Program Overview

 

 

CMI is the only public school in DC to use the International Primary Curriculum (IPC) and the International Middle Years Curriculum (IMYC). In addition to rigorous academic goals, the curriculum encourages international awareness. Learning through thematic units, students engage in interactive, hands-on projects that spark curiosity, encourage teamwork and make connections to real-world issues.

Six- to eight-week curriculum units combine several academic subjects in an engaging manner that makes learning relevant to real life. The international curriculum supports students in becoming knowledgeable, creative thinkers, ready to participate in a globalized society. Students develop a sense of their own nationality and culture at the same time as developing respect for the nationalities and cultures of others.

The CMI program incorporates Dr. Stanley Greenspan’s developmental approach to education in order to support individual learning styles that are explained by differences in the ways children process information. Understanding and supporting each child’s unique social and cognitive development is crucial for teachers and parents as together we prepare our students for academic and future success.

In addition to arts integration in our academic subjects through the IPC, we promote a well-rounded education that includes arts education as an autonomous part of our program. We provide our students with music, movement, visual arts and drama during the school day and in our extended day programs. Global language classes in Spanish and Mandarin are provided to all students.

Technology is also an important part of learning at CMI:  students build skills in Information and Communications Technology through their hands-on projects that are part of the IPC; they use technology to communicate, connect, and hone critical thinking.  Our middle school program features STEAM  (Science-Technology-Engineering-Arts-Math) integrated into IMYC units, allowing students to engage deeply with their coursework through multiple modalities.

At CMI, we teach children about health and nutrition in the curriculum. Because we understand the importance of healthy dietary options for our students, we ensure that our school lunches meet or exceed national requirements for healthy meals.

We also address our students’ wellness through opportunities for movement and exercise throughout the school day. Activities include yoga, dance, sensory integration work, and physically-active games. 

Early Childhood Program

 

The Early Years Program of the  International Primary Curriculum consist of projects and arts-based teaching methods based on themes that appeal to young children.

The program is based on the philosophy that helping young children learn—academically, socially, emotionally, and physically—is the real purpose of schools.

See our presentation:  The IPC @ Creative Minds International

The curriculum emphasizes interactive, hands-on projects that spark curiosity, engage students, encourage teamwork, and make connections to children’s lives. The Early Years program taps into students’ interests and strengths, growing their innate love of learning. The curriculum units focus on the following skills:

  1. Independence and interdependence: Nurtures child’s own personal goals and their relationships with other children
  2. Communicating: Develops skills in communication, including speaking and listening, reading and writing, early numeracy work and the expressive arts
  3. Exploring: Develops child’s skills in inquiry
  4. Healthy living: Encourages children to understand how to look after themselves and each other

IPC Personal Goals

  • Adaptability
    We are okay with change
  • Communication
    We share and let others share
  • Inquiry
    We ask questions to learn new things
  • Integrity & Compassion
    We are honest, do our best and help others even when no one is looking
  • Resilience
    We try again, even when it’s hard
  • Respect
    We treat others the way we want to be treated
  • Thoughtfulness
    We think about what we say and do
  • Cooperation
    We work together
 

Elementary Program

 

The International Primary Curriculum provides a rigorous, thematic teaching structure designed to engage children of all abilities to be creative thinkers and problem-solvers in a globalized world. Since its introduction in 2000, more than 1,000 schools in 90 countries are using this highly engaging curriculum to teach different academic subjects.

Instructional units bring together the social sciences and arts, enabling children to make links between the subjects in exciting and stimulating ways.
The curriculum is designed so that students:

  1. Acquire the essential knowledge, skills, and understanding of a broad range of subjects
  2. Engage with their learning through positive experiences so they remain committed to learning throughout their lives
  3. Develop the personal qualities they need to be good, contributing citizens
  4. Develop a sense of their own nationality and culture at the same time as developing respect for the nationalities and cultures of others


Literacy and Mathematics
CMI's literacy and math goals are based on the National Common Core Standards adopted by DC Public Schools. By using small groups and targeted instruction, we support students to make progress toward individual academic goals and to meet or exceed U.S. national standards. Because strong literacy skills are imperative to academic success, the program will focus on all students developing strong reading and writing skills. Our mathematics curriculum and instructional materials foster deep conceptual understanding required for successful future learning in upper grades.

Research-Based Curriculum
Curriculum activities are based on research into:

  1. Brain research and accommodating different learning styles
  2. The importance of opportunities for individual and group work
  3. Using an exciting entry point to all units that motivates students to learn
  4. Tapping into each child’s prior knowledge
  5. Open-ended questions that invite curiosity
  6. Assessment activities that require children to represent their own learning
  7. Parent involvement: explaining what students are working on and how parents can support their children’s work at home


See our presentation:  The IPC @ Creative Minds International

IPC Personal Goals

  • Adaptability
    We are okay with change
  • Communication
    We share and let others share
  • Inquiry
    We ask questions to learn new things
  • Integrity & Compassion
    We are honest, do our best and help others even when no one is looking
  • Resilience
    We try again, even when it’s hard
  • Respect
    We treat others the way we want to be treated
  • Thoughtfulness
    We think about what we say and do
  • Cooperation
    We work together
 

Middle School Program

 

At Creative Minds International, we strike a unique balance in education by taking a global approach to learning, while always maintaining focus and attention on the development of the individual student.  

The CMI Middle School program provides students with a rigorous educational experience that prepares students for success in high school and beyond.  We are the only DC public school that offers a rich and well-rounded international curriculum from pre-school through middle school.  We offer global languages including Spanish and Mandarin as an integral program component.  We provide 21st Century skill-building in creativity, critical thinking, communication, and collaboration through STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math), arts integration, Google Drive and Classroom, and coding.

Project-based learning allows students to experience high engagement through interactive, hands-on projects that connect them to real-world issues.  Teachers utilize technology to connect with schools from around the world, providing students with authentic international experiences.  Small class sizes and a commitment to student resources ensure individual learning styles are always met.

Our middle school program features STEAM (Science-Technology-Engineering-Arts-Math) integrated into IMYC units, allowing students to engage deeply with their coursework through multiple modalities. Students are exposed to hands-on, interactive projects through which they become “makers.”  STEAM education helps students become critical and creative thinkers, offering diverse learning opportunities for all types of learners--a perfect match for the international, inclusive, and arts-integrated program at CMI.

   Learn more about our Middle School Program here

Developmental Approach to Education

 

The Creative Minds International PCS program incorporates Dr. Stanley Greenspan’s developmental approach to education as presented in The Learning Tree (Stanley and Nancy Greenspan, 2010). The tree is used as a metaphor to describe various individual characteristics involved in the learning process. The roots represent how children process the world around them through their sensory systems (what they hear, see, smell, and touch). The trunk of the tree represents thinking skills used in both relationships and academic learning. The branches represent skills used in academic learning (speaking, reading, writing, math, and organizing). Individual learning rates and styles are explained by differences in the ways children process information. Understanding and supporting each child’s unique development in all these areas is crucial for their future academic success.

Dr. Greenspan’s approach embraces the following principles:

  1. It is important to know where a child is developmentally in order to plan appropriate educational goals
  2. Children learn best through engagement and meaningful interactions
  3. Relationships with teachers and parents are critical to a child’s development
  4. Children’s natural interests affect their motivation to learn


With support from the late Dr. Greenspan’s son, Jake Greenspan, our teachers are trained to address the various aspects of learning that affect children’s academic achievement. From an early age, teachers will assess and assist our students’ progress in the key social and cognitive developmental milestones related to learning. For each child, individual goals are identified to maximize his/her ability to think, relate, and communicate at different developmental levels. 

Inclusion Services


In order to determine if a child has an exceptionality AND requires an individualized education program a number of steps must be completed.

A team must be formed that includes a parent/guardian, regular education teacher, special education teacher, a member of the Local Education Agency (the school), related service providers, and the student (to the extent possible). It is the role of the team to determine academic and behavioral interventions, program modifications and accommodations, which will appropriately support the student in accessing the grade-level general education curriculum.

Based on the recommendation of a parent or teacher the team will review interventions that have been implemented to assist students in the general education setting. Based on observations, assessments, student work samples, and any independent evaluations the multi-disciplinary team will determine whether or not to order a full individual evaluation of the student. If the child is evaluated and specialized instruction and/or related services are recommended, the IEP team (including parents) will work together to develop appropriate and measureable goals for the student. Student progress will be monitored throughout each academic quarter and will be reviewed yearly.

In order to be eligible for an Individualized Education Plan under the IDEA Act 2004 a student must have a diagnoses of one (or more) of the following:

  • Autism
  • Deafness
  • Emotional Disturbance
  • Intellectual Disability (previously MR)
  • Orthopedic Impairment
  • Traumatic Brain injury (TBI)
  • Learning Disability 
  • Deaf-blindess
  • Developmental Delay
  • Hearing Impairment
  • Multiple Disabilities
  • Visual Impairment (including blindness)
  • Other Health Impairment (OHI)
  • Speech or Language Impairment
 

Arts, Global Languages, & Technology

 

Research shows that arts education and integration into the curriculum can lead to cognitive and motivational enhancements in learning. Based on studies of arts-integrated schools, this approach offers inclusive learning opportunities for different types of learners.

Students’ success in the arts is related to the nature of the instruction, which relies on a combination of both verbal and nonverbal teaching. Arts integration taps into students’ visual, kinesthetic, and auditory strengths, engaging them more deeply in learning. Research confirms that students are more motivated to learn through arts-integrated projects that include music, movement, and drama. The International Early Years and Primary Curriculum implemented at our school includes arts-integrated, thematic curriculum units.

To prepare students with the skills required to engage successfully in a globalized world, all students take Spanish and Mandarin language classes beginning in Preschool. These classes often include music and movement. In addition to arts-integrated learning in our academic subjects, we promote a well-rounded education that includes the arts as an autonomous part of the curriculum. We thus provide our students with music, movement, visual arts and drama during the school day and in our extended day programs.

Technology is also an important part of learning at CMI.  The International Early Years and Primary Curriculum specifically include goals in ICT (Information and Communications Technology) to help build students' skills in using technology tools to research topics of study and to create original works to communicate understanding.  Teachers at CMI use technology in the classroom to connect with experts, teachers, and schools around the world--giving students authentic experiences and strengthening the international focus of our School.  

Our middle school program features STEAM (Science-Technology-Engineering-Arts-Math) integrated into IMYC units, allowing students to engage deeply with their coursework through multiple modalities. Students are exposed to hands-on, interactive projects through which they become “makers.”  STEAM education helps students become critical and creative thinkers, offering diverse learning opportunities for all types of learners--a perfect match for the international, inclusive, and arts-integrated program at CMI.

Before and After School Programs

 

Our After Care Program is for students in Prekindergarten 3 through 4th grade. The After Care Program provides students with homework supervision, a nutritious snack, and free play, both indoors and out. Students participate in informal activities such as chess, music, dancing, and art projects, while enjoying social interactions with their friends and academic reinforcement from our talented staff members. Our after care staff consists of CMI teachers, student support staff, childcare professionals, and local university graduate students and undergraduate students on education tracks. To enroll, please visit our payment website.  For more information about policies and procedures, please see our Student/ Family Handbook 2016 - 2017.

The Middle School After School Program has been designed to allow our oldest students the opportunity to make choices and exercise leadership and self-direction. Our goal is to provide a safe, healthy environment for continued learning, exploring interests, and developing skills. The middle school after school program runs from 4:00 to 6:00 (5th graders may attend from 3:30 to 6:00). For information about our current activities, please see our Description of Offerings. To enroll, please visit our payment website.

Our Creative Clubs are for students in preschool through fourth grade.  Clubs offer targeted enrichment activities that are designed to complement the child-centered and academically rigorous instruction of our school day. Examples of popular clubs include:
Art
Hip Hop
Capoeira
Soccer
Graphic Novel Writing
Drama
Coding
Martial Arts
Yoga
Mandarin

Click here to view our latest club brochure for more information. Please review our payment policies prior to enrolling in activities. Once you have selected your clubs and enrolled, please pay via our payment website.

Individual Music Lessons are available on a limited basis. CMI students take private lessons in piano, violin, guitar, percussion, and electronic programming. Sign up for music lessons here.

Scholarships for clubs and individual music lessons are available to students who qualify for Free & Reduced Lunch. Each term, CMI awards over 20 scholarships to students on the basis of financial need, in keeping with our mission to help all students develop a life-long love of learning. These scholarships are funded in part by the generosity of our Creative Families Association, as well as by the school, our funding partners and individual donors.

For more information about scholarships, please contact our Director of After School Programs: hannah.reed@creativemindspcs.org.

Before Care 
Before care is offered from 7:45 - 8:15 AM. Space in before care is limited, and is available on a first-come, first-serve basis. To enroll, please visit our payment website.

Payment Policy 
All before and after school activities must be paid for in advance. Please pay for services via our payment website, or in person at the school with a check, money order, or cash.  The following is a chart describing the pricing for all before and after school programs: Schedule of Before and After School Fees. For more information about our policies and procedures, please see our Student/ Family Handbook 2016 - 2017.

Nutrition & Wellness

We are pleased to announce that we have a new breakfast and lunch vendor for 2016 - 2017. Stokes Kitchen will be providing CMI with healthy, wholesome school meals. All children are eligible for free school breakfast, beginning at 8:15 a.m. daily.

Creative Minds International PCS will participates in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP). The NSLP is a federally assisted meal program that provides nutritionally balanced, low-cost or free lunches for students who qualify based on family income. Click here to learn more about NSLP.

Families can apply for free school lunch through the National School Lunch Program by submitting this form. Please send the form to James Lafferty-Furphy at james.lafferty-furphy@creativemindspcs.org. If you qualify, you will not pay anything for school lunch. 

If you would like to purchase school lunch, you may do so via our online payment website. This website will allow you to pay for a monthly lunch plan. Please note that payment must be received in advance, two weeks prior to the start of the month. 

Creative Minds International Commitment to Wellness
Children’s diet has a significant influence on their ability to focus and learn. A healthy digestive system has a positive affect on the nervous system and increases attention and mental clarity.

At Creative Minds International PCS, we teach children about health and nutrition in the curriculum. Because we understand the importance of healthy dietary options for our students, we ensure that our school lunches meet or exceed national requirements for healthy meals.

In addition to a healthy diet, we address our students’ wellness through opportunities for movement and exercise throughout the school day. Activities include yoga, dance, sensory integration work, and physically active games.

Breakfast, Lunch, Snack Menus

2016-17 Menus

National School Lunch Program

Public Service Announcement (updated 8/10/16)

During the 2016-2017 school year, Creative Minds International Public Charter School will participate in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) in accordance with the Healthy Schools Act (HSA) in the District of Columbia.

The U.S. Department for Agriculture prohibits discrimination against its customers, employees, and applicants for employment on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, sex, gender identity, religion, reprisal, and where applicable, political beliefs, marital status, familial or parental status, sexual orientation, or if all or part of an individual’s income is derived from any public assistance program, or protected genetic information in employment or in any program of activity conducted or funded by the Department. (Not all prohibited bases will apply to all programs and/or employment activities.)

If you wish to file a Civil Rights program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint form, found online at http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, or at any USDA office or call (866) 632-9992 to request the form.

You may also write a letter containing all of the information requested in the form. Send your completed complaint form or letter to us by mail at US Department of Agriculture, Director, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-9410, by fax (202) 690-7442 or email at program.intake@usda.gov.

Individuals who are hearing impaired or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339; or (800) 845-6136 (Spanish). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.”

Also, the District of Columbia Human Rights Act, approved December 13, 1977 (DC Law 2-38; DC Official Code §2-1402.11(2006), as amended) States the following: Pertinent section of DC Code § 2-1402.11:

It shall be an unlawful discriminatory practice to do any of the following acts, wholly or partially for a discriminatory reason based upon the actual or perceived: race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, marital status, personal appearance, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, family responsibilities, genetic information, disability, matriculation, or political affiliation of any individual. To file a complaint alleging discrimination on one of these bases, please contact the District of Columbia’s Office of Human Rights at (202) 727-3545 or ohr.dc.gov.

USDA Nondiscrimination Statement (Updated November 2015)

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at: http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:
- mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-9410;
- fax: (202) 690-7442; or
- email: program.intake@usda.gov.

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

Forms

How to Apply for Free and Reduced Meals
Cómo Solicitar Comidas Escolares Gratis
School Approved Snack Checklist
Creative Minds International PCS Local Wellness Policy

Health Information