Providence Montessori School to open middle school

kward1@herald-leader.comMarch 15, 2014 

Providence Montessori School in Lexington has announced that it will open a middle school in the former location of the Florence Crittenton Home on West Fourth Street.

Providence plans to begin renovating the 120-year-old building this spring and open its doors to seventh- and eighth-graders in August.

Carol Hiler, Providence's head of school, said in a news release that Providence expects to cooperate with the Montessori High School of Kentucky to offer ninth grade in the 2015-16 school year.

She said the Florence Crittenton Home is "a perfect venue" for the new middle school.

"Our curriculum will incorporate an onsite land-based program in the heart of downtown and classroom space in an iconic Lexington landmark," Hiler said in the release.

The Florence Crittenton Home provided care for single pregnant women and girls for 119 years. The home closed in November because the state was no longer referring girls there, and the facility ran out of money, its leadership said.

Hiler said in a message posted Friday on the Providence website that the home is in a prime location, on 2½ acres near Transylvania University, which might lend itself to collaborations between the two schools.

The name of the new school will be Providence Middle School, Erdkinder Campus, Hiler said in the online post. Hiler said Erdkinder refers to the word Montessori method founder Maria Montessori used to refer to the adolescent stage of development.

Rather than being led in group lessons by a teacher imparting information, the Montessori educational approach is focused on letting children learn through hands-on activities that they choose themselves. Classrooms include children of varying ages.

Providence Montessori already offers programs for toddlers through upper-elementary school students at its main campus on Texaco Road.

The parent-owned school was founded in 1965.

Karla Ward: (859) 231-3314. Twitter: @HLpublicsafety

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