Montessori micro-schools model selected for The Mind Trust’s Charter School Design Challenge
Indianapolis – (February 14, 2018) — The Mind Trust, an Indianapolis-based education nonprofit, has selected Wildflower Schools and its innovative model of teacher-led, Montessori micro-schools as the second winner of its Charter School Design Challenge (CSDC). The Mind Trust will provide Wildflower Schools with a $250,000 planning grant and support its leadership team as they develop their model, engage the Indianapolis community, and navigate the process of launching their public “storefront” Montessori schools in Indianapolis.
Wildflower Schools is a network of decentralized authentic Montessori schools that are designed, launched, and led by teacher entrepreneurs. Typically located in small neighborhood shopfronts, each school serves 20 to 30 students across one or two classrooms. These shopfront settings allow students to engage daily with the community by relying on public playgrounds, gardens, and civic spaces. The unique school model combines time-tested, research-supported Montessori methods with promising new ideas in parent engagement, intentional student diversity, teacher empowerment, and data-driven instruction.
“The Charter School Design Challenge provides top innovators with the unique opportunity to develop break-the-mold educational models in one of the best cities in the country for launching high-quality charter schools,” said David Harris, founder & CEO of The Mind Trust. “Wildflower Schools, with its teacher-as-entrepreneur Montessori model and innovative use of facilities, is exactly what our Charter School Design Challenge is about.”
Wildflower Schools opened its first school in 2014 and has since grown to a network of 14 decentralized schools. Matt Kramer, who served as Co-CEO of Teach For America before becoming CEO of The Wildflower Foundation, will identify an entrepreneur to shepherd the opening of a cluster of three to four Wildflower Schools in Indianapolis in 2020.
“Like wildflowers themselves, Wildflower schools flourish in the right spots in supportive ecosystems,” Kramer said. “With The Mind Trust’s generous support, we are eager to put down roots in Indianapolis in partnership with teacher-leaders and families who value Wildflower’s small size, the Montessori method and our schools’ connections to their surroundings.”
About The Mind Trust
The Mind Trust is a nonprofit striving to give every Indianapolis student access to an excellent, high-quality public school. The Mind Trust does this by recruiting and empowering top talent, launching and supporting new, innovative and high-quality public schools in Indianapolis, and engaging community stakeholders in conversations about innovation in public education. Since 2006, The Mind Trust has supported or incubated 17 schools, attracted and placed more than 1000 teachers and school leaders, and raised more than $77 million to bring innovative ideas into Indianapolis classrooms. More information can be found at themindtrust.org.
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