2017-10-05 / Views

Montesorri rebounds

Kudos to the Leelanau Montesorri Public School Academy, which has been down but not out for the past year or so after being informed that it would no longer have a place to conduct classes on the Suttons Bay Public School campus.

Montesorri teachings hold that students undergo sensitive periods during their growth, and that lessons should be assigned to match the times a child is ready to learn.

Well, it’s certainly been a sensitive period for Montessori education on the Leelanau Peninsula. Other descriptions might include trying and challenging.

Today, however, the future looks rosy. The school community has signed a contract to purchase the Connie Binsfeld Resource Center in Lake Leelanau from a quasipublic health department organization, and has begun a capital campaign to raise $250,000 as a downpayment.

Laying the groundwork for the purchase was a new, eight-year charter signed with the Bay Mills Indian Community. In exchange, Bay Mills can collect up to 3 percent of Montesorri’s public funding. For reference, Montessori is paying $21,000 to $22,000 annually to its present charter authorizing agent, the Suttons Bay school district.

In addition, the new charter expands the size of the academy from kindergarten through sixth grade to pre-kindergarten through eighth grade.

All of these developments were unheard of just a generation ago, before changes in public school funding brought competition into the education model.

Why a past Suttons Bay school board first authorized a charter for Montesorri remains a mystery to us. It changed a nonprofit into a public school academy, and drew students away from the Suttons Bay student body.

That was part of the political side of public education — and now water over the dam.

Today, we prefer to look ahead. Clearly the Leelanau Montesorri Public School Academy has proven its worth in the field of education. And clearly its students are the benefactors.

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