By Laurie Simpson
The Eliot neighborhood is home to The Ivy School’s 4th through 8th grade campus. The school offers a tuition-free Montessori education with Spanish study for students in grades 1-8. For the last 3 years the school has breathed new life into the old Immaculate Heart brick building across the street from Dawson Park.
The Ivy School’s Montessori classrooms are multi-age, allowing each student to work at their individual level and to become mentors in their classroom community. Students engage in subjects and materials in meaningful ways by following their natural curiosities. This fosters independence, personal responsibility, creative problem solving, and care for the world around them. Through the large windows facing Morris Street, you can see students in the four large classrooms learning about math, language arts, social sciences, physical sciences, Spanish language, music, art, and more. The children are working at their own pace, following their own interests, while learning from and alongside peers.
You might have seen students in the neighborhood on one of their excursions to SCRAP, Title Wave used bookstore, Matt Dishman Community Center, getting on a bus for one of their community “going outs”, or simply going on a neighborhood walk. This time of year they are busy gardening in the play area just east of the school and engaging in PE activities in the grassy area just south of Dawson Park. The students participate in many community events throughout the area as well; several years ago, the 6th graders interviewed elders that grew up in the Eliot neighborhood as part of the Eliot Oral Histories project.
The school loves being in the neighborhood and, with grace and courtesy at the center of the Montessori pedagogy, you can be assured that Ivy is a great neighbor.