METRO ATLANTA’S FIRST TUITION-FREE PUBLIC CHARTER MONTESSORI SCHOOL ANNOUNCES GRAND OPENING IN FOREST PARK
Sankofa Montessori Offers Students and Families A Culturally Innovative Approach To Great Public Education
This fall, families will have another innovative public school option for students in Forest Park, Ga. Sankofa Montessori will become one of Metro Atlanta’s first K-6 tuition-free public charter Montessori schools. Sankofa Montessori utilizes the Montessori model of learning to provide a culturally responsive, child and family-centered Montessori education that empowers every child with the knowledge, skills and agency to lead a life of purpose.
“The meaning of Sankofa is to honor the past to make way for the future,” said Sankofa Montessori, Founder and Executive Director, Sarah Harvey. “Sankofa symbolizes our philosophy of perpetual reflection and growth at the center of our work with students, families and communities.”
Sankofa Montessori strategically places students in multi-age groupings to build a growth mindset and monitor their individual progress. The multi-age groupings encourage each student’s natural development pace, provide leadership opportunities, create a diverse environment and promote a growth mindset. Each guide stays with the same group of students for all three years to understand each student on a deeper level.
The newly renovated 5,000-square-foot campus anticipates an enrollment of 125 students in its pilot year. Each classroom is designed according to the following Montessori principles to maximize learning for each child:
- Freedom of choice in learning
- A structured and orderly learning environment
- Beauty in the learning environment
- Learning environment designed to bring in nature
- Community building
- Learning materials across ages and stages of development
“The Montessori approach is playful and rigorous; it’s personalized for each child without relying on screens; it is highly structured and student-centered at the same time,” said Annie Frazer, executive director of Montessori Partnerships for Georgia, a nonprofit focused on supporting and expanding public Montessori programs. “Best of all, it helps children feel connected to each other’s success and learn how to think, how to disagree respectfully and change their minds when that’s warranted, how to step up and take responsibility. Montessori graduates know they matter to their communities, and they have the skills to make a difference. It has been a privilege to support Sankofa Montessori’s development, and I know their graduates will be changemakers.”
Sankofa’s Montessori-trained instructional staff are guides, content experts and masters of Montessori teaching and learning practices. Each guide also engages in ongoing professional development to ensure they are incorporating new methods to help students thrive.
Sankofa Montessori’s launch was supported through redefinED atlanta’s school start-up support, including start-up funding and technical assistance. State-authorized charter schools in Georgia receive several thousand dollars less than peer traditional and in-district charter schools even when serving a similar student population and geographic community.
Since its founding, redefinED atlanta has filled part of that revenue gap and contributed to the growth, sustainability, and influence of the charter school ecosystem in Atlanta by addressing financial and operational barriers that challenged new schools from coming online and launching successfully. Over an average of 5 years of support, redefinED atlanta invests approximately $1.25M in each public charter school that meets its standard of great K-12 education for Atlanta students and communities.
To learn more about Sankofa Montessori, visit www.sankofamontessori.org.
About Sankofa Montessori:
Sankofa Montessori is Metro Atlanta’s first State Charter School Commission-approved K-6 tuition-free public Montessori school. Sankofa Montessori utilizes the Montessori model of learning to provide a culturally responsive, child and family-centered Montessori education that empowers every child with the knowledge, skills and agency to lead a life of purpose. To learn more about Sankofa Montessori, visit www.sankofamontessori.org.
About redefinED atlanta:
redefinED atlanta is a growing collective of civic leaders and philanthropists passionate about and invested in transforming Atlanta into a place where every student in every community has the opportunity to attend a great public school. For more information on redefinED atlanta, please visit www.redefinEDatlanta.org.