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Record Number: 4877
Displayed from: Mar 09, 2009 , until: Mar 15, 2009
Fort Wayne Community Schools' two Montessori schools will host the annual United Montessori Schools of Indiana Spring Conference on Saturday, March 14. Bunche Early Childhood Center and Towles Intermediate School will host hundreds of Montessori educators during the daylong event. The conference begins at 8 a.m. at Towles, 420 E. Paulding Road, with registration and includes workshops, activities and keynote speaker Judy Bauerlin, past president of the American Montessori Society and former public Montessori teacher. Sessions throughout the day will cover topics such as Montessori at home, community connections, meeting the needs of autistic children, Montessori middle school and peace curriculum. More than 150 educators, community members and parents will participate in the conference. "This conference is a great opportunity for Montessori educators and parents to come together to share what we know about the benefits of a Montessori education," Bunche Principal Marilyn Horan said. "Working together will make all of our programs stronger and enable us to provide the best education to all of our students." Bunche and Towles were the first public schools to be accredited by the American Montessori Society. Bunche began its move toward becoming a Montessori school in 1990 with three pre-k/kindergarten classes and two grade one/two multi-age classrooms. The program was phased into the remainder of the classrooms through fifth grade over the next three years. In 2006, Towles Intermediate School opened for grades 1-8, and Bunche became an early childhood center for pre-k and kindergarten students. "We are honored to host the spring UMSI conference," Towles Principal Tamara Lake said. "The Fort Wayne community has been a strong supporter of the Montessori Method, and we are excited to see so many parents and educators interested in learning more about this style of teaching and learning." In Montessori schools classrooms are multi-age and culturally diverse. Children learn by doing; they learn from each other; and they learn at their own pace. "Follow the child," was the philosophy of Dr. Maria Montessori when she developed the method more than 100 years ago. The United Montessori Schools of Indiana provides leadership and inspiration to make Montessori a significant voice in education. The organization advocates quality Montessori education, strengthens members through its services and strives to create a united, common voice to further the Montessori Method with integrity in the community. The Fort Wayne gathering is the second conference hosted by UMSI.

With nearly 30,000 students, Fort Wayne Community Schools is one of the largest school districts in Indiana. FWCS proudly allows families to choose any of its 50 schools through its successful school-choice program creating diversity in each school, including some with more than 75 languages spoken. FWCS offers seven magnet schools focusing on areas such as science and math, communication, fine arts or Montessori at the elementary and middle school level. In high school, students can choose from the prestigious International Baccalaureate program, Project Lead the Way or New Tech Academy as well as other rigorous academic and specialty training programs.