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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Looking at Chicago's Public Montessori Programs

There are five Montessori schools in the Chicago Public School District. Four of the five, all but Stagg, require an application be submitted to a lottery run by the CPS Office of Academic Enhancement. When your child reaches two by September 1st, that fall is the time to apply because he must begin Montessori school at the age of three, and the application process takes the better part of a year. The applications should be available in the office of the school of your choice (and possibly on its website) from about the first of October until December 15th. Applications are also available at http://cpsoae.org. Submit your application in a timely fashion.


Clissold School
2350 W. 110th Place
Chicago, IL 60643

In 1979 Clissold School offered to its neighborhood the first ongoing Montessori program in the Chicago Public Schools (CPS). For over two decades it was the only one. Unfortunately for parents in its Beverly-Morgan Park neighborhood looking to place their child in a Montessori school, Clissold has other program tracks as well. So a bit like a magnet school, Clissold's Montessori students are selected by lottery conducted by the CPS Office of Academic Enhancement. The difference between Clissold and the magnet schools is that competition here is confined to the neighborhood. Applications for next year, 2011, will be available at Clissold soon in November 2010, call 773-535-2560, and return them promptly. If your child is two now (by September 1st) she is eligible for possible admission in September 2011 at the age of three. Montessori education begins with three year olds.

Stagg Elementary School
7424 S. Morgan Av
Chicago, IL 60621

In 2007 Stagg Elementary School in Englewood became the second CPS school to offer a neighborhood Montessori program. It is offered on a first-come first-served basis, so if you live in Englewood, be sure to apply during the autumn of the September that your child is two. Then he will be eligible to start when he is three. Call 773-535-3565 for application information. The rest of the neighborhood children attend Stagg's traditional kindergarten program. This 2010 September Stagg is expanding its Montessori program to include two Montessori elementary classes. If you would like to see their existing Montessori classroom in action, please go to the Stagg website by way of the url below. Then turn up your volume. This is a video of their primary class, children at work with running commentary by the teacher. Fascinating!


The First CPS Montessori Magnet School:
Drummond Montessori School
1845 West Cortland Street
Chicago, IL 60622

In 2004 primarily thanks to Mark Neidlinger's vision and perseverance Drummond School began its Montessori conversion with three early childhood (or primary) Montessori classes, adding a fourth in 2005, as well as opening its first Montessori elementary classroom for the six year olds. Now in 2010 Drummond has expanded its Montessori offering to four primary classes for children from ages 3 to 6 years, four Elementary I classes for children ages 6 to 9 years, three Elementary II classes for children ages 9 to 12 years, and one Jr. High class for children ages 12 to 14 years. Most of these classes have twenty-seven students.

Suder Montessori Magnet School
2022 W. Washington Blvd.
Chicago, IL60612

In 2005 Suder became a Montessori School. In spite of many trials, it is healthy today with four primary classes for children from ages three to six years and four early elementary classes for children from six to nine years. These classes in general have twenty-seven students.

Oscar Mayer Magnet Elementary School
2250 N. Clifton
Chicago, IL 60614

In 2007 Oscar Meyer began its Montessori preschool program. Today it has eight primary classes for children ages three to six as well as six secondary classes for children ages six to nine. These classes generally have twenty-seven students.

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