Latino parents happy with Ross Montessori School
September 20, 2005
What some see as a racial imbalance at Ross Montessori and Roaring Fork Elementary is not a problem for four Latino mothers whose children go to Ross Montessori.They say they like how their kids are learning there and that more Latino parents would send their kids to the Montessori school if it had a busing system as sophisticated as Roaring Fork Elementary’s. Ross Montessori School Administrator Mark Grice said Tuesday the school is in the process of buying a bus for its Carbondale students. Montessori parents Maria Carbajal, Elizabeth Murillo, Mercedes Gonzáles and Martha Reyes, all natives of Mexico, each said their kids are happy at the school. School administrative assistant Sylvia Ramos translated the four mothers’ comments because they speak little English. Carbajal, whose son is in fifth grade, said she likes what the school teaches and how her son is treated there. She said Re-1 officials are trying to degrade the Montessori school. Murillo said the Montessori school’s critics have the right to choose which school their kids go to, and she has chosen the Montessori school for her child with pleasing results. Roaring Fork School District Superintendent Fred Wall said last week he’s trying to market the Roaring Fork Elementary School campuses to Anglo parents because too many of their kids have moved over to Ross Montessori School. The result: 70 to 80 percent of the students at Roaring Fork Elementary are Latino, and about 80 percent of the Montessori students are Anglo.Gonzáles said she is glad her son has many Anglo friends at Ross Montessori and that he is happy and doesn’t feel isolated among kids of a different culture. She said the school has a great relationship with her and her son. There are challenges, however. Gonzáles said communication can be difficult because of the language barrier, but Ramos said she often translates for parents who speak little English. To help Latino parents communicate, Grice said he’s trying to become fluent in Spanish very quickly.