The Center School

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Who We Are

The Center School (TCS, formerly BSIL) is a private microschool school recognized by the Maryland State Department of Education. We are secular, progressive, and nontraditional with a focus on the child and family. Our style of education is flexible, collaborative, creative, and designed for independent learners in 3rd through 12th grades. We are located in Owings Mills, Maryland, near Irvine Nature Center and Stevenson University.

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How We Got Here

The Center School began in 2013 as Baltimore School of Independent Learners. The school founders and families identified a need for something new and dynamic, something other than the existing traditional educational institutions, something other than homeschooling. Something with some academic boundaries and structure, yet with as much freedom and flow as each student was able to successfully maintain.

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How We Work

The Center School creates personalized student profiles to develop academic experiences that speak to the student’s academic needs, their learning style, and their interests.

Our students are self-motivated, self-directed learners who are able to manage their time, schedules, and studies. Independence is a central focus to our community.

Common Ground Community Center group of kids posing for photo
Group of older kids posing for photo under pavilion with masks on

Students’ academic courses include:

  • Scheduled classes at TCS
  • TCS created and approved independent study courses
  • Independent study courses created by the student and their family (approved by TCS)
  • Passion Project (project based learning projects).

The approach that we take to learning and the diverse environment that we have created for students is what makes TCS unique and desirable to non-traditional students who want choices in directing their education.

Our school is based on the university model with no bells to signal class times, varied class schedules and free periods. Our students are self-motivated, self-directed learners who are able to manage their time, schedules, and studies. Independence is a central focus to our community. Students must demonstrate their ability to independently do their part as a community member and as a student of TCS. In addition to managing their schoolwork, students are expected to contribute to the well-being of the community by participating in meetings, assisting other students, maintaining The Center, and helping teachers and staff.

Our priorities include social justice, high academic standards, a choice for families in how they want to educate and raise their children, parent involvement, community partnership, creative learning, and personal responsibility.

Our Community

Students are expected to always be kind, respectful, considerate, and inclusive. Our community is wonderfully diverse and consists of students, parents, teachers, and staff who are LGBTQ, people of color, immigrants, of many religions, atheist, agnostic, and from various ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds.

What we have created is a program and an environment where our people come first: our teachers and volunteers, our students and our families, our community. Our priorities include social justice, high academic standards, a choice for families in how they want to educate and raise their children, parent involvement, community partnership, creative learning, and personal responsibility.

Students, staff, and family members work together to host field trips, holiday parties, community activities, dances, and other social events for our school and homeschool center and often the greater community. The Center has sponsored many events including, teen and tween dances, talent shows, and field days. Our field trips have taken our students out of the classroom and into museums, theaters, and even a wolf sanctuary! Check out the News & Events for more information.

Group of older kids skipping through the parking lot, laughing and having fun

ACADEMIC CALENDAR & CLASSES

The Center School 2021-22 Academic Calendar - September 13 , 2021 - May 19, 2022

DateDescription
September 13, Monday1st day of classes. Beginning of 1st grading quarter.
September 23, ThursdayLast day to ADD full year or session 1 classes to student schedule.
September 30, ThursdayLast day to DROP a full year or session 1 classes to student schedule. TCS - After 9/30 classes will appear on report card as a Withdraw (W).
October 7, ThursdayLast day to WITHDRAW from full year or session 1 classes. TCS - After 10/7 classes will appear on report card with a grade.
October 11-14, Monday-ThursdayCLOSED - Session Break 1. Classes resume Monday, Oct. 18.
October 28, ThursdayEnd of 1st grading quarter. Report cards posted November 11.
November 22-25, Monday-ThursdayCLOSED - Session Break 2. Classes resume Monday, Nov. 29.
December 16, ThursdayEnd of 2nd grading quarter. Report cards posted January 13.
December 20-30, Monday-ThursdayCLOSED - Session Break 3. Classes resume Monday, Jan. 3.
January 13, ThursdayLast day to ADD session 2 classes to student schedule.
January 17, MondayCLOSED Holiday - Martin Luther King Jr.
January 20, ThursdayLast day to DROP session 2 classes to student schedule. TCS - After 1/21 classes will appear on report card as a Withdraw (W).
January 27, ThursdayLast day to WITHDRAW session 2 classes. TCS - After 1/28 classes will appear on report card with a grade.
February 21-24, Monday-ThursdayCLOSED - Session Break 4. Classes resume Monday, Feb. 28.
March 10, ThursdayEnd of 3rd grading quarter. Report cards posted March 24.
April 4-7, Monday-ThursdayCLOSED - Session Break 5. Classes resume Monday, Apr. 11.
May 12, ThursdaySeniors last day. End of quarter 4 for Seniors only.
May 13, FridayGraduation 11am.
May 19 LAST DAY, ThursdayEnd of 4th grading quarter. Report cards posted June 2.

TUITION & FEES

2021-2022 Tuition and Fees
•5% discount if tuition is paid in full on the day of enrollment
•7% sibling discount
All payments are due in full by March 1, 2022

Tuition Grades 3-8

4 Days

$10,375

 

3 Days

$8,215

 

2 Days

$5,440

Tuition Grades 9-12

4 Days

$11,000

 

3 Days

$7,750

 

2 Days

$5,770

General Student Fee: Grades 3-8: $150, Grades 9-12: $175.

All students regardless of enrollment date are responsible for the General Student Fee. Student fees cover technology, lab, book, art, and material fees. Student Fees are due by August 31, 2021 or by enrollment date.

 

Scholarship Info:

The state of Maryland enacted the BOOST (Broadening Options & Opportunities for Students Today) Scholarship Program in 2016 to give K-12 students from lower-income Maryland families an opportunity to find the best educational fit for their needs by providing scholarships for their children to attend a nonpublic school. This puts more options within reach for Maryland families and children, particularly those who are most in need: https://www.marylandboost.org/.

Admissions Process

TCS accepts applications on a rolling basis. We use an online database called Alma to collect inquiries and manage the application process. Submitting this form will send your information to us.

Please use the link below to request more information or to apply for admission.

One

Familiarize yourself with our school on the website.

Two

Submit interest form through the our portal here.

Three

Schedule a tour and interview through our portal here.

Four

Complete application through our portal here with $35 application fee.

Five

Have current complete school records sent. Download Records Release Form through our portal here.

Six

Complete the TCS non-standardized assessment. Schedule an appointment through our portal here.

Application decisions usually takes one week from receipt of all necessary documents. Admission decisions are based on careful review of the student’s application, interview, assessment, and their potential ability to achieve academic, social, and personal success at TCS. Each decision is made on an individual basis.

TCS admits students of any gender, gender identity, race, color, religion, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, and national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at The Center. It does not discriminate on the basis of gender, gender identity, race, color, religion, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, or national and ethnic origin in the administration of its policies, classes, activities, and programs.