In the News

13Dallas_Comm_School_4_t670April 2015: A Fresh Approach to Learning (Polk County Itemizer Observer)

DALLAS — The typical school day at Dallas Community School, a first- through eighth-grade charter school looking to open in the fall, won’t look like a school day at all.

No full days in a classroom, no teacher responsible for teaching the three “Rs.” Instead, students will attend “class” at home under the supervision of their “educational coach” — typically a family member — and “educational guide,” a licensed teacher assigned to oversee progress on individual learning plans.

Wendy Sparks, a Dallas Community School (DCS) board member, describes the school as “home schooling for busy…READ MORE

December 2014: Community School Plans to Move Ahead (Polk County Itemizer-Observer)

DALLAS — Dallas Community School, a proposed charter school, did not receive the federal start-up grant it was seeking, but will proceed with recruiting students and opening next fall.

On Dec. 8, the Dallas School Board approved the school’s amendment to its original charter proposal. All the changes were in the school’s three-year budget estimate, revised to account for not receiving the grant.

Dallas Assistant Superintendent Cory Bradshaw said the district — the charter sponsor — could treat the change as an entirely new proposal, which would require a hearing to take comment on the application…READ MORE

April 2014: New charter school proposed for Dallas (Polk County Itemizer-Observer)


January 2014: Learning model includes parents’ help (Statesman Journal)

sal0122-ptmahoniaThree 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…READ MORE