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HS Proposal - Paige Assa

Page history last edited by Julie E Ruble 5 years, 10 months ago

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Proposal Name:  Help us build a high school for MSR

Brought by: Paige Assa

Sponsored by: Nick Smith, Julie Ruble, Rose Barnett, Linda Flippo, Subhash Patel, Mike Szott

Date of Creation: November 2, 2014

We bring a proposal to: plan and build a Montessori School of Raleigh High School to expand our community.  Instead of moving on to different schools without the Montessori Philosophy, students can continue in the Montessori way.  We would like to take the small group we have and enlarge it to include 300 students.



The Montessori School of Raleigh has been teaching students with the unique philosophy of Maria Montessori since 1974.  It started out as only a lower campus before the middle school existed.  Where the middle school campus stands today, there used to be only tobacco farms and woods. In 1999, that all changed.  Students from the lower school designed the middle school campus, much like the ninth grade class of 2015 is executing.  Because the middle school is so isolated from the lower campus, being located in Durham, the students have benefited from a large, wooded campus.  Therefore, building a high school on the same campus would benefit the students as well.  The Montessori School of Raleigh middle school currently has many unique traditions, such as the peace circle, making it much different from other middle schools.  Another unique feature is the three-year cycle.  The three-year cycle allows students to surround themselves and learn with people around their age so they may learn from each other as well as the teachers.


Mission Statement: 

The Montessori School of Raleigh is the Triangle’s modern embodiment and mindful practice of the time-proven Montessori Philosophy, developing agile thinkers, poised communicators, and gracious collaborators -- engineers of authentic a fulfilling lives.


How This Proposal Fulfills the Mission:

  • Building the high school near the middle school will encourage collaboration with other students by its location, therefore creating poised communicators and gracious collaborators.

  • Creating the opportunity to be independent; The opportunity to take work into their own hands can be created by a specific room such as a “glass house” where students can lead groups or classes.

  • Taking advantage of the large, wooded campus gives students the opportunity to learn while being outdoors in outdoor classrooms creating agile thinkers.



We propose that a Montessori School of Raleigh high school is to be built in the next couple of years.  First, building the high school adjacent to the middle school with a connecting path between the two campuses allows for students to connect, therefore creating poised communicators and gracious collaborators.  Also including a community meeting space similar to the peace circle, but large enough to hold 300 people such as an amphitheater, would encourage the students from both campuses to come together for a common cause.  


In addition to the gathering space, the campuses can also share sports facilities providing they meet the regulation requirements for the age level.  On the other hand, considering high school students who are driving, the high school should have a separate driveway and bigger parking lot than the middle school.


Students can become agile thinkers while taking advantage of the large, wooded campus by creating environments for outdoor learning.  When studying indoors, there could be a specific room, such as a “glass house” where they can lead study groups or classes, creating an opportunity to take work into their own hands.  The idea of a glass house was inspired by Lakewood Montessori, a public Montessori school in Durham.  They had a room with glass walls in the middle of their building with a large table and chairs, much like a conference room.  They used dry-erase markers to write on the walls, as well as a white board.


The projected budget for this project is about 7.5 million dollars and should take a couple of years.  To get this money, we could use capital campaigning or loans from the bank.


Environmental Stewardship:

Constructing a new building means leaving the smallest carbon footprint possible.  By having all energy efficient appliances, and lots of windows and solar tubes for natural lighting, automatic air conditioning and lights, and even solar panels, it is very possible to save the maximum amount of energy.  To use the smallest amount of water possible, large cisterns, rain gardens and retention ponds, low-flush toilets and automatic water in sinks could be installed.  Because of the large, wooded campus, the high school will have a perfect environment for outdoor classrooms which can be built around the campus.


Process Review:

To come up with this proposal, Mr. Jeff Ammons kindly spoke to our class about the basics of building and helped us, as a class, get our creative juices flowing.  After his presentation, we had a group discussion and planned out certain things together on big pieces of paper such as, people to contact, things we know, things we need to know, etc.  After doing that and some individual brainstorming, the class went to visit a private home and commercial building.  Both of these places have numerous green features that helped inspire the ideas we have to make our high school as sustainable as possible.  On a different day, we visited three places;  Carolina Friends School, North Carolina Botanical Gardens, and Lakewood Montessori.  All three of these places had similar standards as us when their facilities were being built.  Visiting these places is where most of my inspiration came from because their missions were so identical to the Montessori mission.


Suggested Board Motions:

After reading this proposal, I hope that you, as a board member, will help us to come up with the money to build the magnificent high school building and indoor gym facilities.  I see the Montessori School of Raleigh high school as a flourishing, beautiful campus in the future and it is up to us to make it happen.


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