In 2008, a group of community activists, educators and parents sought to establish a Montessori program to serve public school students in Washington, DC. In 2010, the charter application was approved by the District of Columbia Public Charter School Board and the vision of establishing Shining Stars Montessori Academy Public Charter School (SSMA) became a reality.
The SSMA founders chose the Montessori Methods as its centering pedagogy, because we are convinced that this approach will change the educational outcomes for children living in Washington, DC.
The SSMA founders reflect the professional and ethnic diversity required to govern a high-performing and progressive public charter school. Our SY 2014-2015 Board of Director composition continues that tradition and includes two veteran Montessori teachers, a COO of an area public charter school, parents, a neurobiologist/assessment specialist, non-profit administrators and private and public sector attorneys.
This year the school expanded to add one additional Primary classroom (Nelson Mandela Stars) and one Upper Elementary classroom (Langston Hughes Stars). Next year (SY 2016-2017), the school will enroll 200 students, and we will add one additional Primary (for a total of 6) and one Upper Elementary (for a total of 2) classroom.