HighMark Charter School (HMCS) is a public charter school that serves grades K-9 in South Weber, UT since August 2012.
Program of Instruction
HighMark Charter School believes in a targeted business education that drives results.
The philosophy of HighMark Charter School is to build a solid foundation in business education and provide a stepping-stone to successful careers that will encourage critical thinking and reflective approaches to learning.
HighMark Charter School has established the following four foundational philosophy stepping-stones of teaching and learning that will provide administration, teachers and students the framework to meet the mission of HighMark Charter School.
-Interest and explanation
-Appropriate assessment and feedback
-Clear goals and intellectual challenge
-Independence, control and active engagement
Utah Common Core
HighMark Charter School (HMCS) is subject to all Utah requirements as they relate to the Core Curriculum. The curriculum course offerings align with the Utah State Core Curriculum, Utah Common Core, and UCAS tests. The curriculum incorporates the Utah State Core Curriculum used by Davis School District. HMCS will utilize including, but not limited to: Curriculum Based Assessments, State Required Assessments, Computer Generated Assessments, and Performance Rubrics developed by the school.
HighMark Charter School will integrate into the core curriculum business skills, ethics, and practices by focusing on four areas of business: Sales and Marketing, Management and Leadership, Finance and Economy, and Entrepreneurship. These four areas will give HighMark Charter School a foundation for integration but will not limit curriculum adaptation and integration as the world of business changes in our global economy. To make sure our students have a solid grounding in economic, personal finance, and entrepreneurship concepts we will use a variety of activities, some of which might include simulations and projects in the classroom, hands on experiences outside of the classroom, and guest speakers.
In grades K-6, students will participate in Junior Achievement program will participate in monthly 7 habits lessons, and participate in creating a business and selling at our Lemonade Day Event. Our Jr. High Students will have Quarterly Capstones to complete. Students in 7th grade will learn what it means to be a good employee by participating in a Job Shadow and then having the oportunity to apply for a job at the Winter Carnival and working. HighMark Charter School will provide an opportunity for students in 8th grase will display acquired business skills through participation in yearly Entrepreneurial Fairs. They will create a company, develop a product or service, market and sell their product or service, and then exhibit their experience during the Entrepreneurial Fair. Students may work in groups or individually. Our 9th graders will learn about non-profits and volunteer at Gigi's Playhouse to give back to the community as part of our entrepreneurial cycle. They will also have the opportunity to create a resume and participate in mock-interviews to prepare them for the real world. Each grade will have different requirements according to their level of business knowledge and understanding.
Research Based Curriculum
HighMark Charter School will use only research-based curriculum that aligns with the Utah State Core to best meet the needs of our student population. This curriculum will include Houghton Mifflin Journeys for K-6 and Holt, Rinehart and Winston 7-9 for Language Arts. Glenco Math/MyMath will be used for the math curriculum for grades K-9.
Reading and Math instruction will occur in both grade level and ability leveled groups. Students may work together in mixed ability-level groups to teach and learn from one another. Students will have the opportunity to group in curriculum areas such as math and reading. This process will provide students with the opportunity to learn together, build self-confidence, and master skills. Teachers may work together on grade-level instructional teams in order to address all learning styles and abilities.
USOE’s reading and math model using tiered instruction will be used. In addition, those students needing extended/enhanced instruction will have the ability to be in higher grade level groups. Tier 1 instruction, or general instruction in Core subjects, will be given to all students. Some students will participate in Tier 2 instruction, which is early intervention instruction for students identified as needing extra support in specific academic areas. Tier 3 instruction will be provided to students needing a more intensive intervention. Tier 2 and Tier 3 students will be identified using a combination of screening, diagnostic, benchmark, and progress monitoring assessments such as curriculum based assessments, UPASS assessments, and teacher observation.
Charter schools are publicly funded and are not private schools. They are open to all students, are committed to improving public education, demonstrate a record of student achievement, and have specific educational missions and focuses.
Charter schools are public schools created by a group of parents, teachers, or community leaders who see an educational need in their community and want to meet that need. To operate, charter founders must submit an application for approval by the State Charter School Board or the board of a school district. Like other public schools, charter schools may serve students from Kindergarten through 12th grade.
Charter schools offer parents and students additional choices about where students attend school and the school’s curricular emphasis. They allow educators freedom to try new strategies to inspire students and to experiment with innovative ways of educating students. Also, charter schools allow individuals and organizations outside of the traditional education system to create and run public schools.
Yes, like other public schools, charter schools must be open to every child regardless of race, religion, disability or academic ability. However, many charter schools have specific educational missions focusing on particular topics or students with particular needs. Also, charters have a cap on enrollment. HMCS will use a randomized lottery process for the enrollment and registration of students.
Charter schools, by design, offer innovative curriculum, greater flexibility and accountability, and more opportunities for parents to participate significantly in school governance and operation.
A Charter School becomes it’s own school district which provides greater flexibility in curriculum adoption, local input, more parental involvement, and a need to specialize in the academy’s area of chosen focus. Students tend to be motivated by an interest in the focus or teaching method of the school instead of proximity to the nearest traditional public school. Charter Schools have a cap on enrollment legislated by the State of Utah, which leads to more flexibility in the classroom.
Charter schools are funded on the principle that state funds follow the student. A differentiated WPU is applied to Charter School students. In distributing funds under the Minimum School Program Act, to charter schools, charter school pupils shall be weighted, where applicable, as follows:
The vast majority of funding comes through the WPU. In addition, the legislature appropriates funds each year to replace some of the local property tax revenues that are not available to charter schools. Charter schools may also apply for state and federal start-up funds and specialized funds if qualifying students are served in approved programs.
A charter school may not charge tuition or require students or parents to make donations and is subject to the same rules regarding school fees as other public schools.
Utah public schools are partially funded from revenue collected through property taxes. Much of the state of Utah, however, is federal land and property tax revenues are not collected from federal lands. The U.S. Congress, in exchange for not taxing federal land, gave lands to Utah schools at statehood to help compensate for the lost property tax revenue. The lands are held in a legal trust for Utah public schools. Utah public schools own 3.3 million acres of Utah land. The lands are managed by the School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration and must, by law, be used to generate money for public schools. The money is put in a permanent savings account, which is never spent, but invested by Utah’s State Treasurer. An Investment Advisory Committee appointed by education representatives act in an advisory capacity to the State Treasurer. The interest earned from the permanent fund now goes to each public school in the state. School and district-level committees prepare plans, approved by local school boards that identify an academic need and a proposed solution using the annual dividend. Distribution of the funds is based upon student enrollment numbers. The program reimburses schools based upon the previous school year’s enrollment.
Parent involvement is a crucial element in student success. HighMark Charter School asks that families volunteer a minimum of 20 hours per academic year. Please note this expectation is per family, and not based on the number of students enrolled per family.
Yes. Charter Schools are public schools and therefore have the same requirements as all Utah State public schools in regards to student testing.
Consistent with all public schools in Utah, all of our teachers will be licensed, certified teachers or be qualified to teach under the USOE’s Alternative Route to Licensure Program, or otherwise authorized through the Utah State Office of Education.
LEA Specific License Policy Requirements (Utah Admin. Code R277-301-7):
Academica West provides charter schools with comprehensive services and support. The company maintains a reputation of excellence and currently serves twelve operational and two planned charter schools throughout Utah. Academica West ensures that each of its client charter schools is professionally managed and operated in compliance with local, state and federal laws/regulations. This begins with facilitating the completion and timely filing of all financial and programmatic reports to proper governmental agencies.
In addition, Academica West provides human resources development, board trainings, payroll, annual financial audit support, professional accounting services, internal control development, and curriculum support along with a list of many other services. Most importantly, Academica West will work diligently to ensure the vision of HighMark Charter School is faithfully and effectively implemented.
When looking at the configuration of a school it is always beneficial to establish a strong school culture. By having a cadre of students that will move from the Elementary to the Jr. High it will allow students to help with the integration of the new students coming into the Jr. High. This is the real strength of a K-9 school.
Students moving from the Elementary will have had exposure to business integration, allowing them to work with the new Jr. High students from an exciting and involved perspective.
Currently, Junior High students in the surrounding area are bused to a neighboring area and there is a need in the community for a local Jr. High. Although the surrounding school districts are reasonably and responsibly trying to meet demand, more schools will be needed to meet the rapid growth of the area – especially a need for a Junior High.
HighMark Charter School is addressing this need by having a larger Junior High than Elementary allowing for more students to access the Junior High program. We feel we have addressed the need for a Jr. High in the area and created a viable K-9 school model that will allow all students to become invested in a positive business integrated school culture.
Further information about charter schools can be found at the following websites:
Utah State Office of Education »
U.S. Dept of Education – Public Charter Schools Program »
National Alliance for Public Charter Schools »
Utah Association of Public Charter Schools »
Respect for Flag Procedure:
At least once a year students shall be instructed that participation in the Pledge of
Allegiance is voluntary and not compulsory; it is acceptable for an individual to choose
not to participate in the Pledge of Allegiance for religious, or other reasons; and
students should show respect for individuals who participate and individuals who
choose not to participate. The instruction shall include the history of the flag, etiquette,
customs pertaining to the display and use of the flag, and other patriotic exercises as
provided by 4 U.S.C. Secs. 1-10 and as required by UCS 55G-10-3.
HighMark Charter School's Special Education Department is attempting to identify all children with disabilities who are currently enrolled at the school.