creating choicesInspiring Innovation

What is a Charter School?

Maryland charter schools are independent public schools with the freedom to innovate while being held accountable for improved student achievement. We foster partnership between parents, teachers and students to create an environment in which parents can be more involved, teachers are empowered and students excel.


Maryland charter schools are public schools and are free and open to all children throughout the state.


Public charter schools create unique communities by choosing their own curriculum, pedagogy and enrichment programs. Across the state public charter school offerings include arts integration, language immersion, Montessori, science and technology and classical instructional methods.


Charter school teaching staff and the principal, are employees of the local school district and not the charter operator. As such, they are subject to the collective bargaining contracts negotiated by the local school district with the appropriate unions and covered by all applicable state and local policies and regulations including certification.


The majority of Maryland public charter school’s require families to submit a free student application to enroll. There are no admission requirements beyond living in the jurisdiction where the school is located. Since applications often outnumber available seats, public charter schools often hold lotteries to determine student admission status. Students who do not gain immediate admission to their school of choice are often placed on a waitlist.


Maryland law requires local school districts to fund public charter schools at a level commensurate with traditional public schools. Unlike traditional schools, charter schools do not receive separate funding for facilities, which means charter schools must rely on operating funds or special fundraising to pay for capital improvements, repairs, mortgages, leases or other capital costs.


MMCI is a member of the Maryland Alliance for 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 also maintains a relationship with the Office of School Innovation at the Maryland State Department of Education, which is the state office that maintains charter school law.

MMCI provides annual updates to the Frederick County Board of Education and keeps Board members updated on the successes and challenges affecting our two schools. 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.

To learn more about the programs at each of MMCI’s charter schools, visit the school websites: