Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Is Mt. Scott Learning Center (MSLC) a charter school?
A: No, MSLC is not a charter school or a private school. It is a non-profit education options organization and does not charge tuition. MSLC is part of the Coalition of Metro Area Community Schools (CMACS), a network of approximately 15 education agencies or organizations in the Portland area that serve students who have dropped out or are at risk of dropping out of school. MSLC is diploma-based (accredited) and primarily serves SE Portland; other programs are GED-based, employment-based, or may serve specific populations such as homeless or pregnant and parenting teens.
Q: What types of students attend MSLC?
A: MSLC’s student population represents a diverse cross section of young people seeking a small learning environment, individualized teacher support and multiple opportunities to connect to one another and the community. They are seeking a high school diploma through participation in an accredited day program with instructors who are dedicated to meeting their unique learning challenges and opportunities. They are part of a community of learners who are respected, have fun and are held accountable.
Q: How is MSLC funded?
A: MSLC’s major source of funding is through contracts with local school districts, which essentially purchase available student slots in the MSLC program. The contracts are attendance-based, meaning MSLC is paid a daily rate per student for each student that attends under the contract. Additional funding must be generated each year through fundraising in order to maintain essential services and programs.
Q: How does a student apply to MSLC?
A: The first step in the application process is to submit a Student Interest Form in order to be added to our Student Interest List. Please visit our Enrollment and Admissions Process page for instructions. Please note that MSLC maintains a small learning environment and space can be extremely limited based on available slots correlated to student age and credit. Enrollment in our program is generally in high demand, but we do enroll new students at any time during the school year, based on seat availability. Completion of the Student Interest Form will secure your student on our student interest list, provided he/she is otherwise eligible to attend.
Q: How is the decision made to select a student for enrollment?
A: When an opening becomes available at the school, students and families are contacted to schedule an interview. If the student, family and program determine the student would be supported and successful in the school, the student is invited for a shadow day, where the student attends core classes and is expected to participate fully within the program. After the shadow day, school staff meet to make a final determination on the student's enrollment at MSLC.
Q: How is MSLC’s performance evaluated or rated?
A: School districts contract with MSLC for a variety of measures, including student academic gains in reading and math, attendance, retention and post-secondary preparedness. These and other measures are summarized and reported each year by an independent third party evaluator. Additionally, MSLC and other district-contracted programs are evaluated by an Alternative Accountability Framework and issued an annual “report card” based on the framework’s measures.
MSLC is regionally accredited by AdvancEd. Accreditation is a means of showing confidence in a school's performance. When AdvancEd accredits a school, it is certifying that the school has annually met prescribed quantitative and qualitative standards, within the terms of the school's own stated mission and beliefs. It is also certifying that the school has undergone a self-study and validation by an outside team of peers. By being accredited, MSLC is assured that other regionally accredited schools will recognize their students' credits, transcripts and diplomas.
Q: What is MSLC’s graduation rate?
A: Many students do not begin their freshman (9th grade) year at MSLC and, as a result, the school’s graduation rate cannot be calculated comparatively to larger, traditional high schools. However, MSLC’s graduation rate is above 90% for those students that enter their senior year with 18 credits (which is the current barometer for being on track to graduate). Overall, more than 90% of our students earn high school diplomas and 80% currently go on to college or other form of training after high school.
Q: How big are the classes?
A: Class size normally averages between 18-20 students per class.