Three Longview ISD teachers were reassigned to the East Texas Montessori Prep Academy because of growth on the campus, which is close to capacity.
East Texas Montessori Prep Academy is one of six charter campuses in the district run by the nonprofit East Texas Advanced Academies. The other five campuses in the network are Ware East Texas Montessori Academy, Johnston-McQueen Elementary School, Bramlette STEAM Academy, J.L. Everhart Elementary School and Forest Park Middle School.
The Montessori Prep Academy is the only option for prekindergarten and kindergarten students in Longview ISD after the school board decided to get rid of traditional kindergarten at a meeting in April. The Montessori method is a system of education that seeks to develop natural interests and activities rather than use formal teaching methods, according to the American Montessori Society.
The campus has around 1,180 students enrolled, said Cynthia Wise, CEO of ETAA. The building’s capacity is 1,200 students.
Wise said the three teachers were moved from Bramlette, Ware and J.L. Everhart.
Teachers in a Montessori-style class need additional training. Wise said the teacher from Ware was already in a Montessori classroom, but the other two will need training.
The training will take place this month and in October, Wise said. They will receive their certifications in June.
On Aug. 28, the wait list at the academy was at 53 students, she said. The new teachers were moved over so the school could admit those students, she said.
The campus is in the process of contacting and enrolling those students on the wait list.
Wise said she is not sure if the wait list students are mostly out-of-district transfers or in-district students. She said the campus has 46 out-of-district transfer students.
With an increased enrollment comes more traffic, but Wise said the school is working out the growing pains with pickup and drop-off.
“My deputy has been out there, the district has sent staff out there, (Longview ISD chief financial officer) Joey Jones has been out there. I think everything has been running smoothly,” Wise said. “It takes a minute to work out growing pains.”
Wise said when parents first enroll their children, it’s typical for a large number of students to be picked up and dropped off in a car versus the buses. But once parents start to “trust the process,” more students become bus riders, and traffic at pickup and drop-off eases.