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It’s no surprise that each child learns differently. Some are visual learners, while others prefer to take a more hands-on approach. In many classrooms, however, a child’s learning style isn’t always taken into consideration.
Fortunately, that’s not the case at Creative Montessori Academy in Southgate. This tuition-free, K-8 public Montessori school caters to each student’s independent learning style in order to help him or her excel in academics.
“Kids have the freedom to choose their plan of work for the day, however they must have the responsibility to get it done,” says Alan Carter, the Headmaster at Creative Montessori Academy. “It allows for different parameters for students to learn how they want to, when they want to.”
Each child receives an individualized work plan, learns both concrete and abstract concepts, receives character education and more at this diverse Wayne County school, which is the only free Montessori school in the area, Carter says.
“We’re free, but we offer the same methodology and same philosophy that the private Montessori program offers,” he says.
Children are taught in small classrooms with a 15-to-1 student-to-teacher ratio. Each class features a lead teacher who is state certified and Montessori certified and assistant teacher. “Our teachers have a lot of tools and resources to support the work of the kids,” Carter says.
In addition to small class sizes, classrooms are filled with children from different grade levels.
The multi-grade classroom setting, says Carter – whose two children also attend the school – allows kids to interact with students at their own academic level instead of just being in classes with other children solely based on their ages. “It allows for more leeway with the curriculum and what that child needs,” he says.
It’s less about age and more about skill level, which is great for the fourth grader with accelerated math skills, for example, who isn’t stuck learning things based on her age level. That student can learn higher-level math along with older kids in that multi-grade setting at Creative Montessori.
Interestingly, some classrooms don’t have enough chairs or desks for students. That’s by design, too. It’s an extension of the school’s individualized approach to learning. Some kids prefer to sit on the floor for lessons as a group, while others prefer to learn solo at their desks.
In addition to academics, says Creative Montessori Assistant Headmaster Lisa Loger, students here are offered a variety of extracurricular activities. “We have different clubs and sports that the kids are able to join,” says Loger, whose three children are also students. Kids can join the Robotics Team, Green Team, basketball, soccer, boys flag football, girls volleyball and cross-country. In addition, those who prefer non-sports related activities can join the “Interact Club,” Loger adds, “where they team up with community people and do different projects.”
Just as the faculty invests in students, they’ve also invested in their building, Carter adds. “We have purchased more of the building that we are in and we are adding five new classrooms, adding a new cafeteria and increasing our gym size.”
Creative Montessori Academy is open to students from preschool through eighth grade. While grades K-8 are free of charge, the preschool program is tuition-based.
Free morning and afternoon care for a fee is offered to students who need it. The school does not have buses, so parents need to drive kids to and from school. You do not have to live in Southgate to attend Creative Montessori, Carter says. “We accept anybody who lives in Wayne County – we have kids from all over.”
Those interested in enrollment can reach out to the school any time of year. Carter says there is a wait list for certain classes. However, “If anybody is interested, it’s always worth applying,” Carter notes. “If anything, it holds a spot for them.”
For additional information, call 734-284-5600 or visit the Creative Montessori Academy website.