Bunche Montessori Early Childhood Ctr. Home Connections

Welcome to Bunche Montessori Early Childhood Center-

We are proud to be the first AMS, American Montessori Society, accredited public school in the nation.

For more information on AMS please go to the following website: AMS Organization

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International Peace Day, Wednesday, Sept. 21

Peace Program and Peace Walk is at 10am in the gym.

Students will be singing Light a Candle for Peace song. 

Bunche Montessori Early Childhood Center

A History

 

Bunche Montessori Early Childhood Center is named after Dr. Ralph J. Bunche, who, in 1954, was appointed Undersecretary for Special Political Affairs with the United Nations. No American, at that time, had ever been named to a higher position within the UN.  Dr. Bunche consulted with many nations striving to help them find peaceful solutions to their problems.  In 1949, he helped facilitate the negotiations that stopped fighting between Israel and Arab countries.  In 1950, Dr. Bunche was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.  Dr. Bunche said, “Peace is more than not fighting.  Peace is when children have enough food, homes, schools, and happiness.”  This peace philosophy aptly applies to Bunche Montessori Early Childhood Center.

Montessori education is, at its very essence, a movement for world peace.  Dr. Montessori said, “Averting war is the work of politicians, establishing peace is the work of education.”  From the very first days of school, children are treated with gentleness, respect, and love.  Children are welcomed into collaboration with the real life of the school and family:  cooking, cleaning, gardening, and making decisions.  In the 3-6 cluster, the children learn through hands-on activities, care for their environments, classroom plants and animals, and interpersonal skills.  There is an atmosphere of respect and reverence in addition to the highly challenging academic work.

In 1986, Fort Wayne Community Schools, Indiana’s second largest urban school district, was challenged by Parents for Quality Education with Integration, to create a district in which schools would be desegregated and offer a quality, equal education for all students.  Due to housing patterns in the Fort Wayne city area, many schools were either predominantly African American or Caucasian.  The magnet “choice” system was born.  The settlement between FWCS and Parents for Quality Education with Integration called for an establishment of five magnet schools.  Bunche, being a predominantly African American school, was chosen to be converted to a magnet school in the fall of 1991.  Public surveys were conducted to identify what types of educational alternatives would draw a significant number of students to racially balance Bunche.

In the fall of 1991 Bunche was converted to a Montessori magnet school servicing students ages 3-12.  It was determined in order to minimize disruption to students and families, the Montessori program should be phased in over a three year period.  In 1991 the school opened with 3-6 and 6-9 year old classrooms.  Third, fourth, and fifth grades were non-Montessori classrooms consisting of 90% African American neighborhood children.  Over the next 3 years, non-Montessori classrooms gave way to five 3-6 classrooms, four 6-9, and two 9-12.  All classrooms were racially balanced, 25% minority (African American) 75% majority (Caucasian, Asian, Hispanic, Native American, Burmese, and     Multi-Racial).  Consistently Bunche remained a school of choice for the Fort Wayne community.  Every year, since its inception, Bunche has carried a large waiting list of students unable to gain admittance.

During the 2005 school year plans were underway to expand the Montessori program in FWCS.  Geyer Middle School was becoming increasingly close to failing Annual Yearly Progress as determined by the Indiana State Department of Education.  It was determined that Geyer would be closed at the end of the 2005-06 school year.  Towles Intermediate Montessori School was planned to open in the fall of 2006.  Occupying the “old” Geyer building, Towles opened with Montessori classrooms for students ages 6 to 15, the only public school of its kind in the state of Indiana.  Bunche was expanded to house nine 3-6 classrooms.

The Montessori Method of instruction is fully implemented throughout Bunche with all classroom teachers Indiana licensed and Montessori certified by the American Montessori Society.  During the 2002-03 school year, Bunche Elementary Montessori School, completed its accreditation through the American Montessori Society (AMS).  Bunche is the first public Montessori school in the nation to be accredited by AMS.

Bunche Montessori Early Childhood Center is a proud community of learners dedicated to the education of all children who pass through our doors.  There is a general feeling on the part of the teachers and parents that this is a special educational environment that breaks the common public school mold.  The school is safe, nurturing, and focused on academic achievement as well as the education of the whole child.