There is a huge debate in education today about the value of homework for students. At NCCS, we believe that, as with most things, balance is key. Our students work hard at school each day, and our slightly longer academic day and less time spent in transitions allow us to accomplish much during each school day. We also feel that extracurriculars, family time, and open-ended play are important aspects of raising well-rounded children.
Hours spent on homework are not necessarily an indicator of how well children retain information. Like learning, homework should be measured by quality, not quantity. Good homework challenges students to research, process, and apply information – instead of just asking them to work on similar problems over and over again. Additionally, we believe that some amount of homework, especially for our older students, can help us to teach time management, responsibility, and organization.
Our curriculum is our own, with consideration given to Maryland’s Career and College Ready Standards. The implementation of our curriculum is designed to be multisensory and engaging, leading to better acquisition of knowledge, as well as better retention. Concepts are reviewed and retaught as necessary with the goal of master in mind. Each day our students receive instruction in mathematics, science, literature, writing, and history/geography.
Because our school philosophy is based on the value of differentiated instruction, the student-teacher ratio is kept low. Class ratios are graduated by age level in the following manner: Early Elementary 15:1 (K, 1) and 17:1 (2, 3); Late Elementary (4, 5) 20:1; and Middle Grades (6-8): 24:1. These ratios mean that there will be no more than the set number of students to one teacher for areas of core academic study, or at such time when the administrator determines that the addition of additional students will adversely affect the quality of the instructional program. Core academic study shall include the topics of literature, writing, and mathematics. Please note that these ratios are maximums, and that class size is often lower than the stated ratios.
In order for students to be enrolled in the Kindergarten program for the 2021-2022 school year, students must be five years old by September 1, 2021. Academic waivers may be granted to students who do not meet the age requirement, provided that they have successfully completed an academic screening assessment and it has been determined that entrance into our Year 1 program is in the best interest of the student and the school.
By the nature of our program, different learning styles are encouraged and celebrated. Because of this, often learning differences are able to be accommodated. While North Carroll Community School does not offer a formal “special education program,” we employ an Orton-Gillingham trained learning specialist who is available to work with individual and small groups of students in order to offer support in various academic areas, as well as to work with classroom teachers to modify instruction and suggest appropriate accommodations. We also employ a part-time speech and language pathologist who provides services, at additional cost, to students demonstrating need in these areas. If particular students require one-on-one assistance, we have a variety of professionals who are available to come to NCCS during the school day in order to work with students. These services are at the expense of the child’s family.
Our "drop off window" runs from 8:00 am until 8:25 am. School begins promptly at 8:30 am. Students are dismissed at 3:15 pm.
Our admission process is an “open enrollment” meaning that we do not have a deadline for application to our program. Applications will be considered as long as enrollment is not at capacity. In order for students to be enrolled, we must have a completed application, screening assessment, classroom visit, enrollment form, signed contract, and current health records. In addition, payment of the enrollment and materials and other applicable fees must be completed before a student can be enrolled.
No, our students do not wear uniforms. We do, however, have a dress code for the school. We believe that school is a child's work and, therefore, we expect neat,clean, modest, dress, as well as attire that will allow for active learning and freedom of movement. The dress code is outlined in detail in our family handbook.
For the most part, students bring packed lunches to school. On Mondays, students have the option of ordering from a limited Chick-Fil-A menu, On Wednesdays, students have the option of ordering from a limited Subway menu. On Fridays, we have "Pizza Day," and pizza-by-the-slice is available from a local restaurant.