Bethany Charter School is a K-8 public school chartered by the Silver Falls School District. Our curriculum focuses on natural sciences and technology, enriched with art, physical education and music in a small school atmosphere. We promote academic excellence, fostering respect and a love for learning with strong family and community support.
BCS Vision Statements
BCS aims to support and develop students who are lifelong learners with a passion for inquiry and exploration. An ideal student will be well-rounded, curious and free-thinking, recognizing that there are many different ways to approach a problem and many different ways to see the world. They are patient and supportive of their fellow learners, pursuing knowledge and mastery of skills with humility, rigor, respect for traditions and institutional knowledge and a willingness to explore new possibilities and challenge assumptions and standards. Above all, BCS hopes to foster in our students both kindness and responsibility for the care-taking of the self, of others, of the broader community, and the planet.
A great teacher is a passionate, life-long learner who embraces multi-disciplinary, passion-based learning opportunities for students, focusing on the unique strengths and quirks of every child. A great teacher understands the complex dynamics at play in each individual student’s life and learning and strives to honor that complexity with patience and care. A great teacher approaches curriculum broadly, with flexibility and will look for ways to engage student interests and imagination to help guide the classroom lessons. A great teacher fosters their students’ growth as free-thinkers, welcoming creativity and challenges to their authority as a necessary part of the learning process. A great teacher, like a great student is open to new ideas and approaches to teaching and assessing skills. A great teacher celebrates mistakes as opportunities for growth. A great teacher nurtures social dynamics in the classroom, modeling healthy communication, problem-solving, independence, and grace.
SCHOOL CULTURE VISION
BCS strives to establish a school culture rooted in integrity, responsibility, empathy, and acceptance. We recognize that all individuals thrive in an environment where they can be authentic, feel appreciated, and have fun. We believe that the school should act as a laboratory wherein students learn through exploration, pushing themselves beyond their perceived limitations, making mistakes, and collaborating with each other and with staff. Our school culture should foster leadership through service and responsibility, encouraging students, staff, and the broader community to constantly seek out opportunities to make a positive difference in all we do. We believe that healthy, respectful debate that celebrates different ideas and perspectives is necessary for the development of good citizens and friendships. We understand that adults have a responsibility to model kindness, healthy communication, inclusion, and respect and must hold themselves to this high standard.
RIGOR AND RELEVANCE
BCS offers an academically rigorous learning environment in which children have the opportunity and support from their teacher to achieve academic goals and standards. The focus on academic rigor and relevancy of learning should be working with all children in a manner that addresses the whole child through hands-on learning experiences that “challenge the mind” and “connect learning to real world context”, utilizing developmentally appropriate practice and by promoting instruction that focuses on the growth and learning of individual children across all developmental domains in a manner that addresses “the social and cultural contexts” in which they live. Academically rigorous, developmentally appropriate learning environments are those in which teachers provide children with multiple learning opportunities to gain the knowledge and skills needed for success at Bethany Charter School and beyond.
Bethany Charter School Nondiscrimination Statement
Bethany Charter School does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its activities or operations.
Bethany School is one of Silverton area’s community-heritage schools; still serving families of K-8 students in a building whose history stretches back over a century.
Records first mention Bethany holding school in 1854, apparently in four different places: It met in the home of Elias and Lucia Cox, influential and generous settlers, perhaps until the Bethany Christian Church building was built in 1858 on land the Coxes had donated. (The Bethany cemetery remains on the church land, but the beautiful white building, which stood at the east end, was demolished in 1946). The school met in the church building and also, with a teacher named Fones Wilbur, in Thomas Shaw’s store building. (Thomas Shaw was in the Gilliam party that discovered Minto Pass).
In 1865, as the Civil War ended, the community met at the church to organise a school district. In 1868 they rented a building from Dr. Hutton; and by 1869, $96.50 of the necessary $100 had been raised and a new school building was completed to the west of the existing one. (Characteristically, Mr. Cox said he’d wait for the rest of the money.) Enrollment was 45; average attendance 18 ½.
In 1886, Mr. Cox (again) donated land, and, in 1890 , 31 years after the first school was built, the initial part of the present building was constructed. It boasted a bell, a woodshed for the wood stove, a teacher’s desk on a platform, and a hand dug well with a dipper. Paper was scarce, so slates were used.
Additions over the years, starting in 1910 with a second room on the west, a play shed (added during the Depression), an “auditorium” in 1948, and extensive later additions,transformed the facade to a modern looking exterior.
One early teacher deserves special mention: Peter Burnett. His uncle, Peter H. Burnett, who came to Oregon in 1843, became the first Governor of California!
On June 14, 2004 the Charter application was approved and signed.
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