Monday, January 15, 2007


Education/Sherwood Community Friends Church/Mitch charter school wins glowing reviews from parents on state .../ is an acronym for "multisensory instruction teaching children hands-on," which explains part of the school's educational philosophy.

For example, kindergarten students learn to write as they learn to read with phonics. When studying Mexico, students learn dances and study artwork while learning about important people and events.

The first Mitch charter school opened in Tigard in 2002 largely through the efforts of Debi Lorence, a mother who favored the multisensory education philosophy. She gained the backing of other parents and educators, who then built a curriculum with materials from The Riggs Institute and The Core Knowledge program.

But low first-year enrollment in the Sherwood Mitch school made Sherwood School Board members question parents' interest in the charter school, which was formed under an agreement with the school district.

Funding was part of the concern. For each child, the charter school receives about 80 percent of the state funding allocated to the district. The district gets the other 20 percent.

"In the first year, I think people were a little nervous about the viability of the school," Puhl said in his office at Sherwood Community Friends Church, which rents space to the school at 23264 S.W. Main St. ...


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