Phoenix International School of the Arts

LA PLATA, Md. — Phoenix International School of the Arts, a new tuition-free public charter school, will begin accepting enrollment applications on October 10 from rising 6th, 7th and 8th graders in Charles County. 

Interested families can complete an application online by visiting the PISOTA website

The first school of its kind in Charles County, PISOTA will open its doors in La Plata at the start of the 2023-2024 school year. The school will provide students with an education that features the core academic subjects students in all schools learn, but PISOTA students will also select an intensive focus from among dance, music, voice, theatre, visual arts, or museum studies and new media. 

PISOTA is open to all students in Charles County, and enrollment is based on a fair and equitable system that provides for an open enrollment period from October 10 to December 16 and, if necessary, a lottery and a waitlist. For its inaugural year, the school will have spaces for 150 students total across the three grade levels. 

“We’ve had a high level of interest among scholars and their families, and many people are still learning about us,” co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Angelica Jackson said. “The PISOTA Crew is working hard to keep spreading the word and building excitement.” 

Since 2019, PISOTA founders — consisting of students, parents, teachers, education researchers, and community leaders — have been consulting and collaborating with the Charles County 

community-at-large to design the school our young people need. 

In Maryland, public charter schools are part of their local school district, they have oversight of the local board of education, and are held accountable to the communities they serve, their local board of education, and the Maryland State Department of Education. They are publicly funded and do not require tuition or an entrance exam. 

Public charter schools are often mission-driven, offering families an added option and filing a need within a community’s education-landscape. 

The pillars of the PISOTA approach to learning include: 

  • Excellence in A3: Academics, Arts Instruction + Arts Integration 
  • Global Competence, Leadership and Bilingualism 
  • Mental Health and Holistic Wellness 
  • Real-World Experience and Access to Experts 
  • Community Uplift 

If 150 or more scholars have already applied when the open enrollment period ends on December 16, subsequent applicants will be added to a wait list. An enrollment lottery on January 16 will determine which students get the first opportunity to enroll. The lottery will be held live via an online video conference, open to all, to ensure complete transparency. 

For more information on Phoenix International School of the Arts, visit Stay up to date with Phoenix International School of the Arts by connecting on social media


PISOTA was approved to open by the Charles County Board of Education in April 2021 with the support of Charles County Public Schools leadership. Its mission is to inspire and prepare the next generation of global artists, scholars, innovators and changemakers to make our world a better place. PISOTA provides a supportive learning community that promotes creative exploration, global competence and bilingualism, holistic wellness, learning enriched by real-world experiences, and access to experts — all combined with arts integrated teaching practices, an inquiry-based international curriculum, and the latest in technology and innovation. 

It is a nonprofit public charter school managed by local nonprofit, Phoenix International Incorporated — a K12 education design studio developing educational programs, in-person and in web3, that are creative, relevant, and inspiring. 

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