Atlantis Montessori is a brand-new school opening its doors this year in Glenwood. Modeled after the principles of Dr. Maria Montessori, Atlantis is fulfilling a need in the community.
“There is a need in the community for a school like this,” said primary teacher and Executive Director Serena Harrison, “not just for Montessori, but for quality programs and a sense of community within our schools.”
A former teacher at Casa Montessori and Children’s House Montessori, Harrison always had a dream of opening up her own school.
“This has always been my empty-nest plan,” said Harrison. “My children are getting older, and it’s always been a goal of mine to open an AMI Recognized Montessori School and to give back to the community what was given to me.” There are currently only six such schools in Florida and Harrison is working toward becoming the seventh.
“Every teaching method can inspire moments of learning, but our main focus is to enrich the lives of our students and their families, not just to babysit or teach their children,” Harrison said. It is my hope that the children enrolled and their families will always cherish their time spent at Atlantis Montessori Academy. Enrolling my three children in a Montessori program was one of the best decisions I have ever made. It changed all of our lives!”
While Harrison didn’t plan on starting a school for at least another year, changes at her former school, and finding a great location, spurred her to start her dream early.
Formerly Creative Arts Academy & Fit Club, the building Atlantis Montessori is housed in was renovated to fit the needs of the new school.
“It’s been a whirlwind of nonstop construction ever since we signed the lease at the beginning of June,” said Harrison. “We repainted the inside and outside of the building, refinished the floors, updated the landscaping, and a new roof was put on the building. Creating Atlantis has been a huge undertaking.”
Named after Harrison’s late father’s construction company, Atlantis not only pays tribute to her father, but also embodies the legend behind the mythical island.
“Atlantis is idealized as an advance society that held the wisdom that could promote and produce world peace,” Harrison said. “As I considered the name Atlantis Montessori for the school, I felt that the legend of Atlantis aligned with Dr. Montessori’s philosophies and practices for promoting peace and transforming humanity by educating children.”
Harrison plans on doing that through cultivating each child's love for learning. “What matters most to me is if your child is happy, do they want to be here, and do they love learning,” she said. “Because everything else will fall into place if that happens.”
Dr. Montessori believed that the most important period of life is from birth to age 6. Montessori education is rooted in human development, observations, and based on universal human tendencies and science. Montessori classrooms promote movement, independence and learning through exploration. The focus in a Montessori school is to create an environment that promotes happy, self-motivated, enthusiastic learners who are compassionate and respectful.
Fit with learning areas featuring beautiful spacious classrooms, a large playground and a garden, Atlantis Montessori is now open for enrollment. Accepting children (2.5-6 years of age), Atlantis Montessori offers both full- and half-day programs as well as before- and aftercare. They are also priced competitively.
Atlantis Montessori is located in Glenwood at 4390 Grand Ave., and they are currently enrolling for the 2019-2020 school year. If you would like more information or are interested in enrolling your child at Atlantis Montessori, call 386-277-2099.