When Grace Montessori School was founded nearly 30 years ago, we sought to help low-income children escape the poverty cycle by providing high-quality education. Unfortunately, poverty significantly affects student performance, making the achievement gap – the differences in educational success due to language barriers, disabilities, race, or ethnicity – challenging to close.

It’s no secret that when children are presented with rich opportunities to learn and thrive, the achievement gap drops. That’s why Grace Montessori offers programs that educate the whole child, fostering cognitive, social, emotional, physical, and spiritual growth.

“Our parents tell us they are grateful and pleased that their children have been able to benefit from in-person education in a safe and healthy environment throughout the year,” said Radhika Hoshing, Executive Director, GMS. “Enrollment for next year is growing, and while the school will still limit spots to assure health and safety, we will serve more children next year and will continue to offer scholarships to children in need through our Closing the Achievement Gap Program.”

To reach more students, our Closing the Achievement Gap Program assists families needing financial aid to achieve school readiness and a foundation for their child’s lifelong learning. Thanks to support and grants totaling $113,500 from outside organizations, at least 30% of the student body receives aid. During the 2020-2021 school year, 35 students received scholarships and reduced tuition, amounting to $105,000 given.

The following organizations have donated to our Closing the Achievement Gap Program to date in the 2021 calendar year:

Keystone Savings Foundation – $1,000

Jennifer Mann of JL Mann Consulting – $2,000

The Charles H. Hoch Foundation – $2,500

Grane Healthcare – $6,000

Cabot Oil & Gas – $10,000

City of Allentown’s HUD Team – $10,000

Mr. Greg Cavoli of Enterprise Rent-A-Car – $10,000

Harry C. Trexler Trust – $12,000

Anonymous Donor – $60,000

To measure program success, a variety of tests evaluate student competency by grade level. A program is successful when 70 percent of the children enrolled 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 keep tabs on 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 tested and measured through administering the Stanford Standardized Test.

This school year was more challenging than ever before, but Grace Montessori proudly reached our 70% student competence goals regardless of unprecedented circumstances.

If you wish to make a tax-deductible donation to support this important effort, please contact us at gschool@gracemontessori.org.

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