If you haven’t already heard, Charlotte-Mecklenburg’s Board of Education voted December 8 to expand Secondary Montessori starting in the 2016-17 school year! We offer a huge THANK YOU to all of you who emailed, called or attended meetings with the School Board. We hope to hear from the BOE soon about a new program location starting in fall 2017. Superintendent of Schools, Ann Clark, said “I wouldn’t be bringing forward a recommendation unless I saw some [location] scenarios on the horizon.”
- Who can attend? All the current Sedgefield Montessori 8th-graders will have a guaranteed seat. Other students with Montessori experience can apply via the lottery and interview process to attend, as well.
- What about grades 10-12? The motion approved last night requires the Superintendent to submit a proposal to the Board about further expansion before the 2017-18 school year. The School District is undergoing a huge review of student assignment, and it was indicated that part of that review would include determining a location for a full Secondary Montessori school (grades 7-12). We will continue to provide updates as soon as we learn more.
- What will Montessori high school look like? Our model will be an urban secondary program. While it will have pieces of the “erdkinder” farm model, it will also include intersessions in the community and business world, along with classes in core subjects and electives complementary to the Montessori philosophy. Our staff and planning team have worked with nationally known experts to design the plan for this program.
Advocacy is not new to our close-knit Montessori community. A passionate group at Amay James Montessori began advocating for public Montessori 23 years ago. As a result, Park Road Montessori became the first public Montessori school in NC. Due to advocacy efforts that started almost a decade ago, our elementary schools now range from pre-K to 6th grade. That group advocated for a 7/8 Secondary Montessori program, now in its sixth year at Sedgefield Middle School, and the founding of the Montessori Advisory Board. The Board’s vision for Montessori high school has now come to fruition with the addition of 9th grade in 2016!
It’s been a long journey, and we couldn’t have done it without hundreds of advocates across Charlotte-Mecklenburg. Time to celebrate and be thankful!