Montessori School in Chevy Chase To Start High School Program in September
Administrators say it would be the area’s first Montessori high school
Oneness-Family School founder Andrew Kutt
Via Oneness-Family School
A Chevy Chase private school is preparing to launch what administrators say is the region’s first Montessori program for high school students.
The Oneness-Family Montessori High School of Washington is slated to open in September with 15 students in the 9th and 10th grades, Head of School Andrew Kutt said on Wednesday. Kutt said he is looking to establish a “high school of the future” that will equip students to succeed in a globalized, wired society.
“That means providing them with 21st-century skills such as collaboration, critical thinking, information literacy and so forth,” he said.
While Montessori programs tend to focus on elementary-age students, the number of high schools is expanding across the nation, according to Kutt. Programs have cropped up in Ohio, Florida and Texas, but none currently exists in the mid-Atlantic region, he added.
Kutt argued Montessori high schools are growing in popularity as people tire of one-size-fits-all education. Montessori education emphasizes self-guided learning and holistic development.
“When you standardize something, you take the heart out of learning. What’s exciting about Montessori high school is that it becomes a student-centered approach so students can maintain a true curiosity and love of the learning process,” he said.
Kutt said in addition to teaching academics, the high school will help students deal with conflict, peer pressure and self-image issues.
Kutt founded the Oneness-Family School in 1988, and the school’s enrollment has grown to about 140 children aged 2 to 14. While the existing school with preschool through middle school students is based in Chevy Chase, the high school program will be located in a different building whose address is still under wraps. The site will be announced next month, he said.
The program will start small, but will expand each year until it serves about 100 to 125 students in 9th through 12th grades, according to Kutt. Annual tuition will be $28,000, plus a $500 activity fee; scholarships and financial aid will be available, according to Kutt.
He said parents interested in sending their children to the high school should aim to submit applications by March 1. The admissions committee is looking for students who are bright, creative and ready to take charge of their learning process, he said.