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Change and Transformation: The Journey of Our School

by Beth MacDonald
May/June 2012
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Article Link: http://www.exchangepress.com/article/change-and-transformation-the-journey-of-our-school/5020570/

When Bonnie and Roger Neugebauer honored our school by asking us to be on the cover of Exchange, I remembered the conferences I had attended over the years when I was a new director. My favorite was the Child Care Directors conference in 1989, which was held on the island of Oahu, Hawaii. Not only was the setting beautiful, but it was at that conference that I first heard about the Reggio Emilia schools in Italy. This is where our journey began.

Our journey has been one of change and transformation. We began as a school that embraced the Montessori philosophy, but also included a high interest in music, art, drama, and ­creativity. While the Montessori approach to learning was powerful and compelling, there was a piece missing. When we heard about the schools in Reggio Emilia, we were drawn to them like a magnet.

Our school is in a 110-year-old building in the heart of St. Paul, Minnesota. We are a part of the diverse West Seventh neighborhood, just blocks from the Mississippi River; downtown St. Paul, the state capital; theaters; museums; restaurants; a sporting complex; and historical buildings. In 2012, we celebrate our 26th year as a non profit infant, toddler, ...

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