It's curtains for River Bend MontessoriLess than two years into the three-year pilot project, Red Wing School Board members pulled the plug on River Bend Montessori.
By: Mike Longaecker, The Republican Eagle
Less than two years into the three-year pilot project, Red Wing School Board members pulled the plug on River Bend Montessori.
Funding problems and a lack of space doomed the unique school, billed as a one-of-a-kind Montessori that blended the public school system with private endowment.
"(The program) had a big hill to climb and didn’t quite make it over," said School Board member Mike Christensen.
Board members voted 5-0 to terminate the Montessori program at the end of this school year. School Board member Perry Sekus, who announced at the meeting that he has been asked to serve on a board for another Red Wing Montessori program, abstained from voting. School Board member Paul Kramp was absent.
An advisory committee voted unanimously Dec. 15 to recommend the Jones Family Foundation cut funding for the project at the end of the school year, according to a memo last week from Supt. Stan Slessor to School Board members.
Montessori advisory committee member Joan Foot said the decision came after it was learned that hopes to relocate the program at Colvill Family Center had run dry.
“In the end, we learned that there is no space at Colvill currently,” she said during a presentation to the board.
Foot and Slessor said efforts are under way to help place River Bend students in other Red Wing schools next year.
The board issued its decision in spite of the pleas from two supporters who addressed the panel.
Sam Kaiser, a Red Wing man who said his two children attend River Bend, asked the board to reconsider the proposal.
“ It’s showing lots of improvements in them,” he said of his children’s development at the school.
See Wednesday’s print edition for more on the story.