Community working to open new high school by fall 2020

NOW: Community working to open new high school by fall 2020

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- South Bend will be home to a new high school this fall!

South Bend Montessori High School will open to 18 new students this year and hopes to gain more traction in the coming years.

The new high school will reside in the education wing inside of the First Presbyterian Church in downtown South Bend is getting a face lift and will soon be the newest high school in South Bend.

One that is extending the Montessori schools way of teaching to students past the 8th grade. 

So if you or your kids are looking for a new high school experience—South Bend’s newest private school may be just what you’re looking for.

Eric Oglesbee, co-founder of SBMHS says, “If there are families who are looking at education and saying i want a place where my child is going to be seen as an individual and have opportunities to grow in their strengths that they have then i think we would be a good fit for them.”

And Eileen Mariani the other founder of SBMHS says, “Were opening in the fall august of 2020 so we can say this year now.”

Oglesbee says the opening is coming at the perfect time, "I think everyone see that we’ve got problems in our education system and that we need to have environments where we can innovate new ways of doing things.”

The founders hope that the community sees the school as an asset, not taking away from public schools—but rather a counterpart.

Eric Oglesbee, co-founder of SBMHS says, “Start talking to people at South Bend schools and say what can we do together to help students.”

As a private school, SBMHS is not affiliated with the South Bend Community School Corporation. They believe with this differentiation they will be able to reach students who may be struggling.

Eric Oglesbee, co-founder of SBMHS says,“It’s so hard to see it in our public schools where all these wonderful people who are stuck struggling in a system where there not able to serve students where they’re at either because of their large class sizes or other restrictions.”

Students who have attended other Montessori schools in the area, like Good Shepherd Montessori School, say the mixed ages found in the classrooms coupled with a unique focus on mastery based learning makes school more personalized.

Potential student Ian Oglesbee says, “It kind of helps me learn at my own pace. If I’m having trouble with something i can go through it as slow as I want and if i just want to shoot through something I can.”

The dream became a reality with fundraising and outside donors like Drexel, raising $160,000 to acquire the space and tools needed for an introductory year and hopefully many years to come.

Eileen Mariani, co-founder of SBMHS says, "These first few years were looking for pioneer students. We’re looking for students that really want to be apart of designing and developing a high school that best meets the adolescent needs.”

South Bend Montessori High School's website:

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