Montessori School of Pawleys Island student Mary Lansings McCall, 7, studies multiplication tables using beads while in her lower elementary class at the school in Pawleys Island. The school offers four levels of educational programs from toddlers through the sixth grade.

CMCS Holds Informational Meetings

MONTESSORI CHARTER SCHOOL ANNOUNCES PUBLIC MEETINGS

Pawleys Island, SC-- The Coastal Montessori Charter School (CMCS) planning committee will hold four informational meetings throughout Georgetown County. The meetings are open to the public. Anyone interested in learning more about the proposed public Montessori charter school in Georgetown County is encouraged to attend.

INFORMATIONAL MEETING SCHEDULE:
1. Saturday, February 26th 1 pm - 3 pm at Waccamaw Library
24 Commerce Drive, Pawleys Island, SC 29585, 843-545-3623
2. Saturday, March 12th 10 am - 12 noon at Georgetown Library
405 Cleland Street, Georgetown, SC 29440, 843-545-3300
3. Saturday, March 19th 10 am - 12 noon at Andrews Library
105 N. Morgan Avenue, Andrews, SC 29510, 843-545-3621
4. Saturday, March 19th 2 pm - 4 pm at Carvers Bay Library
13048 Choppee Road, Hemingway, SC 29554, 843-558-6654

The charter application is due to the SC Department of Education by May 2, 2011. If approved by the state and the Georgetown County School District, Coastal Montessori Charter School would open to elementary students in August 2012, offering grades one through six with a long-range goal to extend classes through at least middle school. These informational meetings will serve to educate the public about both the Montessori teaching method and public charter schools, while providing interested parents with a ‘Letter of Interest’ that, while not a binding enrollment form, will assist the committee with planning.

The CMCS planning committee is a group of parents, teachers, administrators, community leaders, and public Montessori and SC Charter School experts whose goal is to bring a public Montessori option to Georgetown County. Some, but not all, of the charter school planning committee have, or have had, children enrolled at the private Montessori School of Pawleys Island (MSPI).

“This was our introduction to Montessori education,” said Dr. Kristin Bohan, CMCS planning committee chairperson. “Through MSPI, we witnessed the powerful impact Montessori made on our children. We were so inspired that we began to search for a way to make this beautiful and highly effective educational approach a public choice, so that more families would have the option to choose Montessori for their children, regardless of socioeconomic standing.”

Bohan said the planning committee has spent about a year researching the idea of forming a charter school that would be a separate entity from the private school. There are currently 44 public Montessori programs in South Carolina, thanks in large part to the state's own Montessori Coordinator, Dr. Ginny Riga, who works in the SC Department of Education's Office for Public Choice, and is working closely with the CMCS planning committee. One of these 44 schools is the East Cooper Montessori Charter School (ECMCS) in the Ion community of Mt. Pleasant. CMCS committee members are working closely with the leaders of ECMCS in the planning of the new school.

Members of the CMCS planning committee have both met with individual members of the Georgetown County School Board as well as presented their plans for the Montessori charter school at the January 18, School Board meeting.

“There are so many ways in which our district stands out in the state of SC,” Bohan said. "The charter school, by bringing a public Montessori option to Georgetown County, aims to be one more thing the district is doing well."

For more information on Coastal Montessori Charter School visit www.coastalmontessoricharter.org or write P.O. Box 3754, Pawleys Island, SC 29585.

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