The idea for The Montessori High School was developed over a chili dinner in 2009 by a group of parents who wanted their children’s Montessori education to continue past middle school. Maria Montessori’s philosophies are guided by holistic, individualized education, critical thinking, and a love of learning with an emphasis on creating responsible global citizens. At that time, Lexington had several Montessori elementary schools and a middle school, but Lexington was without a high school that emphasizes Montessori philosophy.
Throughout 2009 and into 2010, parents and students visited Montessori high schools in Cincinnati and Cleveland. Parents then turned to David Kahn, executive director of the Montessori High School at University Circle in Cleveland, to confer with them on the development of the school. After the formation of a conglomerate of parents, students, educators, University of Kentucky administrators, and Montessori professionals, the school was launched in August 2011, working in partnership with the University of Kentucky College of Education P20 Innovation Lab.
The first home to the Montessori High School was located in the basement of St. Augustine’s Chapel on the University of Kentucky campus. By August 2012, the school had grown from eleven to twenty seven students, and the school moved to its current space on the second floor of a historic building at 620 South Broadway. The school was able to take advantage of the educational opportunities offered by its neighbor, the University of Kentucky, including use of library and physical education facilities. In addition, The Montessori High School has forged an agreement with the several universities to offer dual credit college courses.
The school offers a curriculum that exceeds national and state standards while allowing room for individualized learning and educational exploration. The Montessori High School has vibrant academic and extra-curricular offerings and a committed student body and staff. In keeping with Montessori philosophy, the school offers several overnight trips each year to build community and to experience hands-on environmental learning. Students are required to perform community service work and they volunteer with several non-profit groups throughout the Bluegrass. Classes are small, and our students come from public, private, and home-school settings. With qualified and passionate faculty and administrators, the school is able to challenge the individual student. Our school is one of only a handful of Montessori high schools nationwide. We are a pioneering effort representing the core values of peace, community, learning, and kindness. We are proud to be a part of Lexington’s rich and exemplary education community.
In 2013, The Montessori High School graduated its first student. The number of graduates continues to grow.