FAQ about Creative Minds

Where is Creative Minds located?

Creative Minds International Public Charter School is in the Petworth neighborhood of Washington, DC. Our school sits on the campus of the Armed Forces Retirement Home, in the historic Sherman Building.

The entrance to the campus is at 140 Rock Creek Church Road NW, at the intersection of Upshur Street NW. Ours is a secure campus—a government-issued ID or school pass is required for entry.

What grade levels are served by Creative Minds?

Creative Minds serves students in Pre-K3 through 8th grade:

  • Lower School: Pre-K3 through 4th grade
  • Middle School: 5th through 8th grade

How do I apply to Creative Minds?

You may apply to Creative Minds through the My School DC lottery. Find information at myschooldc.org. The lottery for the 2023–24 school year opens on December 11, 2023, and closes on March 1, 2024, for grades pre-K3 through 8.

Can you tell me about your inclusion program?

These are the components of our inclusion program:

  • Meetings with New Families: To understand a student’s needs; the IEP is tailored to meet the needs of the student.
  • Day in the Life: The student participates with others in learning activities, and teachers understand the student’s IEP and how it is implemented in the classroom setting.
  • Collaboration: Among related-service providers, general-education teachers, inclusion teachers, and paraprofessionals.
  • Related Services: Speech-language pathologist, occupational therapist, social worker, physical therapist, audiologist, and any other providers.

Is there outdoor space for students on the Creative Minds campus?

Our campus offers plentiful outdoor space, including a playground that features a classroom, art studio, and school garden.

What are the hours of the school day?

Our Before School program begins at 7:30 a.m.

Drop-off and breakfast begin at 8:15 a.m. Classes start for all students at 8:45 a.m.

Students in lower school (pre-K3 through 4th grade) are dismissed at 3:30 p.m. Dismissal for students in middle school (5th through 8th grades) is at 3:40 p.m.

On Friday, students are dismissed early—at 12:30 p.m. for lower school and 12:40 p.m. for middle school—and teachers have an afternoon of professional development. We offer an enrichment program for all students on Friday, from 1:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

After-school programs begin at 3:30 p.m. for lower school and 3:40 p.m. for middle school and run until 6:30 p.m.

What is the student-teacher ratio?

Our maximum class size is 21 students, for a student-teacher ratio of about 10:1. In most classrooms, there is a teacher and a teaching assistant.

What does a “holistic approach to education” mean?

Our holistic approach means that we focus on the whole child, promoting both academic learning and social-emotional development. This can be seen in the small-group work that happens in our classrooms and the project-based learning that builds on children’s curiosity.

At Creative Minds we don’t “teach to the test.” Instead of giving up months of instruction to prepare for standardized tests, we engage students in active, project-based learning all year long.

We believe that children’s progress in key social and cognitive developmental milestones is a prerequisite for personal and academic success. Our inclusive and child-centered approach to education respects the integrity of each student.

What do you mean by “international curricula”?

We implement the international curricula from Fieldwork Education:

  • International Early Years Curriculum: Pre-K3 and Pre-K4
  • International Primary Curriculum: Kindergarten–4th Grade
  • International Middle Years Curriculum: 5th–8th Grade

These curricula help children develop a sense of their own nationality and culture while also developing respect for the nationalities and cultures of others.

Thematic units combine several academic subjects in an engaging manner that makes learning relevant to real life.

Creative, interdisciplinary projects promote deep engagement and provide opportunities for students to integrate their own interests and experiences.

Hands-on tasks spark curiosity, encourage teamwork, and help students to make connections between academic subjects and real-world issues.

Does Creative Minds offer foreign-language instruction?

Yes, students in prekindergarten through 4th grade take one Spanish class and one Mandarin class each week. Students in 5th through 8th grades choose one of these languages to focus on, in order to work toward mastery, and participate in language class four times a week.

Note that Creative Minds is not an immersion school.

Do students have arts classes?

Arts integration taps into students’ visual, kinesthetic, and auditory strengths, engaging them more deeply in learning. Creative Minds students take classes in music and visual art, and the arts are integrated into our international curricula.

Do students have recess?

We believe that movement is an integral part of children’s development, and we provide movement opportunities through daily recess. Students in lower school have a 30-minute recess twice a day, and middle school students have one 30-minute recess.

Students also participate in physical-education classes.

Do you offer breakfast and lunch at school?

Creative Minds participates in the National School Lunch Program. We offer free breakfast to all students, starting at 8:15 a.m. Lunch is available for purchase, and a snack is served to students in our after-school programs.

Our food-service provider is Top Spanish, a local caterer. Visit our Nutrition & Wellness webpage to see breakfast, lunch, and snack menus.

What extracurricular programs does Creative Minds offer?

Extended Creative Day is a fee-based program that complements the learning of the school day. Discounts and scholarships are available on the basis of financial need.

  • Before School, for all students, starts at 7:30 a.m. and offers families the convenience of an early drop-off.
  • In After School, students participate in physical and creative activities, tutoring, and study hall. After School begins at 3:30 p.m. for students in pre-K through 4th grade and at 3:30 p.m. for students in 5th through 8th grades. The program ends at 6:30 p.m.
  • During Friday Enrichment, students participate in activities such as homework time, read-alouds, art projects, and math learning. The program happens on Friday afternoons when students are dismissed early, and teachers have an afternoon of professional development.

Through Creative Clubs, middle school students participate in targeted enrichment activities. This school year, we’re hosting a debate team, a Girls Who Code club, and a One World club with One World Education. There is no cost for Creative Clubs.

In 2022–23, we began offering Sports Clubs to students in all grade levels: Basketball, Early-Childhood Sports, Running, and Soccer. Students learn new skills and participate in intramural competitions; we plan to eventually join a sports league. These clubs are free for all students.

Middle school students also participate in the Student Council.

Are you hosting open houses for prospective families?

Yes! Please join us at school for an open house:

Open House for Prospective Families
December 5, 2023
6:00 p.m.–7:30 p.m.

Open House for Prospective Families
Tuesday, January 9, 2024
6:00 p.m.–7:30 p.m.

Open House for Prospective Families
Saturday, February 10, 2024
10:00 a.m.–11:30 a.m.

How can I learn more about Creative Minds?

Learn more about Creative Minds by exploring our website, creativemindspcs.org, and following us on social media; we are @CMIPCS on Facebook, X, and Instagram.

Can I contact Creative Minds if I have questions?

We’d be glad to talk with you about our school! Please email enrollment@creativemindscps.org or call (202) 588-0370.

If you have questions about the lottery process, please contact My School DC: info.myschooldc@dc.gov or (202) 888-6336.