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Coward school may get Montessori program

December 21, 2018 GMT

LAKE CITY, S.C. – J.C. Lynch Elementary School of STEM in Coward may soon offer a Montessori program for students.

Florence County School District Three Superintendent Laura Hickson received the board of trustees’ permission at a meeting Thursday evening to move forward with the planning for a Montessori program at J.C. Lynch Elementary School of STEM in 2019.

“As we continue to ensure our students are college and career ready and offer choice and pathways to meet the needs of our students, I’m very excited to announce that J.C. Lynch has written a proposal to have Montessori at J.C. Lynch for next year,” Hickson said. “They received some additional SIC money which is school improvement funds.”

Hickson said Angela Tanner, the school’s principal, came from a school in Pamplico that had a Montessori program and decided to write a Montessori program into the grant for J.C. Lynch School of STEM.

At Thursday’s meeting, Hickson said she and Tanner met earlier this week with Ginny Riga from the state Department of Education. Riga works with public schools’ Montessori programs.

“And they currently have about 55 across the state,” Hickson said. “She (Riga) was very complimentary about the plan that’s in place, and she really feels as if it would be a great fit for J.C. Lynch. It would create diversity there, similar to the goals of the MSAP grant.”

The district received Magnet School Assistance Program (MSAP) funds last year to implement two new magnet schools.

Montessori is a hands-on, individualized approach to learning that centers on the whole child, according to the South Carolina Department of Education.

In other business at Thursday’s meeting, the board approved recommendations to have its February meeting in the boardroom at the district office and its March meeting at J. Paul Truluck Creative Arts and Science Magnet School.