What is COAST?
Wakulla's Charter School for the Arts, Sciences and Technology (C.O.A.S.T.) is a Florida non-profit corporation established for the purpose of providing Wakulla County residents with a free public parent choice school.
Charter schools were first authorized in Florida by the 1996 legislature. Sometimes called an independent public school, a charter school operates under contract with and under the supervision of the local school board. The Wakulla County School Board approved C.O.A.S.T.'s application for a charter school in February of 1999. Charter schools receive state funding for each child enrolled and are governed by an independent Board of Directors. Like all charter schools, C.O.A.S.T. is a parent-choice school. If any time during the year, C.O.A.S.T. should fail to attract a sufficient number of students, it may become necessary to close the school. This would not occur without advance notice.
The founding Board of Directors included Judy Brown, Vann Haddock, Winky Jenkins-Rice, Debbie Reich, and Anne Thurmond. We are grateful for their vision and commitment to our school. Their dedication and hard work made the school a reality. C.O.A.S.T. is also grateful to the City and the people of St. Marks, who permit us to use the St. Marks Community Center. Built in 1938, the Center originally served as the St. Marks school for grades 1-8 until 1968. It served again as a preschool and adult education center from 1975-1989.
The Board of Directors of C.O.A.S.T. welcomes your family to our school and looks forward to working with you to provide an educational program that nurtures and inspires every child toward the highest achievement possible.
Notice of Nondiscrimination
The following policy applies to students, applicants for admission, employees, and applicants for employment:
COAST Charter School does not discriminate in admission or access to, or treatment or employment in, its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, religion, age, sex, national original, marital status, disability, religion, genetic information for applicants and employees, or any other reason prohibited by Federal and State law regarding non-discrimination. See 34 C.F.R. 100.6(d); 34 C.F.R. 106.9; 34 C.F.R. 110.25.
In addition, COAST Charter School provides equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups. This holds true for all students who are interested in participating in educational programs and/or extracurricular school activities. See 34 C.F.R. 108.9.
Disabled individuals needing reasonable accommodations to participate in and enjoy the benefits of services, programs, and activities of COAST Charter School are required in advance to notify the administrator at the school/center at which the event or service is offered to request reasonable accommodation.
The designated Title IX and Section 504 Compliance Coordinator as required by 34 C.F.R. 100.6(d) is Alyssa Higgins, Principal, 48 Shell Island Road, St. Marks, Florida 32355; 850.925.6344; Alyssa.Higgins@coastcharter.us.
C.O.A.S.T. will provide an educational choice to students and their parents that is characterized by:
1. The intensive study of the Arts and Sciences, in continuous progression and at the highest standards of achievement.
2. A structured environment resulting from a specific code of conduct with diligent attention to character development.
3. The infusion of technology into all subject areas, expanding the student's world beyond classroom boundaries.
4. Dynamic, integrated core curriculum designed to include the study and appreciation of Wakulla County's unique ecosystem.
5. Shared responsibility among students, parents, and teachers in the operation of the school.
Commitment to Small Schools
We believe that children thrive in small, personal settings where all staff knows each child and family. We believe that the child's interest is best served when parents and school staff cooperate and support each other's efforts. Small classes afford both the teacher and student the most flexibility to accommodate learning needs.
Commitment to Character Development
We also believe that character development should be a primary roll of education and that the school will regularly and deliberately teach and reinforce, through all its activities, the character traits of honesty, industry, kindness, generosity, courage, perseverance, loyalty, independence of thought, self-discipline and responsibility.
Commitment to Creating Informed Citizens
We believe that children should be educated to become world citizens, exposed to and informed about the geography and peoples of our globe. We want them to know that all human beings have value and are to be treated with respect. The school itself, then, must be a place where everyone is respectful and models courteous human relationships at all times.
Commitment to the Arts
We believe that students will learn self-expression through the Arts. Artists and performers will work with the faculty to develop programs in dance, music, drawing, painting, sculpting, pottery, drama, and architecture. Students will have opportunities to explore more deeply various art mediums with real-life mentors and teachers.
Commitment to a Strong Foundation in the Core Subjects
A good education must provide a solid grounding in the subjects of reading, writing, mathematics, science, social studies, and the arts, best achieved by a clearly articulated and sequential curriculum in each subject. In addition to learning facts and concepts, we believe it is important for children to develop higher order thinking skills to solve problems independently. Student performance will be assessed by a combination of criterion-reference and norm-referenced measures, as well as oral and written work products.
Commitment to Real Life Learning
We believe that students learn best when they are actively involved in learning experiences that apply to skills and knowledge in real life. These kinds of experiences will be prevalent in our school. Technological proficiency is critical to future life success, therefore technology tools will be used daily by both students and staff to make education more relevant, efficient and effective.
Commitment to Supporting Educators
We are convinced that competent, creative and dedicated teachers are the most important component of a good school. This commitment to teaching staff will be evident in all the school's activities. Everything will serve to support the teacher's ability to do his/her best at teaching.
Commitment to Wakulla’s Unique Environment
We believe that Wakulla County's environment provides a unique opportunity to foster appreciation for nature and to teach children about the interdependence of all living things and the importance of caring for our natural resources. We would expect that environmental awareness would permeate all areas of curriculum and serve as a central focus for science instruction.