New Schools and the Montessori Census
This article appears in the Spring 2021 issue of MontessoriPublic — Print Edition.
At least four new schools this year and more to come
2020-2021 probably wasn’t the best year to launch a new Montessori school, yet at least four new programs opened their doors this year. As of this spring, the Montessori Census lists 559 public Montessori schools in the U.S., up from 500 just a few years ago.
Five new programs in 2020:
The first of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’ Day 1 Academies Fund’s network of tuition-free Montessori-inspired preschools, Bezos Academy—Des Moines, opened in Des Moines, Washington.
The Logan Memorial Education Complex in San Diego, planned ultimately to be a “TK-12” program, opened its doors in the teeth of the pandemic.
In Decatur, Illinois, the Montessori Academy For Peace has combined students from the Garfield and Enterprise schools in a single building serving 734 students from age three through 8th grade. This kind of consolidation shows the perils of just counting schools: the count went down one, but the number of children reached and the quality of their experience may well have gone up.
Rodriguez Montessori Elementary in San Antonio, Texas, a bilingual Spanish-English program, opened with children from three years old through third grade, with plans to expand a grade per year through fifth grade. San Antonio is home to another public Montessori school, Steele Montessori Academy, which has one of the longest wait lists in the district.
Sussex Montessori School is a new charter in rural southern Delaware serving 260 children through third grade with plans to expand to 465 over the next three years.
At least eight more schools are slated to open in 2021:
Three more Bezos Academy schools are set to open in Washington in Federal Way, Pacific Beach, and Tacoma.
In Norwalk, Connecticut, Brookside Elementary will offer a children’s house program.
In Cleveland, Ohio, Stonebrook Montessori (a charter) is merging with district school Michael R. White to form the East Side Montessori campus in the district’s Montessori portfolio.
In Tulsa, Oklahoma, the district is following up on the success of 2017’s Emerson Elementary, now overflowing its waiting list, with a new school at Grissom Elementary, starting with three-year-olds through 1st grade and growing a grade per year.
Mi Escuela Montessori, a charter school in Lakeland, Florida, will open as a full immersion bilingual Montessori school serving kindergarten through 8th grade with a sliding scale tuition for three- and four-year-olds.
Montecito Community School is a new charter in Phoenix, Arizona, with a similar tuition-free/tuition-subsidy model.
Montessori Elementary at Highland Park is a new charter in Chattanooga, Tennessee, beginning with children from three years old through second grade, ultimately going through fifth grade.
Oak Hill Montessori Community School in Shoreview, Minnesota, is a long-time private school converting into a public charter.
Pullman Community Montessori will be the first Montessori charter school in charter-averse Washington state, serving children from kindergarten through fifth grade at launch.
The Montessori Census
Did we miss a school you know about? Is your school listed correctly in the Census? Let us know! The Census was launched in 2012 with support from across the Montessori ecosystem, including schools, organizations, and funders. Today it lists 559 programs serving an estimated 150,000-200,000 children. Researchers, journalists, students, families, and regular folks use the Census site thousands of times a month to learn more about public Montessori and to find public and private Montessori schools.
David worked in private Montessori for more than twenty years as a parent, three-to-six year-old and adolescent teacher, administrator, writer, speaker, and advocate. In 2016 he began working with the National Center for Montessori in the Public Sector. David lives in Portland, Oregon.