I am writing in response to the article "One building could hold multiple schools," published April 2 in the Empire. It was disappointing to see the statement, "though the Montessori approach tends to attract parents trying to get their kids a leg up." This is a subjective opinion with which I disagree.
The term "leg up" implies that Montessori is better than mainstream programs. This district has hundreds of exceptional teachers in mainstream settings, as well as unique, engaging programs at every school. Every parent in the district seeks to improve their child's education at some point in their child's elementary or secondary experience - whether it is requesting a specific teacher, choosing a high school academy, requesting a boundary exemption or applying to an alternative program.
There are 462 students in the Juneau School District enrolled in alternative programs - nearly 10 percent of the student body. A parent's justification for seeking alternative programs is as varied as the students themselves. For the Empire to characterize the decision to apply to the Montessori program as only a "leg up" is not only incorrect, it undermines the continued hard work of mainstream teachers.
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