San Francisco's public Montessori school program will get new digs in the former Newcomer High School in Pacific Heights in the fall, the school board decided Tuesday night in a compromise that settles an emotional battle over the fate of Cobb Elementary School.
The vote means the district will shoulder additional costs required to reopen the closed Newcomer site at 2340 Jackson St. and the added cost of maintaining both campuses at less than capacity for at least a few years. District officials said it could be a short-term fix to accommodate both programs in the fall.
The decision will allow the Montessori program, now housed in four of Cobb's classrooms, to expand into a comprehensive elementary school offering preschool through fifth-grade classes. Cobb couldn't accommodate both programs.
Supporters of both programs jammed the school board chambers Tuesday night to argue their case. The issue had drawn emotional public protests, and while the school board voted to keep the peace and satisfy both sides, the final vote wasn't unanimous.
"It is fiscally irresponsible to open up a new school when we have been having discussion raising kindergarten class size to 30," said board member Sandra Fewer, the only vote against the move. "The cuts will be very painful this year. I cannot be part of opening a new school."
Initially, school officials believed the traditional program would be the one to go, given available space at nearby Rosa Parks and John Muir Elementary schools. Cobb's regular program has been underenrolled in recent years.
Thursday, January 14, 2010
S.F. public Montessori program to relocate
Jill Tucker wrote a piece for the SF Chronicle about the Cobb Montessori program getting a new home:
Labels: SF Public Montessori
Posted by Kate