A new school is opening in the heart of Dothan but this isn't your traditional primary school. The Dothan Montessori School's first inaugural class of students begins this fall. Today, teachers and administrators at the school opened the first boxes of many that hold some of the hands on teaching tools they'll use. Glenda Davis, Dothan Montessori School Board of Directors member, has been teaching in the Montessori schools for years. She says when students leave they will be well prepared for elementary school.
"We have what we call practical life and that's where they learn skills such as buttoning, zipping, lacing, washing, polishing, sorting, transfers and then we have the sensorial area in the classroom which has to do with developing the senses and then we have the math section and the language. We also have geography," Davis said.
The non-profit, non-denominational school focuses on learning through the senses.
"They're taught to learn the sounds of the letter rather than the names. So if it's a 'c' they would trace with a sandpaper letter and they would go 'cuh', 'cuh' and they would get that sound and then 'ah', 'ah', and 't', 't' and then they learn oh you put those together and you get 'cat'. So it's very organic how they learn," she said.
The school takes pride in its focus on independence and autonomous learning, where the teacher provides guidance individually to students.
"I had a little boy when I taught in Maryland who was very interested in geography. He wanted to do geography every day. He wanted to study maps and he would even eat his graham cracker into the shape of different states to show me and that was his interest; so for a while that's what he focused on. So we could teach many skills from his interest in that."
The school, which is housed in the Church of the Nativity at 205 Holly Lane begins class on September 3rd. The school is for ages eighteen months to six years. If you're interested in enrolling your child or for more information call 334-671-7170 or search online www.dothanmontessorischool.org.