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Montessori Education in the Grand Rapids Public Schools: A Community Meeting with Superintendent Neal
 

Montessori Education in the Grand Rapids Public Schools: A Community Meeting with Superintendent Neal

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The evening of February 29 was a great one for more than 50 Montessori focused attendees at the Montessori Community Meeting with Grand Rapids Public School's Superintendent Teresa Weatherall Neal. ...

The evening of February 29 was a great one for more than 50 Montessori focused attendees at the Montessori Community Meeting with Grand Rapids Public School's Superintendent Teresa Weatherall Neal. Neal shared her vision for the GRPS with our community, her goals and support for the Montessori program within GRPS, and some ideas of how to incorporate Montessori concepts in a wider range of schools in the district.

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    Montessori Education in the Grand Rapids Public Schools: A Community Meeting with Superintendent Neal Montessori Education in the Grand Rapids Public Schools: A Community Meeting with Superintendent Neal Presentation Transcript

    • GRAND  RAPIDS  PUBLIC  SCHOOLS   Montessori  Programming  Montessori  Education  in  the  Grand  Rapids  Public  Schools:   A  Community  Meeting  with  Superintendent  Neal     February  29,  2012   Grand  Rapids,  MI  
    • Introductions     Teresa  Weatherall  Neal     Superintendent  of  GRPS     Started  at  the  age  of  15  as  a  student  worker     B.  A.    in  Public  Administration  from  GVSU     M.  Ed.  Educational  Leadership  from  WMU     Natasha  Neal     Program  Development  Specialist  for  GRPS     Attended  GRPS  from  preschool  to  6th  grade     Graduated  from  Wyoming  Park  High  School     B.  A.  in  Law  &  Society  (Pre-­‐law),  Cognate  in  Econ.     J.  D.  from  New  York  Law  School  Montessori  Education  in  the  Grand  Rapids  Public  Schools:  A  Community  Meeting  with  Superintendent  Neal  |  February  29,  2012  
    • History  of  Montessori     in  Grand  Rapids     In  1972,  GRPS  introduced  the  Montessori  program     Over  the  last  40  years,  the  Montessori  program  has   gone  through  several  changes     Location,  level  of  support  and  enrollment     Despite  those  changes,  the  fundamental  principles   of  Montessori  method  have  not  changed     The  environment  is  created  to  meet  the  developmental   needs  of  the  age  of  the  students     The  teachers  are  trained  in  the  Montessori  educational   method  and  philosophy     Materials  and  activities  are  designed  to  help  students  work   independently  from  adults,  with  each  other,  and  in   connection  to  the  larger  community  and  world  Montessori  Education  in  the  Grand  Rapids  Public  Schools:  A  Community  Meeting  with  Superintendent  Neal  |  February  29,  2012  
    • Vision  for     GRPS  Montessori  Program     GRPS  is  committed  to  the  Montessori   Method     We  intend  to  build  a  world-­‐class  Montessori   program  that  will  hold  true  to  the   fundamental  principles  in  preparing  “students   for  college  and  adult  life  through  responsive,   diverse,  and  challenging  learning   environments”     We  also  intend  to  create  a  safe  space  for  kids   to  explore  learning  and  spark  a  thirst  for   knowledge  Montessori  Education  in  the  Grand  Rapids  Public  Schools:  A  Community  Meeting  with  Superintendent  Neal  |  February  29,  2012  
    • Natasha’s   Experience    Thinking  “differently”  is   okay    Creativity  is  encouraged    Being  with  the  same   teacher  helped  create  that   “safe  space”  for  learning     Teachers  get  a  chance  to   become  familiar  with  the   students  and  parents     There  is  a  level  of  trust   between  the  student,   teacher  and  parents  that   results  in  increased   reception  of  education  and   involvement   Montessori  Education  in  the  Grand  Rapids  Public  Schools:  A  Community  Meeting  with  Superintendent  Neal  |  February  29,  2012  
    • Natasha’s  Kindergarten  Report  Card   Montessori  Education  in  the  Grand  Rapids  Public  Schools:  A  Community  Meeting  with  Superintendent  Neal  |  February  29,  2012  
    • Outcomes  Based  on  the  Vision     Build  a  sustainable  Montessori  program  that   will  attract  students  from  GRPS  and  other   districts  as  well     Produce  educated  contributors  to  society   who  can  compete  in  the  global  market     Create  life-­‐long  learners  who  understand  that   they  are  in  control  of  their  education    Montessori  Education  in  the  Grand  Rapids  Public  Schools:  A  Community  Meeting  with  Superintendent  Neal  |  February  29,  2012  
    • What  GRPS  Will  Do     Continue  to  work  with  the  “Montessori  Community”     We  will  allot  $50,000  per  year  to  train  teachers  to  be   certified  in  the  Montessori  method  and  to  ensure   that  Montessori  teachers  are  at  the  top  of  their   game     This  amount  will  be  allotted  for  2012  –  2016,  totaling   $250,000         We  will  work  with  GREA  and  its  leadership  to  try  to   ensure  that  Montessori-­‐certified  teachers  are  able  to   stay  in  the  Montessori  program  and  do  what  they   love     We  will  also  work  to  ensure  that  you  have  a  leader   who  understands  and  believes  in  the  Montessori   method  Montessori  Education  in  the  Grand  Rapids  Public  Schools:  A  Community  Meeting  with  Superintendent  Neal  |  February  29,  2012  
    • What  GRPS  Would  Like  You  to  Do    We  would  like  the  Montessori  Community  to  find   ways  to  embrace  those  who  do  not  have  a   Montessori  background       Without  more  students,  the  program  will  flounder   Thank  you  to  the  Montessori  Community  for  your  time  and   your  investment  in  our  district  and  our  students.     Thank  you  to  those,  like  Kathy  Freewind,  who  are     committed  to  the  Montessori  program.     Questions,  comments  or  concerns?   Montessori  Education  in  the  Grand  Rapids  Public  Schools:  A  Community  Meeting  with  Superintendent  Neal  |  February  29,  2012  
    • Need  more  details?   If  you  have  any  questions  about     GRPS  Montessori  or  other  district     offerings,  please  contact:     John  Helmholdt     Director  of  Communications  &  External  affairs         Email:      helmholdtj@grpublicschools.org   Phone:      616-­‐819-­‐3740  Montessori  Education  in  the  Grand  Rapids  Public  Schools:  A  Community  Meeting  with  Superintendent  Neal  |  February  29,  2012