Uplands Montessori program officially K to 6

Parents of Grade 3 students no longer left in holding pattern, waiting for yearly decision on program

With applause from parents in the audience, the board of education moved to include students in kindergarten through Grade 6 in the Montessori program at Uplands Elementary on an ongoing basis.

“I beg you make it a permanent  Grade 6 so parents can feel some stability in their children’s education,” said parent Lisa Atkinson in a plea to the board before the vote.

The Montessori program works on three-year modules. While the unique program has been offering Grade 6, it has only done so on a year-to-year basis, pending approval by the board.

This has put parents in a difficult position once their children reach Grade 3, wondering if the three-year module will carry forward.

The Montessori program has been in place  at Uplands since 2003 and the program has grown steadily. For the past two years the program has included Grade 6. The goal is to continue offering more grades in the future.

Assistant superintendent Claire Guy presented a case in support of the program’s strength, despite being ill with a cold.

“I hugely believe in this program. I’m sick but I needed to be here,” she told the board at its October meeting.

The school has preschool and daycare and a very committed PAC which paid for  two outdoor classrooms that are currently under construction.

Most Montessori programs are private, but in Langley it is offered through the public school system. The majority of the students do live in the Uplands area, said Guy.