Open Houses Announced for the 23-24 School Year

Join us on campus at one of our three Open House events during the 2023-2024 school year. You’ll have a chance to meet administrators, teachers, students, and staff, while learning all about our amazing learning program.

October 12  (9:00 AM – 11:00 AM)

January 11  (9:00 AM – 11:00 AM)

March 21 (6:30 PM – 8:30 PM)

Please RSVP here.

For more information please contact Chloe Kadan, Director of Admissions, at

The Enduring Legacy of Maria

Maria Consuelo was a former Chelsea School student gifted with exceptional artistic talents who tragically died in a car accident in 2000. Found abandoned in Bogota, Columbia and adopted at the age of two years old and raised in Washington, DC, she was diagnosed with a learning disability in the first grade.

Her mother, Valerie Kreutzer, sensed her intelligence at an early age as she excelled as an athlete, puzzle-solver, and artist despite her struggles with reading. “I knew that Maria was very smart in the way she often questioned and understood complicated concepts,” said Valerie. “For example, she would look at an orange and wonder why he couldn’t see the vitamin C inside of it. But reading was another matter. We practiced spelling until we were exhausted and reading was such a difficult chore leading to tantrums and torrents of tears at the kitchen table.”

After years of struggling in public schools, Maria enrolled at Chelsea School in the 6th grade. She began to thrive, as a student, reader, and especially as an artist under the instruction of her art teacher, Pam Aspiazu. “At Chelsea, Maria profited from her art classes,” remembered Valerie. “Her growing self-esteem spilled into her academic work and she began to write well, enjoyed math and Kate Fedalen’s science classes, and began to show her true promise as a student with gifted-level intelligence.”

Besides excelling in art and gaining confidence in academics, Maria benefited greatly from her counselling sessions with school social worker Pam McRae, who managed to break through a wall of denial and grief.  Under Pam’s gentle guidance, Maria could unload the frustration over her learning difficulties and the pain of losing her birth family.  According to Valerie, on Wednesdays, after her sessions with Pam, the family enjoyed their most peaceful evenings.

After Maria’s death, Valerie invited members of her family and friends to contribute to the Maria Consuelo Fund at Chelsea School.  It started with a modest amount that grew to $25,000, but then got a significant boost from family friend Marian McNaughton, who left half of her estate to the fund.  The purpose of the fund was to honor Maria’s memory with awards for graduates who show promise in the arts, are actively engaged in life, demonstrate an inner fire that motivates them to achieve, and dare to take risks to pursue their dreams.

Maria and her mother, Valerie Kreutzer

“I have been gratified to see over the past decades a number of award recipients who remind me of Maria’s struggles and heroic accomplishments,” said Valerie.  “I feel deeply touched knowing that our financial assistance helps young artists–cartoonists, film makers, photographers, sculptors–on their way towards mastery, despite their learning difficulties. I know that my Maria would be thrilled with this legacy and I hope that Chelsea will continue to nurture the often hidden and precious talents of its students.”

Maria Consuelo, like so many Chelsea School students who came before, and have come after her, was able to demonstrate, despite years of academic failure and trauma, her true intelligence and creativity with the help of a nurturing team of caring individuals. We at Chelsea School are incredibly proud of Maria’s legacy, and are extremely grateful for the financial support that Valerie, her family and friends have given to our students. If you would like to join parents like Valerie in support of our mission, please consider donating at this link:

School Starts August 29th!

Chelsea School will be starting it’s 46th year of operation by welcoming its students back to school on Monday, August 29th.

Head of School Kristal Weems-Bradner is excited about the coming school year. “We can’t wait for our students to come back. The beginning of the school year is always such a special time for them. They get a chance to meet their new teachers, reconnect with their friends and former teachers, and get back in the daily routine of being a Chelsea Knight!”


Open Houses for 2022-23

Join us on campus at one of our four Open House events during the 2022-23 school year. You’ll have a chance to meet administrators, teachers, students, and staff, while learning all about our amazing learning program.

October 27  (9:00 AM – 11:00 AM)

January 26  (9:00 AM – 11:00 AM)

February 23 (9:00 AM – 11:00 AM)

March 23 (6:30 PM – 8:30 PM)

For more information, or to RSVP, please contact Chloe Kadan, Director of Admissions, at

Substitute Teachers

Chelsea School is seeking qualified substitute teachers for the 2022-2023 school year. Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree. Teaching experience is preferred. Please contact Carlita Jones, Director of Education, at for more information.

Chelsea 7th Grader Raises Money for Baseball in Puerto Rico for Mitzvah Project

Chelsea 7th Grader Raises Money for Baseball in Puerto Rico for Mitzvah Project

Chelsea School 7th grader Sol Miranda-Weiner is known to his school friends as a young man with two passions: science and baseball. As he turns 13 this year, he will becoming a bar mitzvah and completing a mitzvah project. Sol has chosen to raise funds and support Play Ball Puerto Rico, an organization that renovates baseball fields that were devastated by Hurricane Maria and numerous earthquakes.

“For me, one of the most important things about becoming a Bar Mitzvah is the opportunity to help others”, said Sol. “I love playing baseball, and I play on some really nice and safe fields in Washington, DC, and I want kids in Puerto Rico to have that too.”

“I have chosen to renovate a field in Ponce, Puerto Rico, where one of my grandpas was born. In Ponce, the few fields that survived Hurricane Maria, did not survive the earthquakes. All the money that I raise will be used to renovate a specific field there. I really like that they will also make sure to involve the community to renovate their field.”

Play Ball Puerto Rico was started by then 13 year old, Lawson Strenecky, who wanted to do something when he saw the devastation of Puerto Rico by Hurricane Maria.

“I am very excited and committed to working with Play Ball, PR and have been joining board meetings to better plan for this amazing opportunity to serve.  I also plan to volunteer in person, to help fix the field and get to know the community, when I am in Puerto Rico this summer.”

Sol is asking the Chelsea Community to be a part of his Bar Mitzvah project by donating money to Play Ball, Puerto Rico to help communities have a safe place to come together, and for kids to play baseball in Ponce.

For more information, please visit the website at

To donate: you can donate through PayPal using the email: . Make sure you mark donation and not payment for services and make a note that this is for Sol’s project.

You can also send checks directly to Play Ball Puerto Rico:

Dr. Bernard J Strenecky

C/O Play Ball Puerto Rico

3518 Sorrento Ave.

Louisville, KY 40241

Support Maryland Senate Bill 706!

Did you know that nonpublic school teachers are paid 23-40% lower than teachers in public schools?

Did you also know that nonpublic teachers are required to meet the same licensing requirements of public school teachers?

Please join Chelsea School in supporting Maryland Senate Bill 706 which will help to align nonpublic teacher salaries with those of their public school counterparts. Hiring and retaining quality teachers remains one of the biggest challenges facing schools like Chelsea.

Over 85% of Chelsea School’s students are funded by their public jurisdictions because they require the intensive, individualized support that most public schools cannot provide. These students come to Chelsea after experiencing years of academic failure. Chelsea School, and schools like it, give these students a chance to experience academic success while building literacy, numeracy, and writing skills. With a graduation rate of nearly 100%, Chelsea School alumni are now excelling in colleges and universities, as well as in a variety of professions from law to education. These same students were previously at-risk for dropping out or slipping into the school-to-prison pipeline.


There will be a hearing on SB 706 – MANSEF’s salary parity bill – before the Senate Budget and Tax Committee on Wednesday, March 2. PLEASE CALL AND EMAIL THESE LEGISLATORS to register your support. Show them you care about our publicly funded students who need
qualified teachers who must be paid similar to their public school counterparts. Please tell legislators to support this much needed legislation as our schools will not be able to serve Maryland’s most challenged students. Working in a nonpublic special education school should not put our staff at a disadvantage.

Here are emails and phone numbers to flood their offices by Wednesday afternoon.

Senate Budget and Tax Committee 410-841-3572 410-841-3141 410-841-3903 410-841-3590 410-841-3578 410-841-3686 410-841-3575 410-841-3127 410-841-3165 410-841-3565 410-841-3700 410-841-3587 410-841-3625

House Ways and Means Committee 410-841-3471 410-841-3652 410-841-3267 410-841-3110 410-841-3404 410-841-3328 410-841-3793 410-841-3444 410-841-3205 410-841-3257 410-841-3365 410-841-3331 410-841-3493 410-841-3356 410-841-3284 410-841-3326 410-841-3211 410-841-3037 410-841-3070 410-841-3458 410-841-3557 410-841-3247 410-841-3707

New Wednesday Enrichment Program Launches

New Wednesday Enrichment Program Launches

At the beginning of February, Chelsea School launched a new Wednesday enrichment program to bring performing arts and creative experiences to our students for the second semester of the 2021-2022 school year. The purpose behind this project is twofold: to provide our teachers with additional time to plan for their classes, and to provide our students with a social-emotional and creative outlet in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and virtual learning.

To accomplish this, Chelsea School has partnered with local groups to provide enrichment classes in playwriting, improvisational comedy, coding, hip hop dance, drama, spoken word poetry, filmmaking, and step dance. Students will participating in two of these groups each Wednesday for nine weeks, after which they will move to new classes. The response from students has been very positive.

“I’m really enjoying the opportunity to be creative and express myself,” said a Chelsea School sophomore. “I didn’t think that I would like this as much as I do.”

One of the most troubling impacts of the pandemic on students was social isolation and the amount of time spent away from their peers in face-to-face social situations. Chelsea School’s administrators are hoping that this enrichment program will help to foster better socialization for our students.

“Our students need to be able to express themselves,” said Kristal Weems-Bradner, Head of School. “These enrichment classes give them a space to do just that. We are hoping that this will not only allow them to become more comfortable working in a group, but will also help them to build confidence.”

Teacher Feature: Perry Nichols

Teacher Feature: Perry Nichols

For more than 25 years, Perry Nichols has made a positive impact on the health and livelihood of Chelsea School students. He is known as a major jokester amongst the teachers, writing limericks and getting a laugh out of everyone!

You may recognize Mr. Nichols from an NBC4 news segment last year, after Chelsea School had the opportunity to partner with local nonprofit Leveling the Playing Field. This exciting experience gave Chelsea students at-home sports kits, which allowed them to engage in physical education during virtual learning. Students and staff can attest to the fact that Mr. Nichols is constantly looking for new and exciting ways to engage students in their own wellness.

“I like seeing the satisfaction on a child’s face when they learn a new skill, a new game, or a new sport, and when they improve on a skill involved with that sport or activity,” said Mr. Nichols. “I like teaching the whole child. This means giving the child as many parts of a skill needed to accomplish a single task and showing them how and when to use every part of the skill to accomplish that task.”

Chelsea staff and students have nothing but love (and jokes) for our beloved Mr. Nichols:

“Mr. Nichols pushes me as my coach.”

“He has an amazing energy and a laugh that lights up a room!”

“He is super funny and nice!”

“Health class is really fun.”

We are so incredibly grateful to have Mr. Nichols as a teacher, mentor, coach, and friend here at Chelsea School!

P.S – To watch Mr. Nichols featured on NBC4, look HERE:

Chelsea Literacy Coordinator Recognized for Outstanding Teaching

Chelsea Literacy Coordinator Recognized for Outstanding Teaching

For the past 12 years, Karen Gallo has overseen all aspects of Chelsea School’s literacy programming. In that time, she and her reading specialists have helped hundreds of dyslexic students to become independent, lifelong readers. This fall, Karen received the Altra Federal Credit Union Cash for Classrooms award after being nominated by a former student’s family. This family shared how Ms. Gallo changed the course of their son’s life for the better, and he is now pursuing a degree and a job that he loves.

In their nomination application, the family wrote, “Teaching reading to students with dyslexia is especially challenging, but doing so with creativity, humor, patience, & enthusiasm warrants special recognition. Chelsea School serves kids with learning differences and most have language-based learning challenges like dyslexia that frustrate them and make them feel stupid. Karen know these challenges for kids and uses evidence-based methods to help them read, and more importantly, believe that they can learn – the foundation for success in school.”

“If you listen to students who have been instructed by Karen, if fills your heart with joy and hope for kids who have felt hopeless in school. Its like a new lease on life for them. Student have the confidence they need to succeed and interact with their peers with that same confidence,” continued the family.

“What especially delights me about Karen is that she rejoices with each victory her students experience and the pride they gain with those victories. Karen leads a small team of reading teachers at Chelsea School with a firm grasp of all the techniques and approaches that make Chelsea students successful and go onto college. I know this because my son had her for a reading teacher and was 4-5 years below his grade level in reading. However, with Karen’s help and encouragement, our son improved his reading to be on par with his peers and he is about to finish college. There simply is no way for a parent, or a student for that matter, to thank a teacher enough for such a life changing gift. And, there are countless students at Chelsea who have benefitted from Karen’s instructions and who would sing her praises. She deserves our every thanks & public recognition of her amazing contributions as a reading teacher.”

Chelsea School’s faculty and administration, and our entire school community, echo these sentiments. Karen has worked tirelessly to improve the lives of our students by giving them the tools to be lifelong, independent readers. She is an inspiration for us all, and we are so grateful to have her as a Chelsea Knight! We love you Ms. Gallo!