NewGate was established in 1984 by Kitty and Steve Williams on their family’s 5 acre organic farm. As the school expanded, cottages were added, tied together with white fencing, gardens, shaded porches, a gazebo, and mature trees. The school has 10 classrooms, with room for 140 students. We have two playgrounds and an athletic field.
NewGate feels like Old Florida; a series of cozy cottages, gardens, and shaded areas to meet or work outside. Our classrooms are our students’ homes away from home, and we make them as attractive and comfortable as possible. They are warm, vibrant rooms filled with plants, animals, art, music, and books.
Montessori classrooms tend to fascinate both children and their parents. There are interest centers filled with intriguing learning materials, fascinating mathematical models, maps, charts, fossils, historical artifacts, computers, scientific apparatus and perhaps a small natural-science display.
Our classrooms are carefully prepared to stimulate children’s independence and intellectual development. You will not find rows of desks, even at the Upper School level; instead, the room will be set up to facilitate discussions and stimulate collaborative learning.
At the Early Childhood and Elementary levels, students will typically be found scattered around the classrooms, working alone or with one or two others. They tend to become so involved in their work that visitors are immediately struck by the peaceful atmosphere. At the Upper School, many classes will involve seminar discussions, individual research, thoughtful writing, and field experience.
Our teachers focus on each student as an individual, not on a daily lesson plan for the entire class. They nurture and inspire their students, teaching them to ask questions, think for themselves, explore, investigate, and discover. Our ultimate objective is to help students to learn how to learn things deeply and independently, holding on to the curiosity, creativity, and intelligence with which they were born. Our teachers don’t simply present lessons; they are facilitators, mentors, coaches, and guides.
They will normally be found working with one or two students at a time, advising, presenting a new lesson, or quietly observing the class at work.