Student Support

504 Support

Mountain Phoenix supports students with 504 Plans. The 504 Plan is developed to ensure that a child who has a disability identified under the law and is attending a public elementary or secondary educational institution receives accommodations that will support their academic success and access to the learning environment. Our 504 team consists of those most knowledgeable of the student, including teachers, the child’s caregiver(s), and the 504 coordinator. If your child is in need of this support,  A Parent Guide to Section 504.

Gifted and Talented at Mountain Phoenix Community School

What does GT education look like at Mountain Phoenix?

Mountain Phoenix Community School is not a GT center program. At MPCS we strive to recognize and meet each student’s unique individuality through public Waldorf curriculum and programming available to all our students. MPCS encourages enrichment beyond the basic curriculum by offering instructional strategies that accommodate identified learning styles and differentiates through depth and complexity within the curriculum topics of the grade.

One of the core principles of the Alliance for Public Waldorf Education states:

“Each human being is a unique individual who brings specific gifts, creative potential, and intentions to this life.  Public Waldorf education addresses multiple aspects of the developing child including the physical, emotional, intellectual, social, cultural, moral, and spiritual.  Through this, each child is helped to integrate into a maturing whole, able to determine a unique path through life.”

Advanced Learning Plans at MPCS?

An Advanced Learning Plan at Mountain Phoenix Community School is developed for every GT identified student according to the student’s strength area(s), interests, and instructional and affective needs. An ALP at MPCS is most appropriate after the completion of third grade, due to the 9 year change, when a child is becoming more aware of themselves as an individual and developing their sense of self. ALP goals are created collaboratively based on input from the student, the parent/caregiver, and the teacher with the intention of helping the student achieve balance for a well-rounded education.  Students are involved in the creation of the ALP goals to engage in the process of learning and to develop connection to their goals. One academic goal and one affective goal will be developed by late fall of each school year. Goals will be progress monitored throughout the year by the student and teacher and reviewed with parents at the regularly scheduled parent/teacher conferences.

Gifted and Talented (GT) Identification flow chart:


If you are new, prospective family and have further questions regarding GT at MPCS, please reach out Julie Ortiz,
If you are a current family and would like to discuss the GT process further, please reach out to Liz Hartman,

Special Education

We are so excited this year to have moved into our new facilities in Faddick Hall on the second floor with several great classrooms and a full, special education, academic and holistic, intervention staff. At Mountain Phoenix we understand that in order for a child to reach his or her full potential, it is important that the primary foundation skills of attention, balance, and coordination are firmly established. They are the core building blocks for all academic performance and higher-level reasoning skills.

At Mountain Phoenix, our goal is to help children who have either been diagnosed with specific learning disorders or who are underachieving in the classroom, despite a good level of intelligence. Our focus is on identifying the sources of the problem and then tailoring an individual, holistic, strategically effective, whole body Education Integration Therapy program.

This program begins with detailed assessments of the child’s abilities related to the following:

  • General coordination and balance needed for posture
  • Gross and fine motor coordination, ability to sit still, and laterality (preference in using one side of the body over the other)
  • Eye movements needed for reading, writing, copying, and catching a ball
  • Primitive and postural reflex maturation
  • Auditory processing abilities and academic performance

We establish where signs of immaturity in the body are present; identify where in the developmental, remedial, exercise process the child needs to begin; and implement and supervise the remedial programs using specific, developmentally-appropriate methods and educational, remediation techniques.

Our tool box for the remedial, intervention strategies is always expanding. Listed are some of the methodologies and techniques we rely on each day.

Holistic Intervention StrategiesAcademic Intervention Strategies
The Extra Lesson by Audrey McAllen: Movement, drawing, and painting exercises to help children with difficulties in writing, reading, and arithmeticF.A.S.T. Systematic Phonics-based Program: Phonemic Awareness, Phonics, Decoding, and Reading Fluency
Neuromotor Readiness Training for Education by the Institute for Neuro-Physiological Psychology (INPP), Chester, EnglandWilson: Systematic Phonics-based Program: Phonemic Awareness, Phonics, Decoding and Reading Fluency
Integrated Listening Systems (iLs): Auditory ProcessingRead Naturally: Reading Fluency and Comprehension Program
Learning Breakthrough: Vestibular, Proprioceptive and Visual Integration Therapy ProgramQuick Reads: Reading Fluency and Comprehension Program
Every Child a Writer: K-12 Writing Curriculum
Daily Language Instruction by Hogback Press: a grammar and writing convention and punctuation curriculum
Thinking Maps: Organizational tool for the writing process
Math: a variety of Intervention tools from various curricula including Luek (a German-based Math Intervention Tool), Scott Foresman Spiral Reviews 2nd through 6th grade, and many manipulatives and educational games

Student Assessments

State Mandated Student Assessment at MPCS, A Member of the Alliance for Public Waldorf Education

As a member of the Alliance for Public Waldorf Education, we endeavor to be guided by the Core Principles for public schools bringing Waldorf Education.  The curriculum that is taught supports the phases of development of the individual and the class or “the right lesson at the right time.”  To align with our mission and vision, as a school, MPCS exercises the freedom allowed within the State and District to introduce content and skills to students at developmentally appropriate ages, using Waldorf teaching practices and principles.

As a public charter school, MPCS is required to comply with federal, state, and district policies related to standardized assessments in order to receive public funding and maintain our charter.  Thus, we administer standardized assessments throughout the year as required.  In addition, some special funding available to schools, such as READ Act funding, requires standardized testing as a prerequisite to serving those students in need of additional reading support.

Complying with these requirements can be a challenging balancing act for a member school of the Alliance for Public Waldorf Education.  The standardized assessments do not always align with the timing of the lessons and content brought in a particular year within a Waldorf curriculum.  Thus, we must keep in mind that the standardized test results provide one measure of achievement that, combined with other classroom-based formative assessments, including teacher observation, projects, and presentations, and portfolios, serve to provide a holistic representation of each individual’s progress and development.

MPCS standardized test scores illustrate what is often referred to as the “Waldorf Curve” where average scores in the lower grades are somewhat below State and District public school averages.  In Grades Four and Five, scores begin to rise.  In Grade 8, scores are typically well above State and District averages.  As a school, MPCS expects that graduates from our school will have achieved all district and state standards (K-8) and be fully prepared for success in any high school curriculum in grades 9-12.


Homework, when given, will have a purpose and meaning.  The developmental age of the child and time needed to complete homework are taken into consideration by teachers in assigning homework.

Guidelines for Homework at MPCS

Grades One and Two

Homework is not typically given in first and second grade.  If certain practice is needed or a project is given, on occasion, then there is clear and timely communication between the teacher and parent to facilitate the completion of the work.  Parents need to be actively involved at this age.  Reading to children at home daily is recommended at this age.

Grade Three

Regular or periodic homework may begin, as the teacher may deem appropriate, with no more than 15 minutes on a weeknight.  Homework will help reinforce skills/concepts taught in class or will be work on a project for class.  The purpose at this stage is to establish good habits around organization, time management and follow-through with work.  Parents will be supporting these habits, but not doing the work for the child.  Daily reading is also recommended at this age, in addition to any homework.

Grade Four

Regular homework begins if it has not yet. Nightly work should be no more than 20-30 minutes, preferably not over the weekend. The purpose at this stage is to have students take more responsibility for their work. They should turn it in daily or weekly and be held accountable for this work.  Parents should be less involved in the homework, although may need to monitor its completion regularly. In addition, students are asked to read 15- 20 minutes per day after school on weekdays.

Grades Five and Six

Regular homework should not be more than 30-40 minutes a night on a school night.  The purpose at this stage is for students to continue good work habits, take more responsibility for their work, and begin to practice time-management skills. Parents are less involved and may be monitoring completion or helping their child as needed, though most work could be done without parental support. In addition, students are asked to read at least 20 minutes per day after school on weekdays.

Grades Seven and Eight

Regular homework will be around 40-45 minutes a night on the weekdays. There will be more completion of classwork and long term assignments along with the daily practice. Parent should know what their children are doing for homework and monitor that it is completed.  In addition, students are asked to read at least 20 minutes per day after school on weekdays.

Preschool - Grade 8

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