Charter School vs. Private School vs. Traditional School District. What’s the Difference? -Ms. Danielle Fields, Executive Director
As we begin the 2021-22 school year, we thought this would be the perfect time to tell our story. The story of who we are! Our MELA family has worked intentionally to achieve many accomplishments since we began in 2015. Our students and staff have worked hard to achieve their success. During the most challenging year our nation has faced, we closed our students’ literacy achievement gap by 19% as measured by Running Records and DRAs.
This academic year marks the 30th anniversary of the charter school movement. Did you know that Minnesota was the first state in the nation to have charter schools? Read more about it here.
What is a Charter School?
So what is a charter school, anyway? Since the definition differs from state to state, it can be a little confusing. This video does a great job explaining school choice options in MN: Your school choice guide in Minnesota
Why Choose a Charter School?
Enrolling your child in a public charter school is giving them the best of both worlds plus a little more.
Like many private schools, our charter school:
Like a traditional public school district, charter schools:
What’s unique about a charter school?:
We Gauge Our Success on Student Success
During the COVID-19 pandemic, media has highlighted learning loss for students across the nation. One of our favorite aspects of being a charter school is the ability to create a responsive learning environment. MELA created a personalized curriculum for all of our students by utilizing research-based, culturally responsive, trauma-informed, and data-driven instructional strategies. We emphasize responsive, small group, and 1:1 literacy instruction. These efforts paid off. The results of 20-21 represent the hard work of our staff and students:
We are proud to share last year’s academic success. We hope the pandemic brings fewer curveballs, but we are ready for them if they come. This school year, we are excited to continue with this approach to literacy. Since it worked so well, we are applying the same method to mathematics instruction.
Check back each Friday to learn more about what makes MELA so special. How is MELA different from other charter schools? Read our next post to discover why we value equity, personalized learning, and fun!
Author Unknown. “Minnesota's Charter School Story”,
Dickler, Jessica. “Virtual school resulted in ‘significant’ academic learning loss, study finds.” Personal Finance, CNBC, March 30 2021, https://www.cnbc.com/2021/03/30/learning-loss-from-virtual-school-due-to-covid-is-significant-html.
Minnesota Department of Education. “Charter Schools.”https://education.mn.gov/mde/dse/chart.
School Choice Week. “Your school choice guide in Minnesota.” YouTube, Dec 8, 2020,