New state charter school gets busy planning for its first year

With approval from the S.C. Public Charter School District granted in July, the organizers of the new Lowcountry Montessori School are enthusiastic about taking the next steps toward making the school a reality.

Committee members Amy Horn and Eve Fleming said the decision to start a start charter school was a big undertaking, but it is has been worth it for the opportunity to make a Montessori education available for more children.

Both Beaufortonians are working moms who believe passionately in the teaching style founded by Maria Montessori more than 100 years ago. Horn, a teacher at E.C. Montessori on Lady’s Island, said the students learn from their peers and classrooms encourage educating the whole child.

“What I love most about Montessori is that it’s research based and allows children to tap into their own interests,” said Horn.

Fleming said the intense process of applying for the charter school was made possible by a dedicated group of parents, educators and community members willing to contribute their diverse skills and talents for a common goal. The school’s mission statement says it hopes “to increase access to an authentic Montessori-based education in Beaufort and Jasper counties.”

Horn and Fleming said they have learned a lot from other local charter schools and hope to build on their experiences.

The school will serve children from first through ninth grade the first year, and will grow to accommodate through high school.

Although the location is uncertain right now, the school is scheduled to open next fall. The school is currently looking for a director, as well as teachers. They are also accepting applications for students and the lottery will start early next year. Interested parents can ask for enrollment forms at the Wardle Family YMCA in Port Royal, Boys & Girls Clubs, day care facilities and at local branches of the Beaufort County Public library.


The first fundraiser to support Lowcountry Montessori is ArtScape, which will be from October 25-27. More than 40 artists from areas such as Charleston, Atlanta and Savannah will be featured at 802 Bay St. The Friday night soiree from 6 to 9 p.m. will display the range of items and guests can enjoy catering from Saltus and meeting many of the artists. Tickets are $45 each, $80 for two. The event coincides with the Fall Tour of Homes and the downtown Art Walk. There will also be a book signing Saturday by author Jonathan Miller. 

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