Phase 1 Building Dedication

 

 

It is Finished!

With students at the forefront and some elected officials in back, Sussex Montessori Head of School Lisa Coldiron, left, teams with Delaware Department of Education Sec. Dr. Susan Bunting to cut the ribbon, marking the dedication of Phase 1 construction/renovation at Sussex Montessori’s Seaford campus.

(Event photos courtesy of Delaware State News/Glenn Rolfe)

 

This kind of endeavor doesn’t happen overnight…or in isolation. 

Amidst the challenges of COVID-19, Sussex Montessori School opens the doors of ten, state-of-the-art elementary classrooms. This opening, accompanied with a scaled down ribbon cutting, marks the completion of Phase 1 construction and the fruition of a long-awaited vision.

“We are in awe of what has been accomplished in these past five years and grateful for this opportunity for the children and families in Sussex County,” said Board Chairwoman Linda Zankowsky during the dedication event on Nov 18.

Sussex Montessori is the first charter elementary school to open in recent years and currently provides free Montessori education to 260 southern Delaware students in grade K-3.

Joining the group of supporters was Delaware Secretary of Education Dr. Susan Bunting.

“This is exciting because for some of our learners, this approach is exactly what is needed.  While there is a public option available in Wilmington, this is the first time students in southern Delaware will have this opportunity,” said Dr. Bunting.

“This kind of endeavor doesn’t happen overnight, and it doesn’t happen in isolation.  It has required years of work and partnership.”

The project was started by Montessori Works, supported by a strong founding board and completed with the help of many, including Seaford city leaders, state legislators, USDA, PNC Bank and the Longwood and Crystal Trust foundations, as well as local individual donors.

A campaign is underway to raise $5.9 million of the total $10 million school construction cost to complete Phase 2 renovations (renovations to the barn and additional classrooms to accommodate grades four through six).

“I offer deepest gratitude to those farseeing individuals who organized this initiative and to those who have diligently worked, contributed so much, and persevered so that Sussex Montessori’s children can have this rich learning opportunity,” said Secretary of Education Dr. Susan Bunting.  “I’m excited to see how these children and this school will succeed.”
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Sussex Montessori students take part in the ribbon cutting Wednesday marking the dedication of new construction at the school campus in Seaford. The scaled-down dedication was held in lieu of a larger celebration due to the increasing community spread of COVID-19. A virtual celebration event will be held for the public in December.
Lead Teacher Jon Otto and Head of School Lisa Coldiron hold the ribbon as students Saashini Sathiyaselvam, Samuel Chavez-Corzo, and Luke Thomas take turns cutting a piece.
One of Sussex Montessori School’s newly constructed quads and classrooms recently welcomed students in Kindergarten through third grade.  Renovation of the former carriage house (now food service and multipurpose room) and farmhouse (administration building) were also included in Sussex Montessori’s Phase 1 plan.
Tested, Tried and True:  The scientific-based, Montessori methodology supports children’s academic and social-emotional development through the use of specialized, hands-on learning materials that honors the way children naturally learn.

Maria Montessori envisioned schools where children would flourish in classrooms carefully designed with their unique learning needs in mind; beautiful spaces connected to nature, encouraging engagement with the environment both in and out of the classroom.


Special thanks Secretary of Education Dr. Susan Bunting, Representative Danny Short, Senator Bryant Richardson, Mayor Dave Genshaw, and all those who took part in the video taping of this building dedication.

We look forward to sharing this important milestone with all of you in a special virtual event in December.  Please stay tuned as we continue to blaze the way and expand the Montessori community!

Read Delaware State News:  Sussex Montessori School hailed as trailblazer (Nov 18, 2020) 

Watch:  Sussex Montessori School making progress on construction and renovations (Nov 18, 2020)