Friday, February 17, 2017

Facility and the learning environment.

"The first aim of the prepared environment is, as far as it is possible, to render the growing child independent of the adult." Maria Montessori   The Secret of Childhood, 1966

Mark your calendars for our learning environment forum on Wednesday February 22nd @ 5:30pm!

Upper Adolescent environment
In our 13th year, our Montessori school has reached a point of maturity that parallels the human development we know well. In our 13 years, we have grown, explored, learned from our challenges, and identified key strengths and an identity that sets us apart from others. The work we do in the next two years will bring us closer to another plane of development as an organization, and solidify our place as a mature institution.

As we look toward our 15th year in 2018-19, our strategic plan identified the school's primary goal: optimize the Montessori learning environment.

As the plan states:
"We commit to determining an exquisite place for our students to learn, play, explore, experiment, perform, and find their unique contribution to the world."

"The learning environment will have direct access to the study and exploration of the natural world, and a facility that engages students in experimentation and discovery through sciences and the arts. In addition, the facility will maintain and grow our strong community of interconnected families and classroom networks that sustain strong personal relationships."

As we presented in our November 17th facility & learning environment update, our school board has been hard at work assuring that the class of 2028 and beyond have a strong and stable institution that continues to provide a world-class holistic education. This work included major research and analysis of the financial and operational costs and benefits to the multiple sites available to the school for a long-term home and permanent site for our optimized learning environment.

GRS63.jpgThe latest focus has been on negotiation with our landlords at our current two sites for control of the sites in order to allow us to realize a fully functional master plan for a campus that serves the academic, social-emotional, developmentally appropriate needs and sensitive periods of the children that mature at Great River School. We look forward to finalizing purchase agreements for the current site, and will discuss at the facility forum on 2/22/2017 exactly what the details of enrollment, timeline, and site design will be.

The guiding principles for our site design are the same principles that a Montessori guide takes into account when preparing a classroom environment: structure and sufficient order to provide the opportunities for freedom of movement, choice, socialization, and freedom from interruption for work. We seek to provide an environment for ages 6 through 18 that allows students to most fully explore their potential and experience the impact of their work and engagement in real-world settings.

We look forward to welcoming the whole community to our update on Wednesday February 22nd on the details and timeline of our project toward the autumn 2018 goal of inhabiting our optimized learning environment. We will explain the plans and analysis our Board has engaged in to assure that our finances, program, and community will be strengthened through this project. Also, the details of enrollment for 2018-19 and beyond will be shared, explained, and connected to the overall mission and vision of the school.

As always, you can send your questions about the facility project to
Thank you so much for your support!