At The Summit School, HOW we teach is as important as WHAT we teach. It is a school where DIFFERENCE can mean EXCEPTIONAL, where learning outcomes are identified and measured.

Widely recognized for academic excellence and research-based methodologies, teachers maximize students’ strengths and support areas of weakness.

Summit empowers students and prepares them for success in high school and beyond. With a strong foundation, the possibilities are endless.


The Summit School is designed to meet the needs of bright students in grades one through eight who have dyslexia and other learning differences. In our 28th year of successfully serving children and their families, we still love what we do and are inspired to share the mission we serve: The Summit School educates children with unique learning profiles to their full potential.
Our work enables students to achieve their hopes and dreams which leads them to the successes they achieve in high school, college and their careers. Our alumni will tell you that the foundation they received from their Summit education served them well through their high school years and beyond. Summit has always educated students so they are “college and career ready”. We are so mission-focused that we feel compelled to share our story of who we are, what we do, and how each child who joins our community is valued, celebrated, and educated.
Share the love of learning
Our focus this year is to continue to share the love of learning with our students and their families, but also to share this love of learning with students and families outside our schoolhouse walls. Our dedicated, talented, and highly trained team of educators in the School program and our team of Summit Resource Center diagnostic clinicians and tutors provide assessments and instruction that uncovers the unique learning profile of each individual student and matches that knowledge with instruction. When students engage with customized instruction with professionals who understand how they learn and who they are as individual, students learn to love learning. Why? Because they feel competent and safe in their learning environment. They begin to love and value themselves as learners.
Share the vision
The Summit School envisions a future in which students with learning differences mature into self-sufficient, self-advocating, and successful adults. That vision is supported by instruction in the core competency skills of reading, writing, and math that is rooted in scientific research and has an evidence base for efficacy. Our robust school program also supports our vision. Our students are exposed to world knowledge in literature, social studies, and science. They learn from their teachers and through discovery. They problem solve all day long, seeking solutions to problems in math, science, social studies, and even problems encountered in literature because we have a STEM (Science-Technology-Engineering-Math) – infused approach to teaching and learning. We seek to share our vision not only with our families but also with families in the greater community.
Share the knowledge
There is so much knowledge in the world of research that supports assessment and instruction for individuals who have dyslexia and other learning differences. That research base directs the methodologies and strategies we use with our students. We track each student’s progress and use that data to serve programming decisions. We seek to share that research-based knowledge related to dyslexia and other learning differences with our parents and with our community. Open a local paper and you will see the seminars we offer for parents to help them understand their wonderful and unique learner who may be struggling in school. Look on our calendar of events and you will see our annual Symposium on December 3, 2016 that will help educators and parents understand brain-based learning and the value of movement to engage learners. Peruse our website and you will see on-line resources about learning differences so you can understand and help your child who may struggle in school.
Share the hopes and dreams
What does every parent hope and dream about for their child? That they are happy every day, that they learn and progress through school so they can lead a happy, fulfilled and successful life on their terms. We share that dream too. Every day, our educators hold that dream front and center as they think about how they will teach every child in their classroom. Parents, your dreams are our dream and we want you to know that we never lose sight of that dream. Those dreams become realities for our students when they move on to high school and beyond, college and career ready.
Why so much sharing?
We were inspired by our long-time friends at Annapolis Subaru and their Share the Love campaign. They have generously selected The Summit School, a non-profit institution, to be their hometown charity during Subaru’s National Share the Love event. Starting in mid-November through the end of 2016, anyone who purchases a new Subaru will choose from a list of charities to receive a $250 donation. Annapolis Subaru has chosen Summit as their hometown charity. Please share the word about this exciting opportunity for our school!
Sincerely and in the service of children and their families,
Dr. Joan A. Mele-McCarthy, CCC-SLP
Executive Director


The Summit School educates children with unique learning profiles to their full potential.


The Summit School envisions a future in which students with learning differences mature into self-sufficient, self-advocating, and successful adults.


Summit was founded in 1989 by Dr. Jane R. Snider, former Executive Director, in response to a need in the greater Annapolis/Baltimore metropolitan community. Parents were traveling to Baltimore and Washington D.C. for their children to receive the specialized education that they needed to succeed.

For its first 5 years, The Summit School found its home in an old mansion in Upper Marlboro, Maryland.  By December 1995, Summit had outgrown the mansion and relocated to its current location, a former horse farm, situated on 15 picturesque acres in Edgewater, Maryland.

Summit was founded as a mission driven school devoted to helping every child reach their full potential.  Dr. Joan A. Mele-McCarthy, current Executive Director, continues the mission and leads Summit as a model program for bright students with dyslexia and other learning differences. Summit remains the only school in Anne Arundel County to serve this population of students exclusively.

Campus Tour


Facts Worth Knowing

  1. Each year, Summit enrolls approximately 110 students in grades one through eight and maintains an overall 4:1 student to staff ratio.
  2. Our classes for reading and math are small, intimate groupings giving each student the opportunity to gain skills by actively engaging in instruction and robust dialogue with teachers and peers. Our other content classes are a bit larger with two assigned teachers allowing for differentiated instruction and cooperative projects.
  3. All our faculty members are carefully selected because of their educational background, diagnostic skills and earnest desire to participate in a dynamic teaching environment built on collaborative efforts, shared ideas and on-going professional development.  Our faculty receives training and on-going mentoring throughout the school year from professionals who are well-respected in their fields.  Speech-language pathologists, a school psychologist, occupational therapist, technology coordinator and librarian add additional support.
  4. Over the past 25 years, our graduates have successfully joined their peers in well-known high schools and attended rigorous colleges and universities across the country. Our alumni have successfully pursued careers in education, science, speech-language pathology, technology, human services, finance, Naval aviation, doctoral studies, acting, film production, fashion and graphic design and business.  We are enormously proud of them. Their stories are testimony to the work that we do and the importance we had in their success.
  5. Transportation is now available.  At this time routes have been established for Anne Arundel County, Calvert County, and Prince Georges County.  More specific information is available upon request.
  6. To schedule an in-person tour, please contact our admissions director at kathy.heefner@thesummitschool.org.

meet our faculty

Awards and Honors


Summit Teacher, Kelly Rampmeyer, named Private School Teacher of the Year for Anne Arundel County.


Dr. Joan A. Mele-McCarthy, Summit’s Executive Director, appointed by Governor Larry Hogan to be the Chair of the Task Force to Study the Implementation of a Dyslexia Education Program.

Dr. Jane R. Snider, Summit’s Founder, was inducted into the Annapolis and Anne Arundel County Chamber of Commerce’s Hall of Fame.


Dr. Joan A. Mele-McCarthy, Summit’s Executive Director, elected ASHA Fellow.

Summit teacher was named Private School Teacher of the Year for Anne Arundel County.


Dr. Joan A. Mele-McCarthy selected by Leadership Maryland for its 20th Anniversary Class.

Dr. Joan A. Mele-McCarthy named Washington Post Distinguished Educational Leadership Awardee.


Summit Teacher is named Private School Teacher of the Year for Anne Arundel County.


The Summit School is selected as a 2008-2009 National Association of Special Education Teachers (NASET) School of Excellence.

The Summit School is awarded Non-profit of the Year by the Annapolis and Anne Arundel County Chamber of Commerce.


Summit teacher was named Private School Teacher of the Year for Anne Arundel County.


Dr. Joan Mele-McCarthy is awarded the prestigious Roland J. Van Hattum Award from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Foundation, the non-profit arm of ASHA, for her outstanding contribution to the field.


Blue Ribbon Schools Foundation named Summit one of six finalists out of over 1300 schools in their 21st Century Schools of Distinction.


Summit teacher is named Educator of the Year by the Maryland State Department of Education.


Daniel Grove,
Board Member

Rick de los Reyes,
Board Member

Elizabeth A. Crabtree,

Chris Lamon,
Vice Chairman

Ann Alsina,

Peter Davis,

Nick Clark,
Board Member

Rosie Donahower,
Board Member

Stacy Labbe,
Board Member

Jim Montgomery,
Board Member

Nate Pope,
Board Member

Paul Woodburn,
Board Member