MDCS is an amazing success story. The school becomes a part of the personal identity of the students who attend, and MDCS helps shape their view of the world. Our academic achievement is among the best in the entire state, and MDCS touches the hearts and souls of the students in a positive way.
The formation of MDCS
Back in 2001, a core group of parents and educators met to discuss a novel idea – starting a charter school in Bryson City. At that time, charter schools were a fairly new concept and starting one was a bigger challenge than today. These folks were real pioneers. Starting this school was not an easy task, but this first generation of MDCS families persevered and got the school off the ground.
For two years, the school held classes in the storefront next to Ingles. These were lean times, the school was short on supplies and had to combine multiple grade levels into single class rooms. It was a pull-yourself-up-by-the-bootstraps situation. But the families and teachers were dedicated to this new concept for a school, and hung in there. Today we all benefit from their willingness to sacrifice and serve.
The first generation of MDCS families knew that rented storefront space could only be a temporary solution for any school – if the school was going to make it, there had to be real classrooms. So they pulled together a plan for a real campus. Fortunately, the owner of the property where the school now stands liked the school and was willing to donate some of the land and make a creative deal on the rest so the school could afford it. The school was even more fortunate to finance the current modular buildings in a package deal that was doable. These deals totaled over $500,000 and no one co-signed any of the loans.
Accomplishing this was a huge achievement for this first generation of MDCS families with a school in its second year of operation. It was a new, unproven school, with no financial history and a meager budget. Yet they pulled it off, and every MDCS family since has reaped the benefit of that effort.