HMS Board Chair, Frank Grossman, is fond of telling people “We’re building a 100-year school!” and this year he can boast that we have made it a tenth of the way there, no mean feat in today’s climate.
The statistics across the country are grim—only 43% of businesses survive to their fifth anniversary and enrollment in private schools has dropped 14% in the ten years between 2006 and 2016—but in 2018-2019, Hollis Montessori School celebrates its tenth anniversary. This year allows us a time to reflect on all the hard work by our staff, families, and community partners that has brought us here and to look ahead to our next ninety years.
From its small beginnings on Proctor Hill Road to our current 9-acre campus and 125 students, our school has continued to grow and provide exceptional Montessori education to our surrounding communities. Maria Montessori stressed the importance of place as a key component of an educational approach that encompasses all the senses. With the help of our families and corporate sponsors, we completed our super energy-efficient, passive house main school building in April 2016, featuring classrooms specifically built to further the Montessori education, from large windows accessing nature to kitchens encouraging kids to get their hands dirty (and then clean!) while they explore their lessons. Last year, we opened the doors on our newly renovated barn as the classroom environment for our Adolescent Program, providing them a beautiful space rooted in the town’s history in which to work. We are so grateful our founding families had the knowledge and foresight to consider the importance of place for children, creating a school that offers beautiful classroom and outdoor environments.
But a school is more than its buildings and the surrounding naturescape (as beautiful as they are); a ten-year school (and future 100-year school) survives and thrives because of its community. Our school has prospered because of the families and partners who show their commitment to our shared values of education and respect for the child. We are so fortunate to have our parent volunteers, who support the school through serving on various committees, from driving our students to museums and libraries, to baking goodies for our parent coffees and open houses, and planning our fundraising events, large and small. Without your help, HMS would not exist today.
We would like to invite our community to celebrate our joint achievement of ten-years hard work at one of the several community events we have planned for this anniversary. While our successful 5k race through the beautiful town of Hollis in October has passed (look for this event to become an annual affair), please join us at the Spring Gala and Auction on March 29 and the Spring Festival scheduled for May 18. These events are open to our community partners, alumni, and families. We hope to see you there!