Dogwood Charter School (DCS) is a public charter school located in Bethel Park, Pennsylvania. The mission of Dogwood Charter School is to provide a respectful, student-focused learning environment based on the belief that children are, foremost, persons. Through the practice of the relational educational learning model, students are empowered to take ownership of their own learning as their relationships, habits, and ideas are nourished. This not only fosters within them an avid desire for a life of learning, but enables them to author their own lives confidently and resiliently as global citizens.
Dogwood’s founding members’ goal was to make this innovative learning model accessible to all students, regardless of socioeconomic status, and as such, never wavered in their efforts to ensure that DCS would open its doors as a tuition-free public charter school. Remake Learning’s focus on uplifting and supporting the voices and potential of learners in poverty, learners of color, girls in STEAM, and learners with disabilities directly aligns with Dogwood Charter School’s mission and vision to bring engaging, relevant, and innovative learning opportunities to all.
Dogwood Charter School uses a secular Charlotte Mason educational model, which includes learning methods such as the use of living books (books that engage the reader and draws them in to learning about a specific topic), narration, nature study, and hands-on learning. DCS has a strong focus on learning in nature, as well as within the community; through the student’s ample time in nature and frequent field studies to local businesses, Dogwood Charter School’s students will engage in relevant learning that resonates with the learners’ interests, community, and culture, which directly correlates with Remake Learning’s mission. It is our belief that it is through gaining a healthy understanding of their natural environment, as well as respecting that children are part of families and wider cultures that all have stories, that children are able to grow into conscientious stewards of the world.
Dogwood Charter School maintains that children thrive in a safe environment in which their growth of skill and knowledge is assessed through organic and living means; accordingly, they are free to take risks and joyfully pursue their education. Learners at DCS are challenged, encouraged, and fed a “feast of ideas,” provided with engaging content and ideas.
Charlotte Mason’s motto was, “I am, I can, I ought, I will.” DCS empowers learners to take ownership of their education and to joyfully pursue a life of learning.