Public interest sought for Sussex County Montessori school

Group pursues state charter for fall 2019
December 12, 2017

A Montessori school eyeing Sussex County is looking for families interested in the program and prospective students.

So far, Sussex Montessori School has received about 250 surveys in support of the school, which would serve students from kindergarten to sixth grade, said Jim Purcell, spokesman for a group working to open the school in Sussex County.

“We want to let people know about the school and get their support,” Purcell said. “We would like to have 400 to 500 interest surveys in support of it.”

In January 2017, officials with Montessori Works submitted a charter application for Sussex Montessori School to the Delaware Board of Education, but the application was withdrawn because the group did not have a location, and they were still working out funding, Purcell said.

Although a location has not been set, he said, the application will include three potential sites in Georgetown, Milford or Millsboro. The group is working with the Longwood Foundation, Discover Bank and the Welfare Foundation to help provide funding, he said. The group expects continued support from current funders to finish the charter application and support the capital needs of the school, Purcell said.

They are in the process of assembling the Sussex Montessori School Board, he said, which will identify new and local funding to help the school continue to thrive after its opening in 2019.

Purcell said officials intend to file a charter application in December and the school is expected to open in fall 2019. Sussex Montessori School would be the first public Montessori school in Sussex County.

The school would be based on the success of First State Montessori School in Wilmington, which practices an educational method created by Maria Montessori in the early 20th century. The Montessori method encourages children to learn at their own pace, to develop their creativity, and to work with peers.

“We believe that the momentum is there for a Montessori school in Sussex County,” Purcell said.

Those surveys are available at the Citizens for Sussex Montessori Facebook page, or at