FAIRBANKS, Ak - Parents will have another education option for their child this fall.
A new Montessori elementary school will open for those who wish for an education outside of the traditional public school model.
As a parent of an elementary school–aged child, Sabrina Binkley is fond of the Montessori method of education.
She, like more than two hundred other families in the Interior, found options limited when it came to continuing her child's education through local charter schools.
"There's a high demand, as we know, for charter education opportunities in our community, and last Fall, when my husband and I toured Chinook (Chinook Montessori Charter School), which we thought would be the best choice for our son because we had enjoyed our experience at Fairbanks Montessori, we learned that there really were no spots for first graders and that the enrollment capacity just couldn't handle the numbers they're getting in their lotteries," explained Binkley.
Spruce Tree Montessori School will cater to children ages six through nine in a multi–age class environment.
"The Montessori curriculum and it's multi–age classroom environment really provides a dynamic learning experience for Children," said Binkley.
"One of the hallmarks and my favorite part is a three hour work period. What that is, it's an uninterrupted time that allows the child to make a choices across all academic subjects. They have goals for each subject, but they're allowed to take different paths to get there."
The school has already accepted four applicants and will continue to enroll students through a family interview screening process.
"We'll try and balance our age grouping to start so that we have some six and seven year olds and maybe a couple of eight year olds as well, and then as our children age and our enrollment grows, we'll add the upper elementary program and hire a second teacher."
Tuition costs will be $9,250 for nine months of education.
All class materials and snacks are included in the tuition price
The school will not follow the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District calendar year.