MVMPCS Awarded MSDE Grant To Open Montessori Public Charter High School

In High School, MVM eNews,

Frederick, MD - Monocacy Montessori Communities, Inc. (MMCI) has been approved for a grant award of up to $900,000 to create the Monocacy Valley Montessori Public Charter High School Program under the Maryland State Department of Education’s (MSDE) federal Expanding Opportunity through Quality Charter Schools program. If approved by the Frederick County Board of Education (BOE), the high school program will open in the fall of 2022 with an initial class of 30 students each in 9th and 10th grades. At full enrollment, the program will serve 240 students in 9th - 12th grade. A request to expand the existing Monocacy Valley Montessori Public Charter School (MVMPCS) Program to include the high school is currently under review by the Frederick County Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Theresa Alban. Dr. Alban is expected to make a recommendation on the request at the December 8 BOE meeting.

“MMCI is so happy to learn that the MVM High School Program has been selected for this opportunity through the charter school grant program” said Tara Dunsmore, President, MMCI Board of Trustees. “We look forward to partnering with FCPS once again to make Maryland charter school history with our innovative Montessori High School Program.”

MSDE in 2017 received a five-year, $17.2 million federal grant and an additional supplemental funding in 2019 to support additional grants for the expansion of existing high-quality public charter schools, and for the creation of new public charter schools. Currently, there are no existing public secondary programs in Frederick County Public Schools (FCPS) or in Maryland that feature a Montessori high school curriculum. The MVMPCS High School program will fill this educational gap for students who want to continue a Montessori-based education through high school.

MVMPCS was the first charter school in Frederick County and the first charter school in the state of Maryland. MVMPCS opened in the fall of 2002 with 180 students and now serves 300 children annually from PreK3 - 8th grade. MVMPCS and its sister school Carroll Creek Montessori Public Charter school (CCMPCS) are operated by the parent-led 501(c)(3) non-profit charter management organization, Monocacy Montessori Communities, Inc. (MMCI). MMCI intends to make Maryland charter school history once again by opening the first Montessori Public Charter High School program in the state.

Admission to MVMPCS is determined by a random lottery and is open to all Frederick County residents. All MVMPCS 8th grade students will have the option to matriculate to the high school program. For available lottery seats, priority is given to siblings of current students and children of staff. As provided for in state charter law, students from Carroll Creek Montessori Public Charter School will be given priority for 35% of the remaining lottery seats.