June 14, 2018

Students from Robert Frost Public Charter School, as part of a Project-Based Learning objective, created art and auctioned it off in support of three worthy causes, $141.79 for the Miranda Leavitt Diabetes Fund, $110.29 for the Red Cross (earmarked for Rohingya Relief), and $63.02 for the Snow Leopard Trust.

Below is a picture of the class with Brenda Addario Leavitt accepting the donation for the Miranda Leavitt Diabetes Fund.

Mr. Nelson's Class 2018



March 7, 2017 | Seven Robert Frost Public Charter School Students were inducted into National Junior Honor Society

The Robert Frost Public Charter School (RFPCS) recently inducted seven students into the National Junior Honor Society (NJHS) at a ceremony held at the community room at Granite State College.  These students include sixth graders Elizabeth Blair, Ceili Mahoney, Rian McNevich, Erin Ohlenbusch, Eli Schor, and Aaron Zakon.  Eighth grader Nicholas Zakon was also inducted.  The seven students will hold the honor of being the first RFPCS members in the school’s inaugural NJHS year.

In order to qualify for NJHS membership, a student must have five distinct qualities of excellence.  They include scholarship, leadership, service, character, and citizenship.  Michelle Cruz, a teacher at the school, as well as the school’s NJHS advisor claims, “These characteristics not only embody the seven inductees, but they also embody most students enrolled in Robert Frost Public Charter School.”

The seven inductees are well beyond their grade level in multiple areas of study, and Cruz believes this has much to do with the school’s emphasis on allowing student collaboration and the student’s ability to move forward at their own pace with no limits, “Our approach to inquiry based learning provides students the opportunity to deeply immerse themselves in all topics of discussion, broadening their comprehension.”

Some project-based programs unique to the RFPCS include Frost Service Projects and Outdoor Learning.  The Outdoor Learning initiative is new this school year.  It consists of an off-site experience each week, such as weekly trips to a local farm, sessions on basic mountaineering, or a visit to the local water district.  These trips highlight what goes into a variety of aspects of community life, such as the business of farming or the running the town’s water system. Each Outdoor Learning block culminates with a project by the students.

The seven inductees have not only met and exceeded the academic requirements of the Society, but they have also exceeded the bar within the RFPCS programming.  The school’s Montessori and project-based learning model has created an environment where classroom walls are non-constraining, allowing a student to pursue topics at his or her own a pace.  According to Head of School, Ellen Ohlenbusch, “Our comprehensive Junior High curriculum is academically rigorous, integrated and interactive.  Whenever possible we incorporate authentic experiential learning in our studies.  Our student-led approach allows students to excel, unconstrained by their school grade.  Thanks to this approach, students have the skills to tackle subjects and concepts from multiple angles.”


February 3, 2014 | Discover the Benefits of Learning through Montessori and Collaborative Projects. 


The Robert Frost Charter School (RFCS) in North Conway will host an evening with Charles Terranova, a nationally recognized Montessori Educator and speaker, on Thursday, February 6 at 5:30 PM. The event is free and open to the public. Prior to the presentation, there will be an Open House where prospective families can learn more about the RFCS, tour the classrooms and meet the school’s educators. The Open House will run from 4:30 until the 5:30 PM presentation.

Terranova will share an overview of the Montessori educational experience addressing what Montessori-based education is and how it differs from other educational approaches. He will discuss the various benefits of this approach for elementary aged children, as well as junior high aged students. These benefits include fostering a love of learning and helping students develop confidence, problem-solving and organizational skills needed to succeed in the 21st Century. Terranova will also address some of the programming initiatives specific to the local RFCS, specifically the emphasis placed on Project Based Learning and how this enhances the educational experience for students.

Enrollment at the RFCS for 2014/2015 school year is open, and this initial enrollment period will end on February 28. For more details on information sessions, open houses, curriculum and general RFCS information head to the school’s web-site, The RFCS is a free, public charter school for children entering kindergarten through grades six for the 2014-2015 school year. To enroll, children must be five years old by September 30, 2014 and reside in New Hampshire. Applications and more specific details on the application process can be obtained from the charter school’s website.

December 9, 2013 | RFCS ExplorersIMG_1877 took first place in the project category for their Pet Bubble invention at the FIRST Lego League (FLL) Tournament. 

North Conway, NH (December, 2013) – Last month a group of young competitors from the Robert Frost Charter School (RFCS) in North Conway headed south to Manchester’s Hillside Middle School to attend the FIRST Lego League (FLL) Tournament.  Once there, they pulled off an impressive feat.  Although the smallest and youngest team out of a field of 20 competitors at the November 23 event, the rookie RFCS Explorers took first place in the project category for their Pet Bubble invention.  The team tied for the third highest team score in the robot game competition.

The event, a qualifying tournament for further competition culminating with the World Festival in April, had 20 teams which consisted of three to 10 kids, with ages usually from nine to 14.  There were few teams with competitors as young as the RFCS group, with one eight-year old and two 10-year olds. According to Robert Zakon, one of the team’s coaches, “Most teams had approximately five to 10 kids, with many on the upper age range.  Our young kids bested many more experienced teams.  Their overall tournament score was just shy of what was needed to proceed onto the state finals.”

The FIRST program was founded by New Hampshire’s Dean Kamen in 1989, and the first FLL was held in 1998.  Each year has a different theme; this year it was Nature’s Fury.  The project consists of researching an aspect of the year’s theme and coming up with an invention which is then presented to the judges. There are several components to the annual competition.  One is the robot game where three matches are held against other teams; the highest team score is included in the calculation for overall tournament score.  In addition to the robot game, competitors are also judged on project presentation, robot design presentation and the FLL Core Values.   Some of these Core Values include finding solutions with guidance from coaches and mentors, working as a team, learning together and honoring the spirit of friendly competition.

Aside from Zakon, George Galev was also a team coach, and Will Broussard from the Mount Washington Observatory assisted the students early in the season as a topic expert for the project piece.  Coach Zakon states, “I’m very proud of what the Explorers team was able to accomplish.  Their performance was even more impressive given that they got a late start in the season, and were such a young rookie team.”

The RFCS students have been able to participate in the Explorers Club due to funding assistance from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc.  The organization donated a $500 Pre-University grant for the 2012-2013.  They did so again for the current school year.

November 14, 2013 | Ellen Ohlenbusch of RFCS was honored with a Spirit of New Hampshire Award.

North Conway, NH (November 13, 2013) – Madison resident Ellen Ohlenbusch has been selected to receive an Adult Service Award at the 2013 Spirit of New Hampshire Awards Ceremony held at the Capitol Center for the Arts on Thursday, November 14 for her volunteer work in creating and building the local Robert Frost Charter School (RFCS), which opened its doors to New Hampshire students in 2012. The criteria for this award include such things as the amount of time given to an organization in a volunteer capacity, as well as how large a role the individual had in the organization.  The volunteer’s impact was another factor.

According the RFCS Head of School Jennifer Karnopp, Ohlenbusch is extremely dedicated.  She explains, “Ellen saw a need in our community for educational options for all families, regardless of income, and worked to write the charter and launch the only elementary public charter school north of Concord.  She took time away from her career and has devoted the past three years in a volunteer capacity to this project. Now, she serves as School Board Chair and puts in an average of 20-30 hours of volunteer time per week managing the oversight of our school. She also serves as a mentor to our staff and to parents looking to fulfill leadership roles within our parent volunteer community.”

Karnopp goes on to explain that the work Ohlenbusch has put in has created economic growth in our region, making it a more attractive area for employers and creating 12 new jobs.  In terms of impacting area children, Karnopp states, “Ellen’s work has built a solid foundation for our new school, which has directly benefited over 75 families in and around the Mount Washington Valley.”

When speaking with RFCS board members and families, it is mentioned that Ohlenbusch is extremely dedicated.  She manages the Federal Grant that provided funding to start up the school, she volunteers as the business manager for the school, volunteers in the classroom, and she heads to the slopes with the kids on ski day.  One RFCS parent explains, “She also volunteers with the Arts In Motion a local theater company, and at the Memorial Hospital.  She’s impressive… I need some of her energy!”

The 2013 Spirit of NH Award Ceremony was held on November 14, 2013 from 6:45 to 8:30 PM.  Doors at the Capitol Center for the Arts opened at 5:00 PM for a reception with other award winners. Governor Hassan kicked off the evening speaking specifically of the great work that is being done in the Mount Washington Valley and the North Country.  Family and friends attended the 2013 Spirit of NH Award Ceremony to honor the recipients.



November 5, 2013 | Robert Frost Charter School’s Head of School Wins National Award

North Conway, NH (November 5, 2013) – Local author and Head of School at the North Conway based Robert Frost Charter School’s (RFCS) Jennifer Karnopp has won the 2013 Outstanding Book of The Year Award for the Systemic Change Division of the Association for Educational Communications and Technology for the book, “Reinventing Schools: It’s Time to Break the Mold.”  The book was co-authored with Charles Raglieuth.

The book examines educational shifts from an historic perspective; these shifts occur everywhere and in every industry.  For instance, transportation is an example.  Years ago, the common mode of transportation was the horse and buggy.  The railroad came next, then the car, and then planes.

Karnopp and Raglieuth explore the current system of education, which was designed for the industrial age, focusing on the needs it met when it was developed.  Things such as obedience, punctuality, stamina and standardization were the main focus.   In their book, they examine today’s system of education.  Society is in the midst of the information age, with an emphasis on creativity, initiative and self-direction, collaboration and customization.  There has been a paradigm shift leading to a conflict between the needs of the current society and the educational system.  The book goes on to look at what key elements are critical in supporting the needs of the information age.  Strategies for the development of things such as district-wide changes, charter schools and government supported change are discussed.

RFCS School Board Chair, Ellen Ohlenbusch, feels that the school community is extremely fortunate to have a talented and well-rounded staff working with the students, parents and community.  She goes on to explain, “We strongly believe that their accomplishments, both in our school, as well as out of our school, enhance our students’ overall experience.  It contributes to the success of our school!”

The book can be found locally at White Birch Books or on-line at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.  Karnopp will be holding a book signing at White Birch Books in January.

March 13, 2013 | Robert Frost Charter School Holds Second Enrollment Lottery

North Conway, NH – Thank you to those that were able to be in attendance at the Robert Frost Charter School’s second enrollment lottery held on March 11! We were grateful to have Dan Kennedy of Whitehorse Press and board member of the MWV Economic Council as our lottery officiant.

Parents/Guardians will be notified as to the outcome of their child’s status.

The lottery results are available organized by grade on our website.  Please note that only the lottery numbers are displayed to maintain privacy for the families.

Intial Enrollment Applications will continue to be available via our website under “Enrollment”.

If you have any further questions or would like to sign-up for our general email list, please contact us at:

January 22, 2013 | Open enrollment begins for the Robert Frost Charter School

North Conway, NH (January 22, 2013) – Open enrollment has begun for the 2013-2014 school year at the Robert Frost Charter School (RFCS).  The application deadline for open enrollment is March 1, 2013.  However, current RFCS families must confirm their intent to enroll for the 2013-14 school year by January 31, and the application deadline for siblings of current RFCS students is also on the last day of January.  If there are more applicants than there are spaces available, there will be an Admissions Lottery at the RFCS in March; an exact date and time has not yet been determined.  Attendance at a lottery is not required for selection.

The North Conway based RFCS is a free, public charter school for children entering kindergarten through grades five for the 2013-2014 school year.  To enroll, children must be five years old by September 30, 2013 and reside in New Hampshire.  Applications can be obtained from the charter school’s website,, and more specific details on the application process can also be found on the website. The school does require all new student applications be sent via U.S. Mail and postmarked no later than March 1, 2013.  No hand deliveries of applications will be accepted.

The school opened its doors to students in grades one through four in September 2012.  Year one has been a success, allowing for a new entry point into the school with a full-day, tuition free Kindergarten program.  The school will also be expanding into the fifth grade.  According to RFCS Board President, Ellen Ohlenbusch, interest in the charter school has been high.  She states, “We are thrilled to be meeting new families who are expressing such a great interest in our school for next year.  As a result, we will be holding a series of community outreach information sessions from Gorham down to the Lakes Region.  Our first session is on January 23, and our last will be held on February 7.”

The school will also host two Open Houses taking place at the North Conway based facility, allowing parents an opportunity to walk through the class rooms and meet teachers.  These will be held on January 30 and February 13 from 5:30 PM to 6:30 PM.  To sign up for an open house, the school requests e-mails sent to with the subject “Open House Sign-up” and include your name (and names of any additional adults who are part of your party), the open house date you’d like to attend, your phone number, and the 2013-14 grade(s) of your prospective RFCS student(s).

The public charter school focuses on a student-centered approach to instruction that encourages personal growth and development in a safe and peaceful environment.  Encompassed by core values of respect, commitment to families and the celebration of diversity, the RFCS integrates Montessori education methods, materials and teacher training along with New Hampshire’s Common Core Standards.  The school also incorporates the Framework for 21st Century Skills to develop creativity, critical thinking, communication, and collaboration.  For more details on information sessions, open houses, curriculum and general RFCS information, head to

December 10, 2012 | Robert Frost Charter School brings “Fire and Ice” Science show to North Conway

“Fire and Ice” Science Event Comes to North Conway

North Conway, NH (December 10, 2012) – On Sunday, December 16, families are invited to the North Conway Grand Hotel for an exciting first time event in the Mount Washington Valley.  Mad Science®, a leading science enrichment provider, will bring the land of “Fire and Ice” to attendees dazzling them with hands-on science experiences.  From demonstrations using fire and bubbling potions to carbon dioxide gas frozen to 109°F below zero, kids of all ages will be entertained while having an educational experience as they stimulate their minds.

The “Fire and Ice” performance begins at 11:30 AM, but when the doors open at 10:30 that morning, attendees will find a whole slew of holiday merriment.  Santa will be on hand for a visit, and he’ll spend some time with the kids – allowing for photo opportunities.  There will be a bake sale, face painting, and a silent auction allowing parents the opportunity for some last minute shopping.  Gifts include resort lift tickets, spa packages, specialty items and gear.

This holiday event is being organized by North Conway’s Robert Frost Charter School (RFCS).  It is a fundraiser, and the fee to attend is $5.  According to Ellen Ohlenbusch, RFCS Board President, “We believe that this as a great opportunity to bring enrichment programs to the Valley.  Our aim is to approach fundraising with a tilt towards education, while looking at providing opportunities for families that are different.”

The mission of Mad Science® is to spark the imagination and curiosity of children by providing them with fun, interactive and educational programs that instill a clear understanding of what science is really about and how it affects their world.  The organization provides educational science programs worldwide.  According to Mad Science®, “In an age when science programs are being cut or under-funded, these type of programs provide unequaled science enrichment, encouraging children to discover the world around them and pursue careers in science.”

December 6, 2012 | Robert Frost Charter School, White Birch Books team up for book sale – keeping it local!

CONWAY — In an attempt to foster a commitment to shopping locally, White Birch Books has teamed up with the North Conway based Robert Frost Charter School (RFCS) to create a book fair in time for the holidays. The partnership is two-fold. It allows children at the school the opportunity to buy books while earning 20 percent of each sale for their school, yet any White Birch Book shopper can participate through the weekend to raise money for these students.

At first glance, this sale is similar to book promotions taking place in schools across the country. It’s open before classes begin on Friday, Dec. 7, from 8 until 8:45 a.m. and immediately after school it runs until 4 p.m. for Robert Frost Charter School students and their families. Like other book sales, the book seller, in this case White Birch Books, will donate a percentage to the elementary school. What makes this promotion different and adds a “twist” is that it’s being run by a local shop, and it’s getting the entire community involved. When the school doors shut for the weekend — children, their families, as well as any shopper can purchase books through Sunday, Dec. 9 at the North Conway Village store. Any patron mentioning the Robert Frost Charter School promotion will have 20% of their sale donated to the school.

According to Laura Lucy, owner of White Birch Books, “We’re keeping it local. It’s a great opportunity for the new charter school to utilize our personal expertise. We’ve never done this before because larger companies seem to have the market on schools. However, we applaud the Robert Frost Charter School for giving us the opportunity to interact with local students and parents.”

Lucy goes on to explain that it’s a great way to forge the relationship between school programs and a local business. She hopes to grow and expand on opportunities like this as time goes on. She also mentions that “it’s a great model for working with area businesses. Restaurants often do this. Why couldn’t this be done with other specialty shops? It’s very progressive.”

The promotion is good on all books at the store. However, it cannot be used with other discounts. For more information on the book sale, head to White Birch Books or call the store at 356-3200.

August 29, 2012 | Robert Frost Charter School Announces 2012/2013 Teaching Staff

Posted 10:30am

Our Head of School, Jennifer Karnopp and the Robert Frost Charter School Board of Trustees are pleased to announce four amazing teachers joining our team for this 2012-2013 school year. These teachers bring a wealth of teaching experience in Montessori and Project-Based Learning.

In the Lower Elementary Classroom (Grades 1-3):

Kelly J. Evans brings to us a decade of experience implementing behavioral interventions in both home and school environments where she used her extensive background in Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) working with children who have Autism. Her classroom teaching experience includes both preschool and Lower Elementary Montessori settings. Kelly has a Bachelors Degree in Psychology from Saint Vincent College, in Latrobe, PA and received her lower elementary training at the Seacoast Center for Education in Stratham, NH. She lives in North Conway with her fiancé Mike and her dog, Campy. She spends her free time hiking, biking, camping and taking photographs.

In the Upper Elementary Classroom (Grades 4-6):

Darlene Martino comes to us with many years of teaching experience based on an integrated, project-based approach that challenges students to become critical thinkers and develop 21st Century Skills. Her expertise in co-teaching and Project-Based Learning fit beautifully with our school goals. Darlene’s Bachelors Degree in Education is from Wheelock College in Boston, MA where she was a Human Growth and Development major with a Professional Study in Special Education. Darlene has New Hampshire General Education and Special Education teacher certifications. Her Masters Degree in Education is from Plymouth State University and includes a Reading Writing Literacy Certificate and an Emotional/Behavioral certification. Ever the life-long learner, Darlene continues her education at Plymouth State University in the Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies program. She lives with her husband and three young adult sons in the Ossipee Mountains. Exercise, nutrition, education, and a positive mental attitude are the keys to the Martino’s family home.

Juliet Fleischer has over 15 years experience as a credentialed Montessori educator of the preschool, kindergarten and lower elementary levels. Her upper elementary training is from Seacoast Center in Stratham, NH. Before moving to North Conway and opening Mountain View Montessori School, a private preschool and kindergarten program, Juliet taught junior high in Melbourne, Florida. In addition to teaching children, Juliet presents workshops for early childhood educators working in many settings from Montessori to traditional and has designed her own Montessori-based lessons for science and history, which have been shared with and adapted by many Montessori schools in NH. She is currently vice president of the NH Montessori Association, and is passionate about sharing the Montessori approach to teaching and learning with the greater community.

August 27, 2012 | North Conway: First K-8 Public Charter School North of Concord
Posted 8:30am

Robert Frost Charter School is a new, tuition-free public school opening in North Conway in September of 2012. This fall the school is enrolling 44 students in grades 1-4. Next fall the school will expand to grades K-5 and will double enrollment. Each subsequent year the Robert Frost Charter School will continue to add a grade level until the school serves students in grades K-8.

Like all other public charter schools in New Hampshire, the Robert Frost Charter School does not charge tuition and is open to any student residing in the state of New Hampshire. The school is governed by an independent school board and monitored by the NH Department of Education. Every 5 years the school must go through a rigorous review process to ensure that the goals of the charter are being met. Here are a few facts on the school and funding:

  • No tuition for residents of NH
  • State adequacy funding supports school operations
  • Independent fundraising supports additional student programs
  • Federal Start-Up Grant supports initial start-up costs over 3 years
  • No local tax dollars are used to operate the school

The New Hampshire Charter School program offers many benefits to the state education system. Charter schools are smaller and more nimble than traditional school districts, enabling charter schools to explore new and innovative approaches to education while still maintaining a public school setting. The fact that families make a choice to be a part of a charter school also aids in the school’s ability to explore new ideas in education. The ideas implemented in charter schools will ultimately benefit traditional public schools, who can pick and choose the strategies that they feel would improve the learning outcomes of their student population. In the end, the entire public education system benefits.

Currently, conversations about education on a national level include expanding choice in public education and stimulating more quality chartered public schools in an effort to decrease the number of high school drop-outs and raise our over-all levels of achievement. The goal is to assure that all students thrive in the nation’s public education system. Research suggests that having more types of schools available for families to choose from will improve opportunities for a good “fit” for a child. This is the wave of the future.

The Robert Frost Charter School Board of Trustees feels strongly that innovation in education can originate here in Carroll County. As a community, we have the ability to develop homegrown innovations that cater to the needs of our children. Having choice in public education also supports the efforts of community leaders working to attract new businesses and diversify our tourism-based economy. This is an opportunity to build upon the past and current efforts of our local school districts and jointly serve as beacons for excellence in education on state and national level. The fact that we are a small community and that our goals are closely aligned with broader community goals provides the potential for the Robert Frost Charter School to be a flagship school for the state’s charter school program and continue to bring in Federal and private funds, compounding the benefits for our community.

For more information please visit

August 22, 2012 | RFCS announces Jennifer Karnopp as Head of School
Posted 8:30pm

After an extensive search, Robert Frost Charter School Board is pleased to announce the hiring of Jennifer Karnopp as Head of School. A resident of North Conway, NH, Jennifer has a Masters degree in Special Education and brings to this position her teaching in traditional public and charter schools, as well as an entrepreneurial business background. As the owner and curriculum developer for World of Wonder, a company specializing in teaching materials for early learning environments, Jennifer presents teacher training seminars at the local, state and national level and has created product-based teacher guides for national and international companies. She is also the author of four books for early childhood educators published by Gryphon House, Inc. Jennifer was the founding Board President of the Mount Washington Valley Children’s Museum and continues to be actively involved in the community.

In addition, Robert Frost Charter School has also extended positions to 4 teachers with acceptances from all. Pending the finalization of paperwork, those names will be announced.

We are extremely excited by the experienced team of teachers that we have recruited to join Robert Frost Charter School during this inaugural year. The team is well rounded, dynamic and sure to add to the excitement of this inaugural year for RFCS.

July 26, 2012 | Robert Frost Charter School Hosts Guest Speaker | 5:30pm
Posted July 15, 2012

Robert Frost Charter School is pleased to host a nationally recognized leader in Montessori education, Mr. Charles Terranova, on Thursday, July 26, 2012 at 5:30pm. The presentation will take place at the Legends Room within the Eastern Slope Inn, located off of White Mountain Highway in North Conway, NH.  Charles offers authentic Montessori in an era of unprecedented compromise. His biography includes certification in preschool and elementary levels while founding, leading, teaching and consulting in six Montessori programs in Eastern Massachusetts, as well as evaluating schools, providing teacher training and presenting at conferences throughout the United States.  On this night, Charles will address key points in Montessori such as: teaching the curriculum, how collaboration among students is encouraged, assessment of students progress, a picture of a typical day and how parents can support the school environment from home.

From 4:30-5:15pm an informational session about the Robert Frost Charter School will take place and the presentation from Mr. Terranova will follow at 5:30pm.  All those interested in learning more about Robert Frost Charter School or are looking to enroll their child for the 2012-2013 school year, are encouraged to attend this informational session along with the presentation from Mr. Terranova.

Robert Frost Charter School is a state of NH authorized public charter school located at 1675 White Mountain Highway in North Conway, NH.  The school will accommodate students in grade 1-4 for the first year of operation and will grow to offer K-8 by year five.  Robert Frost Charter School blends Project-Based learning within a Montessori environment to help students develop skills for the 21st Century, which include collaboration, critical thinking, problem solving and innovative thinking.  The school is currently accepting applications for enrollment as well as applications for current staff openings.  For more information on enrollment, employment or for general inquiries, please visit their website at

March 28, 2012 | Robert Frost Charter School Holds First Enrollment Lottery
Posted March 30, 2012

Thank you to those that were able to be in attendance at the Robert Frost Charter School’s first enrollment lottery held on March 28! We were grateful to have Dan Kennedy of Whitehorse Press and board member of the MWV Economic Council as our lottery officiant.

The board is currently working alongside the state of NH to expand and support the initial enrollment for the 2012/13 school year. Until then we ask for your patience as there will be some fluidity within the draw of the lottery. Parents/Guardians will be notified via certified letter as to the outcome of their child’s status.

The lottery results are available organized by grade by clicking on the links below.  Please note that only the lottery numbers are displayed to maintain privacy for the families.

Grade 1
Grade 2
Grade 3
Grade 4

Intial Enrollment Applications will continue to be available via our website under “Enrollment” or by clicking here.

If you have any further questions or would like to sign-up for our general email list, please contact us at: