SAN ANTONIO - It was a historic day for the San Antonio Independent School District.
Along with the first day of classes, it was also the first day for students in the city's first public Montessori school: Steele Montessori Academy.
Until today, this Montessori experience was usually given to private schools.
"I've done research on the Montessori way, and I'm super excited," parent Vanessa Box said.
In all, 120 students in Pre-K to first grade now call SAISD's Steele Montessori Academy home.
"We are a full-inclusion campus, which means we also have special needs students in the same classroom as regular education students, which means they learn side by side," said Laura Christenberry, principal of Steele Montessori Academy.
Students ages 3 to 5 are learning life skills inside the same classroom.
"I made a friend!" said Steele Montessori student, Edward Box. "She's a girl."
"I played with legos," he continued. "I got to play with cars outside."
At Steele Montessori, students learn how to clean up after themselves and how to change their shoes, for example.
"They're learning how to get along with others," Principal Christenberry said. "They're learning how to get to know themselves, about what they like and what they don't like as young as three years old."
Teachers went through seven weeks of training this summer in Houston to help prepare for the year.
"This morning went very peaceful," Principal Christenberry said. "It went great. Parents were super excited. We were taking pictures outside."
It's a new opportunity for public education students, and many who didn't have access to a Montessori experience now have the option.
"I am super excited to be a part of this and I'm so glad we had the opportunity," Box said.
Principal Christenberry noted that this group of students will continue on to 6th grade at Steele Montessori Academy. She's also hoping for an adolescent program where kids could stay up to 8th grade.
For more information, you can visit the official website here.
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