A: Regular school hours are from 8:45am – 3:35pm daily except on Wednesdays when dismissal is 1:15pm for teacher professional development and collaborative planning. Recess comes before lunch and is 30 minutes of directed play. Every morning begins with “morning meeting” — a time to set out the day and share experiences. Every afternoon ends with “closing meeting” to review, share, and set expectations for the next day.
Q: Do you offer before and after care?
A: We partner with Smart Steps to provide before and after care. Before care begins at 7:00am and after care runs until 6:30pm.
Q: What is a charter school?
A: Charter schools are public schools that students can choose to attend, regardless of where they live in the city. Each school has a charter, or performance contract, detailing its program, goals and methods of assessment. For example, charter schools may follow a particular approach to instruction, focus on an instructional theme or serve particular populations. Charter schools have increased autonomy in decision making in many areas. And, in return, they are accountable to several groups for both academic results and financial and management practices: the authorizer that grants the charter, the parents who choose to send their children to the school and the public that funds them. Charter schools are also governed by Maryland Charter Law. Charter schools are open to all students, with no admission testing or screening — but when more students would like to attend the school than the school has room to serve, a charter school holds an admission lottery.
Q: What is your philosophy regarding homework?
A: Based on current educational research, we recommend parents read with their child for 20 minutes each night for homework. Experts tell us that very young children benefit tremendously from reading and spending time with their parents. Parents conversing with young children has been shown to have a strong correlation with future academic success! Often times schools assign hand-outs and “busy work” for young children. Because this is not meaningful work for young children it can lead to: (a) nightly fights over homework, (b) inconsistent completion of homework, or (c) children who grow up to hate school.
Q: How does your school deal with behavior management?
A: We use the Responsive Classroom behavior management philosophy. We believe all students should be treated with respect and guided by calm adults toward intrinsic motivation for appropriate school behaviors. Additional detail can be found here.
Q: What is “Reggio Emilia” and how does it guide your school?
A: Reggio Emilia is a philosophy developed in post-WW II Italy. It guides our student-teacher relationship dynamic, physical school environment, and curriculum structure. As a “Reggio school” we keep classroom lighting soft, colors muted, and bits of nature in the rooms. Additional detail can be found here.
Q: Do you offer foreign language instruction?
A: We do not presently offer foreign languages.
Q: How can families get involved in the school community?
A: We have a host of activities and committees for our families. Additional detail can be found here.