What is a charter school?
Charter schools in Maryland* are unique public schools that are operated by a non-profit foundation. They are allowed the freedom to be more innovative while being held accountable for advancing student achievement. Charter Schools are public schools and therefore, they are open to all children, do not charge tuition and do not have special entrance requirements. (*Charter laws vary from state to state.)
Why choose WPCS?
You feel your child would benefit from more time spent outdoors, more time learning by doing, and smaller classes. WPCS will foster a partnership between parents, teachers, and students. We will create an environment in which parents can be more involved, teachers are allowed to innovate, and students are provided the structure they need to learn.
When will the school open?
The proposed start date is Fall 2019. (The 2019/2020 school year)
Where is WPCS is located?
We are actively looking for a location with ample outdoor space that is accessible to as many parts of the county as possible. There are many potential sites and partnerships being pursued, but no specific area yet. Have a great suggestion? Please, let us know!
What grades will be offered?
WPCS will start with Kindergarten through 3rd grade and then add a grade every year to grow with our students up to the 8th grade.
How do I enroll?
There are no admission requirements beyond living in the jurisdiction where the school is located. Watershed Public Charter School will accept applications from all students living within Baltimore County and students will be selected via lottery. Please fill out this form to let us know that you may be interested in enrollment.
How much does it cost?
Just like traditional public schools, charter schools are funded by local, state and federal tax dollars based on student enrollment. They are free, do not have special entrance requirements and do not charge tuition.
What curriculum will WPCS use?
WPCS will use innovative experiential, hands-on curriculum in core subjects and link disciplines together into larger multidisciplinary projects. WPCS values play, exploration, imagination and unstructured outdoor activity. We will use natural environment and greater community as a tool for learning. See more here.
How is WPCS held accountable to Maryland Educational Standards?
Public charter schools are required to meet all state and federal education standards, just like traditional public schools. In addition, they are judged on how well they meet student achievement goals as defined by their charter contracts. WPCS has established rigorous academic, financial and managerial standards.
Is there aftercare offered?
WPCS plans to offer an aftercare program that compliments the overall curriculum.
Will there be special needs programs offered?
Watershed Public Charter School is an all-inclusive public school and will operate according to federal, state, and district mandates to provide a quality education to every child. This means that all provisions of the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) will be followed such that every student receives a Free and Appropriate Public Education in their Least Restrictive Environment. While all types of learners benefit from the hands-on experiential teaching and learning model that WPCS will use, it is especially meaningful for special needs students to do rather than just hear or read. WPCS will employ credentialed special educators as well as ESOL teachers to plan, co-teach, and teach as required under the law, in order for all students to achieve success.
How do I get involved?
Watershed Public Charter School has many opportunities to get involved. We are currently looking for administrators, teachers, community members and parents who want to be a part of our community. Let us know how you’d like to be a part of this very exciting opportunity!