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Friday, February 17, 2017

Montessori school in Annandale expanded

The new addition at the Montessori School of Northern Virginia. 
The Montessori School of Northern Virginia is bigger and better now that a renovation and expansion of the Hillbrook campus at 6820 Pacific Lane, Annandale, has been completed.

The improvements include a new large multipurpose room that can be used for art, music, extended after-school care, and gatherings; five new classrooms; renovated bathrooms in each classroom; a new storage area for band instruments; a new kitchen, conference room, and basement storage area; “solar tubes” to bring natural light into each classroom; and a backyard deck.

Desks in MSNV classrooms are spread around the room. 
During a dedication ceremony Feb. 11, Head of School Betsy Mitchell and other members of the MSNV community described the 10-year process leading to the completion of the new building. It began with discussions about whether to expand the school or move to a new location and included many meetings with nearby residents as the rezoning application, site plans, and design were developed.

The school serves about 244 students, age 2-12, on two campuses. In 2010, MSNV had an opportunity to acquire a building in the Falls Church area of Fairfax County that used to house the Valleybrook Preschool. MSNV uses that building for children age 2-5.

MSNV students entertain guests with songs during the dedication ceremony.
MSNV has embraced the educational philosophy of Maria Montessori, which focuses on learning by doing and promoting the joy of discovery.

Classes have a mix of ages. One classroom, for example, has students age 6-9, and students stay with the same teacher for three years. Each class has about 20 students and two teachers. There are flexible workspaces, rather than a regimented row of desks.  

3 comments:

  1. More traffic in the neighborhood without any abatement programs. Parents running late speeding down Pacific or Dodson recklessly. There are lots of children in the neighborhood along with adults that walk their dogs or are out for exercise. At a minimum they need to put in a three way stop at Pacific and Kingston. Class times should be coordinated with Poe school (the congestion there from parents picking up their children in the afternoon has cars backed up Cindy Lane almost to Hillbrook on some afternoons (not sure why they don't ride the bus).

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  2. I'm a resident of the Hillbrook neighborhood and my child also goes to MSNV. We walk to school each morning and have no trouble with the traffic on Dodson. The expansion was for a multipurpose room, not new classrooms. There has not been an increase in the number of students at the school, so no increase in traffic. The SE for the school caps the number of students that can attend, and we also have to limit the number of vehicle trips to/from the school, which is monitored by an independent company every couple of years. Moreover, MSNV and Poe do not let out at the same time. A small portion of children in preschool-K program end their day at 12:30. Full day preschool and elementary students are dismissed at 3:30, a full 1:15 after Poe dismisses at 2:15.

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  3. According to the article:

    The improvements include a new large multipurpose room that can be used for art, music, extended after-school care, and gatherings; five new classrooms; renovated bathrooms in each classroom; a new storage area for band instruments; a new kitchen, conference room, and basement storage area; “solar tubes” to bring natural light into each classroom; and a backyard deck.

    Five new classrooms. That is an expansion of classrooms. Either more children will be coming (say 15 per classrom or about 75 kids) or class sizes will be split (requiring 5+ more teachers). Either way it is an expansion.

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