About Our School
- Definition of Educational Terms
- Education Philosophy and Methods
- Frequently Asked Questions
Sage Community School (Sage) is an elementary charter school committed to Place-Based, Project-Based Education, integrating academic excellence with experiential learning opportunities.
Our school’s mission includes three primary and interwoven themes: 1) local Tribal culture (includes current and historic developments); 2) Natural Resources (includes the local environment, Natural Resource Agencies, and sustainability concerns); and 3) Agriculture (includes ranching, gardening, learning the farm to table process). These three themes serve as a foundation for students to connect with the local culture, history, and environment through place-based projects, community members’ visits or community visitors, field trips, and other active, hands-on, and locally relevant experiences.
Academic Philosophy: Academic success is a guiding principle at Sage with students learning and applying theoretical knowledge and critical thinking skills within the context of experiential, project-based learning activities. Students gain the tools to be successful and capable in their educational pursuits, as well as develop a deep connection to their culture and environment. Creativity and discovery is balanced with established goals in academic achievement and the acquisition of fundamental skills and knowledge.
Family and Community Collaboration: Families and community members are considered essential partners in the education of students in and out of the classrooms. Sage encourages an academic experience that extends beyond the walls of the school into the local community. When students value their own home place, the commonalities and differences between their local area and other places in the state, country and world can be recognized and appreciated.
Indian Agency Location: Sage’s location at the former “Indian Agency” provides a meaningful connection between the past history of this area and the exploration of Sage’s three themes: the Klamath Tribal culture, Natural Resources and Agriculture. The Agency was established in 1866 as the administrative headquarters for the Klamath Indian Reservation. The first school on site was built in 1870. The village once housed numerous structures including a hospital, gymnasium, and a mill site. Sage students occupy the old nurses’ bunkhouse, as well as, the former superintendent’s house. The property is adjacent to the Winema National Forest and has a perennial spring-fed creek, wetland marshes and riparian habit – home to aquatic life, forest creatures, and bald eagles. This ideal location creates a dynamic opportunity for exploring history, nature, and science within the school grounds.
Definition of Educational Terms
Place-Based Education: A sound sense of place creates ownership of community making for respectful personal choices that benefit the community, the land, relationships and ultimately, the home environment. Real and relevant local learning will be ultimately connected to a broader, global understanding applicable to life beyond our immediate region.
Project-Based Learning: An education commitment to collaborative learning with peer and inquiry learning through on-site lab and field experiences. Partnerships developed with the community demand innovative learning methods with guest speakers and instructors. A superior academic program targets student interest and celebrate cultural differences.
Core Subjects: Sage integrates standards-aligned curriculum within the context of multiple, project-based studies across studies in natural resources, Klamath Tribal culture and agriculture, instilling in our youth a strong sense of place. Individual attention given to students and the opportunities they have for field experiences are best accomplished in a small learning environment. Our targeted 15-student class size will allow for greater consideration of individual student learning styles and flexibility in scheduling.
Experiential Learning: The combined approach integrating Place-Based, Project-Based and core subjects through field studies, offering students opportunities for innovative, learner-centered projects. Motivated students have the flexibility to carry out deeper topic exploration.
Education Philosophy and Methods
Small, blended classrooms: Classes targeted at 15-18 students and blending two grades encourage cross-age interactions, greater social, academic and intellectual development, and consistency in teacher, student, and parent relationships.
Learner-centered: Individual learning strengths are identified through unique assessments (portfolios and journals) for effective instructional design.
Interdisciplinary: The standards-based educational program includes thematic programs allowing for flexibility and integration of instructional resources and assessments.
Inquiry learning: Project and place-based programs utilize themes of natural resources, agriculture, and local cultures allow students opportunities to ask questions and discover possibilities.
Collaborative teaching/learning: Teachers work as a team to develop an educational framework vertically aligned between grades. Students communicate their intellectual, academic, and social experiences with schoolmates, teachers, family and community.
Unique standards: From cultural awareness to recycling, Sage supports an educational model that preserves local heritage and minimizes environmental impact. Sustainability is inherent in the place-based education model.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is a charter school?
A: A charter school is a free public school monitored by its own school board, but sponsored by the area’s school district. The purpose for establishing charter schools is to provide learning models that differ from traditional schools, finding innovative methods to increase student understanding and achievement. The state funds all public schools based upon the daily attendance of each student.
Q: Who may attend Sage Community School?
A: Enrollment is open to all students of appropriate age within the district. Sage currently includes grades K-6 as well as a pre-K program. Sage is expanding to include the 7th grade for the 2009-10 school year and expect to add 8th grade during the year after.
Q: How does Sage differ from traditional schools?
A: Sage offers small, blended classes and project-based learning opportunities where understanding of core subjects is enhanced through hands-on, real-world studies.
Q: Are teachers licensed?
A: Only Oregon licensed teachers trained in the methodologies unique to the school are employed at Sage.
Q: Are a lunch program and bus service available?
A: Sage offers the same meal program available at the Chiloquin schools – including free and reduced-fee lunches. A district school bus takes students to and from Chiloquin Elementary to Sage.