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Rosa Parks Charter High School (formerly Rochester Off Campus Charter High School)
Updated Apr 3, 2020
2364 Valleyhigh Drive NW - Rochester MN - 55901
Type of autonomy arrangement: leadership goodwill
About the Learning Program
At ROC, students are in the driver's seat of their own educational experience. ROC is a project-based learning environment. In project based learning, students are able to pursue their own interests, and demonstrate their learning through projects that they design, develop and carry out with guidance from teachers. Students are still responsible for fulfilling all of the Minnesota Academic Standards, but are able to do so in ways that best suit their learning style, and celebrates their strengths as learners. Project based learning goes far beyond the traditional curriculum, empowering students to not only develop their academic skills, but also to develop skills that will benefit them in their journeys through life: time management, goal setting, self motivation, and perseverance through challenges are but a few of the many life skills emphasized in the ROC Student Vision.
From the January 2019 School Spotlight:
About Rosa Parks Charter: We take a holistic approach in working with students. We meet students where they are in their academic journey and help them get where they want to go—whether that’s employment, a technical degree, or college. We provide for their mental and physical well being, while imparting a knowledge of social and environmental justice. Instruction is a mix of teacher-led classes and project-based instruction, depending upon what a student needs and what they can handle. We’ve been serving 9–12th grade youth from Rochester and many surrounding rural districts since 1992.
How being teacher-powered impacts student success: Staff have the autonomy to do what works best for students. How we teach is not dictated by the state, but by the students who walk through our door. Many come to us disenchanted with “factory education” that is a mile wide and an inch deep. We acknowledge and provide for many different learning styles. We encourage students to become experts; to explore topics that interest them and then incorporate these into the disciplines of science, math, english, social studies and art.
How Rosa Parks is structured: In our first three years of restructuring, and first full year without a director, we are still molding how the “staff powered” model works for us. As we’d heard would happen, there’s been staff turnover in the process. Some staff couldn’t operate without a director, and others underestimated the commitment that it would take to convert to this new model. Luckily this year we seem to have some great “draft picks”. We’re not hung up on titles and have several veteran staff members handling administrative responsibilities. New staff are already stepping up and have begun to pick up duties along the way this year.