Caspar Creek Learning Community was founded in the summer of 2000 as the Mendocino Satellite School by a group of Fort Bragg, Caspar and greater Mendocino parents who had previous experience with home-schooling and alternative schools. Hoping to affiliate with a local school district, the group contacted superintendents of the two nearest school districts and learned that affiliating with either would require establishing a new charter school, a process that typically takes two years from inception to approval and requires giving enrollment preference to residents of the chartering school district. Caspar Creek subsequently accepted an invitation to become part of the Mattole Valley Charter School, an established charter school whose mission and charter closely matched the individualized approach favored by the founding parents and teachers. After a successfull 17-year partnership, changes in the California charter school legal landscape led to a mutually reluctant parting of ways when MVCS closed, to re-emerge as Northern United Humboldt, a county-wide benefit charter constrained to serving only Humboldt County.
Caspar Creek begins the 2018-2019 school year with a new partner, Pivot Charter Schools North Bay. Caspar Creek’s current model of Waldorf-inspired direct instruction continues, but with the added availability for some students of the online curriculum that is a cornerstone of Pivot’s blend of online and in-person instruction.
These affiliations have enabled Caspar Creek to fulfill its mission, an important part of which is the ability to serve Mendocino Coast families regardless of their school district of residence.
Known locally for its innovative fund-raising events over the years, such as the annual Prius raffle, pet vaccination clinics, the Country Faire, Winter Light Book and Art Cafe and others, Caspar Creek struggles with the same fiscal difficulties familiar to all California public schools, with the added challenge that charter schools generally do not have access to some revenue sources available to school districts.