Our Mission

The mission of City Neighbors Charter School is to provide an extraordinary public school education with high academic achievement for all students. Our ultimate goal for our school is that through Project Based Learning, Arts Integration, parental involvement and community outreach, the students leave enlivened, with deep awareness of themselves, their families and the outside community, and with the capacity to be good citizens.

Our Vision

At CNCS our classrooms serve as individual model communities where issues are discussed, differences in perspectives are welcomed and children work cooperatively, rather than competitively. The CNCS governance model - including parents, business and community leaders, teachers, students and the principal - reflect our commitment to cooperative governance, based on the principles of human dignity, consensus, and freedom. Our belief and experience is that when given a strong structure to support generative thinking as well as meaningful activities to perform, all children and adults strive for excellence. Because of this focus, CNCS' impact on the lives of students and families and the community will be powerful, positive and long lasting.

Statement on Diversity

Diversity is essential to who we are!
In this spirit, City Neighbors embraces the diversity within our school, community and world. We endeavor to create an environment that values all people of any ability, age, family structure, gender, gender identity, race, religion, sexual orientation, or socioeconomic status.
We strive to create this environment through our curriculum, interactions, staffing, policies and procedures.
As the families, staff, and students of City Neighbors, we accept the responsibility to help every member of our school feel safe, respected and valued.

Educational Approach

We share the goal that every parent has for their child: to learn and be successful in school and in life. The educational approach at City Neighbors focuses on teaching for thinking and understanding. Using the State Content Standards as an academic framework, we set high expectations for every child. We believe in a project based learning environment where children can learn more in the process of exploring ideas, making predictions, building models of their ideas, and testing outcomes as they apply their knowledge. In this process we encourage children to be empowered by knowledge and thinking for their own lives and for the good of the community. They also become passionate learners as we engage them in work that makes sense to them. You can learn more about our approach to education by following the main links across the top of the web site.


Twelve years ago, on September 5, 2005, City Neighbors Charter School opened its doors to 120 Kindergarteners through fifth graders. Opening day, complete with ceremonies and flowers, was the culmination of several years of planning, struggle, and advocacy by our founding families. A group of Baltimore City families had a vision for a creative, energized, family-school cooperative —one that would challenge, honor, and deeply respect children.    From that vision came our arts integrated, project based, Reggio Emilia inspired, parent-school cooperative and one of the first charter schools in Maryland.

City Neighbors Charter School has become known as one of the best schools in Baltimore City. With wait lists of hundreds of children and evidence of our impact annually and cumulatively, we have—together– built a model in public education. This model has not only benefited the hundreds of students that have attended our school, but it led to the opening of our sister schools and partners City Neighbors Hamilton and City Neighbors High School and  a fun learning Summer Camp. 

2016-2017 will be a Renewal Year— we literally renew our charter for another half a decade. But it is also a renewal year figuratively—a chance to reconsider our origins and to keep creating. I am grateful for this opportunity as the new leader, with the addition of new teachers, new families, new initiatives and a renewed facility to come together to create together a vibrant school community.

This renewal year, all of us together can add to the on-going effects of thinking and action in public education.  We can all, together, help City Neighbors thrive!

Here’s to a banner year and a bright future at City Neighbors Charter School!  -Kate Seidl, Principal



City Neighbors Hamilton logo and link                   City Neighbors Hamilton                     City Neighbors Foundation logo and link                    City Neighbors High School                   City Neighbors High School logo and link