What we were looking for
Finding a location for our vision was a task for sure! We had our checklist: a downtown location so we could be an integral part of the community, a location with ample outside space for exterior learning, roomy interior to provide students with room to move around and experiment, and of course, the ability to meet the strict and important codes set forth by the State of South Carolina and the Department of Social services, as the health and safety of our students is paramount to any and all other items on that list!
What we found
We are happy to announce that we have formed a partnership with St. Bartholomew Episcopal Church. Father Bill Oldland and the vestry of St. Barts reached out to us about a desire to fill their education wing with a Montessori program. Luckily, we fit that desire in terms of our education vision! Moving into an existing educational facility saved MDAH a lot of funds in regards to renovations and overhead expenses. Partnering with St. Barts allows us to offer lower tuition rates and to pay our guides more substantial salaries, all of which benefit our students and gives us the ability to provide a stellar education at a reasonable cost.
What you need to know about this partnership
MDAH is a Limited Liability Company; a separate entity from St. Barts. The Academy's organizational structure and decision making body are not affiliated with those of the church. St. Barts' leadership is invested in the Montessori method of learning, and is anxious and excited to help MDAH build our learning community. In this partnership, MDAH is fortunate to have such a strong, community-driven religious institution to help support our students in becoming productive and contributing members of society (as grace and respect are important qualities emphasized by Dr. Maria Montessori).
St. Barts' congregation also boasts some people with some amazing talents; this partnership will allow us to tap into this pool of talent to offer our students music, language, art, sports, and other unique activities right at our facility! Also, with a location so close to downtown, Coker College, and the Governor's School for Mathematics and Science, we are working on collaborations and field trips to be announced in August (this is very exciting for MDAH!).