New school plans to recruit teachers from former program |

New school plans to recruit teachers from former program

Eben Harrell

The Ross Montessori charter school set to open next year will likely recruit the staff of eight alternative education teachers from Carbondale Elementary School, a charter school spokeswoman said yesterday.The announcement follows speculation that Montessori teachers at Carbondale Elementary might leave the district when alternative education is disbanded there next year. The teachers have stated publicly that the Montessori teaching philosophy conflicts with traditional public school education. After the Roaring Fork School District ended Montessori education at Carbondale Elementary in February, the teachers faced the option of teaching in a traditional classroom or leaving the district.The newly approved Ross Montessori charter school, however, will likely allow the eight Carbondale Elementary teachers to continue in Montessori education. Ross Montessori spokeswoman Carolyn Fisher said the new school will likely recruit the Carbondale Elementary teachers for the new grades K-6 school.”We really would like to hire all the [Carbondale Elementary] teachers,” Fisher said. “That won’t be official until we hire a new head of school next month. But I anticipate it happening.”District superintendent Fred Wall said it is unlikely Montessori teachers will stay in traditional classrooms next year. “We haven’t decided anything,” Wall said, “but they could probably stay on as traditional teachers. That is an option. But I know there are some big philosophical differences that might prevent that.” Fisher said the new school has already budgeted based on how much it will pay the former Carbondale Elementary teachers. Colorado public schools pay teachers based on tenure; Fisher said the Ross Montessori School will honor tenure accrued at Carbondale Elementary in its contracts.The charter school, which will open next year in modular buildings on a site yet to be determined, will likely host around 160 students. Class sizes will be around 18 students.Due to the Montessori philosophy, classes will be made up of students of differing ages. There will be two kindergarten classes, four lower elementary classes (grades 1-3) and two upper elementary classes (grades 4-6).By 2009, the school plans to create an upper elementary section of seventh- and eighth-graders, likely leading to hirings.Eben Harrell’s e-mail address is

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