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CMCS History & Archives 

Ambleside-October weekend- fire station 019.jpg

2007 October: Evelyn is in the red. Jeriann Batten, a much loved teacher, is behind her. Dale Batten, her husband, did all the work to bring Messiah Church up to code. We closed for two years and reopened with a very small class, but it then grew.

A Letter to the Future CMCS Community
from Therese Racklyeft

In 2001, alongside Chris Blunden, Evelyn Hoey, Phyllis Lee, and Bonnie Schow, we envisioned the Charlotte Mason Association of Detroit (CMAD) to bring Charlotte Mason’s rich educational philosophy to inner-city Detroit. By 2002, we established Ambleside Community School (ACS), responding to local families' need for quality education.

Evelyn and I discovered Charlotte Mason’s teachings while homeschooling. Inspired by her philosophy, Evelyn attended a worldwide conference in Ambleside, England, and completed internships through Charlotte Mason Schools International. Mason’s belief that all children deserve a rich curriculum, and should actively seek knowledge, resonated deeply with us. With God’s grace, we started a K-6 school, expanding to K-8 within a year.

Ambleside thrived with its low student-to-teacher ratio, individualized teaching, and nurturing of children’s exploratory instincts. The success of our approach was evident in the positive changes seen by parents in their children’s learning and behavior.

By 2010, we evolved into Charlotte Mason Community School (CMCS), continuing to grow with a strong curriculum, dedicated staff, and supportive parent community. In 2013, we added more teaching interns and hosted our first education conference.

In 2019, we relocated to 17400 2nd Ave, allowing us to serve more children and become a significant voice in Detroit’s educational reform. We are grateful for the opportunity to share this transformative educational philosophy and look forward to the future of CMCS.

Warm regards,
Therese Racklyeft
Co-founder, Charlotte Mason Community School

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