Education Place Is Designed To Fit Into A Busy Lifestyle, Particularly In The COVID-19 Era
Evolving from a private tutoring organization for young equestrians, Education Place today is a private school in Wellington teaching up to 100 students. This year-round, Montessori-style school serves families for whom a traditional school setting does not work, and this unique education model has the school fully prepared to continue teaching students through the current pandemic.
Education Place was founded 20 years ago by Judy Blake and Anita Kane, who both taught at a local private school. Their objective was to fill a need in the western communities for tutoring and home schooling. Originally, the two educators drove with their supplies to each student’s house. Within the first year, the number of students grew so dramatically, that it required a permanent location for their flexible and alternative educational activities.
The purpose of the school was to provide a unique learning environment dedicated to high levels of productivity and integrity, an “education place” for students away from the distractions of their homes.
“We pride ourselves on providing young people with the direction and support to manage their time, learning styles and behavior,” Kane said.
They soon found that this approach works well with the modern lifestyle.
“Many families today are experiencing fast-paced lives full of information overload,” Blake explained. “They are assigned to overcrowded schools with inflexible school curricula and now remote teaching. Sometimes they suffer from isolation from their extended family due to travel requirements or multiple living locations.”
This has led many people to look for alternatives, Blake added.
“These people include students who devote daily time to special interests, such as equestrian training, music training, a job, professional practicing, such as tennis, soccer or baseball players, racecar drivers or those into modeling, etc. Now it includes students who no longer have a traditional school setting available to them,” Blake said.
Education Place is uniquely designed to meet the emotional and time challenges that such students and families face. For students visiting from other areas, such as equestrian competitors, the school can interface with the student’s home school, if necessary, even if that school is in another state or country.
There is an attention-intensive ratio of just eight students for each teacher. The facility was already set up to respond to the current climate of the COVID-19 pandemic without necessitating many changes.
“Our 8,000-square-foot campus is not a public facility, so there is no one present who isn’t a student or a teacher,” Blake said.
For example, there was key card access already in place and there was more than ample space between students in the classrooms under normal circumstances.
“We have a whole system in place now,” Kane added, explaining that there are daily health checks and the taking of non-touch temperatures upon arrival of everyone.
Everything is sanitized each evening, as well as throughout the school day, and there is very limited sharing of materials, with touching surfaces continuously sanitized.
There is an isolation room configured to Centers for Disease Control standards, should anyone exhibit symptoms. There, the affected child can comfortably rest until a parent arrives to pick them up.
The founders of Education Place have a lifetime of training and career experience in the field of education.
Kane was born into education and leadership as the child of the owners of a school in Maryland. She earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Mary Baldwin College and a master’s degree in teaching from Trinity College. She also attended George Mason University School of Law. Kane possesses graduate-level certification in Montessori teaching for children ages 6 to 9 and 9 to 12. She has taught for 30 years, and her career includes 25 years as a school administrator.
Blake has been educating and inspiring children and adults for more than 40 years. She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Rutgers University. Her graduate studies have earned her Montessori teaching credentials for children ages 3 to 6 and 6 to 9. In addition, she has completed a certificate program for child development from birth to age three. Other achievements include being the founder and director of the Ridgewood Montessori School in New Jersey.
Education Place is open 12 months a year with a program especially developed for students who find themselves bored, frustrated or lost in their traditional school or today’s non-traditional remote school situation. Perhaps they missed out on important skills during this year’s disruption of the school year, or they are yearning to get out of the house and return to productivity.
The customized learning program features small, mixed-age classes of students in elementary, middle and high school classrooms taught by experienced, caring career professionals.
“Known as the premier provider of customized educational services for the Wellington community, Education Place aims to be where students can connect with others and build lasting relationships,” Blake said.
For those families wishing to keep their students at home during the pandemic, Education Place also provides distance support by phone or Skype.
Education Place is located in the original Wellington Mall at 12794 W. Forest Hill Blvd., Suite 23, in Wellington. For more information, call (561) 753-6563 or visit www.1educationplace.com.