Board of Education Approves Montessori School Application

The New Haven Board of Education on May 13, 2013, approved an application for the Elm City Montessori School, with a target of opening in September 2014.
 
Read the application here.
 
Read the draft Family Handbook here.
 
 
Recommendations:
a) Approve Elm City Montessori School as a local charter, with a planning year in 2013-14 and to open in September 2014 so long as pre-opening conditions are met.
b) In the meantime, authorize Superintendent and team to work with founding team to support education of Kindergarten students in Montessori model within one of New Haven’s early childhood education sites.
Preopening conditions would include:
a) A cost and revenue model reflecting full program support, where NHPS in-kind and financial support mirrors that provided to similar schools, as if the students were enrolled in an NHPS public school, and where the NHPS in-kind and financial support would not have a negative impact on other NHPS programs
b) Flexibility in enrollment growth to adjust size/funding of Pre K commensurate with available Pre-K funding and to absorb rising 1st grade students from pre-opening collaboration if appropriate
c) Demonstrated ability to hire and/or train Montessori staff for school opening
Review Process:
a) Public Hearing 4/18 @ Jepson School
b) School Review with members of NHPS leadership (aligned to NHPS Leadership Rubric): 4/30
c) Budget discussion with NHPS Leadership: 4/25, and following
Rationale for recommendations:
a) ECMS presents a compelling educational model to include in NHPS portfolio, reinforcing the several community-based Montessori models in New Haven and extending into upper grades;
b) High capacity leadership team, reflected in parental founders, board, and support from National Center for Montessori in the Public Center.
c) Demonstrated Montessori commitment to and track record with diverse populations
d) Need for expanded high quality early grade options, given continued growth of early grade population.
e) High degree of demand reflected in public hearings, with a particular emphasis on pre-K options
f) Substantial funding risk in current budget model, without funding for additional Pre-K seats in 2013 and without long-term district funding model for this and similar programs
g) Potential to align with NHPS magnet school grant, if approved, which includes a public Montessori opening in 2014.
If recommendation approved, next steps:
1) Elm City Montessori would resubmit application, with adjustments for planning year and with pre-opening conditions included
2) Either 1) Board approve 5/12, with direction to superintendent to submit if he is satisfied with resubmission or 2) Board take formal action after the revised application is received.
3) Submit for state approval. State may supply planning year grants under local charter law.
4) Commence pre-opening collaboration for Montessori classrooms within an NHPS school (Old Jepson)