Metropolitan Montessori School and The Calhoun School are planning to merge together in the 2023-2024 school year. During the upcoming school year (2022-2023), both institutions will remain separate—operating with their own faculty and staff and within the current buildings—as we plan for an exciting future together.
The Calhoun School and Metropolitan Montessori School Announce Merger
A dual-track early childhood program, the first in New York City, will launch fall 2023
New York, NY, April 20, 2022 – The Calhoun School and Metropolitan Montessori School (MMS) are planning to merge in fall 2023.
The merging of Metropolitan Montessori into Calhoun will create a dual-track early childhood program––the first of its kind for a New York City school––that gives greater choice and flexibility to families at a pivotal stage of their child’s development. Families will be able to choose between two different progressive programs for 3 year olds through third grade: Calhoun’s open inquiry curriculum or MMS’ Montessori curriculum. The Montessori program will be called “MMS@Calhoun,” and it will be located in the current MMS building on 85th Street. Both tracks will then combine for grades four and on through 12th grade.
“What unifies Calhoun and Metropolitan Montessori is our deep progressive roots. Both schools put children at the center of their learning journey,” explained Steve Solnick, Calhoun’s Head of School. “What’s important to us is to be able to offer more choice to families as their children grow, change, and become ready for different academic experiences.”
The decision has been unanimously approved by both schools’ Board of Trustees. Both institutions are driven by the same core beliefs––to spark children’s curiosity and autonomy and to foster a lifelong love of learning that prepares students to lead successful, satisfying lives.
“We feel fortunate to have found each other as partners,” said Racheal Adriko, MMS Head of School. “Our Trustees were impressed by the ingenuity of the Calhoun curriculum and the breadth of its extracurricular offerings for older students. We’re excited to maintain the Montessori approach in the early years, while providing students the opportunity to continue at one school, with so much dynamic programming, through graduation.”
The merger of the two schools will take place in two phases. During the 2022-23 academic year, the schools will continue to operate as independent institutions as they plan for their shared future and introduce their respective communities to one another. Starting in the 2023-24 academic year, Metropolitan Montessori’s program will become integrated into The Calhoun School.
About The Calhoun School:
The Calhoun School is a co-educational, progressive independent school on the Upper West Side serving students from preschool through 12th grade. As Manhattan’s open-concept school, Calhoun breaks down barriers and forges instructive connections between students, teachers, and the city and world at large.
About Metropolitan Montessori School:
Metropolitan Montessori School serves children between the ages of 2 and 14 years and is guided by the philosophy of Dr. Maria Montessori. The MMS community is multicultural and highly international, and the school’s Montessori pedagogy emphasizes independence, rigor, and individualized learning. The school opened in 1964 and is located at 325 85th Street, just a few blocks north of Calhoun’s main campus.
There will be two different progressive programs for 3-year-olds through third grade: A Montessori curriculum or Calhoun’s open inquiry curriculum. The Montessori program would be called MMS@Calhoun. Both tracks would then combine for grades 4-12. MMS@Calhoun would be taught by Montessori-certified teachers, and the program would be equitably supported by The Calhoun School’s admissions, budgeting, and fundraising efforts.
The decision has been unanimously approved by both Boards of Trustees, who spent considerable time learning about the others’ programs, missions, and hopes for the future.
The Calhoun School will include a separate MMS@Calhoun program.
MMS@Calhoun (3-year-olds through third grade) will continue to operate in the current MMS building of 325 W. 85th Street beyond the 2022-23 school year. Decisions about other grades will be made during our planning process before the 2023-24 school year.
For some time, the MMS Board has been discussing how to meet the demands of the evolving independent school landscape in New York City. There has been increased interest in schools that continue through 12th grade. There has also been a growing appetite for broader curricular and extracurricular offerings as students grow into the upper elementary years and beyond. We are delighted to be able to preserve Montessori in the early years and provide these opportunities through this merger.
Although the merger won’t be completed until next year, MMS and Calhoun have both committed to merge, combining the schools beginning in the 2023-24 school year.
Our communities will grow to know each other more in the coming year before our schools intertwine in any real way. This melding will be slow and deliberate, and involve all of our constituencies. This spring, we plan to hold further events for parents and faculty/staff to get to know each others’ campuses and communities. Our teaching teams will begin the work of planning for the future.
MMS teachers received contracts before the break, and most faculty have signed contracts and intend to stay next year.
The Montessori approach of 3-year cycles will remain next year, and MMS@Calhoun will also maintain the same multi-age groupings.
TUITION AND ADMISSIONS
All MMS students will be offered automatic admission to Calhoun with no application process.
No. The 2022-23 tuition and fees—which were published on the MMS website earlier in the year—are not changing.
Calhoun evaluates tuition assistance through the TADS process, just like MMS. Its decision-making process is also needs-based. The Calhoun School will work with MMS families to harmonize the differences between tuition in the first two years after the merger.
GOVERNANCE AND LEADERSHIP
The MMS Board of Trustees will continue its governance of Metropolitan Montessori School through the 2022-23 school year. For the 2023-24 school year, up to four MMS Trustees will join Calhoun’s Board of Trustees. Calhoun will also create an advisory committee which will advise Calhoun’s Head of School and Board of Trustees on matters pertaining to the MMS@Calhoun program.
Racheal Adriko will remain the Head of School at Metropolitan Montessori School in the 2022-23 school year to nurture the partnership and lead the integration of the schools. In the following school year, Calhoun’s Head of School Steve Solnick will lead the merged schools, which will encompass The Calhoun School and MMS@Calhoun.