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Salisbury Planning Board approves Montessori school

Montessori Education

Montessori education gets its name from Italian physician and educator Maria Montessori, who developed the practice in the early 1900s. It is a popular method of early childhood education across the country and throughout the world.

According to the American Montessori Society:

“The teacher, child, and environment create a learning triangle. The classroom is  prepared by the teacher to encourage independence, freedom within limits, and a sense of order. The child, through individual choice, makes use of what the environment offers to develop himself, interacting with the teacher when support and/or guidance is needed.”

“Multi-age groupings are a hallmark of the Montessori Method: younger children learn from older children; older children reinforce their learning by teaching concepts they have already mastered. This arrangement also mirrors the real world, where individuals work and socialize with people of all ages and dispositions.”

 

Plans are in the works to open Rowan County’s first Montessori school next year.

Tuesday, the Salisbury Planning Board unanimously approved recommendation of a Conditional District Overlay for Yadkin Path Montessori, which is set to be located off Bringle Ferry Road at the site of the former Camp Kiwanis.

The overlay includes having two parcels of land at the site rezoned from General Residential to Residential Mixed Use in order to allow for the school. The request will go to City Council in January.

A Montessori school is like daycare in an educational environment.

According to the American Montessori Society, Montessori education is “a view of the child as one who is naturally eager for knowledge and capable of initiating learning in a supportive, thoughtfully prepared learning environment. It is an approach that values the human spirit and the development of the whole child — physical, social, emotional, cognitive. …

“The classroom is prepared by the teacher to encourage independence, freedom within limits, and a sense of order. The child, through individual choice, makes use of what the environment offers to develop himself, interacting with the teacher when support and/or guidance is needed.”

The name comes from Maria Monterssori, an Italian physician and educator who developed the practice in the early 1900s.

The school would be housed in the 4,000-square-foot building currently on the property. Renovations are planned to make the building accommodating for the school.

Myra Tannehill, of Woodleaf, wants to start the school and said she will be the director.

Tannehill has a master’s degree in English Education from Appalachian State University where she used to teach. But now, she said, she wants to work with young children.

“I’m switching from 18-year olds to itty-bitty ones,” she said.

She wants to open the school in August, adding she plans to start with a daycare for 18-month olds to 5-year olds.

Montessori teachers must earn certification, she said.

Ronnie Smith, a member of the Salisbury Kiwanis Club, told the board the club supports Tannehill’s plans.

“We feel like this is now the best possible use for this (site),” he said about the club’s support for the school.

Planning Board members also expressed their support for the school before voting.

Contact reporter David Purtell at 704-797-4264.

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