From WDDE: http://www.wdde.org/29383-montessori
Public Montessori schooling is available for the first time to Delaware residents with the opening this month of two programs in the Christina School District. They include a preschool through grade 5 program operating under the umbrella of Bancroft Elementary School in Wilmington and a preschool program at Brookside Elementary School in Newark.
Bancroft’s program, called the Montessori Academy at Christina in Wilmington, had operated as the private Elementary Workshop Montessori School since 1971. The school had found it increasingly difficult financially to operate on its own and thus sought a partnership with the Christina District, says McCrae Harrison, former director of the Elementary Workshop. She is staying on to direct the new Montessori program in Wilmington.
“The Christina Board of Education and our superintendent were both very supportive and interested in the idea of a public Montessori program,” said Wendy Lapham, public information officer for the district. “In the current public school environment, we are always looking for opportunities to provide different options and choices to our parents. This partnership seemed like an excellent opportunity for us to not only offer something different but also to be a leader in the state in terms of public Montessori programs.”
The newly created Montessori Academy will be located in the same building on Pine Street that was formerly occupied by the Elementary Workshop. While some things will change—the teachers, for example, now all have state certification in addition to Montessori certification—most aspects of the school, its “Montessori-ness,” will remain the same, Harrison said.
Seven-year-old Olivia McMahon has attended the Elementary Workshop since preschool and will remain at the Pine Street address to attend the new public school program, says her mother, Lauren McMahon of Wilmington.
“We have loved the program and it’s really worked well for Olivia,” McMahon said. “We would have done what we needed to cover tuition for this year as well [if the school had stayed private], but it’s a burden lifted for us that the program is tuition free this coming year.”
Brookside’s program, called the Montessori Academy at Christina in Newark, will begin this year with a preschool program, with additional grades to be added in future years until it too extends to grade 5.