Milwaukee Public Schools has nearly 10 public Montessori programs. That's unheard of in public districts. And the schools are among MPS' best.
So, I join the community in saluting MacDowell Montessori School, 1706 W. Highland Ave., as it celebrates 35 years as a public Montessori.
Built in 1965, MacDowell was a key battleground in the school desegregation movement before it was even open.
In 1976, MacDowell – named for American composer and pianist Edward MacDowell – became the second public Montessori program in the United States and the first in MPS. It was where the district learned Montessori and even today, MacDowellians can be found teaching and leading at other MPS Montessoris. I volunteered as a reading tutor last year in the room of one of those teachers.
"At MacDowell Montessori School, we believe that children from all backgrounds and ages can enrich each other's lives and learning," said principal Ken Wald.
"Like MacDowell, we hope to create an environment in which our artists – our children – can work in an ideal place, amongst their peers, to achieve creative and academic excellence."
There will be an anniversary celebration Saturday, May 14 at 7 p.m. at The Best Place, 901 W. Juneau Ave. Admission is $5 and includes live music and hors d'oeuvres. MacDowell alumni – age 21 and older) current and former staff and parents, friends and fellow Montessori proponents are encouraged to attend.
MacDowell is a K3-8 school that had housed the the only public Montessori summer school in the city, until it was cut this year.
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