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Montessori school to open in Fisher Building

Jan. 25, 2011

Wauwatosa residents will be able to send their children to the school district's first Montessori program this fall.

The School Board voted, 6-1, Monday to establish a Montessori program starting in the 2011-12 school year.

Board member Phil Kroner provided the only vote in opposition, saying he did not believe opening the school was the right route for the district to take.

The Montessori program will be housed in the Fisher Building on North Avenue, and officials plan to open as many as three multiage classrooms next fall, based on enrollment.

Classes will be divided into three age ranges - 4 and 5, 6 to 8 and 9 to 11 - and each classroom would require one teacher and one educational aide. Teachers will have to be certified by the state as well as in Montessori instruction.

District officials have said the school could bring in about 60 resident students who aren't currently in the district. That additional revenue is expected to cover the cost of salaries and materials - estimated anywhere from $137,000 to $417,000 - and $100,000 in anticipated renovations at the Fisher Building.

The district also plans to bring in additional revenue by offering an on-site day care program for the school's 4-year-old students, who will be in school for half a day. All other grade levels will have a full school day.

The district will now finalize its application materials and admissions forms, and a series of parent information meetings is slated for next month.

The School Board's approval requires that at least 20 students be registered for one of the three multiage classes by March 15. If 20 students have not registered by that time, that particular multiage class likely will not be offered.

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