Committed to Equity

In light of current events, it seems the appropriate time to reaffirm that the staff and school board at the Dallas Community School are unwavering in our commitment to equity and anti-discrimination principles. Although this has not changed, after watching the unrest in the world as of late, I thought it important to remind the Dallas Community that equity principles exist and we remain committed to those principles as we continue to work to make DCS a just and welcoming environment.

Bill ConlonExecutive Director, Dallas Community School

Upcoming Parent Events

Prospective Families Open HouseJan. 16 from 5:00 to 6:00 pm – for families interested in getting into DCS next September – – please let your homeschooling friends know if you think they would be interested (or friends who would be interested in starting to homeschool but might like some support, community and resources)! 

Parent Workshops: 

January 22 from 2:45-4:45 pm (Emergency and Disaster Preparation in School Age)

February 7 from 9:00-11:00 am (Educational Planning and Goal Setting)

March 6 from 9:00-11:00 am (Emotional Intelligence)

Great start to fall term classes!

Despite some delays due to remodeling, the DCS staff agreed that this may have been the most smooth first week of a school year yet at DCS! The building has been very busy, with lots of families coming in for meetings, to preview and borrow curriculum materials, and to start onsite classes. Our (optional) classes this term are phenomenal – we were able to get Rock Clibming on the schedule at the last minute, add two more sessions of swimming lessons, and have some super cool onsite options like Chess, Cryptology, Seuss-ucation, Debate, Songwriting, Rock Music & Politics, several Physics classes, a Food Pod money, math and management series, and lots of great art offerings, among many others. We are also loving the friendships and interactions among all the students in classes and during our lunch and recess periods. Families are also hearing good things from their kids – When one grandmother asked “so, are all your classes good this term?” Her granddaughter said “No, they’re not all good. They’re all GREAT!” 

We are looking forward to our upcoming field trips like our forest walk, pumpkin patch visit, Evergreen Aviation Museum, Oregon Historical Society, and the Gilbert House, plus class trips to the fire station, arboretum, food truck, and others. We are so lucky to be able to provide all of these learning opportunities to our home learners! Every class and field trip is an opportunity to spark their curiosity and get them interested in learning more later on. 

Learn on!

No morning classes at DCS April 8-11 – State Testing

Just a reminder – we will be conducting SBAC / State Testing every morning this week at DCS for grades 3-8 so there will be no morning classes in the building this week. Luckily, rock climbing will still take place in Salem on Friday morning as usual! Afternoon classes take place as normal starting at 12:30 every afternoon. If you’d like to sign up for testing time slots, or try out the practice tests with your child(ren), check out our OAKS / SBAC webpage.

Now accepting applications for 2019-2020 school year

If you would like your child(ren) to have access to a flexible, nontraditional, community-based education at DCS, with our excellent instructors, resources, and services to help personalize their home learning, we will be accepting applications for new students until May 6, 2019. Prospective families are strongly encouraged to attend one of the information sessions to learn more about DCS before submitting their application. The first information session for prospective families will be on Thursday, February 21 from 4:00 to 5:00 pm at Dallas Community School, 124 SW Walnut Ave., Dallas, OR.

OMSI Field Trip

Thursday, January 10, 2019 – 10:15 to 2:45 – OMSI – King Tut Exhibit, Planetarium Show, and Hands-On Science Experiments – Portland, Or (K-8)

Location: OMSI – 1945 SE Water Ave., Portland, OR
Date: Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2019
Time: 10:15 am to 2:45 pm (drive and meet us there at 10:15 or meet at DCS at 8:15 to ride the bus and return to DCS by 4:30 pm)

All DCS students (K-8) may attend – one adult chaperone entry fee is paid by DCS – extra adult chaperones and non-DCS siblings will cost $15 (to be paid in advance directly to DCS). $10 will be deducted from each student’s $300 Classes and Field Trips allotment fund for this field trip.

Sign up on this online form (below) – deadline for registration is Friday, December 28, 2018.

This may be one of our best field trips yet! We have a full day of activities scheduled at OMSI, including a planetarium show, a hands-on science experiments led by OMSI staff, and a visit to the very special King Tut Exhibit in its last week! We have a bus booked, so families can meet us at DCS and board the bus at 8:15 (departing by 8:30) and returning to DCS around 4:30 pm, or drive to OMSI and meet there at 10:15 am. Children under age 5 may not ride the bus (school district policy).

Check out the schedule of activities here: 

Parents with kids in different age groups will go with their youngest child(ren) and their older child(ren) will be supervised by DCS staff during the group activities. The King Tut Exhibit takes about one hour. The group entering at 1:15 will be able to explore OMSI after they pass through the exhibit (no need to be out of that exhibit at 1:45).

Sign up on this online form – deadline for registration is Friday, December 28, 2018.


Registration for this field trip is now closed. Keep an eye on our website for more upcoming field trips!

From the Inside Out – A View through the Lens of a Educational Guide

From the Inside Out – A View through the Lens of a Educational Guide
By Cheri Reinke
DCS Educational Guide/Licensed Teacher

Our new learning space at the DCS site.
Our new learning space at the DCS site.

This past April I was scanning through the classifieds ads on Craigslist, in an effort to help my oldest son find employment. I stumbled upon an ad looking for “Educational Guides” at a new charter school in Dallas, Oregon. I was intrigued, especially when I saw one phrase that caught my eye, “out of the box teacher.”   I kept reading.

When I finished reading the job description, I was in tears.  This was the job that I have envisioned in my mind.  It encompassed all that I was in a teacher and it took away the limitations of a traditional classroom and allowed me the freedom to work with kids in such a unique and truly individualistic way.  I couldn’t stop thinking about it and I knew that I had to apply.

I was so content at my current position and I wasn’t looking for a change in schools.  When I told my principal at my school about the position and I knew she wouldn’t be happy.  After reading the job description, she told me I had to go for it.  That position was written for me.

What does a twenty year teacher from a private school background do going into a brand new public charter school?  Learn! Explore!  Investigate!  Study! Ask Questions!  Isn’t that the very same model that I am striving to model for my learners?  How am I going to do that?  What model am I going to use?  How do I teach multiple ages at one time and make it fun and hands on?  How do I work with my families off site?

The past month we have been working very long days.  I know I say this from all of us working side by side, and we don’t have all the answers but we are tirelessly working to figure it out. We are learners. We will make mistakes. One thing I share with my students is that  there is nothing wrong with making mistakes.  It is what you do with what you have that matters.  It the first path doesn’t work, take another.  Don’t quit.  Think positive.

At Dallas Community School we are a team of learners that want the very best of our students.  We want kids that are allowed to think and do and be.  We want to give them the opportunities to be kids and to wonder and grow.  As one of four educational guides, I look forward to working with you side by side and working to make this school outstanding.

Find ways to be involved.  We need you.

Cheri Reinke

Educational Guide