Montessori kindergarten registration to begin at Buena Vista April 9

       Registration for both traditional kindergarten and Montessori preschool/ kindergarten (ages 3-6) at Buena Vista Elementary will begin Friday, April 9 and continue through the remainder of the year.
        The time on April 9 will be from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Buena Vista is a public school at 1620 W. Bijou St.
        Montessori registration is ongoing for older children who will be in either traditional school or Montessori.
        Contingent upon funding (see adjoining story), Buena Vista will begin offering two preschool/ kindergarten Montessori classes (ages 3 to 6) this fall, plus one lower elementary class (ages 6 to 9).
       There will still be a traditional grade 1-5 program for those currently enrolled at the school, as well as a traditional, half-day kindergarten class for parents who prefer that format. Those students will then continue in a traditional program through 5th grade.
       Eventually, after six years of gradual implementation, all of Buena Vista will become a Montessori School, according to plans that have been developed by school staff and parents.
       “Under the Montessori concept, each classroom contains multiple ages,” writes Susan Spengler, a parent who has helped with the planning. “Within this environment, students work to achieve mastery at their own pace. The teacher gives individual and smallgroup lessons, in addition to whole-group activities. The multi-age groupings give the younger children role models to look up to, and give the older children a further opportunity to learn by teaching the younger ones.”
        For the registration, parents will need to fill out an application form. Those living outside the school's attendance area will also need to fill out a permit (available at the school).
       Tuition will be charged for the 3- and 4-year-olds, because those costs for teachers and materials are not covered by District 11's K-12 budget. The Montessori kindergarten will be full-day, for which there will also be a fee.
        Although the fees are not yet agreed upon, parents can anticipate that full tuition for those grade levels will be about $350 per month for 3- and 4-year-olds and $265 per month for kindergarten.
       Qualifying families will be eligible for tuition-assistance scholarships.
       Once students enter the lower elementary Montessori program, their schooling will be free, just like any other public school.
       Buena Vista would be the first District 11 school to have a Montessori program.
        To get into the Montessori program at levels higher than preschool/ kindergarten, students must have previous Montessori experience.
       For more information about Buena Vista's planned Montessori program, go to the web site at or call the principal, Alan Rasmussen at 328-4100.

Westside Pioneer article