Montessori looking to open its doors in Latchford

·3 min read

LATCHFORD – A new Montessori school is aiming to establish itself within the Town of Latchford.

Latchford resident Leslie-Ann Thomas Lowe wrote a letter to the town, which was read at council’s regular meeting April 15, explaining that she was looking to establish the Montessori where the former library used to be located.

The mother of three noted in her letter that she is both a certified Ontario Montessori and Ontario certified teacher.

“The Montessori school is called Temiskaming Shores Montessori School. Temiskaming Shores Montessori School is built on the foundation that each and every child is precious,” Thomas Lowe writes in her letter.

“They are a curious sponge that soak up everything through their senses. Temiskaming Shores Montessori School was created to educate children and their families to foster a child’s independence and their natural curiosity. We accomplish this by providing a nature-based Montessori education that honours the individual gifts of the child growing and sustaining a strong passion for learning, preparing them for academic excellence in light.”

Thomas Lowe added in her letter that while offering a nature-based education, the Montessori would also offer a bilingual education for the children.

“I have a true passion for Montessori and I would love to raise and teach my children in the same town that they also live in,” she said.

BENEFITS

Thomas Lowe noted that one of the main benefits to Latchford having a Montessori school are that it would help to bring in younger families with children to the town.

“Families are looking to have their children attend schools that are within their communities instead of having to travel,” she reasoned.

“This would be a major benefit because it would help families to cut down on their travel times and spend more time with their families. Having a school within our town will help to build more of a sense of community and togetherness, especially during these times, that is exactly what we all need.”

Thomas Lowe also said the school will help to create jobs. She said that compared to public schools, the Montessori has smaller class sizes, more flexibility and one-on-one time with the students.

She stressed that the Montessori school would follow all COVID-19 protocols, as set out by the Timiskaming Health Unit, “keeping everyone safe.”

MORE DETAILS NEEDED

Councillor Francince Blowe commented that typically Montessori schools in the cities are private schools, so she wondered what the registration fees would cost and questioned if the residents of Latchford would actually be able to afford it.

Councillor Jo-Anne Cartner said those were her thoughts as well and wondered if Latchford had the number of children needed to attend such a school.

“Francine’s right. They’re usually not as expensive as regular private schools, but there is a fee,” she noted.

Mayor George Lefebvre said the town would not be able to discount the Montessori’s school taxes, “they would be paying both.”

Councillor Sharon Gadoury-East wondered if the school were to open, where the children would play.

“I’m sure they would have their times and it being against Dr. (Mary Gretchen) Roedde’s office, how would she be with having all the kids around?”

Lefebvre said that also was his concern.

“I’d really like to have Dr. Roedde involved in any discussions before renting out that room for this kind of thing,” he said.

“She always knew what was going to happen with respect to renting it out for used clothing stores or whatever, but this is a noise factor for her.”

Clerk-treasurer Jaime Allen said he felt that council should “get some kind of plan with her or meet with her in person” once COVID restrictions ease.

“If she’s going to open the school, she’s going to need some funding from somewhere,” he said.

Council agreed that they would need more details from Thomas Lowe about the Montessori and that they would need to speak with Dr. Roedde to get her thoughts on the potential school.

Jamie Mountain, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Temiskaming Speaker