Letter: A local Montessori school worth considering

Graphic by Lori Deaton

My awesome ADHD kid goes to Black Mountain Montessori and needs more friends in their class (first-third grade). We are totally in love with the school and staff and how progressive and warm their environment and community are. We are a two-mom household and feel supported and welcome. Very rich environment for our neurodivergent child. It is nonprofit and accepts the N.C. Opportunity Scholarship.

Buncombe County has few offerings for Montessori elementary school levels (first-third; fourth-sixth grades). One that we do have — Black Mountain Montessori — is well-prepared to have full elementary classrooms, along with their Children’s House (ages 3-6 years) and new Stepping Stones classroom (2-plus years).

It provides a range of learning opportunities for its elementary students, such as field trips and volunteer opportunities, cooking and baking in the fully prepped school kitchen, self-led science and research projects, and individualized learning for every student. Children learn at their own pace, allowing for the exploration of their interests.

Lead teacher Chandra Gilmore has 20-plus years of experience teaching and accommodating children who are dyslexic, ADHD or autistic. Chandra holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and is Montessori and Orton-Gillingham trained. The OG method is a well-regarded approach to teaching kids with reading difficulties. It introduces the idea of breaking reading and spelling down into smaller skills involving letters and sounds, and then building on these skills over time. Chandra can assess and meet children where they are in academics and emotional maturity with many strategies in her toolbox.

If your child has learning differences, needs a calming/nonoverstimulating environment, or has special interests they want to more freely explore, contact the school through its website: bmtmont.org. Black Mountain Montessori is located at 101 Carver St., Black Mountain.

— Hannah Ellison
Old Fort

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