The Carroll Creek Montessori Public Charter School has 130 students.
Like all the other local public schools, Frederick County's second charter school opened its doors to students on Monday, August 27th. The Carroll Creek Montessori Public Charter School started the 2012-13 academic year with 100 students from kindergarten through third grade, and 30 children in pre-school.
Founding parents say it offers a different way of learning for students, noting that not every child learns at the same pace. The school uses the method developed by Dr. Maria Montessori, and often involves a measure of freedom for students to decide how the class is conducted. "In Montessori, it is not unusual and customary for students within a classroom to make decisions in terms of how a community within a classroom runs, but also in terms of what materials they get work on on any given day," says Janice Kominski, one of the founding parents of the school.
Even though the school has grades, Kominski says these grades are mixed within one classroom. "Montessori classrooms have mixed-age classrooms," she says. "Not only are children helping devise their own education, but they're helping to lead the other children in the classroom."
She says part of the Carroll Creek Montessori Public Charter School's curriculum includes Spanish Enrichment and a Spanish Immersion programs. Spanish Enrichment introduces students to the culture of Spanish-speaking countries, with a lesson in the language as part of the school day. In Spanish Immersion, a majority of the classes are taught in Spanish.
"This is created by parents, built by parents, put together by parents, and with some excellent support by Frederick County Public Schools," she says. "We're just enthusiastic and excited to be up and rolling."
Even though there are only kindergarten through third grade classes, Kominski says the plan is to add a grade each year until it reaches the eighth grade.
Parents who want to send their children to Carroll Creek Montessori Public Charter School can get placed on a waiting list, or they can enter a lottery drawing next year. Kominski says the entry process begins in January, 2013. The drawing itself will probably take place in March of next year.
The Carroll Creek Montessori Public Charter School is located at 7215 Corporate Court in Frederick. The website is www.carrollcreekmontessori.org.
The first charter school in Frederick County, and in Maryland, is the Monocacy Valley Montessori Public Charter School, which is located in Frederick on Dill Avenue.