
- Collaboration and Collective Responsibility—Students have many opportunities to work with a partner or small group. Teachers spend time working together weekly to plan curriculum and events.
- Differentiation—With two grade levels in one classroom, teachers focus on individual learning progress, customizing instruction and guidance to accommodate students’ needs.
- Cultural Competency—Students learn about people from different cultures and backgrounds throughout history and contemporary society. Teachers and students model appreciation for differences and inclusion of all members of the school community.
- Choice—Students have many opportunities to make choices about what they will learn, how they will learn it, what materials they use, and how they present their learning.
- Service Learning—Each class completes at least one service learning project per year that the students help to identify, plan, and carry out.
Talk to us!
Want to know more about RVC? Drop us an email and we'll answer your questions or set up a time to talk with our staff and teachers.