Summer is here (pause for teacher applause) and the East Texas Montessori Prep Academy just finished its first year in their new building. Longview ISD’s new academy, with a 1,400 student capacity and area of 123,000 sq ft, is one of the largest public Montessori schools in the nation. It can accommodate district-wide Pre-K / K student population.
This academy has been very successful in its mission, which was to enhance and consolidate the Montessori educational delivery process and to create immediate classroom capacity in existing elementary schools. Before construction of the new academy, the Montessori education efforts of the district were spread throughout multiple campuses, with some campuses performing better than others. The centralized academy provided much needed equity and continuity while also freeing up space in other schools.
The academy was designed with the student’s learning experience in mind. 100 percent of classrooms have natural light, which saves on electricity costs, but more importantly, establishes a connection to nature for the students and staff. Many of the windows are installed at student height, providing play ledges for the students. The classes and corridors wrap around two large courtyards, which provide safe and secure outdoor learning. Every micro and macro design choice shows the prioritization and importance placed on the learning experience.
With many more years to come in the East Texas Montessori Prep Academy, the district’s and the students’ futures look bright.