John Muir Charter School

Element Number One: Education Program

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Element Number One: Education Program

A description of the educational program of the school, designed, among other things, to identify those whom the school is attempting to educate, what it means to be an educated person in the 21st century, and how learning best occurs. The goals identified in that program shall include the objective of enabling pupils to become self-motivated, competent, and lifelong learners. A description of how the charter school will inform students, parents and stakeholders about the transferability of courses to other public high schools and the eligibility of courses to meet college entrance requirements.

A. Education Vision

JMCS seeks to develop literate, educated thinkers and achievers who:

  • Respect themselves

  • Respect others

  • Pursue knowledge

  • Apply facts and theories to solve problems

  • Participate productively in the economy and their communities

  • Become motivated and able to learn for a lifetime

JMCS will pursue this vision with a philosophy of:

  • Hiring, supporting, and continuously training a high-quality faculty and administration

  • Working cooperatively with staff, students, and client agencies

  • Tailoring education programs to meet each student’s needs

  • Assessing students on an ongoing basis

  • Holding ourselves accountable for producing positive outcomes

To achieve our objectives, JMCS will:

  • Market our school as broadly as possible to attract talented faculty and staff

  • Create program-improvement teams among our staff, our students, and our client agencies

  • Develop Student Achievement Plans for each of our students

  • Employ innovative real-time assessment instruments to measure student needs and progress

  • Monitor our success in improving student competencies—awarding achievement and correcting deficiencies.

B. Who Will JMCS Educate?

JMCS will operate grades 9-12. JMCS will welcome, as resources are available, all students in the State of California. Admission shall not be determined according to place of residence of the pupil within the state, except that admission preference shall be given to qualified participants of the California Conservation Corps and participating Local Corps, Job Corps, YouthBuild, and Workforce Investment Act programs.

C. Description of the Education Program

The JMCS educational program will be based on the following elements of success:

  • A vision, mission and business operations plan (business operations plan is detailed in the Muir/NCSOS MOU) that focuses on student learning

  • Academically rigorous, well-focused, basic core subject curricula

  • Use a variety of effective teaching approaches to meet the varied learning styles of students

  • Incentives that increase and encourage collaboration among teachers

  • Professional development that puts skills into a context consistent with the overall school mission

  • Autonomy that allows JMCS to develop and implement a process of change tied to high standards and respond to technology innovations

  • Community involvement in and support for school programs

  • Regular measurement of progress toward achieving both student and staff performance goals

  • An online community communication process detailing student and school performance

  • An effective and efficient business process that ensures maximum utilization of private and public resources, both human and financial, to educate our students

JMCS will provide an education that allows each student to: (1) achieve high academic standards; (2) develop and improve social and vocational skills by building self-esteem through achievement and discipline; and (3) work in an environment that promotes learning. JMCS will endeavor to create a menu of learning opportunities for students that may include classroom study, field study and research, guided instruction, on-line learning, work-based academic skills instruction, and other creative modes of instructional delivery developed by staff in partnership with the community.

JMCS recognizes that high school students are going through the most critical times of their lives. Their physical, emotional, and intellectual needs are woven together. These are the years when youth are seeking answers to fundamental questions of life and are developing values and standards that will largely determine their behavior in the future. It is the plan of JMCS to meet the educational needs of each student and provide him or her with the necessary tools to succeed in the 21st Century.
As all JMCS students will be qualified participants in the CCC, LCCs, Job Corps, YouthBuild, Job Corps and WIA programs; most students at JMCS will participate in a sun-up to sun-down educational program. The combination of standards-based core curriculum and vocational training may differ from site to site. Generally, our client agencies will provide general vocational skills curricula for its participating students. A participating student may generally, on a daily basis, be placed on a crew of no more than seventeen students, with a crew supervisor (employed by the client agency). A student may also be placed in an internship program, with a supervisor from a collaborating entity. In both cases, students would be instructed by at least one certificated teacher (employed by JMCS). Furthermore, each student’s crew supervisor, employed by the client agency, will be directed by a certificated JMCS teacher on matters related to school curricula. Through a student’s participation in crew work and/or internship program, the student will make his or her way through the vocational skills of the client agency. The certificated teacher, employed by JMCS, will supplement the vocational curricula with state-aligned common core academic curricula. Students will make continuing progress toward achieving their high school diploma. The students will attend classes held at JMCS sites. Classroom instruction will be augmented by computer-aided instruction.
The classes taught by JMCS shall meet all California State Content Standards and shall be in alignment with the Common Core Standards. Classes include English, health, physical education, computer literacy, life skills, world studies, United States history, economics, civics, mathematics, life science, and physical science. When possible, the contents of these courses will be delivered during the student’s workday while he/she participates in vocational skills and work-study. Courses will be selected for students based upon an educational goal and graduation plan for each student. Upon entering the JMCS, a student will be evaluated for the courses he or she may have completed already. Appendix 4 summarizes the JMCS curriculum and JMCS’s content standard linked Benchmarks and Course Outlines. Appendix 3 displays a sample Student Achievement Plan that JMCS teachers complete and maintain with all students.
When enrolling in the JMCS program, students will meet with the teacher to determine their educational program and personal educational goals. JMCS teachers will discuss the transferability of JMCS coursework and options for advancement in the client agency program while enrolled as a student. Upon completion of the JMCS program, students will meet with the teacher to discuss further educational opportunities in vocational and college education.

D. What it Means to Be an Educated Person in the 21st Century

JMCS helps students in the CCC, LCCs, Job Corps, YB, and WIA programs to acquire the skills to survive and prosper in the 21st century. We will help students to improve their abilities to read, write, compute, speak, ask questions, listen, solve problems, work independently and in teams, use technology, manage time, accept personal responsibility, stay healthy, and relate comfortably to others. JMCS will promote curiosity, integrity, social responsibility and self-esteem.

E. Students Learn Best When the School....

  • Provides a safe learning environment

  • Encourages them

  • Provides them with targeted, exciting, challenging, and comprehensive curricula

  • Allows them to be creative

  • Sets high standards and hold them accountable

  • Treats them fairly and consistently

  • Assesses their progress frequently, diagnose their strengths and challenges, and craft instruction accordingly

  • Makes learning relevant to the world around them

F. Special Education Students/Section 504/ADA:

JMCS shall comply with IDEA, Section 504 and ADA. JMCS shall be solely responsible for compliance with Section 504 and ADA. With regard to serving special education students, JMCS shall be considered a public school of the Local Educational Agency (“LEA”) that granted the charter pursuant to Education Code Section 47641 and shall work jointly with the Superintendent to ensure full compliance with IDEA. JMCS shall execute a MOU with the Superintendent regarding the flow of special education services to JMCS students in accordance with Education Code Section 47646. In accordance with Education Code Section 51745(c), no student with special needs shall be allowed to participate in independent study unless it is written into his or her Individual Education Plan.

G. English Language Learners:

JMCS shall comply with all applicable federal laws related to the education of English Language Learner (“ELL”) students. JMCS shall develop, implement, and maintain policies and procedures for the provision of services to ELL students in accordance with guidance published by the Office of Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Education. At a minimum these policies and procedures shall ensure that JMCS develops a program that:

  • Identifies students who need assistance

  • Provides ELL students with a reasonable chance for success as determined by experts in the field

  • Ensures that necessary staff, curricular materials, and facilities are in place and used properly

  • Assesses the success of the program and modifies it as appropriate

H. Attendance Expectations and School Day Requirements
JMCS will operate four individual operating calendars. Each operating calendar has a minimum of 175 days and 64,800 minutes of instruction. Students are expected to achieve a minimum, average attend at rate of 85%.
Element Number Two: Measurable Pupil Outcomes
The measurable pupil outcomes identified for use by the charter school. Pupil outcomes, for purposes of this part, means the extent to which all pupils of the school demonstrate that they have attained the skills, knowledge, and attitudes specified as goals in the school’s educational program.

A. Student Outcomes

JMCS will improve academic knowledge, skills, and motivation of its students and will measure its success in doing so. JMCS is a WASC accredited school and JMCS credits are transfereable to other schools. JMCS students are prepared to enter the community college system, vocational training or the work force. Graduates of JMCS will demonstrate appropriate age or grade-level mastery of the following core academic skills (JMCS Growth Areas and ELSRs):
GROWTH AREA 1: Students Read and Write Effectively
Pursuant to California State Content Standards and the Common Core Standards, JMCS will prepare its students to:

  • Read actively and derive meaning from written words

  • Read for a variety of purposes

  • Write using grammatically acceptable English

  • Adjust tone and style of writing for purpose and audience

  • Support statements using documented facts, theories, and opinions

  • Separate fact from opinion

  • Reach conclusions logically based on sufficient evidence

  • State key points clearly and succinctly

  • Organize ideas in a variety of ways

GROWTH AREA 2: Students Obtain Key Life Skills
Students will take courses in health, physical education, life skills, community responsibility, and computers. In these courses, students will:

• Take personal responsibility for lifelong wellness

• Improve personal fitness

• Learn about employment and college options

• Build skills as employees, consumers, and financial managers

• Demonstrate involvement in his or her community

• Learn about environmental responsibility

• Enhance computer skills

GROWTH AREA 3: Students Appreciate History, Geography, and Current Events
In completing courses in world history, United States history, and economics, students will be able to:

  • Show understanding of history and identify relationships between past and present events and evaluate causes and effects

  • Compare people, places, and events through history, identifying similarities and differences

  • Describe events and situations in political, economic, social, and intellectual terms

  • Project future events using evidence from the past and present

  • Apply physical and cultural geography to his or her understanding of societies

  • Follow and analyze current events around the world and in their communities

GROWTH AREA 4: Students Understand Government Processes
Students will use a wide range of texts, news media, field trips, and student-government experiences to:

  • Compare and contrast different political systems in the world

  • Understand the formation of the United States and its Constitution

  • Appreciate the balance of powers and the role of each branch of government

  • Study the role of government in society

  • Learn about their privileges and responsibilities in society

GROWTH AREA 5: Students Understand and Apply Mathematical Concepts
Students will learn principles and applications of basic math, algebra, geometry, and statistics. They will:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of basic math principles

  • Use math to solve common and abstract problems

  • Explore ways in which math is used in business, industry, science and daily life

GROWTH AREA 6: Students Apply Scientific Concepts and Skills
Students study life and physical sciences. Students will:

  • Observe, measure, compare, order and categorize characteristics or behaviors

  • Draw inferences about unknowns from information around them

  • Understand the use of the scientific method

  • Recognize the inter-relationships among the scientific themes (energy, interactions, patterns and change) and their application to the four spheres (lithosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere and exosphere).

  • Study the effects of the sciences, technologies, and societies on one another and on the environment.

GROWTH AREA 7: Students Realize Their Own Special Interests and Talents
JMCS, in collaboration with its client agencies, will expose students to various academic, vocational, cultural, and social opportunities. JMCS will assist students in identifying their interests and the skills they need to develop to pursue those interests. JMCS will help students to prepare for education and work after they graduate from or leave JMCS.
JMCS will develop comprehensive assignments and outcome measures for each student in each of the growth areas. The assignments will be tailored to build on each student’s skills and assist them in overcoming challenges they face. The assignments will align with California State education content standards.
Students graduating from JMCS will receive a diploma from the Nevada County Superintendent of Schools. The JMCS course of study will also prepare students for a GED (General Education Development) or a CHSPE (California High School Proficiency Exam).
To best serve our students and community, JMCS will continue to examine and refine its list of student outcomes over time to reflect the school’s mission and any changes to state or local standards. JMCS will submit to the Board of Education a description of any changes to the above student outcomes as an amendment of this charter. The Board of Education agrees to hear and render an amendment decision pursuant to the timelines and processes as specified in the Education Code Section 47605(b).
B. Regular Per-Pupil Assessment of Outcomes
JMCS has developed measurable per-pupil outcomes identified for use by JMCS staff and administration and approved by the JMCS Board of Directors. “Per-Pupil outcomes,” for purposes of this charter, means the extent to which all JMCS students demonstrate that they have attained the skills, knowledge, and attitudes specified as goals in the JMCS educational program as detailed by the JMCS Growth Areas, Benchmarks and Course Outlines and annual measurable governing board goals. JMCS outcomes include outcomes that address increases in per-pupil academic achievement in grade level basic academic skills (mathematics and language arts) both school-wide and for all groups of pupils served by JMCS. JMCS student outcomes align with the California State Content Standards, and the Common Sore Standards.
C. California State Charter Priorities Element 2: Measurable Student Outcomes
Charter School Outcomes that Align with State Priorities Pursuant to Education Code Section 47605(b)(5)(B) are required for all new and renewed charters. The following eight California State Priorities contain a description of JMCS’s outcomes and how they align with the eight state priorities.
State Priority #1 (Basic Services).
The degree to which teachers are appropriately assigned (E.C. §44258.9) and fully credentialed, and every pupil has sufficient access to standards aligned instructional materials (E.C. § 60119), and school facilities are maintained in good repair (E.C. §17002(d))
As tracked through hiring practices and CalPAD’s, JMCS teachers are appropriately assigned and credentialed. JMCS’s measurable goal #1 for State Priority 1 for the 2014-2019 charter cycle is 100% of JMCS teachers will hold K-12 California teaching credentials and be appropriately credentialed for their teaching assignments. Currently, 10 of JMCS’s more than 130 credentialed staff members hold designated subject adult education or adult vocational education credentials. JMCS’s measurable goal #2 for State Priority 1 is that current Muir staff holding adult education or vocational education credentials will transition to k-12 credentials or be replaced by June 30, 2016.
Every JMCS student has sufficient access to standards aligned instructional materials as tracked by JMCS’s database inventory system. JMCS’s measurable goal #3 for the State Priority #1 for the 2014-2019 charter cycle is 100% of JMCS students will have access to materials, lessons and instruction based on JMCS’s stated exit outcomes and correlated to the California State Content Standards and Common Core Standards.

State Priority # 2 (Implementation of CCSS).
Implementation of Common Core State Standards, including how ELL students will be enabled to gain academic content knowledge and English language proficiency.
ELL students in JMCS classes will be assessed on the CDELT test upon entry and again a year later, CELDT data will be used to appropriately place students in courses aligned with JMCS’s stated exit outcomes and correlated to the California State Content Standards and Common Core Standards. As the chart shows below, JMCS serves a high number of EL and IFED students, but very few are re-classified as RFEP. This issue is primarily based on the fact that JMCS client agencies generally serve students for only 1 year. For example, less than 15% of students enrolled on January 1, 2013 were still enrolled on January 1, 2014. To extrapolate this data to ELL, IFEP and RFEP would not be statistically significant. JMCS will continue to track EL progress through CELDT testing for those enrolled more than one calendar year.
CELDT Testing Classification Data for JMCS Students 2010-2013




2010-2013 Average
















JMCS’s measurable goal #4 for the State Priority Number 2 is that by July1, 2018, Muir will have fully incorporated all released Common Core standards as measured through Common Core Standards alignment with Muir’s benchmark based course outlines, Expected School wide Learning Results (ESLRs) and lessons in Muir’s online curriculum resource.
State Priority # 3 (Parental Involvement).
Parental involvement, including efforts to seek parent input for making decisions for schools, and how the school will promote parent participation.
92.5% of JMCS students are over the age of 18. For those 7.5% of minor students, JMCS sites will self-report in a narrative format the degree of parental involvement including efforts to seek parent input for making decision for schools, and how the school site will promote parent participation. For the 92.5% of JMCS students over age 18, JMCS views the staff and organizers of our partnering agencies as the student “parents”, and interact with them through regular site visits, partnering agency associations and meetings with partnering agency liaisons. JMCS’s measurable goal #5 for the State Priority Number 3 is:

  • JMCS staff will meet with staff at each client agency staff a minimum of one time annually.

  • JMCS staff will attend meetings of the California YouthBuild Coalition, the California Association of Local Conservation Corps, and the California Conservation Corps a minimum of one time annually.

  • JMCS staff will work with WIA program directors to assist in forming an Association of WIA agencies to represent WIA programs to JMCS and the JMCS governing board. When a WIA Association has been formed, JMCS will meet with that Association a minimum of one time annually.

State Priority # 4 (Student Achievement). Pupil achievement, as measured by all of the following, as applicable:
A. Statewide assessments (STAR, or any subsequent assessment as certified by SBE)

B. The Academic Performance Index (API)

C. Percentage of pupils who have successfully completed courses that satisfy UC/CSU entrance requirements, or career technical education

D. Percentage of ELs who make progress toward English language proficiency as measured by the CELDT

E. EL reclassification rate

F. Percentage of pupils who have passed an AP exam with a score of 3 or higher

G. Percentage of pupils who participate in and demonstrate college preparedness pursuant to the Early Assessment Program (E.C. §99300 et seq.) or any subsequent assessment of college preparedness
JMCS uses two standardized assessments at the local level, RenStar and TABE, both online grade level equivalency tests. All students will be tested within 30 days of enrollment using these local assessments and subsequently assess every 90 days to determine grade level growth in English and mathematics.
JMCS’s measurable goal #6 for State Priority Number 4 is JMCS students will show an average grade level equivalency growth of 1.5 in reading/language arts and 2 in mathematics for students enrolled more than 365 calendar days. JMCS’s measurable goal #4 is that 90% of JMCS students scoring below grade level 6 in English language arts and mathematics will be enrolled and show progress in a designated intensive remediation course and receive additional intensive remediation services.

State Priority #5 (Student Engagement).
Pupil engagement, as measured by all of the following, as applicable:

A. School attendance rates

B. Chronic absenteeism rates

C. Middle school dropout rates (EC §52052.1(a)(3))

D. High school dropout rates

E. High school graduation rates

Pupil engagement will be tracked and measured by JMCS’s PowerSchool database and the CalPad’s database and reported to JMCS’s Board quarterly. In reporting engagement JMCS will track data in the following areas: Contact time in academic and vocational training, total attendance rate and student attrition rate.
The following table shows JMCS’s average rates for 2010-2013, and goals for 2014-2019.

Data Measurement


2014-2019 Goals

Contact Time Academic

3.2 hours daily

3.5 hours daily

Contact Time Vocational

3.0 hours daily

3.5 hours daily

Contact Time Total

6.2 hours daily

7 hours daily

Attendance Rate



Time in JMCS (days)

277 Days

330 Days

JMCS’s measurable goal #7 for State Priority Number 5 is JMCS students will attend classes at average contact times of 3.5 hours per day for academic classes, 3.5 hours a day for vocational education classes, and average a total school day of 6.2 hours. JMCS students will have an average attendance rate of 85%, and stay in Muir programs for an average of 330 days.
State Priority # 6 (School Climate).
School climate, as measured by all of the following, as applicable:

A. Pupil suspension rates

B. Pupil expulsion rates
In the previous 15 years JMCS has not had any suspensions or expulsions. Because JMCS’s unique legislative mandate requires us to serve students enrolled in our partnering agencies programs, suspensions and expulsions are always at the prerogative of our partnering agencies for infractions of partnering agency participation agreements. Because of this partnership model, JMCS reports students enrolled or not enrolled, present, or absent. JMCS’s measurable goal # 8 for State Priority Number 6 is Muir will develop a measurement and tracking system for students who are suspended or expelled from client agency programs for offenses that occurred in the Muir classroom as detailed in Muir’s suspension and expulsion policy (page 32).
Measurable Outcome: State Priority # 7 (Course Access).
The extent to which pupils have access to, and are enrolled in, a broad course of study, including programs and services developed and provided to unduplicated students (classified as EL, FRPM-eligible, or foster youth; E.C. §42238.02) and students with exceptional needs. “Broad course of study” includes the following, as applicable: English, social sciences, foreign language(s), physical education, science, mathematics, visual and performing arts, applied arts, and career technical education. (E.C.§51220(a)-(i))
Student access and enrollment in a broad course of study is measured and tracked by JMCS’s PowerSchool database and the CalPad’s database. The chart below shows JMCS courses offered by Growth Area (please see Element 2, Section A (pg 13 for a complete description).
Measurable Outcome: State Priority # 7 (Course Access) Continued: Chart of Current and planned Muir Courses.

Growth Area

Number of Courses Available (2010-2013)

Course names

2014-2019 Goals: Number of Courses Available




English Language Development: ESL, Introduction to Language Arts, Intermediate Language Arts, English 9/10, American Literature, World Literature, Creative Writing


Addition of 3 remediation courses/programs



Health, PE, Drivers Training, Life Skills, Computer Literacy, Computer Lab, Computer Demonstration, PE Demonstration


Addition of 3 new Life Skills Courses



World History, US History, Economics


No additions



United States Government


No additions



Principles of Mathematics I,

Principles of Mathematics II,

Principles of Mathematics III,

Pre-Algebra, Algebra, Geometry,Vocational Math, Consumer Math


Addition of 3 remediation course/programs



Life Science, Earth Science


No Additions



Vocational Education, Work Experience, Career Development, German, Italian, French, Spanish, Russian, Chinese, Japanese, Other Foreign Language, Intro to Music, Astronomy

World Physical Geography


Addition of 1-15 agency specific vocational education courses and certifications.

JMCS’s measurable goal # 9 for State Priority 7 is to add three additional ELA remediation courses, 3 additional life skills courses, 3 additional mathematics remediation courses, and up to 15 agency specific vocational education or certification courses.

Measurable Outcome: State Priority # 8 (Other Student Outcomes). Pupil outcomes, if available, in the subject areas described above in #7, as applicable.
JMCS students will make grade level gains and make progress towards achieving Muir’s ESLRs as measured and tracked by JMCS’s PowerSchool database and CalPad’s. JMCS’s measurable goal #10 for State Priority Number 8 is JMCS students will show an average grade level equivalency growth of 1.5 in reading/language arts and 2 in mathematics for student enrolled more than 365 calendar days.
D. Compliance with Academic Standards: California Educational Code 47606b.

As shown in the table below, JMCS has met or exceeded all API targets and growth goals in the last three years.

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