The public schools in Sioux Falls are as good as (or better) than the public schools in the affluent western suburbs of Philadelphia (US News and world reports ranks the local high-schools in Lincoln County as #1 in the state and #600 out of the 24,000+ reviewed in the entire nation). We found a Montessori School for Catherine (Baan Dek) that exceeded the expectations previously set by an exhausting three months of research and meetings with educators at almost a dozen schools back east. The facility, staff and culture at Baan Dek Montessori continues to be a source of pride and gratitude for our entire family.
The following is a letter my wife and I sent to Bobby & June George (owners of the Baan Dek Montessori):
We enrolled our 3yr old daughter in the part-time program at Baan Dek Montessori two months ago because everyone we met there seemed to exude a conscious compassion and genuine passion for education.
The more we witness the Montessori method of teaching in action, the more we realize how misguided we were in thinking that Montessori was simply a school for the over-privileged children of liberal parents who see structure as stifling.
Over the last two months, through your workshop initiatives like “Preparation for Numeracy”, my wife and I have come to a deeper understanding of (and appreciation for) the Montessori method. We now recognize Montessori as a bridge between conceptual learning and physical comprehension...a maternal imperative, if within means, since our educational aspirations for Catherine go beyond the development of her scholastic competence. We have a sincere desire for her to comprehend the world in which we live... and be empowered to enrich it.
We now know that Baan Dek is actually an advantage, as opposed to an amenity, that we are grateful to afford our daughter and thank you for making possible.