[nggallery id=113] Totem Lake is home to a new Montessori preschool called Evergreen Academy. Located at 12233 116th Ave. NE, the school opened its doors this week and welcomed students ranging in age from six weeks to six years.
The school is owned by Nobel Learning Communities, a for-profit national network of 180 nonsectarian private schools, including preschools, elementary schools, middle schools and specialty high schools in 15 states and the District of Columbia. The school is headed by Principal, Carrie Stull. With four school age children of her own, she understands the importance of early education.
Pioneered by Italian physician Maria Montessori in the early 1900’s, the Montessori educational philosophy recognizes that children’s physical, social, emotional and intellectual development is interrelated. In Montessori classrooms, children are allowed to respond to their natural drive to learn. The role of the teacher is to facilitate, record and observe as children progress at their pace and rhythm, giving them guidance where needed. Each child is respected as a unique personality and as an important, responsible member of a community.
Students at the school are divided into three different programs based on age. Infant care is offered for children from 6 weeks of age through 12 months, with an adult to child ratio of 1:4. The program allows the infants to find the pleasure of being, the cause of learning, how to act in order to produce the results he/she wants, and of learning about things that are the results of his/her actions. Toddlers and beginners are those students who range from 12 months to almost three years of age, with an adult to child ratio of 1:7. Their program centers on the practical life, sensorial, beginning language, and number experiences. Preschool classes are designed for three to five year-olds, with an adult to child ratio of 1:10. The curriculum for this group stresses the hands-on areas of practical life, sensorial, mathematics, language, science, geography and hand writing.
The school is located at the site of the former Totem West Professional Center that was gutted by a devastating fire in early 2008. The building has undergone an extreme makeover (including installation of state-of-the art fire detection and suppression systems) and now features ten classrooms, office space, and outdoor playground facilities. At capacity, the school will serve 150 students and employ 25 teachers. Despite its proximity to I-405, the school has a secluded, woodsy feel to it. I can imagine the kids referring to it as their tree house!
Totem Lake was chosen as the newest Puget Sound location for a Nobel Learning Communities school because it possesses the desired demographic profile, and had an ideal piece of real estate available. Most families who have enrolled their children at Evergreen Academy live in Kirkland. A large percentage of them are employed by Microsoft (all Microsoft families receive a 10% tuition discount).
Evergreen Academy Preschool 12233 116th Ave., NE Kirkland, WA 98034 425.820.2781 www.kirkland.evergreenacademy.net