Welcome to the 2017-2018 school year!  I hope all of our DCS families have enjoyed a summer vacation filled with fun and exciting memories of your loved ones.  We are thrilled to welcome all of you back to a new school year of learning and growing.  We have been busy planning and developing our program; the 2017-2018 school year at DCS is going to be awesome!

All signs point to another incredible and productive school year. Our skilled and devoted staff is already planning and preparing for your child(ren). Our enthusiastic office team is registering new families, ordering needed curriculum and instructional materials and updating student files. We are indeed a joyous and caring community with the common goals of nurturing responsible, caring students and promoting high-level learning.

Personally, I am grateful and elated to continue this journey with you as your Director.  Over the past year, I have learned a great deal about the needs of home school families and how best to provide support to you as the primary teacher for your children. We believe that every person in the “DCS Family” should be growing and learning.  This year parents will have opportunities to become more involved by participating in trainings, enrichment classes, and group discussions about teaching and learning.  I look forward to continuing to build a strong relationship with all of you in the upcoming year.

We look forward to seeing our new and returning families this fall. We can’t wait to provide new classes, field trips, Friday workshops and other exciting improvements. We are working to update our website http://dallascommunityschool.org/ with more current, user-friendly information.  In the near future, you will find all of our calendars, class schedules, fieldtrip, and other helpful information at this site.  2017-2018 is going to be a great year at DCS.  If you have questions related to the school schedule, policies and procedures, etc. please feel free to contact me at the school, (503) 420-4630.


Warmest regards,


Bill Conlon
Director of Dallas Community School

Water Test Results

Water Testing at Dallas Community School – Required Public Reporting


On August 17th the State Board of Education adopted new rules related to testing for lead in schools. This action represents a swift response by state education leaders to ensure the health and safety of all Oregon students. In the news release it said, “The rules require school districts and public charter schools to report to the public findings of lead testing and testing for other environmental health factors within five days of receiving the results, as well as how they will support ongoing monitoring.”

The three water outlets within the DCS site were sampled on Wednesday, August 24th and the results were delivered to Water Lab Corporation in Salem. We received the test results on Monday, September 19th and are reporting the findings.

All fixtures reported No Detection (ND) at the Method Reporting Limit (MRL) of .001 mg/l. The EPA limit is .020 mg/l. As a matter of safety, should the results have had the presence of lead, DCS provided a water dispenser for student use through Sierra Springs. We will continue to make water available through the dispenser, but you now know that DCS water is safe to drink.  If you would like to see a copy of the results please contact the school office at 503-420-4360.


Dennis Schultz
DCS Administrator

We’re in the Statesman Journal!

We’re in the Statesman Journal!

bildeLast week we sat down the Statesman Journal reporter Geoff Parks to chat about our plans for the Cooperative. One we were able to assure him that we weren’t a bunch of crazy hippies (well, we sort of are, really) Geoff asked a ton of great questions and even managed to get a flattering picture. Heartfelt thanks to Geoff and the Statesman Journal for such a positive spin on alternative learning models.

Here’s the link to the article: http://www.statesmanjournal.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2014301220011

And here’s the text:

Learning model includes parents’ help
Written by Geoff Parks Special to the Statesman Journal
Jan. 21 statesmanjournal.com
Three moms and one stay-at-home dad are riding the crest of a September 2013 lunchtime idea to form a new kind of learning experience for children in the Dallas area.

Wendy Sparks, Erin Miller, Rebecca Rutan and Casey Sparks had their meal last fall and “started thinking about what we could do that would fit the needs of our kids (school-wise), and it just developed from there,” Wendy Sparks said.

The idea they came up with was to create a combination home-schooling/guided instruction learning model they call the Mahonia Learning Cooperative — also called a “parent-driven collective” and a “homeschool mixed with a cottage school” in their promotional literature.
The cooperative is, in effect, an open learning “program,” not a school at all, said Casey Sparks. Mahonia Learning Cooperative is listed as a non-profit entity, and should have its 501(c)(3) designation by this fall.

“We consider the Mahonia Learning Cooperative to be a creative hybrid between what a home school provides and the learning community that a public school provides,” Wendy Sparks said.
Mahonia will limit enrollment to 17 students entering grades K through 6 when it opens in the fall of 2014, she said, adding that the school’s “basic vision” notes it is not a private school, but a model that makes the parents “ultimately responsible for the education of their children.” Management of the cooperative is the duty of a Council of Parents.

The Mahonia Learning Cooperative morning curriculum from 8 a.m to noon will be led by a
tutor/facilitator/instructor (not necessarily a certified teacher), and will use the Moving Beyond the Page homeschool curriculum. That “interdisciplinary,” literature-based curriculum is said to stimulate critical and creative thinking through independent and small-group learning. Sparks said it was developed “for children who are either gifted or tend to learn with their hands or learn creatively.”

In the afternoons (from noon to 3 p.m.), the cooperative hopes to get the kids all STEAM-ed up with
activities led by parent and community volunteers with expertise in subject areas such as Science,
Technology, Engineering, Art and Math (STEAM).