HUNTERSVILLE – Long Creek Montessori School will begin in August, serving about 154 students in pre-kindergarten through third grade, according to Principal Rachel McKenzie.

The magnet program will eventually expand to serve sixth-graders.

“I’m very excited to be the first principal,” she said. “I’m thrilled to be able to go to a new school that’s put there for the kids and will be such a benefit to them.” 

McKenzie, who moved from Olde Providence Elementary in Charlotte, said Montessori students primarily work on independent projects, being taught one-on-one. While teachers don’t lecture in the traditional manner at a Montessori school, they play an integral part of the child’s progress, she said.

The school is seeking teachers who are certified in Montessori education, as well as with the state’s curriculum. 

Parents interested in placing a student in the school have an option coming soon: A lottery system running from March 10 through June will help fill the school’s first class.

Mecklenburg County residents can request a transfer to the Montessori school to get in. Non-CMS students must go through the new student-enrollment process, enroll at a local school and then request a transfer.

Long Creek Montessori doesn't charge tuition for any of its classes with the exception of 4-year-olds, whose program costs in the $3,000-per-year range.

Students with prior experience in Montessori schools are preferred, but all students are welcome to apply, McKenzie said.

“We’re looking for students who are self motivated and who have an ability to be independent,” she said.

They’ll work in a separate building from Long Creek Elementary. The school will be located in the old building on Long Creek’s campus, off Beatties Ford Road.

Class sizes won’t go above the 20-21 range for the first school year, McKenzie added. Enrollment can expand up to 240 students.

The school will be broken up into two groups of multi-aged classes: students aged 4-6 will share classrooms, while older students will share the other rooms. McKenzie said that system would probably be in place only for the first year.