Welcome and September 2016 Update
Welcome to Bluestem Montessori’s blog! I’m Laura Erickson, Executive Director/Founder of Bluestem. As we get closer to our opening date in August of 2017, I will share with you our progress as well as highlight aspects of our philosophy and educational methods. Look for monthly progress updates, and more regular posts about other aspects of Montessori learning or Bluestem in particular!
For our opening blog, I thought it would be useful to lay out what we’ve done so far to get up and running:
In November of 2015, I made the decision to open a Montessori elementary school in Lincoln. Since then, we have built a team of dedicated volunteers who have given their time to brainstorming a vision, raising funds, scouting temporary locations, and so much more! Our volunteers meet monthly, and if you would like to join us, meetings are always posted in our Facebook volunteer group. We’d love to have more input!
We have also formed a Board of Directors, which we are currently building to be a strong advocate for the school. We are looking for experienced board members who can lend their expertise to running this nonprofit school as efficiently and effectively as possible.
From a legal standpoint, we have also been making steady progress. We are incorporated with the state of Nebraska, are in the process of finishing our application for 501(c)(3) status with the IRS.
We have done lots of research on the legal requirements by which Bluestem will need to abide, and have been in discussion with the Nebraska Department of Education and Department of Health and Human Services to ensure that our policies are in compliance. We will technically be in operation as a home school, although we will follow state guidelines for approved nonpublic schools as closely as we can, working towards that status. We will also be in communication with Lincoln Public Schools to make sure that our students are able to seamlessly integrate back into LPS middle schools. We will be working towards our accreditation with the American Montessori Society, which is a three year process from our open date.
Finally, we have been busy building up the school’s presence in the community. We have been working hard to get our name out there, letting families know that they will have another option for their children’s education. As we advertise our presence, we are also working to raise the funds we need to get off the ground. Our fundraising efforts have included dine-out nights, a rummage sale, and T-shirt sales.
This month’s projects include developing an enrollment process (including a formal wait list), finalizing our location, having a recruitment booth at Streets Alive! Lincoln, board recruitment, and building the hiring process for our Lead Teacher.
Thank you for joining me on this journey! I am so excited to build this school for Lincoln.
Until next time,