BV Montessori: Demand could lead to portables

       About 40 people came to an open house/meeting for Buena Vista Elementary's Montessori program at the school the night of March 3.
       “The meeting went real well,” said Principal Alan Rasmussen. “We ended up with 12 more applications.”
       He was especially pleased that the majority of those who came live in the 80904 zip code (the general area of the school). A goal for Buena Vista, which is in its first year as the only District 11 school with Montessori, has been to attract more students from the neighborhood. Many of the current students have permitted in.
       The response is going so well, in fact, that Buena Vista is looking hard at having 3 classrooms for ages 3-6 next year, Rasmussen said. This year, there is one class for that age group.
       The other Montessori class this year is ages 6-9. There will be another class for that age range next year, as well as a class for ages 9-12, according to Rasmussen.
       Traditional classes in all grade levels will remain, at least through next year. However, after 2005-06, Buena Vista will begin gradually transitioning to an all-Montessori school, he said.
       In the meantime, there is a problem with space. The school, which had shown declining enrollments in recent years, might need a portable classroom next year, the principal said.
       Montessori is a method of teaching in which children are allowed to learn at their own pace, often using specially designed hands-on learning tools, with individual guidance from Montessori-trained teachers.
       Anyone interested in the program is asked to call the school at 328-4100. Rasmussen said that tuition assistance (needed for ages 3-4) is available in certain cases.

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