A NewGate Education
Today’s rapid technological and social change makes it increasingly difficult for us to understand and keep pace with the modern world. This has put schools under terrific pressure to reevaluate what should be taught in an age when no one can predict the skills that our children will need when they reach maturity.
In the past, when our store of knowledge was relatively fixed and limited, the most efficient education consisted of lecture, drill, and memorization.
In an era of technological revolution and social change, the foundation of a good education is to learn how to learn.
Our course of study encompasses the full substance of the traditional curriculum and goes beyond to teach students how to think clearly, do their own research, express themselves well in writing and speech, and to put their knowledge to practical application.
Montessori school vs. traditional school.
NewGate serves as the Lab School of the Montessori Foundation. As such, our goal is to embody the principles of best practice in Montessori education that the Foundation teaches to Montessori school leaders around the world.
As many of you know, the Montessori Foundation literately ‘wrote the book’ on how to integrate Montessori principles into all aspects of school life, from an authentic Montessori program and curriculum at each age level, to building a strong partnership-based community, student leadership, and family-friendly policies.
An International Curriculum
- We put the world into the palm of our students’ hands, studying and celebrating the cultures and nations from which we, or our forefathers/mothers, came.
- The Montessori Foundation works with schools all over the world. Our extensive connections and ongoing work give us a solid foundation in international studies from the years of early childhood through high school graduation.
- We offer a Montessori-International Baccalaureate Diploma Program at the Upper School level.
Second Language Study
- Students study a second language, Spanish, from 18-months through the 12th grade, with the additional option of German at the Secondary level.
- The International Baccalaureate Diploma Program challenges students to reach a high level of proficiency
A Diverse School Community Within an Independent School Setting
- Our goal is to draw together children and families from all segments of the community in an independent school that does not seek government funding.
- In order to provide as much assistance as we can for families who could not otherwise afford to participate in this type of program, we build funding for financial aid into our budget.
- We place emphasis on creating a sustainable environment.
- Students have ongoing lessons on living a life that is more in harmony with a sustainable environment.
- Each class participates in class or shared organic gardens.
A Family-Friendly School
- We offer Montessori extended-day programs for working families.
We also offer care on most days when school is not in session (except for government holidays).
- We offer after-school clubs and studios, usually at no additional cost, to interested elementary and secondary students.
A Close Knit Montessori Partnership-Based School Community
- Our administrative and board decisions are based on clear, written values and principles of Montessori partnership (The Blueprint of Our Core Beliefs).
- All members of our school community can participate in a partnership-based process of ongoing discussion, planning, problem-solving, and self-study/program evaluation.
- We schedule many opportunities to come together as parents, students, and educators in celebration.
A School for Entrepreneurs and Leadership
- NewGate School teaches children to be economically literate and capable.
We help them to understand business and industry, as well as personal economics.
- Elementary and Upper School students learn about local businesses, professions, and the roles of local government from field experience and (at the Upper School) internships.
- At the Upper School level students will be encouraged and assisted in forming their own small businesses for hands-on learning.
Computer Technology & Web-Based Communication
- Live conversations will be held with fascinating men and women who represent relevant fields of interest, from science, technology, newsmakers, and community organizers.
- Online learning opportunities of all sorts, from sophisticated use of the Internet to actual online learning units for elementary and secondary students.
- At the Elementary and Upper School level, everyday use of computer applications for a very wide range of writing, presentations, problem solving, data analysis, and creative work.
- Ongoing emphasis on the ethical, safe, and appropriate use of online communication.
A Peace Academy
- Just as The Montessori Foundation teaches peace and partnership skills to schools around the world, we teach peacemaking and leadership skills to our students (and interested parents).
- Children learn how to communicate clearly and assertively in ways that express kindness and respect.
- They learn skills of conflict resolution, consensus building, and develop strong relationships.
- They learn about the world’s great peacemakers and leaders of nonviolent social change.
- We encourage our students to contribute to others through a tradition of community service and philanthropy.
The Montessori Community of Sarasota
As a Partnership-based Montessori community, we consciously create a Circle of Equals. There are no somebodies and nobodies, nor in-groups or out-groups at NewGate. Parents, educators, and children are all members of the school community.
The school is led by the Montessori Foundation, and school policies and decisions are based on its core values and principles of Montessori Best Practice, rather than an ever changing debate about the School’s mission and identity.
However, with strong Montessori leadership, comes a belief that, while core principles cannot be compromised, parents, teachers, students, and school leaders can and should explore issues and ideas together in a culture of kindness and respect.
We hold monthly School Community Meetings to provide one of several forums. We also offer a wide range of workshops and discussions on partnership parenting and how the school is preparing our children to face the challenges of a changing world.
We believe that a school can be a close-knit community of families who share common values, in addition to a place where children attend class. We welcome family involvement, but do not require it. Interested parents are invited to participate in many ways, from organizing celebrations to long-range planning. We do, however, expect each family to work closely with us to support their children’s education.
An Environment for Learning
NewGate offers two lovely campuses in Sarasota, Florida. Our Ashton Road campus is for infants through upper elementary (6th grade) and our Lakewood Ranch campus is for our Upper School’s secondary program (7th-12th grade).
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.
The Special Appeal of the Lower School’s Campus on Ashton Road
NewGate was established in 1984 by Kitty and Steve Williams on their family’s 5-acre organic farm on Ashton Road. 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 150 students. We have two playgrounds and an athletic field.
NewGate’s Ashton Road Campus 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.
The Upper School campus in Lakewood Ranch
The Upper School campus is located in Lakewood Ranch: The Center for Peace and Hope.
Set on 5-acres, and bordered by more than 100 acres of protected woodlands, the building was constructed as a gold level LEED certified building, one of the few in our region. It is breathtaking in its beauty and natural setting. There are pavilions, benches, and libraries, quiet spots for contemplation, bubbling fountains, a labyrinth, a walking trail, and a tall tower to observe the beauty of the nearby lake.
Like our Ashton Road campus, the Upper School has a relaxed and comfortable ambiance. There are seminar rooms, a lab, a large group meeting room, and a commercial kitchen where our students refine their culinary skills.
Our Three Campuses
NewGate offers two lovely campuses in Sarasota, Florida, and a virtual campus for online learners. Our Ashton Road campus is for infants through upper elementary (6th grade), Lakewood Ranch campus is for our secondary program (7th-12th grade), and Global Campus serves students 6 years old through 16 years old (1st – 10th grades).
Drop Us a Line
We are here to answer any questions at all.