A new Montessori school is set to open next year in St. Germain. The district is taking applications starting next week.
The Northland Pines Montessori Learning Center will span 4K through second grade, with 3rd and 4th grade to be added in 2016. When paired with the new project-based learning program SOAR in Land o’Lakes, students will soon have the opportunity to attend 4K through 12th grade in an alternative learning environment.
"And the reality is nowadays research shows that every kid learns differently, and every family wants something different from their child’s education. It’s just amazing that we can provide choices and opportunities for kids in a small rural area."
Tony Duffek is the principal of Northland Pines Middle School and Eagle River Elementary School. He headed the application to the state to start the Montessori charter school.
Duffek explains the first Montessori school was founded by Dr. Maria Montessori more than 100 years ago to provide a child-directed approach to learning.
"Essentially it is founded in the philosophy that kids have an innate ability to learn and an innate ability of curiosity and they really just need a learning environment and an individual to facilitate their learning. It’s much more hands-on, much more child centered. You’re going to have students working in content that their developmentally ready for and teachers working in small groups with those students."
Any child in or out of the district can apply--November 10th through 21st. This is a free, public charter school. Ten students will be admitted per grade level. The school will hold a lottery if there are more applicants than available spaces.
The next informational meeting will be held November 3rd at 6:30 pm at St. Germain elementary. Childcare will be provided.