News Release, Charles County Public Schools

Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) will launch a dance program at the start of the 2020-21 school year. Housed at Maurice J. McDonough High School, the program is open only to current CCPS eighth graders or eighth-grade students who plan to enroll in CCPS for the 2020-21 school year. Students accepted into the program will attend McDonough as freshmen at the start of the 2020-21 school year with transportation provided by CCPS.

The program will be rooted in ballet, modern and jazz with other dance styles introduced throughout the four years. To be considered for the program, students must complete an assessment that includes a 30-second video showcasing their talent and potential. The video can contain original choreography and applicants do not need any formal dance training to audition.

There are 15 spots available with a waitlist. If the number of qualified applicants is more than 15, up to 20 percent of the openings may be first filled with students who score at least 80 percent of the admission criteria and who score the highest on the assessments. The remaining seats will be filled using a random lottery from the remaining pool of applicants.

The application window is from 8 a.m. Nov. 25 to 3 p.m. Dec. 20. The application can be found at An information meeting is set for 6 to 7:30 p.m. Jan. 7 at McDonough with assessments held Feb. 8 by appointment at the school. All assessments must be scheduled by Jan. 14.

“The dance program will enrich the lives of young performing artists in the field of dance. It is a learning environment that will allow students to explore their talent and passion for dancing as an art form,” said Tim Bodamer, a specialist in fine and performing arts for CCPS. “Students will take part in a well-rounded, comprehensive fine arts dance education that develops them as artists.”

An average day will include academic courses with the last two periods of the day dedicated to the dance program, which will take place in a renovated studio space at McDonough.

For more information, contact McDonough Vice-Principal Cherif Zohra at or 301-934-2944, or go to

David M. Higgins II, Publisher/Editor

David M. Higgins was born in Baltimore and grew up in Southern Maryland. He has had a passion for journalism since high school. After spending many years in the Hospitality Industry he began working in...