August 20, 2021


by: admin


Tags: celebrates, charter, education, expansion, Montessori


Categories: Special needs education

Montessori Constitution celebrates enlargement | Schooling

Big-eyed students tried their best not to run around the halls in excitement when they first saw the colorful walls and hanging displays of the recently renovated and expanded Gettysburg Montessori Charter School on Wednesday night.

Teachers, faculty, parents and students celebrated the reopening of the 888 Coleman Road, Gettysburg site with a ribbon cut and open house.

“We have been looking forward to this for the past five years,” said Dr. Faye Janine Pleso, headmistress and headmistress.

The two-wing, 16,000 square meter extension includes 11 new classrooms, a new art room and a library. Between the wings of the building is a courtyard that is aesthetically pleasing with rolling hills and helps playing children build their core muscles, said Jamie Unkefer, Digsau’s chief engineer who oversaw the project.

Digsau began pitching the extension with several napkin drawings in 2016. The groundbreaking for the project took place last summer and ECI Construction began construction on the $ 3.2 million extension in October, said Grewhawk’s site manager Arianna Filipour.

Hulls Electric Service, Rodney B. Smith Plumbing, Heating and Cooling, and Mann Plumbing and Heating installed utilities, she said. Construction was completed earlier this week, she said.

As the students walked through the entrance, they were immediately greeted by smiling teachers and teachers standing in front of an elaborately designed mural of butterflies on a flowery farm.

A newly laid out corridor begins around 20 steps in the building and leads to an open-space library with around 4,000 books, before expanding into two corridors that are separated by an outside courtyard.

“It’s like the heart of our school,” said Pleso.

The classrooms from kindergarten through second grade line one hallway, and third through sixth grade fill the other. Bright white walls are broken up by large windows, the colors of which match the grades of students in the nearby classrooms. The early childhood areas are highlighted by bright spring colors like purple, blue, and green. The older education has richer fall colors, red, yellow and orange.

“We wanted classrooms that were big enough and a happy feeling,” said Pleso.

The classrooms can comfortably accommodate 28 students per person, said Christine Kirkpatrick, assistant principal. Each classroom had triangular desks shaped into squares with plastic partitions between them. On the opposite wall were trash cans full of age-appropriate, practical teaching aids such as globes, pads, books and abacus.

“Every classroom has a prepared environment,” said Pleso. “Everything has its own place and the students know where it is and how to look after it. We have high expectations that the students will take care of things. “

There are no traditional blankets in the classrooms. The roof trusses and the inner roof above remain visible so that students can admire the carpentry, Pleso said.

“We hope that the children will feel asked to ask how it all works?” Said Pleso.

Before the new building, the students were taught in temporary modular classrooms. Not only will teachers have wide open classrooms to work in, but collapsible walls will also allow for combined classroom projects, said Katie Sauter, a fifth and sixth grade teacher who has been with Montessori for 10 years.

“We’re so excited. We now have our own home, ”said Sauter. “Lots of kids have seen it built from the ground up and watched the process go on right outside our windows. Many sixth graders who left last year are sad that they cannot study here. “

With limited classroom space, art and music teachers rolled carts filled with materials from classroom to classroom.

“It’s cool that all special teachers now have their own room,” said Adley Batiz, the prospective fifth grader. “I love the school so far. All colors pop. It’s really nice. “

Cassandra Gelazela, a first year Montessori student and another fifth grader, was also impressed by the new art space.

“At my old school, the art space felt kind of cramped,” she said.

The base of the building, a former church building from the 1990s, has also been renovated with freshened office space as well as work and play rooms for students with special needs. An extension of the stage area in the cafeteria offers enough space for full music lessons, instrumental and choir rehearsals.

An adjustable partition with acoustic panels will soon be installed to separate the cafeteria / gym area from the music room if necessary, according to Unkefer.

Since Montessori moved to the Straban community in 2016, the number of students has increased steadily. The newly built school offers space for 285 students. There are currently 270 enrolled, said Pleso.


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