Sussex Montessori Is Coming To Seaford - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Sussex Montessori Is Coming To Seaford

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SEAFORD, De-A new school is on its way to Seaford, and it provides a new and innovative learning experience for students. 

 It's called Sussex Montessori School, and it's a public charter school. The school will be constructed at the former Wheaton Farm on Stein Highway, and it will serve around 465 elementary-age students from Western Sussex County by 2022.

According to Sean Steward, who serves on the school's board, they're looking to restore the farm building that currently sits on site, while also constructing other buildings for their future students. 

"The barn that you see there will stay, it will get re-purposed. That will be where some of the fourth, fifth and sixth grade classes will be," Steward said.

"There will be two additional structures built on the site that will house K through second grade." 

The school says their school provides a hands-on learning experience, with students learning from their surroundings, rather than a traditional lecturing style approach. 

The school says they plan to open with 260 students in grades K-3 in June 2020, then add one new grade a year.  In a release the school says,

"Any child from the appropriate ages can apply and there is no cost to enroll. A lottery will be held in January 2020 if the school has more applicants than capacity will allow."


According to Sussex Montessori School Board Chair Linda Zankowsky, the school will be unique among public charter schools across the country.

“First, there are few charter schools serving rural areas,” Zankowsky said.  “Sussex County is fortunate to have two – Sussex Academy for grades 6-12, and now Sussex Montessori School for younger children.”

Steward says they hope their school will coincide with Sussex Academy, and that their students, if they choose may continue on there. 

Zankowsky said, "of the dozen or so charter Montessori schools we’ve identified in rural areas, none appears to serve a truly diverse student population, which is our goal for Sussex Montessori School.

Sussex Montessori will provide nature- and agricultural-based learning opportunities supported by the Montessori hands-on curriculum.  The Wheaton property was selected from more than a dozen potential sites in Western Sussex County because it is already on a farm site. 

“Students who attend Montessori schools are known for their self-confidence, love of learning and ability to work with others – traits that last a lifetime” Zankowsky said.

The total cost to renovate and construct Sussex Montessori School will be $10 million, of which the school itself will borrow 40%.  A campaign committee to raise the balance has now been formed and is beginning calls on community leaders. 

For information, please go to the Sussex Montessori School Facebook page by typing Sussex Montessori School in the search bar.  To discuss the school campaign, a site visit, or a donation, please call 302-644-0107.

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