Congratulations to Alcuin Montessori for reaching 50 years of offering an alternative learning option to Oak Park-River Forest families [1961. What is this Montessori? News, Oct. 5]. As the board president of Tallgrass Sudbury School in Riverside, I can personally attest to the survival challenges faced by small private schools. To not only survive but thrive with a “not test driven, but process-driven learning” philosophy in a world so narrowly focused on test scores is a testament to the vision of the founders and the continued dedication of the current staff.

The article quoted Gina Gleason stating that “Parents realize they have an alternate choice.” Unfortunately, I do not believe this to be true on a broad basis. Excluding religion-based choices, many/most are un-aware of the alternative philosophies of learning promoted by Montessori, Sudbury, Progressive, Waldorf, Home School, Unschool, etc. prior to enrolling their children in the local elementary.

Certainly, the Internet has made this information more readily available, but parents cannot be expected to research educational philosophies of which they are not aware. Education and learning are not “one size fits all.” Cheers to Alcuin and the parents of their students for choosing a unique way.

Keith Huizinga
River Forest

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