A Place for Non-traditional Learners
Individualized Education at its Best
Dallas Community School is a tuition-free public charter school sponsored by Dallas School District and operated by Community Innovation Partners. First developed in 2013 by parents who sought alternative learning opportunities for their children, Dallas Community School serves nontraditional learners in a home learning environment. Our licensed educational guides and our wide variety of community learning experiences empower families to provide a personalized education for every student. The vision of Dallas Community School is to foster a community-based, creative learning environment that connects nontraditional learners and their families to innovative, effective, and customized educational resources. Dallas Community School opened in September 2015.
Resources for Home/Community-Based Learning
Dallas Community School engages and supports students in western Oregon through several programs and services. Each student receives access to a $700 allotment that can be used toward standards-based curriculum, lessons and school supplies. All students are paired with an Education Guide who supports students and their Learning Coaches (parents or other assigned guardian). Guides, Coaches and students work together to develop a Personalized Learning Plan (PLP) that describes learning goals for the coming year. Once the Personalized Learning Plan is developed, parents work with their Guide to obtain curriculum that best meets the needs of their individual student. Attendance at our site in Dallas is not required. However, students can participate in our optional classes at our site and at other sites in the area. We schedule group field trips about every two weeks to complement classes and home learning and inspire curiosity from the experiences. You can see our current course schedule and field trips on our website.
Community Innovation Partners is a Dallas-based nonprofit that was formed in 2013 by families who want to support learning opportunities in Dallas and the surrounding area. Our mission is: Supporting and sustaining the Dallas community and surrounding area through educational opportunities that emphasize innovation, creativity, and individualized learning. CIP is a registered Oregon Public Benefit Corporation and a nonprofit, 501(c)3 organization.
We’re a Public Charter School
Dallas Community School is a tuition-free public charter school for highly-motivated students who are learning in a home/community-based environment. We emphasize and empower personalized learning that includes access to financial support for curriculum, support from licensed teachers, optional onsite classes in Dallas (M-Th), some offsite classes in Dallas and Salem, frequent field trips, family workshops, and social activities.
The advantages to being enrolled in DCS are many, but we also have requirements because of our relationship with the Dallas School District and the funds we receive from Oregon taxpayers. Dallas Community School families agree to the following commitment when enrolling at DCS:
- Parents/guardians are responsible for implementing their Personal Learning Plan (PLP) for their student(s) with guidance from the school and their educational guide.
- Child care at the school site is not provided. All students who are on-site must be enrolled in a class or activity.
- All curriculum and materials purchased by the school (with the funds the school gives to parents) must be secular (non-religious) but families can use any type of curriculum (including religious) in their home learning.
- Students and Learning Coaches (parent/guardian) are required to meet once every two weeks with their assigned Education Guide. There are no exceptions other than verifiable emergency or illness. Most meetings need to be in person, but some can be by phone or video chat.
- Students must participate in learning activities daily, Monday-Friday, with the exception of holidays, vacation days, and excused absences. Learning Coaches (parent/guardian) must submit an attendance record that is provided by DCS and complete regular check-ins.
- Students attending DCS-sponsored classes and field trips are expected to be able to adhere to behavior expectations, age requirements, and course requirements. All students should be ready to fully participate in course activities.
- Students in grades 3 and up are expected to participate in end of year assessments (state testing) as part of our learning community’s agreement with Dallas School District. Opt-out forms are available, but all students are strongly encouraged to participate in assessments in a way that respects the individual student.
- All students will need to participate in our LetsGoLearn online assessments (not state testing) of reading and math skills so that parents, guides and instructors have a good idea of their actual reading levels and math skills and how they are progressing throughout the year.
- All students are required to keep and (occasionally) submit work samples as outlined in the student’s Personalized Learning Plan.
- Learning Coaches must complete all required paperwork prior to the start of school.
- Families living outside the DCS service area (Polk, Marion, Yamhill, Benton, and Linn counties) will be required to travel to the DCS service area to meet with the Education Guide.
We have had two excellent learning guides to help us with homeschool decisions. These guides (who are licensed teachers) are warm, caring, and very knowledgeable. We have amazing educational support so that we are not homeschooling alone! It has been the best school experience we have had as a family, in our 13 years in the education system. We get to pick all the educational materials we need, with the support to do them well. It is a fantastic opportunity to be involved with DCS and this homeschool charter model.Heather