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Montessori School applies to become public charter school

First Posted: 10:45 am - June 6th, 2015

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CAMDEN — The Montessori School of Camden submitted its application to become a public charter school for the 2016-2017 school year.

MSC will serve students from Kershaw, Lee, Sumter and Fairfield counties, and will include grades K-3 through eighth grade, with the potential of adding a high school depending upon future interest.

If approved, there will be no charge for tuition for kindergarten and above. Children age 3 and 4 will pay an instructional fee.

The S.C. Public Charter District office will evaluate the application and make a recommendation to its Board of Directors. If the application is deemed viable, the MSC Charter Committee will make a presentation to the Board of Directors, probably in July 2015.

The Board will announce its decision prior to the beginning of September 2015.

The Montessori Method of education has been a proven model since the early 1900s, and is currently used in over 400 U.S. public schools.

As a public charter school, MSC will continue to educate “the whole child” by offering multi-aged classrooms where children are encouraged to become highly motivated, independent, self-confident individuals while being given the opportunity to reach their fullest potential.

During its first public charter year, MSC expects to open its doors with 115 students. Class size will range from 16 to 24 students, and the school will expand by one grade level each year. The school will gradually expand yearly, with full capacity eventually reaching 280 students.

The Montessori Method focuses on teaching children to see the world from a global perspective. Cultural and racial diversity is celebrated. Foreign language, either Spanish or Mandarin Chinese, will be interwoven through the daily classroom routines. Montessori teachers are taught to “follow the child,” and adjust lessons according to the needs of individual students.

Students collaborate with their teachers to develop weekly work plans, and have the freedom to follow their personal interests. Classrooms are dynamic environments which invite inquiry and discovery, where students learn about language, science, mathematics and cultural studies using hands-on lessons and concrete models.

The Middle School program will also include areas which mimic real life scenarios. Students will run a business as part of the curriculum, from which they will learn market research and analysis, production, accounting and service accountability.

Their classrooms will also feature a Land Lab which will serve as a laboratory where they can conduct scientific research in the natural world. Such research-based methods encourage development of independence, responsibility and critical analysis.

The school is proposing to open in July 2016 and operate a “year-round” calendar, with the 180 days grouped into four equal “Quarters” with optional 3 to 5 week intersessions that will offer a focus on special topics of interest. This method is widely viewed as an antidote to the degradation of information that accompanies the long traditional summer break.

For more information call The Montessori School of Camden at 803-432-6828 or visit www.montessori-camden.com.

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