Lawrence school district could begin phasing in Montessori program at New York Elementary next school year

photo by: Kim Callahan/Journal-World

New York Elementary School, 936 New York St., is pictured Tuesday, Dec. 14, 2021. The sign in front says "Est. 1869."

The Lawrence school district has announced more details about a plan to convert New York Elementary School into a public Montessori school, with the phased changeover potentially beginning next school year.

As the Journal-World has reported, the district has been exploring the option of a public Montessori school as a way to provide additional educational options and to increase student enrollment in the district. However, the Lawrence school board has not discussed or approved the plan at this point.

If approved, the plan would affect kindergarten students in the New York School boundary area beginning next school year, as those students would either have to decide to join the Montessori program or transfer to another school in the district.

A news release from the school district on Friday evening states that pending board approval, the district will begin a phased approach to offering a free, public Montessori program at New York Elementary School.

The release states that the plan would start with kindergarten in the fall of 2022, at which time the Montessori program would be open to all kindergartners with priority placement given to families living in the New York attendance area.

Particulars of how the program would work are as follows, according to the release:

• Families living in other school attendance areas could apply for a transfer to New York for their kindergartner and elementary-age siblings.

• A transfer to Cordley Elementary would be available for any New York family choosing a traditional kindergarten classroom environment.

• The district will evaluate transfers on a first-come-first-served and space-available basis.

• Transportation will not be provided.

The release states the district will share more information about the new Montessori program after spring break and also plans to host family informational meetings about the program during the first two weeks of April.


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