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As part of the current Montessori Move Process, APS gathered input from current and former parents, Montessori administrators, private school Montessori families, and current and former Montessori students about possible grade configurations for the new Montessori School opening at Patrick Henry Elementary in September, 2019.  A community, teacher and student questionnaire was completed in early November to help the group with its work..


Patrick Henry Elementary School will move to the new Alice Fleet Elementary School site in September, 2019, allowing the Montessori Program currently at Drew Model Elementary to move into the Patrick Henry building that year.This move will

  • Allow for boundary moves to use the 400+ seats made available at Drew as a result of this move to relieve crowding in south Arlington elementary schools, and,
  • Provide a stand-alone opportunity for the Montessori Program.

Montessori Working Group

A Montessori Working Group, comprised of Montessori parents at primary, elementary and middle school levels, APS Montessori teachers and administrators, private Montessori representatives and APS staff, was established to recommend the grade configuration for the Montessori Program at the Henry site for 2019.

The planning group is charged with the following tasks:

  1. Determine potential opportunities for incorporating differing grade levels in the program at Henry.
  • Review primary level data, including the history of numbers of primary program students at Drew and at satellite locations.
  • Review middle school level data, including the history of numbers of middle school level students.
  • Review capacity at Henry and potential for relocatable classrooms, if needed.
  1. Examine available research about instructional impact of combining differing grade levels at the school.
  • Consider inclusion of primary years with elementary years.
  • Consider inclusion of middle school students (grade 6-8) with elementary years.
  • Consider inclusion of grade 6 students with the elementary years.
  • Consider other possibilities.
  1. Obtain input from the community about various possibilities.
  • Conduct a parent survey among Montessori parents to determine interest.

Timeline of Working Group

Meeting schedule:  October 4, 15, Nov 1, 15, 2017

Recommendation submitted to Dr. Nattrass: Nov 21, 2017

School Board Monitoring Item:  December 14, 2017

Montessori Planning Group Recommendation:

Move entire current Drew Montessori student body (primary through 5th grade) to Henry in 2019. In addition:

  • Maintain primary Montessori satellite classes at current locations with the following recommendations
    • No singleton classes at the satellite locations by 2019
  • Grow Montessori at Henry with an estimated 100 kindergarteners from satellite classes transitioning to 1st grade at Henry.
  • Establish a Montessori Visioning Group to address long-range program implementation, including but not limited to:
    • Plan for inclusion of 6th grade at Henry site
    • Maintain space for entry of private Montessori students to transition at 1st grade
    • Develop Montessori secondary program
    • Ensure highest quality implementation of Montessori approach

Additional Issues to Address:

  • Consider APS-paid Montessori teacher training due to planned elementary growth
  • Restructure admissions policy to improve retention of K students at satellites, including but not limited to the following:
    • Modify sibling preference to be given or withdrawn based on staying for K year
    • When current primary Montessori students are accepted into other APS choice programs, allow deferred entry at 1st grade so that students can complete the three year primary Montessori cycle (guarantee 1st grade admission in other APS choice programs for K Montessori students who were admitted)
  • Consider fewer 3-and 4-year olds in 2018 to allow satellite primary students to get more priority admission at Henry in 2019.
  • Evaluate alternate assessment approaches (rather than current SOLs) that are in line with the Montessori approach
  • Determine when 6th grade will be included in Henry site Montessori Program

Look for updates on other initiatives on the Engage webpage at


Resources from the Montessori Planning Group

School Ambassadors


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