Lake Country School – Montessori Learning Environments

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My school visits in Year 1 of my work as ISACS President were focused on meeting new heads and ISACS trustees in their schools. I visited ISACS trustee Elisabeth Raasch at Lake Country School – Montessori Learning Environments in Minneapolis in the late fall and had an opportunity to return for a Minnesota Association of Independent Schools (MAIS) meeting this spring. My first visit included a school tour with Elisabeth, one of seven AMI Montessori guides at the primary level serving children from 30 months to six years of age, and time with Head of School Paulette Zoe.

Lake Country serves over 300 students ages three to fourteen. Its mission states:

Lake Country School is a Montessori learning environment that fosters independence, critical thinking, and creativity within each child. We are a community that promotes diversity and inclusion, as well as respect and responsibility to self, to others, and to the earth.

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The school’s clearly articulated core values include: Montessori pedagogy, love of work, peaceful community, and stewardship.

All students, and especially Middle School, also enjoy time at the Lake Country Land School, a rural campus an hour east of Minneapolis in Dunn County, Wisconsin.

What one aspect of Lake Country School would Elisabeth most like to highlight for her ISACS colleagues? Elisabeth points to the recent redesign of outdoor space on the Minneapolis campus, creating natural learning environments in an urban setting.

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Countryside Montessori School

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Another Greater Chicagoland visit this school year was Countryside Montessori in Northbrook. Founded by the Kulle family in 1967, the school made the transition to non-profit status and, in 1993, to full ISACS accreditation.  The school serves 172 students from sixteen months to fourteen years with a program focused on respect, responsibility, and resourcefulness.

2014-12-03 12.35.002014-12-03 11.48.12What aspect of Countryside would Head of School Wendy Calise most like to highlight for her ISACS colleagues?

Wendy points to Countryside’s new middle school building, with spaces designed to promote collaboration and constructivist learning.