Expanded Montessori High School has new home

An expanded Montessori High School of Kentucky opened Wednesday in its new location on South Broadway, about a block from the University of Kentucky campus.

The high school, which had been in the basement of St. Augustine's Chapel on Rose Street, moved to the second floor of the Burley Tobacco Growers Co-op building at 620 South Broadway.

"This is a good location for us because of our relationship with UK, our juniors and seniors can earn dual credits — high school credits and college credits," said Jennifer Pederson, president of the board.

It's proximity to downtown allows some students to take city buses to school.

This is the second year of operation for the non-profit, private school, the only Montessori high school in Kentucky and one of only a handful nationwide. The school opened last year with 11 students. It began this school year with 27 and nine full- and part-time faculty. Tuition is $8,295 annually.

The growth in enrollment prompted the move to another location, Pederson said.

The school space is spartan compared to large, public high schools in the city that have modern science labs, cafeterias, music rooms and sports programs.

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"If you come to this school, you realize you won't have a range of options you have at a big school," Pederson said. Because of the Montessori school's connection with UK, students use the Seaton Center for physical education.

Montessori education gives students the opportunity to learn at their own pace, Pederson said. "We seek mastery rather than an A," she said.

Robert Edwards has been a student at Providence Montessori, Sayre School and Henry Clay High School. He opted to do his senior year at Montessori High School, saying, "I was a bit fed up with the traditional, cookie-cutter education of being told what to do. This is a better option for me to learn at my own pace," he said.