Elm City Montessori School dedication draws families, leaders, community

Click here to read the story in the New Haven Independent.
Elm City Montessori School (ECMS), located at 375 Quinnipiac Avenue in New Haven, is proud to celebrate its recent opening with a school dedication on Wednesday, October 8th at 9 am. Superintendent Garth Harries and State Commissioner of Education Stefan Pryor will join ECMS parents and supporters to officially dedicate the recently launched public school.
Elm City Montessori School is a local charter magnet school founded by three New Haven mothers, Eliza Halsey, Kia Levey and Joan Bosson-Heenan and a team of educators and community members who worked in close collaboration with Superintendent Garth Harries and New Haven Public Schools to make their vision of a racially, ethnically and economically diverse public Montessori school a reality. 
Elm City Montessori, New Haven’s first public Montessori school, incorporates the time-tested, research based, nurturing educational philosophy of Maria Montessori with an emphasis on individualized learning, student independence, and strong family engagement. ECMS intentionally attracts and supports a diverse student and parent body.   Before the start of the school year, new families met individually with the Principal, had home visits from their child’s teacher, and participated in three school-wide community events including a trip to the Connecticut Science Museum. 
Seventy three-, four- and five-year-old students are now attending the school in three multi-age classrooms, newly renovated and outfitted with hands-on learning materials that encourage exploration and experimentation emphasized in the Montessori method.  In its inaugural year, the school received more than 600 applications from prospective parents via the New Haven Magnet Lottery and the ACES Open Choice Lottery.  The school will grow by one to two classrooms each year to eventually serve more than 300 students from grades Prek3-8th grade.
Principal Alissa Levy joined Elm City Montessori School last April from the public Grove Montessori School in Redlands, California.  Ms. Levy holds an Ed.D in K-12 Administration from the University of Southern California, an M.S. in Brain Research, a B.S. in Applied Mathematics, a B.A. in English and is Montessori trained and certified to teach in English, Science and Mathematics. Principal Levy notes “Our program is designed to promote lifelong learning through a developmental approach to education that integrates math, science, language arts, music and the outdoors in an academically stimulating environment. The product of a Montessori education myself, I'm excited to be sharing it with the New Haven community. Together with families we are building a school that meets the needs of all learners and helps all children reach their full potential.”
Chartered by the New Haven Board of Education and approved by the State Board of Education, Elm City Montessori School is currently Connecticut’s only local charter. Its teachers are members of the New Haven Federation of Teachers Local 933 and its principal is a part of the School Administrators Association of New Haven.  Elm City Montessori School is also a federally-funded magnet school with a focus on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). 90% of the school’s seats are reserved for New Haven students while 10% of children come from neighboring towns through the regional magnet program.