Inly Head of School Kicks Off New School Year and Advises Parents to "Dive In"

At Back-to-School Night, Donna Milani Luther welcomed parents to the new year and talked about innovative Montessori alumni and why Inly is a good investment.

It is my pleasure to welcome you to Inly School’s 39th year. For those of you that are new to education, Inly is actually “old” in the world of Montessori in the United States. Maria Montessori started her work 104 years ago in Europe; however, it didn’t come to the States until the 1960s, when parents were looking for alternative and innovative educational approaches for their children. At Inly, we’ve been refining our work consistently since 1973.

If you read the Boston Globe article from Sunday, August 26, “Succeeding at their Own Pace,” columnist Alex Beam wrote about some famous Montessori alums: Larry Page and Sergey Brin from Google; Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon.com; and, Will Wright, creator of SimCity and The Sims. All have shown unfailing curiosity, and, as Page says, “stupendous acts of applied imagination.”

Beam goes on to say, “If Montessori was a stock, you would buy it.” Well, guess what? You have. By sending your children to Inly, you are investing in an innovative education that will provide more than the traditional model can for your child. Here’s why I believe this investment is valuable:
  1. We are a professional learning community, committed to 21st century education and we design and deliver our curriculum accordingly.
  2. Our teachers are committed to the academic success of your child. They deeply understand child development, are trained observers, and actively seek opportunities for professional development so that they can continue to learn about innovative educational practices.
  3. We value structure as well as freedom. We design structure that supports students in divergent and innovative thinking, synthesis of information, and application of knowledge.
  4. We value independence and responsibility.
  5. We encourage discovery, exploration, and learning from successes and mistakes.
  6. We teach a parallel curriculum: in addition to the 3 Rs, we teach respect, tolerance, and life skills.
  7. We celebrate children as people and teach them to speak up for themselves, all while becoming comfortable in their own skin, by helping them consistently ask and answer that “who am I” question.
  8. Your child is number one in our eyes.
Now, as adults, we know that there is no utopia. Nothing is perfect. And, frankly, no school is perfect. However, in a school where there are no grades, I give us an “A” for effort. In my 38 years in education I have never worked with a more dynamic, dedicated, and professional staff.

You will be challenged by the humanity of the educational process, and, the questions you’ll face about choosing an innovative, progressive environment for your child. Here’s my advice. Dive into this – fully and wholeheartedly. This investment, in my view, is more like a savings bond – the longer you hold onto it, the bigger the payoff. You won’t regret it.

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