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When the Salida Montessori Charter School (SMCS) took up space at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Salida (formerly occupied by the Boys & Girls Club) this past fall, the move represented the next step in its growth. It moved First through Eighth Grade to the new facility into a new school space that offers a gym space, a dedicated art room, and a resource room. The school has experienced a 34 percent increase in enrollment and appears to have weathered this past year of pandemic challenges.

“Moving the students to one campus brings cohesiveness and continuity to the entire school community. They have increased opportunities to perform academically, develop leadership responsibilities, and can be role models and mentors to the younger students. This results in higher self-esteem, stronger relationships among the school community, and a family atmosphere where our students excel,” said parent, Jill Lewis.

SMCS is a free public charter school, authorized by the Charter School Institute (CSI). It serves students in grades K-8 and runs a tuition-based public preschool program serving ages one through four. It is celebrating some exciting achievements this fall. SMCS students demonstrated several positive outcomes on the CMAS assessment that were administered last spring and released earlier this fall:

  • 68 percent of students met or exceeded expectations for growth in Math and English Language Arts (ELA).
  • Salida Montessori earned a median growth percentile of 71 in Math and ELA, which exceeds state expectations.
  • 73 percent of students in grades three through seven met or exceeded achievement expectations on the ELA assessment.

The school notes that these performance results are just one aspect of the exciting developments for the school. In addition, enrollment expanded by 30 students in grades K-8 this year and added 15 additional tuition slots to the preschool program, representing a 34 percent enrollment increase.

Head of School Courtney Landry shared her excitement about the future of the school: “It is such an honor to be a part of our genuinely invested team from our custodial staff to our amazing teachers and our dedicated board members. This last year and a half has been challenging for everyone, and our community of students, families, and staff have really pulled together. We are so excited to continue to grow and expand Montessori options in this county.”

Although state assessment data has been severely limited due to the pandemic and learning loss has been a prominent concern, SMCS  leadership say they are grateful to have been able to offer fully in-person learning over the last two years. “Courtney continues to navigate us through this pandemic in a way that supports and strengthens our school community. Her proven leadership is exactly what SMCS needs as we continue to evolve and grow,” said Board Chair Erin Oliver.

SMCS will begin accepting open enrollment applications for the 2022-23 school year on February 1, 2022.

For more information: About Salida Montessori Charter School