Middleburg Community Charter School opened for classes last Thursday with Stephen Robinson in place as its new principal.
Hired following a nationwide search, Robinson most recently served as vice principal of Washington DC’s Imagine Hope Community Charter School since 2015. In 2016, the school was awarded the Imagine School of the Year, an award given to the highest rated school in the Imagine Charter Network of more than 60 schools. In addition, Robinson was named Teacher of the Year in Washington, DC in 2010. He holds a bachelor’s degree in history and a master’s degree in administration and supervision.
“Creating a great school begins with building relationships with each other,” Robinson stated. “The staff at MCCS is committed to providing rigorous instruction that is based on critical thinking, collaboration, and creativity. I am confident that MCCS will provide each scholar with an education that is both challenging and unique. My desire is that every family in Loudoun has the aspiration to send their child to a school such as MCCS.”
MCCS opened in fall 2014 as the first public charter school in Northern Virginia. The school is governed by a community-based board of directors but operates under the umbrella of Loudoun County Public Schools and is open to any elementary student living in the county.
The school emphasizes project-based learning and a progressive, whole-child approach with a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics)-based curriculum taught to blended classrooms (grades K/1, 2/3, 4/5). The school has room for 150 students.
MacKenzie Escobar, a teacher in one of the K/1 classrooms, is in her fifth year at the school.
“It’s exciting because MCCS is starting to evolve past Project-Based Learning toward something called Place-Based Education. That’s the idea that students are active participants in their immediate community with the ability to identify problems and solve them,” she stated.
For example, she said some of her students noticed that Middleburg was missing a children’s museum where students and adults could be curious and creative. They created a Fairy Garden, complete with whimsical, bright plants, painted rocks, handmade props, and personal messages. “At age 5, these students already felt empowered to make a difference in their community and world, and, really, that’s what education is all about,” Escobar said.
Middleburg Mayor Bridge Littleton serves on the school’s board of directors. “Since the 1880s, this school has not only been educating our children, but has been an important partner with greater Middleburg, serving the broader needs of our community. We are committed to MCCS’s continued success,” he stated.
There is no fee to attend and no test to gain admission. MCCS is accepting applications for students from kindergarten through fifth grade for the 2019-2020 school year.
To speak with Principal Robinson or schedule a school tour, call the school at 540-687-5048.