When Grace Montessori School was founded, we sought to help low-income children escape the poverty cycle by providing high-quality education. Unfortunately, poverty significantly affects student performance, creating the achievement gap – the differences in educational success due to language barriers, disabilities, race, or ethnicity. It is no secret that when children are presented with rich opportunities to learn and thrive, the achievement gap decreases. That’s why Grace Montessori offers programs that educate the whole child, fostering cognitive, social, emotional, physical, and spiritual growth.
While most families who send their children to Grace Montessori School are able to afford the tuition, many who apply do not have the resources necessary to do so. In order to reach as many students in need as possible, our Closing the Achievement Gap Program assists those families with demonstrated need for financial aid to enroll their children so they may achieve school readiness and a foundation for lifelong learning. Thanks to grants and donations from charitable foundations, corporations, government programs and agencies, and individuals, the school is able to award scholarships to 30 percent of students enrolled each year.
To measure the Closing the Achievement Gap Program’s success, a variety of tests evaluate student competency by grade level. The program is considered successful when 70 percent of the children attending achieve on or above level competence in defined areas of the Montessori curriculum. The following are a few ways we gauge success rates:
· Teacher observations: Grace Montessori teachers observe student behavior and track progress. Additionally, teachers track child development and achievements in progress reports shared with parents twice a year.
· Grades K through five: Reading and listening skills are biannually evaluated through Edwal/Shanker Reading Inventory Sixth Edition.
· Grades 3+: Basic skills and knowledge achievement are assessed and measured through administering the Stanford Standardized Test.
· Over 70% of children attending with scholarship assistance reach or exceed benchmarks in all areas of the Montessori curriculum, and 90% of kindergartners and elementary students read at or above grade level. In the elementary classroom, students attending on scholarship in grades 3 and above take the Stanford Achievement Test, with 90% receiving scores at or above grade level when compared with students nationwide.
· Since the program began, the school has awarded over $1 million in financial assistance for more than 450 children of low-income families to attend the toddler, primary, kindergarten, and elementary programs, helping to close this nationwide achievement gap one beautiful child at a time.
If you wish to make a tax-deductible donation to support this important effort, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.