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Weekly Student Project Class

Group of Masada Charter School students meet in Morning Salute for morning message.
Students meet in Morning Salute for morning message.

Masada Charter School is a small Title I rural school, serving students in kindergarten through ninth grade. Masada offers a Project Class for two hours every Friday. Masada designed the class so students could pursue personal interests and create dynamic learning projects of their choice.  The purposes are to encourage student choice, stimulate student interest, and reduce potential student dropout in junior or senior high years.

Students choose a project of interest, write a proposal for the project with anticipated learning outcomes, and set a trajectory for how long they expect the project to take. The kinds of projects students create cover a huge range of topics, activities, and ideas. Examples include cooking projects, aquaponics, STEM projects, and Tae Kwan Do. Project ideas are not denied unless they are considered dangerous.

In Project Class, teachers are viewed as project managers. Teachers (project managers) help the students find a mentor, whether in the community or online. The mentor helps the student design appropriate learning goals, guide and regulate the learning progress through the trimester, and then grade the project at presentation time.  During class or throughout the week in the evenings, students make appointments to meet with their mentor either in person or by video conferencing, phone, or email.

Three times a year, students participate in a presentation of learning where they share their projects and their learning with parents and community members. In addition, Masada encourages students to write a grant that will fund the materials for their projects, and many students are successful. Additional funds for the project grants are obtained through fundraising efforts each year.

School Information

Masada Charter School

Ms. Polly Dockstader

Principal at Time of Nomination

365 West Cannon Avenue, #2277
Colorado City, AZ 86021-2277
(928) 875-2525
Student Demographics 2022
Number of students grades K-9501
Students eligible for subsidized meals67%
Students receiving special ed services27%
Student mobility rate2%
African American students0%
White students100%
Hispanic or Latino students0%
American Indian or Alaska Native0%
Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander0%
Two or more races0%