West Chester Montessori school moving to Liberty Twp.

Liberty Township’s first Montessori school plans to open in time for the coming school year.

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The Community Montessori School is moving from its smallish West Chester Twp. site — off of Cincinnati-Dayton Road in Olde West Chester — north to the campus of the former Embrace Preschool at 7537 Burton Drive.

The re-location comes, said school officials, as the school’s increased enrollment and parent request for upper elementary instruction required more space.

And though school officials’ originally desired site nearby in Olde West Chester — at the historic Station Road school house — was blocked by a court ruling, a local zoning board and some residential opposition, officials are pleased with the new site.

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“We are very excited about our new Liberty Twp. location and the opportunities it provides to continue and further our abilities to serve children and their individual needs and interests,” said Jamie Minniear, school co-founder with her husband, Todd, and a long-time Liberty Twp. resident.

The 12,000-square-foot school will sit on 12 acres in the Cedarbrook subdivision, off Cincinnati-Dayton Road between Millikin and Kyles Station Road.

“The larger space will also help us give continued focus on the whole child which includes academic, cognitive, social and emotional needs. And one of the most important aspects of our new space is the expanded land. We look forward offering extended time in nature, which will include play, gardening, hiking and lots of exploring,” Minniear said.

There is still work to be done on the new school before its first day of classes on Sept. 5.

Minniear said several walls will be taken down to create larger, more open classrooms. This will allow the children to have more freedom and movement while they learn, as the classrooms will be set up and arranged for experiential learning, she said. The open environment will also help encourage community and connections among a range of student ages and teachers.

Observation windows will also be added to each classroom space. Parents and visitors will be able to observe activities of the classroom without disrupting the regular flow and rhythm of the environment, according to Minniear.

The outside property and wooded acreage will also be integrated into the learning, allowing students ample time in the outdoors. Minniear notes that in both research and her own experience, children thrive when they have true connections with nature — and particularly those that may experience sensory processing or attention issues in a traditional classroom setting.

Kitchen facilities will also allow students to practice life skills, including planning meals, cooking, preparing and serving lunches.

The school can be reached at 513-777-0808.

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