A NC Public School
What is a Charter School?
In North Carolina, a charter school is a public school of choice that has been approved by the North Carolina State Board of Education to operate according to its charter application.
MDCS operates independently of the local Board of Education, governed by a Board of Directors comprised of parents, local business people, and other community members. The Board is accountable to students, parents, and the state for student achievement and fiscal priorities.
Charter schools provide parents a choice for their children’s education. Public tax dollars are the primary funding sources for charter schools. Local, state, and federal dollars follow the child to a charter school. The schools have open enrollment with no discrimination, no religious associations, and no tuition.
The School Environment
Challenging Educational Environment
We approach the Common Core Standards through the use of an experiential learning model. Students are engaged in a hands-on course of study to build a solid foundation and life-long love of learning.
Communication between parents and teachers
Parents are encouraged and expected to be closely involved in their child’s education. This is achieved through classroom volunteerism and communication with teachers.
Close knit community
The students, teachers, staff, parents, and board of MDCS work together for school events, exhibition nights, work days at school, and community service. Small class sizes allow for personalized instruction.
Nestled into the mountains of western North Carolina, Mountain Discovery Charter School is located in Bryson City. The school serves children in kindergarten through eighth grade from Graham, Jackson, Macon, and Swain counties. Class sizes at MDCS are small, and there is equal emphasis on all subjects, including science, music, and art. Students not only learn by listening, counting, reading and writing, but also by building, drawing, singing and moving.
The instructional approach at Mountain Discovery emphasizes hands-on learning, team teaching, and reinforcing school skills with real world experiences. Please visit each of our classroom pages to see how individual teachers apply this philosophy.
Educational and Extracurricular Activities
This program is one of the cornerstones of our experiential approach to learning. Go to our Education Outdoors home page to read about our trips for 4th-8th grade students.
Middle school students also take electives. Students choose two electives each quarter. Past offerings include art, sports, drama, band, web design, teacher assistant, and study hall. The teacher assistant offering is a unique chance for students to help out in one of our elementary classrooms. For an in depth description of current offerings, click here. Electives occur during the last hour of the day Monday through Thursday.
Reading & Writing Buddies
4th, 6th, 7th and 8th grade students collaborate with kindergarten and 1st grade to improve and enhance reading skills.
8th grade students collaborate with kindergarten students to explore the natural world.
Band Program, Grades 6-8
Beginning in the sixth grade, students have the opportunity to participate in band. Flute, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, trombone, tuba, bassoon, baritone, and percussion are the instruments from which students may choose. In the band program, students will learn music notation, basic music theory and skills to perform on their chosen instrument.
More advanced students will have the opportunity to audition for WNC Bandmasters’ District events, as well as other opportunities that may be available through Western Carolina University’s School of Music and the community.
Students that remain in the band program at MDCS will be prepared to participate in band at the high school level.
Visit the Junior Appalachian Musicians page to learn more about how we work to cultivate young musicians.
Morning and After School Care Available
We believe that empowering our students empowers our community.
The students of Mountain Discovery Charter School are engaged in an experientially rich, hands-on course of study developed to maximize each child’s potential to become a responsible citizen of the local and global communities.
Parents, students, teachers, and staff are dedicated to:
- Fostering individual learning styles.
- Nurturing and facilitating our children’s natural abilities to think creatively and critically.
- Promoting self-confidence through respect for self, others and the environment.
Expeditionary Learning Outward Bound Design Principles
To learn more about the school and get some guidance on the way we’ve structured the site, visit the director’s page.