Light of the World Academy finds a home, will open as a charter school

A student works on a project at Light of the World Academy, which will open this fall as a tuition-free Montessori public charter school in Pinckney.
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A student works on a project at Light of the World Academy, which will open this fall as a tuition-free Montessori public charter school in Pinckney.
A student works on a project at Light of the World Academy, which will open this fall as a tuition-free Montessori public charter school in Pinckney.

Tuition-free Montessori school moves into new building in Pinckney; open house Monday, Aug. 24

After much wrangling over its new location, it’s official: Light of the World Academy will be opening in Pinckney this fall as a tuition-free Montessori charter school. The school board signed a lease this week to occupy the former St. Mary’s School building in downtown Pinckney, which had been home to Livingston Christian Schools.

This was made possible in large part through the support of the Whitmore Lake Public Schools, which made a last-minute offer to lease the unused Whitmore Lake Middle School to Livingston Christian Schools to temporarily house its school operations while the legal process goes on with Genoa Township. Livingston Christian will be leasing space from Whitmore Lake pending a resolution of the federal court lawsuit that would enable Livingston Christian Schools to move into Brighton Nazarene Church.

Light of the World Academy will open this fall as a K-6 school with 160 students, and there are still a few spots available. The school is holding an open house for prospective new families at its new location on Monday, Aug. 24, from 6:30-9 p.m. The school is located at 550 E. Hamburg Street in downtown Pinckney. The school will be adding seventh grade next year and eighth grade the following year, so it will eventually operate as a K-8 school.

For information on the school or Monday’s open house, call (734) 878-3301, or e-mail kathy@lightoftheworldacademy.org. Enrollments are being accepted now.

As a public charter school, Light of the World Academy is available tuition-free to any Michigan resident. Light of the World Academy is the only public Montessori school anywhere in the Livingston County/Washtenaw County area. Light of the World Academy received its charter from Grand Valley State University.

“Traditionally, a Montessori education has only been available to families that can afford it, but we’ve always felt that it should be available to everyone,” said school director Kathy Moorehouse. “We’re so excited to be able to offer a tuition-free Montessori option to parents.”

Light of the World Academy has been operating as a successful private Montessori school since 2002, but this fall, it’s converting to a charter. In addition to the learning space, the new building features a gymnasium and cafeteria.

“It’s perfect for us. It’s also located right on the Lakelands Trail, which we’ll be utilizing quite a bit,” Moorehouse said. “We’re so thrilled that there will be a public elementary school right in the Village of Pinckney.”

Though its status will be changing from private to charter, Light of the World Academy intends to maintain the same strong values, Montessori program and service-based community outreach that it’s become known for. Students at the school participate in a variety of local and global outreach programs every year, including the Pinckney Food Bank, Pinckney Senior Center, Raincatchers (an organization that provides water resources and more to Haiti), the Pinckney Community Youth Development Initiative (PCYDI) and more.

The Montessori method of education, developed by Dr. Maria Montessori, is a child-centered educational approach based on scientific observations of children from birth to adulthood. It is a view of the child as one who is naturally eager for knowledge and capable of initiating learning in a supportive, thoughtfully prepared learning environment. It is an approach that values the human spirit and the development of the whole child—physical, social, emotional, cognitive.

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