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VCS Mission

It is the mission of the VCS to implement Expeditionary Learning Schools – Outward Bound (ELS), an innovative, research-based curriculum to prepare students in the Greater Vallejo area in grades K-8 to become educated people of the 21st century. Such individuals are literate, knowledgeable, principled, competent, self-motivated and committed to lifelong learning. Students will be stewards of the earth and its resources; they will be environmentally aware and understand the interconnectedness of all living things and our global environment.

Commitment to Equity

Vallejo Charter School is committed to achieving educational equity for all of Vallejo’s demographic groups. VCS strives to ensure that the students and staff reflect Vallejo’s ethnic, social, cultural, linguistic, economic and religious diversity. VCS is committed to a school culture that recognizes, appreciates and honors the unique family structure of every child and which values both the commonalities and differences within our community. Graduates will have a global consciousness and will be leaders in environmental stewardship and social justice.

Unique features of Vallejo Charter School:

Thematic and project-based learning expeditions engage multiple intelligences and build curiosity; in this way, various types of learners and learning styles are nurtured in a child-centered and active environment. Academic achievement and character development are placed at the core of the curriculum. Curriculum will be based upon ten design principles, which express the philosophy of education and core values of the developers’ chosen educational model.

Expeditionary Learning School – Outward Bound (ELS):

1. THE PRIMACY OF SELF-DISCOVERY Learning happens best with emotion, challenge and the requisite support. People discover their abilities, values, passions, and responsibilities in situations that offer adventure and the unexpected. At VCS, students will undertake tasks that require perseverance, fitness, craftsmanship, imagination, self-discipline, and significant achievement. A teacher’s primary task will be to help students overcome their fears and discover they can do more than they think they can.

2. THE HAVING OF WONDERFUL IDEAS Teaching at VCS will foster curiosity about the world by creating learning situations that provide something important to think about, time to experiment, and time to make sense of what is observed.

3. THE RESPONSIBILITY FOR LEARNING Learning is both a personal process of discovery and a social activity. Everyone learns both individually and as part of a group. Every aspect of VCS will encourage both children and adults to become increasingly responsible for directing their own personal and collective learning.

4. EMPATHY AND CARING Learning is fostered best in communities where students’ and teachers’ ideas are respected and where there is mutual trust. Learning groups will be small at VCS, with a caring adult looking after the progress and acting as an advocate for each child. Older students will mentor younger ones, and students will feel physically and emotionally safe.

5. SUCCESS AND FAILURE All students need to be successful if they are to build the confidence and capacity to take risks and meet increasingly difficult challenges. But it is also important for students to learn from their failures, to persevere when things are hard, and to learn to turn disabilities into opportunities.

6. COLLABORATION AND COMPETITION Individual development and group development are integrated so that the value of friendship, trust, and group action is clear. Students will be encouraged to compete not against each other, but with their own personal best and with rigorous standards of excellence outlined in the California Standards.

7. DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION Both diversity and inclusion increase the richness of ideas, creative power, problem-solving ability, and respect for others. At VCS, students will investigate and value their different histories and talents as well as those of other communities and cultures. Learning groups will be heterogeneous.

8. THE NATURAL WORLD A direct and respectful relationship with the natural world refreshes the human spirit and teaches the important ideas of recurring cycles and cause and effect. Students will learn to become stewards of the earth and of future generations.

9. SOLITUDE AND REFLECTION Students and teachers need time alone to explore their own thoughts, make their own connections, and create their own ideas. They also need time to exchange their reflections with other students and with adults.

10. SERVICE AND COMPASSION We are crew, not passengers. Students and teachers are strengthened by acts of consequential service to others, and one of VCS’s primary functions is to prepare students with the attitudes and skills to learn from and be of service to others. (from the Expeditionary Learning Outward Bound website,

The true ideal behind Vallejo Charter School: (from the Core Attributes):

  • We will offer our students experiences that result in cultural literacy. By clearly specifying the essential knowledge and skills that will be taught in each grade level, we will provide our students with a”content rich” education.
  • Our curriculum will engage students’ curiosity and imagination. We want our students to be excited about learning!
  • Our teachers will be skilled in the use of differentiated instruction. This will enable us to create an environment in which all students can be successful and are guided to realize their potential.
  • Students will learn by doing. Classrooms will be active environments where students develop a love of learning that will be held throughout their lives.
  • Students will become reflective learners and the classroom will be a culture in which students can give one another feedback in a constructive, positive manner.
  • We know that our students need to be prepared to work in a marketplace that demands technological proficiency. This preparation must begin in elementary school. Students will have access to fast computers and Internet access and will become proficient in the use of basic applications. Technology will be used as a tool to do work in the classroom.
  • Our culture will be positive, and we will use positive discipline techniques. The goal of student discipline will be to teach students consequences of appropriate and inappropriate behaviors, which should result in students making wise choices. Students will learn how to peacefully resolve conflicts.
  • Parents will understand our mission and will be empowered to team up with us to achieve our mission. They will understand the role they can play to support our goals including the teaching of essential skills and knowledge and will be provided the tools to do so.
  • Teachers will engage in curriculum mapping and will start the year with a”road map” outlining a plan for their students’ acquisition of skills and knowledge. Assessment will be an integral part of the curriculum map. When designing curriculum, we will use the”backward design” model. Assessments will be authentic and evaluated with standards-aligned rubrics that clearly specify the criteria for success. Teachers will use the results of assessment to plan instruction. Learning will exceed California Standards.
  • VCS Teachers, administrative workers, and school leaders will be trained to collaborate and make decisions consistent with our mission and vision.
  • Teachers will be provided adequate time to collaborate and will be trained to make efficient use of their meeting time.