Creative City Public Charter School

Creative City Public Charter School Logo

2810 Shirley Ave., Baltimore, MD 21215
County: Baltimore City
Grades: K - 5
Phone: 410-642-3600
Principal: Traci Mathena
School # 0384

What makes us unique:

Place-based education uses the local community and environment as a vehicle for learning core skills and exploring questions that are relevant to Baltimore and to students’ lives. Place based education increases student motivation and performance, helps student develop stronger ties to their local environment, and allows the school to make positive change in the community. Place-based education is experience-based, and in kindergarten, play-based. Students will learn about the built environment, infrastructure, residents, businesses, culture, resources, challenges, and the history of the city around them.  Examples of place-based projects that incorporate interdisciplinary Common Core standards in our school have included: Personal story-telling in Kindergarten, creating a Podcast about our community in Grade 1, creating an original puppet show featuring native wildlife in Grade 2, creating river otter habitats in Grade 3, and studying our business and government infrastructure will research and role-playing at BizTown in Grades 4 and 5.

Mission and Vision:

Creative City Public Charter School uses Baltimore City’s natural and built environments and communities as a learning foundation. Our elementary school, where teachers, students and parents share governance and cooperate on curriculum and community decisions, builds on the inquisitive nature of children to drive the project-based arts-integrated curriculum, developing self-directed critical thinkers.


  • After School Programs
  • Arts Integration
  • Community School
  • Debate
  • Experiential Learning / Project-Based
  • Extracurricular Activities: Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts, other clubs vary by year
  • Individualized Learning
  • Play-Based
  • Recess Daily
  • Responsive Classroom
  • Restorative Practices
  • Summer Programs


  • Ceasefire Partner School: host quarterly life-affirming events, provide Ambassador training, promote peaceful practice every day.
  • Partner school with Girl Scouts of Central Maryland in the Girls Rise in Park Heights program. 
  • We work very closely with our nearest community association, the Towanda Neighborhood Association on meetings, advocacy, and fundraising.
  • Our Back to School BBQ and our year-end celebration called “Creative CityScape” are well attended by neighbors.  We have partnered with MECU, Safe Streets, and the Northwest Bulldogs football league.
  • Walters Art Museum: ALL Creative City students have at least one piece of art on display for a full week, culminating in a family reception and celebration.

Lottery preferences:

  • Neighborhood
  • Siblings of current students
  • Teachers and staff

Principal's Message:

I am most proud of my school community when… 
  • I can see those “lightbulb moments” when a student is able to connect their learning to what is happening in their everyday lives.  This is what place-based and project-based learning is really designed to do – make learning meaningful and relevant. 
  • We do not shy away from difficult conversations, but lean into them. I am proud when our staff can respond to student questions or observations about inequities that they may see in their community in a way that is sensitive, developmentally appropriate, and encouraging of more dialogue in the future.  I am proud when we model these skills so that students can use them and be advocates for equity and change right now, as young people.