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Why Montessori
 

Why Montessori

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A presentation created by Montessori parents outlining their efforts to establish a new public Montessori Middle School/High School in Grand Rapids, MI.

A presentation created by Montessori parents outlining their efforts to establish a new public Montessori Middle School/High School in Grand Rapids, MI.

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  • Making sure what is important is included in the conversation What do you wish the consultants knew before they got here? What concerns do you have? Location, safety, admittance,college preparation, sports,arts, What ideas do you have?

Why Montessori Why Montessori Presentation Transcript

  • Why Montessori A case for a Public Montessori Middle School/High School in Grand Rapids, MI Montessori GR January 2011
  • Who are we?
    • We are Grand Rapids Public School (GRPS) parents.
    • Our children study in the GRPS Montessori program.
    • We are community members who recognize that a healthy city begins with strong public education.
    • We believe that a rigorous, high performing, public Montessori Middle School/ High School is possible in Grand Rapids Michigan.
    Establishing a high-performing Montessori MS/HS program expands the education opportunities of our region
  • Doesn't GRPS already have a Montessori HS?
    • Sort of:
    • In 2005 the Montessori HS had 280 students, was expanding and was nationally ranked.
    • Now the HS has 126 students—GRPS needs 350 to sustain a MS/HS.
    • Currently all students are taught by Non-Montessori teachers.
    • There is only 1 teacher with any Montessori training.
    • None of the current administrative staff have Montessori training.
    • Students are accepted for grades 9/10 if they have previous Montessori experience.
    We have researched other successful schools, we believe Grand Rapids can sustain a Montessori MS/HS
  • To address these changes GRPS formed a taskforce
    • Commissioned at the request of Dr. Taylor, the Montessori Task Force identified these issues:
    • The need to establish Grand Rapids Montessori schools as a clearly defined choice within the Grand Rapids Public Schools.
    • The value of providing stable facilities that would support the Montessori program.
    • The importance to engage advocates and champions for Montessori both within the GRPS system and throughout the community.
    • The benefit of improving accountability across the theme school programs— including Montessori—to ensure the uniqueness of each program is taken into account when engaging with potential and current students, parents and administrators of those programs.
    • In the end, GRPS must increase enrollment at the secondary level (grades 7–12) in order to justify the resources used to operate the school.
    The consensus of 15 parents, teachers, administrators and community members over a 4 month period 2-6/2009
  • Can we sustain a Montessori MS/HS in the GRPS?
    • We are in better shape than we think:
    • GRPS has an current Montessori PK–6 population of 800.
    • Montessori enrollment has grown over the last 5 years at a rate of 10% per year.
    • GR Montessori Fountain School and North Park Montessori Academy are among the highest achieving elementary schools in the GRPS.
    • The GRPS CFO has advised that a minimum of 350 students population is needed to sustain any new secondary program. GRPS requirements are the median student population range in other successful public Montessori MS/HS programs.
    • To support New-to-Montessori students, we will also need to develop a process to integrate interested students from other elementary schools, as we are already doing in the PK–6 schools.
    GRPS needs to recruit at least 44% of its Montessori PK–6 population to sustain a MS/HS program
  • What defines Montessori education?
    • Montessori education uses hands-on lessons and experiences to help students gain skills and knowledge that prepare them for the real world.
  • What defines Montessori education?
    • Academically rigorous and student centered, Montessori education values and uses diversity within the classroom and school to create a respectful community where all people are appreciated.
  • What defines Montessori education?
    • With built-in character education, Montessori students grow personally and academically—completing high school and college as engaged learners and leaders.
  • Where does public Montessori MS/HS succeed?
    • We looked at 5 programs open for at least 6 years and found:
    • Student populations range from 210 to 650.
    • Each has 90%+ graduation rates and +90% college enrollment rates.
    • Most have had to institute lotteries to manage new student requests.
    • All have developed methods to integrate Non-Montessori students.
    • Many are in cities similar in makeup to Grand Rapids.
    By finding success in places like Grand Rapids, we know a positive outcome is attainable here too
  • Where does public Montessori MS/HS succeed?
    • Clark Montessori
    • Grade 7-12 public Montessori in Cincinnati, OH.
    • Of 659 students:
      • 48% are African American.
      • 43% are Caucasian.
      • 9% are a combination of Asian, Hispanic, American Indian and multi-racial. 
    • Over the last 8 years:
      • 99.5% of seniors have graduated.
      • 96% of graduates have gone on to college.
    • AMS certified.
    • Learn more at: http://tiny. cc/clark-school
    The first school was so successful that a second 650 seat Montessori MS/HS was opened in 2009
  • Where does public Montessori MS/HS succeed?
    • The Grove School
    • Grade 7-12 public Montessori in Redlands, CA. 
    • Of 207 students
      • 45% are Hispanic.
      • 45% are Caucasian.
      • 10% are a combination of Asian, African American, American Indian and multi-racial. 
    • Since 1998
      • Over 99% of students have graduated.
      • Over 99% have gone on to college.
    • Leadership is AMI certified, school is NAMTA credentialed.
    • Learn more at: http://tiny.cc/grove
    Grove School students successfully manage an Erdkinder or Farm School in the middle of a 100K person city
  • Where does public Montessori MS/HS succeed?
    • Milwaukee Montessori IB
    • Grade 9-12 public Montessori with International Baccalaureate component
    • Of 325 students:
      • 50% are African American.
      • 48% are Caucasian.
      • 2% are a combination of Asian, Hispanic, American Indian and multi-racial. 
    • Over the last 10 years:
      • More than 90% of seniors have graduated.
      • 90% of graduates have gone on to college.
    • AMI/IB certified.
    • Learn more at: http://tiny. cc/mmib
    Milwaukee Montessori IB is the destination school for a city-wide 2200 student PK-12 public Montessori program
  • What does a Montessori MS/HS look like?
    • Teachers and staff are Montessori adolescent education certified.
    • Middle School organized in 7/8/9 grade cohort ErdKinder or Farm School
      • Students learn about the challenges of life, the importance of individual responsibility and the need to appreciate the hard work of others.
      • Intellectual work is still done, following the child's interests, but without the emphasis on the abstract found in a traditional classroom.
    • High School is organized in 10/11/12 grade cohort and provides 15-18 year old students with:
      • Students learn to set and accomplish goals while they gain the knowledge and skills necessary to engage in the dialogue of cultural literacy.
      • As a community member, an educated person is able to collaborate with others, cooperate on projects, and knows how to provide meaningful service to others.
    • Facilities are designed around Montessori principles.
    A true Montessori MS/HS applies the methodology into adulthood and prepares our children for the larger world
  • What’s the plan?
    • Hire Montessori consultants to help us write a master plan for a MS/HS using the GRPS Centers of Innovation application as a framework.
    • Collaborate with GRPS to develop sustainable long-term plan
    • Engage the GRPS parent community to add their thoughts and concerns to the mix:
      • Dozens of parents have met in several sessions and online to brainstorm and contribute financially to this effort.
      • Conduct an online and telephone survey of GRPS parents to assess true interest.
    • Collaborate with the Grand Rapids community in support of this effort:
      • An anonymous donor is funding the consultant fees.
      • Parents have pledged $4000 to cover out of pocket costs
      • Local businesses are helping with out of pocket expenses for our consultant visit.
      • COIs are driven by Public/private Partnerships.
    A new school will get off on the right foot by inviting every potential user and stakeholder right from the start
  • Who are our consultants?
    • Gena Englefried
      • Director of the Grove School in Redlands, CA.
      • 17 years teaching experience in Primary and Adolescent programs in Public and Private settings, 13 years administrative experience, (10 in public Montessori adolescent programs).
      • Developed and/or implemented public and private programs in Ireland, Washington and California including: Healdsburg Montessori, Marin Montessori School, Montessori in Redlands, The Grove School, Gorman Learning Crenshaw Arts High School.

      • North American Montessori Teachers Association Facilitator and Speaker.
    • Benedict Moudry
      • Montessori Coordinator of the Great River School in St.Paul, MN.
      • Ten years experience teaching in adolescent programs, 8 of those years in Montessori adolescent programs and public secondary schools, 6 years administrative experience (all at Montessori adolescent program).
      • Supervise, evaluate, and support teachers in their development of Montessori secondary classes, lessons, and activities.
  • What’s the timeline?
    • January
      • Center of Innovation/Montessori MS/HS Marketing Survey to be conducted.
      • Community informational events.
      • Pre-planning for consultant visits.
    • February
      • Consultants site visit February 3–8.
      • Survey results delivered.
    • March
      • Consultants deliver a completed Centers of Innovation application.
    • April/May (Tentative)
      • The GRPS Board of Education reviews Centers of Innovation application.
      • If the application is approved by BOE, and the survey shows sufficient community interest, work could begin to implement the plan developed in the application.
    Each of these steps must be completed successfully before we can begin to develop a new Montessori MS/HS
  • How can you help?
    • Join the conversation online:
      • Web:            www.montessorigr.org
      • Facebook:    www.facebook.com/montessorigr
      • Twitter:         @montessorigr
    • Watch for GRPS COI Survey and participate—its coming in Mid January.
    • Please follow through on your financial pledge: http://www.montessorigr.org/contribute/
    • Subscribe to our email newsletter for updates on consultant visit.
    A new school will be realized faster if parents and the community pitch in to make it happen
  • Let’s Talk