Surely, you’ve heard me say it before. Milwaukee Public Schools’ family of public Montessori schools is unrivaled in the United States. No other city can boast seven traditional public Montessori schools plus one district charter Montessori program.
Among MPS’ group of eight schools there is a rare Montessori high school program (at MacDowell), a groundbreaking public Montessori charter (Highland) and schools that are among the highest performing in the district. One of them, Fernwood, is one of just five or six percent of schools in the entire state that was credited with "significantly exceeding expectations" last year.
But don’t take my word for it. In a report a couple years ago the Milwaukee NAACP said MPS’ Montessori schools offer the best opportunity for African-American kids to get a great education in the city.
And now, folks are coming by the busload to check out the schools.
On Friday, March 7, a bus full of folks from Madison is coming to town for the "School Bus Tour of Milwaukee Public Montessori Schools."
The bus will leave Capital City at 8:30 a.m. and make stops at Craig Montessori on the Northwest Side, Highland Community School – now in larger digs in the former MacDowell Montessori building at 17th and Highland – and Fernwood Montessori.
While at Highland, the edu-tourists will enjoy lunch arranged by the community at Maryland Avenue Montessori School. You see, these schools are also a model of how individual programs within MPS can collaborate and share ideas (such as the annual Montessori summit, which took place in January).
The tour was organized by former Craig Montessori teacher Melissa Droessler, who returned to her hometown of Madison to open that city’s first public Montessori school – Isthmus Montessori Academy – which is seeking a charter with Madison Metropolitan School District.
"On Feb. 13, Isthmus Montessori Academy submitted an application to become the first public Montessori school in the Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD)," Droessler wrote in a Facebook post. "That application detailed the work of Dr. Maria Montessori along with the successes of public Montessori Schools in Milwaukee, other locations in Wisconsin and beyond. But as Montessori educators, we know that nothing compares to seeing our educational philosophy in action.
"Ride the bus with us and learn about how the most innovative education model in America is actually more than 100 years old and changing lives every day! We’ll ... tour three of Milwaukee Public School’s eight Montessori programs, meet their educators, students and school leaders, and have a robust conversation about the opportunity that Isthmus Montessori Academy hopes to bring to MMSD in 2015. This is a not-to-be-missed opportunity for school board members, MMSD leaders, community funders and interested parents."
The tour was coordinated with the help of MPS board member Meagan Holman – whose children attend an MPS Montessori – and Jenni Hofschulte.
"We're proud to show off the teachers, staff and students that have made our Montessori schools so successful," says Hofschulte, a Maryland Avenue Montessori parent who also serves as coordinator of the Montessori Milwaukee advocacy group.
"It's only right that they should serve as models to other cities seeking to add public Montessoris to their school districts' portfolios."
No Talkbacks for this article.
Post your comment/review now
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.
Recent Articles & Blogs by Bobby Tanzilo
Published July 25, 2015
One of the Milwaukee area's most interesting parks is a bit off the beaten path, but it's worth making tracks to Lizard Mound County Park in Farmington, just north of West Bend in Washington County. A wooded path twists and turns through 28 Native American effigy mounds, including the one shaped like a huge lizard which gives the park its name.
Published July 24, 2015
Green Lake is a place of superlatives. Here are eight of the many reasons to fall in love with Green Lake, which is an easy 90-minute drive from Milwaukee.
Published July 24, 2015
What a long strange trip it was. While theaters like the Downer and Oriental have venerable histories as long-running cinema houses, consider, if you will, the the more varied history of the now-dilapidated State Theater, 2616 W. State St. Originally a movie theater, the State has served a number of purposes - rock venue, prudish dance hall and strip club - in its nearly 100-year history.
Published July 22, 2015
There were about 500 people on hand to watch U2 at The Palms on April 15, 1981. The show was part of the Irish band's first U.S. tour. Here's a look back...
Published July 21, 2015
Come with me to see the progress on the restoration of The Pabst Mansion's third floor and also peek into the basement and attic, and experience the view from the roof of this Milwaukee landmark.
Published July 17, 2015
Milwaukee neighborhoods were once awash in movie theaters, as hard as that may be to imagine these days when you can count the number of non-googleplex cinemas in the city limits on one hand. While many are lost, a few remain. At 3804 W. Vliet St. is a former longtime carpet store that's been closed the past few years. But, originally, the building was home to The Lyric Theater, which operated from 1917 to 1952.
Published July 14, 2015
In 2012, I toured the surviving Alexander Eschweiler-designed Agricultural College buildings on the County Grounds, when their roofs gaped open to the stars - and the elements - and weeds encircled their exteriors. Despite talk of tearing them down, and an ongoing battle to save them from demolition, four of the buildings survive, even as six new apartment buildings are rising around them.
Published July 14, 2015
The WMA managed to get an alternative teacher-licensing track included in the omnibus that allows graduates from a program accredited by the Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education, (MACTE) to apply for a Wisconsin state teaching license to teach in a public or charter Montessori school.
Published July 13, 2015
Last week, Milwaukee lost a talented, dedicated, hard-working historian. But when former Italian Community Center president Mario Carini died on July 7, at the age of 78, Milwaukee's Italian community lost a force of nature.
Published July 12, 2015
After nearly 30 years in its current home and 65 within eyesight of it, National Ace Hardware, 1303 N. 4th St., is closing. The building - put up for sale in 2013 - was sold to a developer on Wednesday and a plan for its redevelopment is expected to be announced this week. Meanwhile, National co-owners, brothers Bill and David Rotter, will work to liquidate the current space, which must be vacated by mid-November.