Children’s House expanding to offer ninth grade

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 3, 2004

Children’s House Montessori School on Monroe Street.(Jon Giffin The Vicksburg Post

[6/3/04]A local Montessori school is bumping up its offerings in the coming school year to include the ninth grade.

“This is mainly because we have students who would like to be here,” said Jan Pettus, owner and principal of Children’s House Montessori School.

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“It’s grown in both directions,” Pettus said of the school that opened in 1989 as a kindergarten and has since added a nursery and classes through the eighth grade.

Two have already enrolled to attend the ninth grade in the 2004-05 school year.

Of the 48 enrolled at the Monroe Street school in the 2003-04 school year, three were in the nursery; 19 were in the 2 1/2- through 4-year-old class; seven were enrolled in the first- through third-grade class; and 19 were in the fourth through eighth grade.

Montessori schools are based on the belief that children succeed in bigger classes with broader age groups.

“The biggest difference is the close-knit, family-type setting,” Pettus said. “There is a lot of focus on individual needs and abilities of each child.

“Even problem areas are easier to work on because we have fewer students.”

Pettus said school officials can cater to gifted and excelled students as well as those who are struggling in mainstream classes.

“Even though we are small, we are very balanced,” Pettus said.

The school is accredited through the National Private School Association to offer classes through the 12th grade, Pettus said.

The addition of the ninth grade is the first since 11th-graders were enrolled in the school in 2001.

“That year we had 103 enrolled, and it was too big of an expansion too soon,” Pettus said. “We decided we’d go back into it gradually, and that’s where we are.”