James Island elementary school at center of teaching tug-a-war

James Island elementary school at center of teaching tug-a-war

CHARLESTON COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - In what seems to be a back-and-forth debate with equal support on both sides, Monday seemed to go to those in favor of Murray LaSaine becoming a full Montessori school.

"We also have a petition that has over 266 signatures, and I've got that here with me tonight that I'm going to hand to you showing the support for full Montessori."

There was still a clear divide between supporters and opponents over the best option for the James Island elementary school. According to the Charleston County School District, Murray LaSaine will completely transition to Montessori by 2020. Until then, it will offer both tracts. Some parents say it wouldn't be practical to sustain that model any longer.

"We are concerned that trying to cram two very different types of educational philosophies under one roof will not result in a happy compromise but would, in fact, end up benefiting no one."

The district says the Montessori method is more hands-on and classrooms have students that range in age over a three-year span. Parents urged the school board to stand by the decision it made two years ago.

"The board voted in November of 2012 to make Murray LaSaine Elementary School a Montessori school, a full Montessori school. That was documented. It has been well documented, and the community resoundingly supported it."

The district will host a parent information session on this issue on Wednesday at Fort Johnson Middle School at 6:30 p.m.