Monocacy Valley Montessori


64 Thomas Johnson Drive, Frederick MD 21702
Frederick County
Grades: PreK-9 (Adding one high school grade per year after 2023)
Principal: Amy Dorman
School # 0226

What makes us unique?

Monocacy Valley Montessori Public Charter School (MVMPCS) 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. Peace education is an integral component of Montessori practice, and central to this is a strong sense of community. Montessori learners contribute to the success and well-being of each community in which they participate: the classroom, the school, the local community, and the wider world. They value kindness and respect for each other and the environment and demonstrate this through their engagement in service learning or passion projects. When a harm has occurred to the community, those responsible will repair the harm through guided restorative practices, thus allowing the community to return to wholeness.

School Model

The founders of MVMPCS chose the Montessori philosophy and methodologies for the foundation of its charter school program because this method has been proven over the past century to provide one of the most versatile learning environments. The Montessori method views education as a preparation for life, not merely a search for intellectual skills. The emphasis in Montessori education is to teach the child how to learn.  Every baby is born with the desire to know, the urge to explore, and the need to master the environment – in short, to achieve. The motivations for learning come from within the child. The child who accomplishes this moves into harmony with this world and becomes a whole person. With that in mind, the schools’ Montessori environment will be carefully prepared to train the senses, to stimulate curiosity, to satisfy the child’s need to know, and to provide a safe environment where every child can learn from successes as well as failures.

Montessori emphasizes learning through all five senses, not just through listening, watching, or reading. Children in Montessori classes learn at their own, individual pace and according to their own choice of activities from hundreds of possibilities. Learning is an exciting process of discovery, leading to concentration, motivation, self-discipline, and a love of learning.

There are six distinct age groupings at the school: Primary, Lower Elementary, Upper Elementary, Middle School, Lower High School, and Upper High School.

The Primary classroom is multi-age with students ranging from three to six years of age and is designed to foster optimal growth and development. Through hands-on work in a carefully, and prepared environment, students in the Primary classroom develop the foundations for future learning and a sense of self.

The Lower Elementary classroom is multi-age with students ranging from grades 1-3. Students widen their horizons in the Lower Elementary classroom through an expanding curriculum. They begin to explore their place in society and the world within an interactive, learner-centered environment. The Elementary classroom provides the structure and space for students to build social skills in a supportive, respectful environment and to stretch themselves academically.

The Upper Elementary classroom is multi-age with students ranging from grades 4-6.  The Upper Elementary program challenges children intellectually while fostering independence, providing a nurturing environment for social-emotional growth, and allowing children to further explore their place in society and the world.  New thinking brings a growing sense of membership in society. The classroom provides space and materials that enable students to explore topics and concepts at a deeper level.

The Middle School classroom is multi-age with students ranging from grades 7-8.   The adolescent program is a dynamic, student-centered environment with a strong sense of community.  Students work along with their peers and teachers to construct themselves as responsible individuals and contributing members of society.

The program emphasizes and encourages individual personal responsibility and collaborative learning. During this time of rapid personal growth and change, students thrive in a nurturing environment that gives the students opportunities to understand themselves and one another.

MVM High School Program

The MVMPCS high school program will add secondary grades 9-12 to the existing PK-8 grade offerings, allowing students the option to remain in a Montessori based learning environment for the duration of their school experience. A Montessori Adolescent education helps students reflect on their own experiences, situate those experiences in broader social contexts, and begin to see, understand, and connect with others in genuine ways. MVMPCS high school students will move beyond classroom walls to delve into extended inquiry, real world application, and deeper exploration of personal interests through local field trips, two intersessions for extended off campus study (one week each), and master classes/apprenticeships in the community. 

The high school will be divided into Lower and Upper high school cohorts (LHS, UHS) to allow for teachers to present instruction in an A and B sequence so all students have exposure to the complete course content over the duration of their two year enrollment at each level. Courses in social studies and science are a natural fit for an AB sequence. Freshman and sophomores are required to take two history and two science courses during their first two years.  Biology and Chemistry will be alternated each year so every student will have had both by the end of the LHS sequence. The same is true for history with American Studies and Government forming the same AB pattern over the course of two years.  Courses that require a more linear approach such as math and World Languages will be taught in multiple levels based on a student’s progress within the sequence. There would be room for individualization in the selection of electives, fine arts, world languages, fitness, etc., based on student needs, preferences, and accessibility. The MVM high school course schedule meets the requirements of the FCPS University System of Maryland Completer program.

Mission and Vision

MVMPCS 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. Students are empowered to become responsible, confident, caring citizens who possess strong academic skills and an enduring love of learning.

Our Vision includes the hopes and dreams of our Founding Members:
  • We will build a sense of community based on a shared vision
  • We will give intellectual priority to the centrality of language, understood broadly as the use and study of symbols: words, numbers, and the arts
  • We will develop a curriculum with coherence, based on the successful implementation of the Montessori Scope and Sequence by certified teachers and supplemented with cross-reference to the Frederick County Public School curriculum
  • We will create a climate for creative, active, learning
  • We will educate the whole child, body, mind, and spirit


Monocacy Valley Montessori Communities, Inc. (MMCI) is a member of the Maryland Alliance of Public Charter Schools and is active at the local and state level to continue the growth and success of Maryland’s charter schools. Each year, MMCI’s parent volunteers attend workshops on charter school management and growth. MMCI works closely with the Frederick County Board of Education to advocate for equal access to County services and ensure that our schools receive the support needed to succeed. 


  • Experiential Learning / Project-Based
  • Montessori
  • Restorative Practices

  ​Lottery preferences

  • Siblings of current students
  • Teachers and staff
  • Students from Carroll Creek Montessori Public Charter School will be given priority for 35% of available lottery seats for 9th grade only

Principal's Message

I am most proud of my school community when...
FCPS records our yearly volunteer hours, and this information is shared with state and other grant-funding institutions, which makes it of vital importance as we qualify for grants. The exact number varies from year to year, but with 300 students, MVMPCS averages around 240 families enrolled each year. During the 2018-2019 School year, MVMPCS families logged over 14,000 hours of volunteering!!