Our mission is to personalize learning through a collaboration of family, community and school; to nurture the innate curiosity of our students; ignite their passion for learning; and prepare them for lifelong success.
Instruction that supports diverse, personalized approaches towards learning:
- Student-centered, authentic, flexible and creative.
- Meets diverse educational needs and learning styles (tutors, inquiry-based, field trips, hands-on, mentors).
- Delivered by positive and enthusiastic teachers who are knowledgeable about their subjects.
- Student-driven, wherein student assumes responsibility and ownership for his or her education.
Curriculum that supports families with educational resources, guidance and opportunities:
- Comprehensive and state standards based.
- Supports diverse educational needs and learning styles.
- Focuses on student-centered, individualized learning.
- Incorporates challenging and engaging learning materials and activities.
Assessment that supports diverse and personalized approaches:
- Ongoing and formative.
- Assumes high expectations for students.
- Respects different learning styles by providing a variety of assessment methods.
- Involves students in goal planning and reflective self-assessment.
Environment is a safe and nurturing learning environment for all community members:
- Provides opportunities for all students to learn positive academic, social, and life skills.
- Respects diversity while valuing community goals and partnerships.
- Safe, fun, and respectful.
- Inclusive and encouraging of open and honest communication among all students, parents, and staff.
- Small class sizes and warm, welcoming spaces.
- Students, parents, and staff work to promote the culture of ACA.
The philosophy of Alliance Charter Academy (ACA) is based on the principles of personalized learning and on the belief that, in order to foster optimal learning, teaching must involve choices and options for the learner. A foundational belief is that it is critical for educational approaches to create freedom of choice within a given structure. In addition, there are multiple choices regarding the types of curriculum materials to use, kinds of processes required, and end products accepted. A cornerstone of the educational approach is the concept of “a classroom without walls” – the world as classroom. Personalized educational options include: traditional classroom instruction, independent study, credit for proficiency, small group instruction, home school, community-partnership-based learning, service learning, tutoring, multimedia, internships, online classes, apprenticeships, and college courses.
Alliance Charter Academy is based on the belief that learning best occurs when teaching is focused on the following:
- Delivery of instruction tailored to each individual student’s needs and multiple intelligence learning styles.
- One-on-one time with a credentialed teacher.
- Real-life, context-based learning.
- Enrichment through field trips, apprenticeships, cooperative classes, technology, etc.
- Schooling is broadly viewed to include both academic instruction and life experiences.
- Students are intrinsically motivated. The process of providing interesting, worthwhile learning opportunities will stimulate individual interests.
Alliance Charter Academy individualizes the educational program for each child. Every student is assessed at enrollment for academic levels in math and reading. Parents and students work with teachers and consultants to develop a Personalized Learning Plan for each child to address individual learning needs, styles, and preferences, with the goal of working toward mastery of the Oregon State Content Standards. Teachers are trained in recognizing and teaching to a variety of learning styles to help facilitate learning and guide instruction.
In 1995, the Oregon City School District initiated LinkUp, a program that supported home schooled students by offering enrichment classes four days a week in a vacant district elementary school. LinkUp operated for 11 years, and at its peak enrollment, served over 500 homeschooled students from more than 20 school districts. LinkUp offered a rich schedule of classes for grades K-12 in a safe, family-oriented environment. Students and parents found LinkUp to be an academically and socially enriching program.
In June of 2005, the Oregon Department of Education determined that LinkUp could no longer be funded due to a reinterpretation of what the Oregon statutes defined as constituting a ‘comprehensive’ program. Closure of a program that had been a part of so many children’s educational lives was very disappointing to the families involved. Right away, a group of parents began investigating ways to continue providing a similar schooling opportunity for their children.
With the help of a grant writer and charter school consultant, the parent group was awarded an Oregon Department of Education charter school grant package; the plans for Alliance Charter Academy (ACA) began. In March of 2007, the Oregon City School Board voted unanimously to sponsor ACA as a comprehensive district charter school. ACA opened in September of 2007 with a capped enrollment of 220 students, which was increased to 320 students the following school year.