Montessori programs a growing trend across South Carolina


A new Montessori program started its first day Monday with new 3k and 4k classes at the Edith L. Frierson Elementary School on Wadmalaw Island.

"That's a great thing for this community," Frierson Principal Dr. Deborah Davis-Cummings said. "In the past we've always had head start and CD and of course kindergarten."

Davis-Cummings said this new program is a new way of learning for young students.

At Frierson's, kids ages 3 to 5 will start in their 3k and 4k classes.

The teaching will focus on sensory learning and allows children to learn from one another in various age groups.

"The children will learn from each other which will allow the younger children to be inspirited by the older ones," Frierson 3k and 4k teacher Tameka Smalls-Robinson said.

This is CCSD's newest Montessori program, but across the state there's a trend in more programs becoming available and more parents enrolling their kids.

From 2013 to 2016 there were an additional 1,000 South Carolina students in a Montessori program.

"It's more than a trend, it's a real movement," said Davis-Cummings. "Increasing student achievement is always the motivation for why we do things."

Davis-Cummings said the younger the kids are when they begin programs like this, the better the benefit.

"Particularly when our children have been in the program from early on starting at the 3-year-old level and moving up," said Davis-Cummings. "They do better and that's documented so we do know this will increase student achievement."

There is a wait list right now for Frierson's Montessori Program.

This year they have added two primary 3k and 4k classes with a total of 48 students who are ages 3 to 5.

Next year, the school plans to add an additional primary class and continue to add classes for kids to move up levels.Davis-Cummings said when the full program is set in place is dependent on CCSD decisions.

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