Maryland's First Charter School
Monocacy Valley Montessori Public Charter School is the first charter school within the Frederick County Public School (FCPS) system. Attendance is open to all FCPS students. The school's academic program is based on the philosophy and methods of Dr. Maria Montessori.
The students, staff and families of MVMPCS are working together to create an enriching learning community.
School Opened: 2002
Teaching Grades: Pre-k - 8th
Student Capacity: 292 (including pre-k students)
School Hours: Mon-Thurs 9:00AM - 3:45PM; Fridays 9:00AM - 2:45PM
The Monocacy Valley Montessori School is a small, intimate and democratic learning community where children learn actively, think critically, and solve problems creatively.
Students' innate desire to learn is fostered using the Montessori approach: a prepared environment, hands-on materials, mixed age classes, and self-directed learning.
We empower students to become responsible, confident, caring citizens who possess strong academic skills and an enduring love of learning.
Program Philosophy and Model
- Monocacy Valley's program is based on the philosophy and methods of Dr. Maria Montessori.
- Montessori emphasizes learning through all five senses, not just through listening, watching, or reading.
- Children learn at their own pace and according to their own choice of activities.
- Students' innate desire to learn is fostered using the Montessori approach: a prepared environment, hands-on materials, mixed age classes, non-competitive atmosphere, hundreds of manipulatives and self-directed learning.
- Visitors will not see rows of desks, rather study centers for different subject areas, clusters of student-sized tables, and open areas for floor work.
- Students move freely around the room, choosing their own resources to pursue their work.
- Students work independently or in small groups for long uninterrupted periods of time.
- In addition to books, art supplies, maps, and other resource materials, the Montessori materials include specially designed manipulatives, each of which focuses on a particular concept or skill. These materials are designed to be self-correcting so students receive immediate feedback about their understanding and proficiency.
- The teacher circulates among the students assessing their progress or introducing them individually or as small groups to a project or task. The teacher is always looking for the moment to direct students to the next level of an activity that will enhance mastery of a particular skill or concept.
- Mastery learning occurs at the individual student’s pace. No child is held back to wait for the rest of the class, nor rushed on to the next concept before an earlier one is mastered.
- Teaching assistants staff every classroom. The assistant supports the teacher in maintaining the prepared environment, introducing the use of new manipulatives,
- The Montessori classroom is designed to be a mini-community and accommodates multi-age grouping to promote meaningful observation and exposure to advanced lessons, peer modeling, reduced competition, and the opportunity to solidify understanding of their material by “tutoring” others.
- Student performance is assessed in collaboration with teachers, parents, students who meet to set goals and assess progress. Teachers maintain detailed logs of student activities and mastery levels and students create portfolios of their academic and creative work for periodic review.
- While formal tests are not administered by the school, current regulations require students to participate in the state’s standardized assessment program.
- Students spend most of their time at Monocacy actively practicing their skills and working on projects, so the need for homework is minimal.