We extend our deep appreciation and thanks to the Orcas Island District School Board (Janet Brownell, Greg White, Diane Boerstler, Joshua Culp and John Fleming), Superintendent Eric Webb, and Principal Lorena Stankevich. The Montessori Advocacy for Public Schools (MAPS) coalition appreciates your openness to parent and community feedback over the past two months.
We are delighted that the district will continue its long-standing commitment to the Montessori program and build on the success of Martha Inch’s classroom over the last 15 years. We appreciate that the Montessori classroom will welcome first graders next year, that a small steering committee will begin taking a systematic look in August at all the options for a long-term home for the program; and that the District will be proactive in recruiting a Montessori teacher for the 2019-2020 school year. We look forward to strategizing the big picture and working out the details with you.
We also extend our deep thanks to the Orcas Island community. To each person who signed a petition (300+), came or spoke at a School Board meeting (over 100 attendees and 26 speakers), expressed their opinions (whether in favor, against or neutral), helped post flyers, did research, made signs, spoke with decision-makers and neighbors, or provided strategic guidance and advice, thank you! We also thank the many parents and community members, prior School Boards, administrators, and staff who started and built the program. We owe profound gratitude to Martha Inch and all her students. Without all of you, we would not be moving forward.
Interest in the Montessori program at the public school has always been high, from its beginnings to conversations about expansion a few years ago to now. Rather than a short-term phenomenon, there is broad, sustained support for Montessori in the School District. We are looking forward to partnering with the District and to bringing our collective talents and energies to work on behalf of all island children.
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Georgette Wong Beadnall