Questions raised about advertising Buena Vista Montessori program outside attendance area

       Montessori supporters at Buena Vista Elementary have been advertising outside the attendance area this summer in hopes of attracting students with background in the program.
       According to Lynne Casebeer, a parent member of the the school's volunteer Montessori committee, the main goal with the advertising is to “target areas where we believe Montessori students are.”
       The advertising money came from fund-raising and some district funds, according to Casebeer.
       Primarily, she said, “We're hoping for more fourth or fifth graders with Montessori experience.” Because the program involves specific, independent learning styles, the “best practice” is for at least 80 percent of the students in a classroom to have been in the program previously, she said.
       Eden Minor, a grandparent of a Buena Vista student, said she objects to the school advertising for students in places other than the attendance area. “If this is supposed to be a public school, it should be addressing the needs of people who live here,” she said.
       Her family is one of several in the school's attendance area that would like to see traditional education co-exist with Montessori, she said.
       The school currently plans to transition to a full Montessori program over the next four years - starting in 2005-06 when the only preschool will be Montessori, and traditional Kindergarten will be only half-day. Both traditional and Montessori classes will be offered for all ages this year.

Westside Pioneer article