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April 9, 2019

Montessori school opening this fall in The Plains

Photo/Cassandra Brown
Grace Montessori School Director Micah Earle will lead a staff of six teachers.
We are really focusing a lot on their spiritual development, and it’s very important to nurture that at a young age . . . letting children form a relationship with God on their own terms and at their own level.
— Rev. Weston Mathews
Grace Montessori School
• What: Private school offering hands-on Montessori and religious lessons

• Where:
Grace Episcopal Church, 6507 Main St., The Plains

• Opening: September 2019

• Director: Micah Earle

• Students: Capacity for 55

• Ages: 18 months to 6 years

• Staff: 7

• Tuition: $5,950 to $7,950, depending on age and half-day or full-day classes.

• Email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

• Website: Click here
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Staff Journalist
An independent school with a religious focus will open this fall in The Plains.

Grace Montessori School will have a capacity of 55 children.

Occupying three renovated classrooms at Grace Episcopal Church, the faith-based school will serve students 18 months to 6 years old.

Rector Weston Mathews and church members for more than a year have planned the school’s opening as one of several community outreach efforts.

“We wanted to plant a church within a church through a ministry that would be unique,” Rev. Mathews said.

The church already has raised half of its $150,000 goal to help fund the first two years of the school’s operation.

The school will blend “the best of Montessori, which we believe is an excellent way of encouraging creativity, imagination and independence in young people” with the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, “which is a Montessori-like way of children discovering the meaning behind the parables of Jesus and the traditions of the church,” Rev. Mathews explained.

School Director Micah Earle, 48, will lead the staff of six teachers.

A Haymarket resident and congregation member member, Ms. Earle has more than 17 years of Montessori school experience.

“It is, in my opinion, the best method of education,” she said. “It inspires children to become lifelong learners.”

A certified Montessori infant/toddler teacher, Ms. Earle previously has worked as the head of two Montessori schools.

Curriculum at Grace Montessori will emphasize hands-on instruction, teamwork and individualized lessons, along with an interactive children’s chapel once a week, she explained.

“We are really focusing a lot on their spiritual development, and it’s very important to nurture that at a young age . . . letting children form a relationship with God on their own terms and at their own level,” Rev. Mathews said.

Most of the students will range from 3 to 6 years old.

Open five days a week, the school will offer half-day and full-day options, as well as after-school care.

From 2001 to 2014, the church ran Little Grace’s Preschool “that was highly successful,” Rev. Mathews said. “At one point we had almost 100 students here Monday through Friday. The Plains was a prolific center for children. Of course, The Plains isn’t today because it’s so expensive to live here.

“Our congregation expressed an interest in Grace being once more a place where children can engage . . . and be outside in this beautiful village,” he added.

Tuition will range from $5,950 to $7,950, depending on a child’s age and type of classes. Scholarships will be available.

Grace Montessori School will serve students of all “socio-economic backgrounds” and religions, Rev. Matthews said. “We want this (church) to be a seven-day-a-week community center, in which there is something for everyone.

The school will expand an educational option that has grown popular in Fauquier.

“We ware thrilled for Grace,” said Edel Kunkel, head of Mountainside Montessori School, just 2-1/2 miles west, near Marshall. “It actually could be a feeder school for us. We go up to ninth grade. Hopefully, we will develop a relationship over time.

“I think there are a lot of children out there that can benefit” from Montessori education.

Contact Cassandra Brown at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or 540-878-6007.

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sharlene · April 9, 2019 at 8:46 am
Our children do not need more indoctrination. Our town does not either. People are good without a "god" - of which there are many touted but none exist. Let them think for themselves.
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