Public Montessori Elementary School to Open in Karis Fall 2024
Work is on schedule for the fall 2024 opening of a new elementary school in Karis — one that will follow Montessori teaching techniques.
The Crowley Montessori Academy will move from a wing in Mary Harris Elementary where it has been housed to Elementary No. 16, a $33.3 million campus funded through a bond package passed in 2007. It will be the only Montessori school within Crowley Independent School District and one fewer than 50 in Texas.
The Montessori method of teaching focuses on individual and small-group learning, with teachers as guides. Open space and tables are common in a Montessori classroom instead of individual desks and a presentation area for teachers.
“What I love about Montessori is that a teacher can see each individual child uniquely and really bring about their own special gifts and strengths,” said Veronica Delgado, Founding Montessori Principal. “Really, Montessori is preparing a child for life and not just thinking about this one year.”
Delgado said the district’s architect made several field trips to understand design differences a Montessori school requires, and Delgado and her team had input on the school’s design. The district also worked closely with the Karis development team to ensure it fits aesthetically with the neighborhood, said Anthony Kirchner, Chief Communications Officer with Crowley ISD.
Some of the features in the new Montessori elementary include collaborative learning and study spaces throughout the campus, natural lighting in all classrooms and a fully accessible playground. There will be an indoor amphitheater for collaboration, presentations and group learning. An outdoor labyrinth will be designed to stimulate creativity and promote social and emotional health. There will be security fencing around all outdoor play areas. Teachers will be Montessori-certified.
When it opens, the school will have 22 classrooms serving up to 484 children from age 3 through fifth grade. The school has been designed to add a second phase that will have 10 to 12 classrooms serving another 220 to 260 students. Enrollment is open to all students within Crowley ISD, although parents will have to apply for their child to be admitted.
Crowley ISD introduced Montessori classes in 2020, and current classes at Mary Harris Elementary serve children ages 3 through fourth grade. There are now 216 children in the program.
Kirchner said that besides having a school devoted to the Montessori method, he’s excited for the campus to be located in Karis.
“We are growing significantly, but currently 70 percent of our schools are in Fort Worth,” he said. “We’re excited that Elementary No. 16 will be in Crowley.”
Situated between Interstate 35W and Chisholm Trail Parkway, the 565-acre Karis community is a project of The Nehemiah Company. Home sales began there in early 2023 with the first residents moving in last fall. Home prices are from the $280,000s.