Hillsborough County Schools is getting its first ever Montessori learning program for students.By Casey Albritton

TAMPA, Fla. (CW44 News At 10) – Hillsborough County Schools is getting its first ever Montessori learning program for students.

According to school leaders, this new program will allow students to learn at their own pace.

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“We find out in education that, especially during the pandemic, that not one size fits all,” said Addison Davis, Hillsborough County Schools Superintendent.

That’s why Hillsborough County Schools is starting its first Montessori education program.

“An opportunity for them to learn in a different manner, but also have hands on activities and sensory learning and really learn with multiple ages in a classroom,” said Kim Bays, Chief of Innovation.

Montessori is a method of education that allows a student to learn at their own pace, while also focusing on that child’s specific interests.

“So we might have a five year old who is progressing at the same rate as a seven year old or a three year old who is progressing beyond a four year old or five year old. The point is to put them together so they can grow at their own pace and their own speed,” said Bays.

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Bays says if a student is advancing quickly, the program allows for adjustments.

“They don’t need to stay in that same setting or that same classroom the entire year. We are going to nurture them and propel them forward, and the reverse is true, if somebody needs a little more love and care and some remediation, then we can hold them right where they need to be without being worried about the constraints of the school year,” said Bays.

She says the program is flexible and immersive.

“So they are going to be going outside every day to do some of their writing, to do some of their reading,” said Bays.

Applications for the program opened Wednesday and with only 54 spots available at Essrig Elementary School, students will be selected at random.

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“I just want to give my kids a head start in education and from what i’ve read, it’s a really good program,” said parent, Bamar Lewis.