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Beginning in the summer of 2003 as a grassroots movement among a group of city neighbors, 17 families worked together and submitted the charter for an arts-integrated, project-based, Reggio Emilia-inspired parent-school cooperative in Baltimore.

City Neighbors Charter School, our founding school, opened in the fall of 2005 with 120 students in grades K-5. Today, City Neighbors Charter School is a thriving K-8 with 234 students.

By the fourth year of operations, our waitlists topped 400 students for approximately 25 openings. Both excited by the demand — but also disheartened to turn down so many families and children — and facing our first graduating 8th-grade class, City Neighbors decided to open a second campus which would hold City Neighbors Hamilton, another K-8, plus City Neighbors High School.

City Neighbors Hamilton opened in 2009 offering grades K-3 and graduated its first 8th grade class in spring 2015. City Neighbors High School opened in 2010 offering 9th grade only, and graduated its first senior class in May 2014, with a more than 90 percent graduation rate.

Today, the City Neighbors network of schools serves more than 800 children.

City Neighbors Foundation

With the expansion to three schools, we recognized the need for a structure to support the work of those schools and to impact public education. So we created the City Neighbors Foundation.

From the beginning, City Neighbors has taken a stand for schools where students are seen as capable, creative, loving, and worthy of the deepest respect. Our mission is focused on student achievement, defined in the broadest way to include relationships, advocacy, music, art, and friendship. We believe in great public education in Baltimore.

To read more of our story, see our Decade Report .