Who We Are and What We Do

Our Mission

The mission of City Neighbors Hamilton is to provide an extraordinary public school education with high academic achievement for all students. Our ultimate goal for our school is that through project-based learning, arts integration, parental involvement and community outreach, the students leave enlivened, with deep awareness of themselves, their families and the outside community, and with the capacity to be good citizens.

Our Vision

At CNH our classrooms serve as individual model communities where issues are discussed, differences in perspectives are welcomed and children work cooperatively, rather than competitively. The CNH governance model - including parents, business and community leaders, teachers, students and the principal - reflect our commitment to cooperative governance, based on the principles of human dignity, consensus, and freedom. Our belief and experience is that when given a strong structure to support generative thinking as well as meaningful activities to perform, all children and adults strive for excellence. Because of this focus, CNH' impact on the lives of students and families and the community will be powerful, positive and long lasting.

Our Statement on Diversity

Diversity is essential to who we are.  In this spirit, City Neighbors Hamilton embraces the diversity within our school, community and world. We endeavor to create an environment that values all people of any ability, age, family structure, gender, gender identity, race, religion, sexual orientation, or socioeconomic status.  We strive to create this environment through our curriculum, interactions, staffing, policies and procedures.  As the families, staff, and students of City Neighbors Hamilton, we accept the responsibility to help every member of our school feel safe, respected, and valued.

Our Philosophy

Our unique model combines a progressive education with a powerful governance model that relies on meaningful parent involvement, community outreach, and the inspiration of the schools of Reggio Emilia.

Our Educational Approach

The staff of City Neighbors Hamilton share the goal that every parent has for his/her child: to learn and be successful in school and in life. The educational approach at City Neighbors Hamilton focuses on teaching for thinking and understanding. Using the State Content Standards as an academic framework, we set high expectations for every child. We believe in a project-based learning environment where children can learn more in the process of exploring ideas, making predictions, building models of their ideas, and testing outcomes as they apply their knowledge. Through this process, we encourage children to be empowered by the construction of knowledge, by reflection upon their own lives, and through consideration of what is good for the community at large. As a result, our students become passionate learners as we engage them in work that makes sense to them.

What is Reggio Emilia?

Reggio Emilia is the name given to a teaching style that has evolved in the Northern Italian municipality of Reggio Emilia. Fundamental to this educational philosophy is the perception of children as being strong, intellectually rich, and possessing great potential. In this educational model, the teacher works with children to stimulate and deepen critical thought in a research partnership. In Reggio Emilia, knowledge is seen as something that is socially constructed and should be based on ideas and experiences that are real and meaningful to the child.  
Curriculum Overview
Reading: Teachers design the reading instruction at CNH to offer multiple opportunities every day for students to read and discuss their reading. Generous amounts of time are dedicated to helping children grow in their abilities as readers, writers, spellers, and communicators through a variety of interesting activities relevant to the children, their projects and studies, and their developmental stages. The goals for language and literacy instruction at CNH are for children to become independent and productive readers who enjoy reading and who recognize its relevance in their lives.

Mathematics:  Think Math!, is a comprehensive kindergarten through fifth grade curriculum that provides high-quality mathematics for all children. Think Math! does not pit skill against problem solving. Rather, it builds computational fluency through plentiful practice in basic skills as students investigate new ideas and solve meaningful problems. Lessons provide glimpses of ideas to come, letting students build familiarity and develop conceptual understanding as they apply, sharpen, and maintain skills they already have.

Science:  Full Option Science System (FOSS) modules begin with hands-on investigations, then move students toward astract ideas related to those investigations using simulations, models, and readings.  FOSS provides long-term inquires for each grade level, and the modules build upon eac other toward the grand ideas of science. 

Art: Inspired by the schools of Reggio Emilia, the arts are an essential component of our educational approach – not an add-on, but a connecting point to involve and challenge students in their entire academic and creative evolution. The arts permeate the CNH community, where the halls are designed to showcase drawings, paintings, poems, and constructions by students. Artistic expression is admired, respected, and honored.
Social Studies: Each year, students at CNH will explore three overarching themes. These themes will serve as the primary focus in social studies, but will be integrated when possible into other areas of the CNH curriculum. Each theme lasts approximately thirteen weeks (the length of one trimester) and culminates in a school-wide celebration of learning.

Frequently Asked Questions:  Nuts and Bolts

How many grades does City Neighbors Hamilton have?

City Neighbors Hamilton serves 234 students (full capacity) in grades K through 8.    

What are the class sizes at City Neighbors Hamilton?

  • Grades K -2:  24 one class per grade
  • Grades 3 -5:  26 one class per grade
  • Grades 6 -8:  28 one class per grade

What are school hours?

Classes begin promptly at 8:15 AM. On Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, school ends at 3:15 PM. Every Thursday, school closes at 1PM to allow for collaborative staff planning and development.

Does CNH provide after school care?

On-site after school care is provided by United Education Corporation, an independent childcare provider.   Visit their website for further information.

How does CNH do lunch?

A monthly menu provided by BCPS will be distributed in the Monday Mailer and a link to the lunch menu is posted on the school website. Daily fare includes a hot or cold entree, 2-3 side items and 1/2 pint of milk.  We are also proud to announce that we have a salad bar! 

All students are eligible to receive a free lunch. Of course, your child can bring a bagged lunch from home. 

Does CNH serve breakfast to its students?

Yes!  All students are eligible for a free breakfast at school, as long as they arrive in time to be served.  Breakfast begins at 7:45 AM and ends promptly at 8:00 AM.  

What is the dress code at CNH?

At City Neighbors Hamilton, students are not required to wear uniforms.  However, in order to promote a safe and respectful learning environment and to ensure a focus on learning, CNH employs a dress code which all community members are expected to follow.

In general, we ask that children wear clothing and shoes appropriate for the weather and for fully participating in school activities, such as our music, art, and physical education programs. Please make sure your child's clothing is comfortable.  Be aware that because we are a hands-on, project-based school, clothes will often get dirty.

Please follow the following guidelines and discuss them with your children: 

• No logo wear that represents any of the following: hate images, hate speech, violence, exclusionary messages, contraband, sexually explicit messages, or any references to them (i.e., sexually explicit language or graphics, alcohol, tobacco, illegal drugs, or weapons).  This applies to all clothing and accessories, i.e. backpacks, folders, and binders. 

• No see-through or revealing shirts or blouses.  Shirts with shoulder straps must be at least 1” in width. No shirts that expose undergarments. (Sleeveless dresses, blouses, or collared shirts are acceptable.) 

• No midriff or cropped shirts. (Shirts must cover navel and not expose midriff.) 

• Pants must be worn above the hips.  No sagging pants.  No clothes with revealing rips.

• Shorts or skirts should be no shorter than just above the knee. Girls should not wear skirts on physical education days, or should wear knee-length shorts underneath. 

• No chains or heavy metal fasteners worn with clothing.

• Head wear: no sweatshirt hoods, hats, caps, or bandannas worn indoors during school hours. If a shirt or jacket has a hood attached, the hood must be kept down. If headwear must be worn for any extraordinary reason--personal, religious, or medical--please see the principal.) 

• No flip-flops, high-heeled shoes, or heelies (shoes with wheels) at school.  Athletic shoes are required for P.E. classes.

If a student violates this code, we will contact the parent for an appropriate and timely remedy.  


  To learn more about all of City Neighbors, please visit:

City Neighbors Charter School Logo          City Neighbors Foundation          City Neighbors High School Logo