The Basics

A charter school is a public school that is organized around a certain educational methodology, theme, curriculum, or core mission. In exchange for the freedom to approach education differently than traditional schools do, charter schools are required to meet strict state reporting standards and produce successful outcomes for their students. Students are required to participate in standardized assessment testing. State issued charter schools, such as Mill Falls, report directly to the NH Department of Education, and function independently of the district where they are located. Charter schools offer the potential for research and development, providing the public school system with space, time and support to develop practices beyond the traditional methods of education. Charters are awarded to schools by the New Hampshire Board of Education for 5-year periods.

Mill Falls Charter School was approved by the NH Board of Education on March 9, 2011. Click here to view our Charter Application.

As per charter law, in the event that the number of applicants exceeds capacity, a public lottery will be held.

The Testing Requirements

All New Hampshire public schools, including charter schools, must administer standardized assessment testing as determined by the Department of Education. Like all public schools, our school is evaluated based upon our students’ achievement on this state standardized tests. These tests are based on the curriculum frameworks adopted by the NH State Board of Education. As a public Montessori school, our goal is to remain faithful to the Montessori philosophy while meeting the requirements placed on all New Hampshire public schools. Mill Falls Charter School maintains a highly-qualified, Montessori-trained faculty and adheres to the Montessori tradition in its teaching and learning activities, while promoting high performance on state-level standardized tests.

The Economics

Like all NH state-issued charter schools, the state provides Mill Falls with a set, per student/per year stipend (called ‘equitable aid’), which is part of the annual state budget. The school does not receive any local funding from the Manchester School District or the City, nor does the school have access to local property tax dollars. The school seeks private contributions and grants to insure a sustainable and successful program.

Here’s how you can help support Mill Falls.

Charter Related Links

Mill Falls Rises by Dane Peters looks at our program at Mill Falls in the context of the growth of public Montessori programs in the US.

The Mill Falls Charter School Charter Application submitted to the state of NH in January 2011 and approved in March 2011. The charter was renewed in 2017 and again in 2022.

For information on other NH charter schools visit the NH Department of Education’s Charter School page.