Campus Renovations

Two Montessori Schools to Merge in Lansing, Mich.

Local news reports that the Lansing School District in Lansing, Mich., will be merging its two Montessori schools into one building starting next year. Woodcreek Montessori Academy, which serves students in grades 6–8, will move into the Wexford Montessori Academy facility, which currently serves students in grades PreK–5, to create one single K–8 building.

“In this K-8 model, we have so many more opportunities to build really strong relationships with the kids, and the parents as well,” said Ariel Rodriguez-Peña, the district’s director of academies and middle years. “Those sixth- through eighth-grade students actually become the leaders of the school. They become mentors of the other students.”

The projected enrollment for the merged school comes in at about 375 students. The Wexford facility will undergo a series of renovations and upgrades this summer to prepare for the higher population, including outdoor classrooms, a walking path, new walls and renovated classrooms. Woodcreek will also be remodeled and updated to serve as additional space for district programing; the district has not named any specific projects to fill the space yet.

Local news credits parent feedback with the decision to merge the academies. Many parents who opted for the Montessori model had children enrolled in both schools and “think it makes sense to let them stay in one building until they transition to high school,” according to Fox47 News.

The move also means that Woodcreek’s sixth- and seventh-grade students will be returning to the school that they just graduated from. “All of the students that are coming back here to Wexford, I’ve been their principal already from when they were here before, and I think that will be huge with our families,” said Wexford Montessori Principal Elizabeth Bishop.

"We can work it where the older students are able to work and help with the younger students in different learning opportunities, like science projects and outside exploration," Bishop said. "They’ll be able to collaborate and work together."

About the Author

Matt Jones is senior editor of Spaces4Learning. He can be reached at [email protected].