Washington, DC - November 8, 2017 – For the Sixth Year, the Latin American Montessori Bilingual Public Charter School (LAMB) achieved Tier 1 Status based on the DC Public Charter School Board’s (PCSB) rankings, and this year LAMB was the highest ranked early childhood/elementary public charter school in Washington, D.C.   In addition, LAMB was rated as one of the highest performing DC Public Charter Schools (based on overall score) and has consistently been assessed Tier 1 since 2012.  This Tier 1 ranking, which indicates high standards of performance, is based on the results of the School Quality Report, the PCSB’s annual tool for assessing and monitoring charter school performance.

Each year, DC PCSB evaluates the performance of every public charter school in the District. These evaluations are compiled into reports, which are used to rate schools into Tiers 1, 2 or 3, with 1 being the best. This allows students and families to rate the quality of the school’s achievement compared with other public charter schools across Washington, DC.  Although every public charter school is unique, these reports focus on common metrics to rate and evaluate all schools on an equal footing.

“Kudos to the entire LAMB Family: students, staff, parents and partners.  This achievement underscores the importance of coming together to support our students and further our mission of fostering a learning environment that promotes a lifetime of learning,” said Diane Cottman, LAMB’s Executive Director.

Highlights of LAMB’s 2016-2017 School Quality Report

  • LAMB is the highest ranked early childhood/elementary charter school in the District of Columbia
  • LAMB ranked #3 of all public charter schools city-wide
  • LAMB’s student re-enrollment rate is 96.4%
  • LAMB’s in-seat attendance rate is 95.3%
  • LAMB’s greatest increase was in PARCC Math Scores (3rd grade and up)
  • LAMB has consistently earned high marks in early childhood pre-literacy in Math 94.4% (meet and/or exceed expectations for achievement)

A school’s score is based on a numerous factors, including student progress as measured by the average growth in state test scores (PARCC) of individual students from one year to the next, the percentage of students who scored College and Career Ready or Approaching on the PARCC, school attendance rates, and school re-enrollment rates.  LAMB’s 2017 overall percentage is 87.7%, up 4.4% from last year.

LAMB is a dual language immersion public charter school, which serves children from preschool to grade 5, with facilities in Wards 4 and 5 in the District of Columbia.  LAMB’s mission is to foster bilingualism in a self-directed learning environment in which children build a foundation of knowledge essential for a lifetime of learning.  

No School Lunch During First Week

LAMB will be working with a new food service vendor this school year. NSLP Solutions will be providing all meals at LAMB including a fruit/salad bar. NSLP Solutions believes in feeding children healthy, nutritious, locally sourced foods. Their mission is to feed every child in the nation the same way we feed our own children. For more information, visit

All meals at LAMB will be provided starting September 6. Menus will be posted on our website. You can submit your menus to Betsy Romero (MO) at or Iashira de la Rosa (SD) at


LAMB estará trabajando con un nuevo proveedor de alimentos este año escolar. NSLP Soluciones proporcionará todas las comidas en LAMB incluyendo frutas /ensalada tipo buffet. NSLP Soluciones tiene como meta  alimentar a todos los niños con alimentos sanos, nutritivos y  locales. Su misión es alimentar a todos los niños de la nación de la misma manera que alimentamos a nuestros propios hijos. Para obtener más información, visite  

La comida se empezaran a servir el martes September 6.  Los menús serán publicados en la página web de LAMB. Puede enviar sus menús a Betsy Romero (MO) a o Iashira de la Rosa (SD) en

LAMB Wins at Destination Imagination Tournament

Washington, DC – March 7, 2016 – Three teams from the Latin American Montessori Bilingual Public Charter School (LAMB) competed in Maryland’s West Central Regional Destination Imagination Tournament on February 27, 2016. One team won first place in their division, as well as the Spirit of DI award. The two other LAMB teams won second place in their divisions.

This is the third year that LAMB students have participated in Destination Imagination (DI), a non-profit organization whose mission is to develop opportunities that inspire the global community of learners to utilize diverse approaches in applying 21st century skills and creativity. In the DI program, teams choose one of seven challenges, then over the course of the school year they work together to create and develop their solutions.

The three LAMB teams that competed were:

  • Flying LAMBies – 2nd Place in “In Plain Sight” (scientific challenge)
  • Imaginary Ugh...Marshmallows – 2nd place in “Pace of Change” challenge (technical challenge)
  • Super Flying Shadow Guys – 1st Place in “Get A Clue” (fine arts challenge) & Award for DI Spirit

The Super Flying Shadow Guys will be moving on to the Maryland State DI Tournament, scheduled for Saturday, April 9 at the University of Maryland Baltimore County.

According to Diane Cottman, LAMB’s Executive Director, “PHENOMENAL, I am extremely proud of our students. They embody our school song, “Soy la promesa, Soy la posibilidad; I am the promise, I am the possibility.” With months of hard work after school, our students shattered stereotypes and seamlessly wove together Montessori, STEM, the humanities and a liberal arts education in 8-minute presentations that were absolutely magical. They are my “sheroes” and heroes: 61% have multiple risk factors, 38% SPED, 16% have 504 plans, 50% ELL, 61% Title I and 27% have experienced homelessness. I repeat, they are the promise, they are the possibility.”

For more details related to the elements of each challenge, please read the brief description of each challenge.

In the technical challenge, Team Imaginary Ugh Marshmallows had to:

  • Design and build a vehicle able to carry at least one team member across the presentation site multiple times.
  • Change the vehicle propulsion system and the vehicle movement method during the presentation.
  • Create and present a story about change. The story will include a change in a character.
  • Create and present two Team Choice Elements that show off the team’s interests, skills, areas of strength, and talents.

In the scientific challenge, the Amazing Flying LAMBies had to:

  • Research the many ways that camouflage is used by organisms in nature.
  • Showcase camouflage research in the visible appearance of an organism.
  • Create and present a story with a plot twist that is caused by the use of camouflage.
  • Apply camouflage methods to an original, team-designed and created set piece or prop.
  • Create and present two Team Choice Elements that show off the team’s interests, skills, areas of strength, and talents.

In the fine arts challenge, the Super Flying Shadow Guys had to:

  • Present a mystery story set on Earth in a team-chosen time period before 1990.
  • Discover, live on stage, which of the three suspect characters is responsible for the mystery.
  • Include a TechniClue that helps solve the mystery.
  • Present in the style of traverse staging.
  • Create and present two Team Choice Elements that show off the team’s interests, skills, areas of strength, and talents.

Happy Holidays Message from LAMB's Executive Director

Season Greetings Friends and Family,

Each year around this time, I try to find a quiet spot to sit and listen to the kaleidoscope of thoughts and feelings I have running through my mind and heart. Foremost is a sense of gratitude for all that each and every one of you do to make LAMB an educational home that not only provides high quality academics, but builds a community of learners that celebrates the uniqueness of the individual child and his/her ability to develop their whole selves.

When I walk around LAMB with visitors, without exception, the consensus is LAMB is a special place. There are lots of smiles and quiet and raucous activity. When you walk into an elementary classroom, frequently a student comes over and introduces him or herself and offers you something to drink. Other students are working on chromebooks, involved in animated conversations, or working with their teacher guides individually and/or in small groups. In a primary classroom, there are children snacking, teachers and students working on mats on the floor or small tables, an easel being splattered with paint by the next great artist or a student comforting a peer in crisis.

You may not know that the headphones are really noise cancelers for the child who is better able to concentrate with fewer audio distractions. The adult and student in the corner are a wonderful example of how inclusion works well for some students with special needs; and the lunch bunch is both a reward and motivation for students who need it.

One hears Spanish and English and students demonstrate through their actions that they understand what is being said. You can see diversity in height, gender, color, and weight; but you cannot see at-risk, special needs, socio-economic status, single or coupled parents, homeless or homeowners. There are no labels nor price tags giving visual cues for the cost of learning. 

But imagine, two teachers in every classroom, clean safe facilities, high quality staff, music and art, summer school, extended learning day, year-round professional development, camping trips and field trips all around the DC metropolitan area, ALL come at a premium cost. 

More than 800 families entered LAMB’s lottery this year. We had fewer than 50 new slots available. We need to increase our enrollment to educate more District children. We must address the persistent gap in academic achievement among those with few to no risk factors and those who struggle with multiple risks. We must replace the loss of District support of summer school with donor dollars, in order to lessen the “brain-drain” that occurs when children are not enrolled in school; and we must strengthen our core programming and support services. 

We are proud of our accomplishments and YOU ARE KEY TO OUR STUDENTS’ SUCCESS. We are grateful and thank you for all you have done with and for us in the past. We still need your help. Por favor, remember LAMB for your year-end tax-deductible giving. You may give any many ways. You can send us a check made out to LAMB PCS or click here to make a tax-deductible donation. LAMB’s tax identification number is 52-2356681. And, please make time to embrace loved ones and share a smile with a stranger. Small and large acts of kindness are the greatest gifts we can share with humanity. 

Peace and Happy New Year!


Diane Cottman 
Executive Director

LAMB Executive Director and Principal Receive Prestigious DCACPS Awards

LAMB staff at DCACPS Awards.

On Thursday, May 8, 2014 the DC Association of Chartered Public Schools (DCACPS) presented awards to two LAMB staff members. At their annual STARS Tribute, DCACPS presented Diane Cottman, Executive Director of the Latin American Montessori Bilingual Public Charter School (LAMB), with an award for Most Valuable Administrator. LAMB Principal Cristina Encinas was given the award for Most Outstanding Principal.

Ms. Cottman was nominated for the Most Valuable Administrator award in recognition of her outstanding leadership and tireless efforts in providing quality educational opportunities for DC residents. According to the nomination letter, “Ms. Cottman founded the Latin American Montessori Bilingual Public Charter School (LAMB) more than ten years ago, and she has proven to be an excellent leader and a wonderful asset to the school and community. Diane's ambitions, intelligence, and accomplishments make her highly deserving of the honor and opportunity bestowed by the DC Association of Chartered Public Schools.”

The nomination for Most Outstanding Principal for Ms. Encinas was based on her ten years as Principal of the school, in addition to her being a co-founder. “Cristina is an outstanding principal. She has led LAMB to achieve Tier 1 status for three years in a row based on the Public Charter School Board’s assessment tool, the Performance Management Framework. In addition to the Tier 1 ranking, in 2012 LAMB was also recognized by the PCSB for achieving the highest median growth in reading for elementary/middle schools. She has led LAMB to continuous growth in proficiency in third grade reading with an average of 8% increase in student achievement in mathematics, an overall in-seat attendance rate of 94%, 1% out-of-school suspension rate for violence and 0% expulsion rate.”

Padres Comprometidos

LAMB is pleased to once again offer a new parent engagement program in partnership with the National Council de la Raza (NCLR). Padres Comprometidos is a six week program that helps parents better promote the academic and social progress of their child. The sessions will be held on Wednesday evenings at 6:00 pm beginning February 13th and ending March 20th. The classes will be hosted at the Taylor Street Facility and are in Spanish and are targeted towards Primary parents. Sessions are as follows:

February 13th: The Development of the Whole Child

February 20th: Language Development in Babies, Toddlers, and Preschool Age Children

February 27th: Early Math Experiences for Young Children

March 6th: What Parents Should Know About Kindergarten Expectations

March 13th: What Parents Need to Know to Prepare Their Children for Kindergarten

March 20th: Conversation With School Leaders

For more information about this program, contact Kioma Alfred at 202-726-6200 or via email at

Volunteers Needed for Popcorn Day

The LAMB PTO needs 3 to 5 volunteers once a week from 2:30 – 4:30pm to make and sell popcorn. Popcorn Day is on Wednesdays at Missouri and Fridays at Taylor. To volunteer at Missouri, sign up at or contact: Oscar Rojas at  To volunteer at Taylor, sign up at or contact Miguel Rosario

Scholastics is Back!

LAMB will be participating in Club Leo from Scholastic Book Clubs. This is a great opportunity for parents to get their children Spanish books for their home libraries. The Club Leo forms will be in your children’s folders so you can pick and choose the books. Parents also have the option to order online at with the classroom activation code JRYQV. LAMB will receive bonus points for every purchase made, so we can get books for our library. Betsy will be taking the order forms for the Missouri Avenue facility and Melissa will do the same for Taylor Street. Forms are due by February 15th, so please make sure you submit your orders on time. If you have any questions feel free to contact Betsy at

Padres Comprometidos

Congratulations to the first cohort of 12 LAMB parents who recently graduated from the Padres Comprometidos Program. In this six-week parent engagement program offered in partnership with the National Council de la Raza (NCLR), participants learned how to better promote the academic and social progress of their child.

Many thanks to Martha Sanchez, LAMB parent, who co-facilitated the sessions. The second session of Padres Comprometidos will be offered at the Taylor facility. For more information about this program, contact Teresa Aspinwall, parent liaison, at 202-726-6200 or via email at


Join in the fun! The Sister School Group and the PTO are sponsoring this fun event for all LAMB families. The time: 6 to 8, the place: 1375 Missouri Avenue. There will be Latin/US dance music, a photo booth for you and your child/(s)/partner, heart cookies to decorate, a Salsa dance competition, fair trade cookies/chocolate to purchase, hearts and crafts, Latin food, valentine writing to sister school students, and MORE!

Entrance cost (food is extra): $5 per person or $15 max per family. Food and drinks will be available for sale. All proceeds go to scholarships for our three scholarship recipients in Nicaragua. Come, have fun and help change a child's trajectory!