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 Sept. 18, 2014
Perhaps no Milwaukee historical landmark has suffered more indignity than the replica of the early home of founder Solomon Juneau. After being sealed to the public for decades, we got a peek inside.
Published Sept. 18, 2014
Back in spring, I posted some photo outtakes from my wanderings around town and you seemed to enjoy them. So, here are five more from the archive.
Published Sept. 16, 2014
Though the exhibition was a small one, Milwaukee photographer Kevin Miyazaki's "Perimeter" show at the Haggerty Museum was one of the highlights of the local arts scene in 2013. Now, the project is showcased in a hardcover book -- officially launched with an event on Wednesday, Sept. 17 -- and we caught up with Miyazaki to ask him about the inspiration for and the perspiration of creating this unmatched exploration of Lake Michigan and its diverse users.
Published Sept. 16, 2014
Decades after the break-up of The Rascals, Felix Cavaliere is still performing. We caught up with him before he arrives in Milwaukee this week for a gig at the Northern Lights Theater.
Published Sept. 15, 2014
There are few events more exciting for me than Doors Open Milwaukee, which takes place this coming weekend, Sept. 20-21, as dozens of locations around town as venues of all kinds swing open their doors to let Milwaukeeans see inside. There are churches, schools, office buildings, historic sites and much more.Here are six you won't want to miss!
Published Sept. 13, 2014
Like you, we love the Klement's Racing Sausages. But, the other day, while gazing down at the figures on a T-shirt celebrating 20 years of sal-seech, I wondered if a few of them couldn't use a bit of a makeover and if the time is ripe for a sixth member of the meat-grinder gang.
Published Sept. 10, 2014
Once upon a time, The Modjeska Theater, 1134 W. Mitchell St., was a neighborhood movie palace, the big daddy of Mitchell Street, the second busiest thoroughfare in Milwaukee after Wisconsin Avenue. Now, after four dormant years, and decades after it ended its run as a movie house, Mitchell Street Development Opportunity Corporation is cleaning it up, with an eye toward re-opening in spring with a mix of movies, concerts and other live performances.
Published Sept. 9, 2014
I love finding bits of Milwaukee history and now more than ever they're easy to find online.
Published Sept. 8, 2014
Madison's non-partisan Forward Institute released a report Monday that looked at education funding across the state of Wisconsin and found that over the past decade increasing poverty, deep education cuts, voucher expansion, the economic recession and growing rates of bilingual and special needs enrollment have led to a system that fuels funding and opportunity gaps among Wisconsin students and communities.
Published Sept. 7, 2014
A few weeks ago, I looked at missed opportunities, ugly spaces and other problem spots east of the river. This time, I go west.