What’s Right With Our Schools: Montessori Elementary at Highland Park

CHATTANOOGA, TN (WDEF) – Montessori Elementary at Highland Park officially opened last week. It’s Chattanooga’s first public, charter school dedicated to the Montessori educational program.

Dr. Elaine Swafford is the Director for CGLA and Montessori Elementary at Highland Park.

She says, “Today is a big day. I think you saw you were out there in the car line and you know the babies are coming in.  We got the pre-K, 3,4; Kindergarten first second grade and a grade of fifth grade girls in this new building. We are looking to have 215 students in the building today with us for the first day in this brand new Montessori elementary at Highland Park.”


Belle Moon is a parent.

She says, “The Montessori method, I like that. They get to move around and they get to react with older kids. And that is like a really good way for them to learn.”


Dr. Swafford continues, ” We tried to replicate some parts of the old Highland Park Elementary school. And so we built that staircase there and those are actually the real doors refurbished from the old Highland Park Elementary school. And so we tried to bring some things back and just to honor this grammar school that was erected the first time in 1922. We opened CGLA back in 09 and moved to this campus in 2011. For a six through 12. And then and I believe it was 2016 we open, I was the founding CEO of Chattanooga prep. And so that is a six through 12 as well. And so we knew that we needed a feeder school into both of those schools. And so by the time the kids leave the fifth grade here they will be ready to transfer in to either of those schools or any school of that show us within Hamilton county.”

She concludes, “This school is the linchpin I would call it to the six through 12 schools. If we do what Montessori does that I know the program can do for children, they will be ready for the six grade when they leave here after their fifth, after their years spent here at Montessori.”





Categories: Chattanooga, Education, Local News, What’s Right With Our Schools