By Joe Burris, The Baltimore Sun
7:05 PM EDT, June 5, 2012
The Children's Guild Institute will open an International Baccalaureate school in Laurel in Anne Arundel County, its third in the Baltimore area, the nonprofit organization said.
The county school board is expected to vote on Superintendent Kevin Maxwell's recommended contract agreement for the school, slated to be called Monarch Global Academy Public Contract School, at its meeting Wednesday. The school, which would open in fall 2013, would also include a special international studies curriculum.
The school would be built from the ground up on 8.4 acres on Brick Bridge Road. It would serve students in grades kindergarten through five and ultimately house students in grades six to eight as well.
The Children's Guild also has Monarch Academies in Baltimore and Glen Burne. As charter schools, they draw students from throughout their respective districts.
Anne Arundel officials said that they have designated the new school in Laurel as a contract school, meaning it will determine from which areas of the county students can be recruited. School officials said they have contracted with Monarch Academy to recruit students from Maryland City, Brick Bridge and Jessup elementary schools, and that the result would be a reduction in overcrowding at those schools.
All Monarch Academies are tuition-free public schools.
Last month, the Anne Arundel school board approved Monarch Globe's application after its agreement to build another school to ease overcrowding in the Laurel area — Imagine Global Village Academy Public Contract School — was terminated. Palm Cos., a Washington-based developer, will build the school and lease it back to the Children's Guild.
Dr. Andrew Ross, president and CEO of the Children's Guild Institute, said Friday that the negotiations for the lease and the contract between Monarch Academy in Laurel and Anne Arundel County were finalized the previous day.
"We have everything figured out between the developer, the school system and the Children's Guild. Now we can start moving forward to putting the pieces of operating the school together," he said.
Ross said that the school's enrollment would be 430 students the first year, and ultimately reach 715 students.
"One of the things we need to do is recruit some members of the community to serve on the school board; we'll do that toward the end of June," Ross added. "Construction should begin in July or August for the building itself."
Ross said the school plans to hire a principal to start in January or February.
"We will have to install all the environments that make a Monarch Academy school unique," he said. "We're starting without even a paper clip."
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