It is the mission of the Martha’s Vineyard Public Charter School to create a public school that will cultivate lifelong learners in a multi-age, project-based setting. Within an environment that models interdependence as the foundation of society:

The individual student will learn to direct his/her learning;

The group will make decisions together and recognize the unique contributions of each member;

The community will support and interact with the school body.


The founders of the MVPCS came together because of their interest in education, their commitment to children, and the development of the Education Reform Act of 1993 which allowed for the creation of Charter Schools in Massachusetts. This group of Vineyard parents, teachers and community members led a series of community discussions to brainstorm and develop a vision for an alternative public school. A Steering Committee met weekly for two years to research specific island needs, philosophy, structure, facilities, staffing, community involvement and budget, as well as the latest educational theories about how and why students learn. The first submitted proposal was returned from the state for additional clarification. A revised application was subsequently submitted.

On March 15, 1995, the Massachusetts Executive Office of Education authorized the Martha’s Vineyard Public Charter School. Two years of hard work by a dedicated group of parents, educators and community members had won a new option for island families. On July 1, 1996 the MVPCS began its five year contract with the Commonwealth and each Board of Trustee member became a public agent of the state. The MVPCS opened the doors on September 16, 1996. Four years later the state review board unanimously re-certified the MVPCS to operate for another five years. The first kindergarten class joined the charter school community in September, 2000. In June, 2001 the founders’ vision of a K-12 public school option for the families of Martha’s Vineyard was fully realized with the commencement ceremony for the school’s first graduating class.