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 InformationMasada Charter School
Ms. Polly Dockstader
Principal at Time of Nomination
Colorado City, AZ 86021-2277
|Student Demographics 2022|
|Number of students grades K-9||501|
|Students eligible for subsidized meals||67%|
|Students receiving special ed services||27%|
|Student mobility rate||2%|
|African American students||0%|
|Hispanic or Latino students||0%|
|American Indian or Alaska Native||0%|
|Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander||0%|
|Two or more races||0%|