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School to shut as economy takes its toll

A popular private preschool will be closing down at the end of the academic year because of dwindling numbers.

The Montessori Preparatory School on Lightbourne Lane, Smith's opened in 1998 and teaches youngsters between the ages of two-and-a-half and five.

The school, which has more than 30 students when it first opened, offers the five areas of the Montessori curriculum — practical life, sensorial skills, language, maths and cultural skills. It also added art, physical education, French, through La Maison Française and Kindermusik through the Bermuda Conservatory of Music.

When it first opened, the preschool was booked to capacity, which, according to its owners, was an indication that Montessori teaching methods were becoming increasingly recognised in Bermuda.

But co-owner and Deputy Principal Desiree Mathis confirmed that the school will be shutting at the end of June, and blamed the current economic downturn for a drop in enrolment.

Ms Mathis declined to comment further, while Principal and co-owner Liz Braithwaite could not be contacted for additional comment by Press time last night.

The preschool was the second educational establishment promoting the Montessori philosophy of education on the Island, which gives youngsters the freedom to learn at their own pace. Nearby Somersfield Academy, which opened in 1991 will continue to offer the same Montessori curriculum to students up to the age of 16.

Photo by Chris Burville In happier times: A file pic from 2007 shows, from left to right, Liz Braithwaite (Co Owner of Montessori Prep. School), Maddy Stapleton, Manuela Kamiya, Sheri Simmons, Ava Hagood, Hailey Barnett, Desiree Mathis (co-owner of Montessori Prep. School). In the front row are Kaelie Dyer and Ajani Tucker.

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Published May 06, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated May 05, 2013 at 10:59 pm)

School to shut as economy takes its toll

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