Kentucky's first Montessori high school opens Thursday in Lexington

ribbon-cutting set before classes start

jwarren@herald-leader.comAugust 17, 2011 

Starting Thursday, Lexington will have a high school for Montessori students.

The new Montessori High School of Kentucky, based at St. Augustine's Episcopal Chapel on the University of Kentucky campus, is the first such school in the state, organizers say.

"It's something people have thought about and talked about for a long time, but things finally started falling into place about two years ago," said Jennifer Pederson, president of the board at the new school.

A ribbon-cutting Thursday morning will kick off the opening of classes, Pederson said. The school is at 472 Rose Street.

The school is opening with 11 students — all freshmen and sophomores — and Pederson said organizers want to keep enrollment small at first. About 40 more students could be accommodated eventually, she said.

As of now, the first class will be made up of children who have completed Montessori classes through middle school, plus some children who have been home-schooled and a few others who are moving over from public schools. All classes will be taught using Montessori methods.

Winni van Gessel, curriculum director at Montessori High School, said UK is providing support, including allowing Montessori students access to the university's library and computer system for research. Professors from various UK departments are offering help with curriculum and classes, he said.

"It's going to be a working partnership; we're very excited about it," van Gessel said.

To learn about the new school, go to Montessorihigh.com.

Reach Jim Warren at (859) 231-3255 or 1-800-950-6397, Ext. 4355.

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