With the start of the new school year behind us but most of the year still to come, the late fall offers us an opportunity to reflect on our progress and lessons learned over the past year and take stock of our plans for the future. The biggest theme of the past year has been making it easier for students from all backgrounds to attend Wildflower schools. You can see that theme in the new schools we’ve opened as well as the growth we have on the horizon.
We believe in the power of an authentic Montessori education. But our goal was never to create a network of beautiful schools that were available only to families who could afford them. Making sure a greater number of students have access to high-quality, child-centered learning is critical to Wildflower’s mission and it’s gratifying and inspiring to see the seeds of our efforts beginning to bear fruit.
One of the beautiful things about Wildflower is that our model can adapt to the needs and assets of a given community. Among the new schools that opened in the last year are the first three Wildflower schools in Minnesota, where the Foundation is based. Two of the three are the first Wildflower charter schools.
In Massachusetts, where Wildflower started, three new schools opened over the last year, one in Haverhill in January and two in Cambridge in September. Two others have been preparing over the last year and plan to launch in Haverhill and in the Watertown/Waltham area in the coming months. Both of these schools are led by graduates of last year’s inaugural fellowship cohort. Additionally, our existing schools in Puerto Rico have not only rebuilt since Hurricane Maria, but new programs there are in the process of opening.
You’ll read in this report about Rhode Island’s first Wildflower school. Indiana is also a new state for the network, with Alyssum Montessori opening in Ft. Wayne, and new possibilities emerging in Indianapolis.
In short, we’ve got more schools, in more places, serving a greater number of children, from a wider array of family backgrounds. And we couldn’t be more pleased.
We are also exploring new ways to more fully live into our principles, on our own and through partnerships with complementary organizations. In this report, we share stories of Equity, Innovation and our decentralized Network in action, and these stories, in turn, have led to expanded partnerships and promising new blooms.