Two New Schools Offering Education in Downtown Covington
There are two new schools in downtown Covington offering private education to local youth.
One is already open and another plans to open for the next school year.
Community Montessori is now offering half-day pre-kindergarten and all-day kindergarten through eighth grade. It opened this school year in the former Methodist church located at Fifth and Greenup streets.
Terri Rentrop, head of school at Community Montessori, stated that parents in Covington had two options for their children's education: public or Catholic schools. A new option was needed, she said.
"We have found that many families are practicing a different faith, or didn't want to join a Catholic school foundation," Rentrop said. "We think that Montessori is the option that the community is asking for."
Ana Summe, a Lower Elementary teacher at Community Montessori who teaches 6 to 9-year-olds, explained that the Montessori model thrives in a non-denominational space because of the open-minded nature inherent in the method of teaching.
Summe also expressed optimism using the Montessori method during the pandemic, which has pushed schools, public and private, to virtual learning models.
"All of our teachers are co-founders of the school, and we’ve all been very unified in making things work," Summe said. The Montessori model is making a lot of sense between the students and the teachers – it flows very well from the classroom to the virtual realm. We are fortunate to have such a great school community."
Summe also said that Community Montessori is taking strides to create a learning environment within Covington's neighborhoods.
"Our students have recess at Randolph Park and do their research at Covington's branch of the Kenton County Library," Summe said. "It's rewarding to walk with the students through the city and telling them 'this is your community, these are your neighbors.'"
Meanwhile, Covington Classical Academy is currently renovating an historic building on the 400 block of Madison Avenue that was previously occupied by Anthe Machine Works.
It plans to serve students in eighth grade and high school with options for early admittance for particularly advanced students. It will begin offering its advanced curriculum next August.
Kelly Kusch, head of school at Covington Classical Academy, said that her institution will also use the city's resources to offer students unique learning experiences.
Kusch, who described Covington Classical Academy as a classical liberal arts high school, said that students will study four years of Latin in addition to traditional subjects to develop strong critical thinking skills and to become life-long learners.
She also expressed a desire to do a class trip during students' junior year at Covington Classical Academy.
"A couple of things separate us from similar institutions in the area," Kusch said. "The first is our fifth-day policy, where students will experience a more hands-on lesson just about every Friday."
"The second is our fifth-year program, that allows students that are typically too young to enter college the opportunity to study abroad or work at an internship for a year so they can enter college with a little bit more experience," she continued. "We hope that this fifth-year program will alleviate fears that we commonly hear from parents about their children being too young for university."
Community Montessori's tuition is $6,000 per year for K-8 and $4,300 for the school's half-day pre-kindergarten. However, Rentrop emphasized the abundance of scholarship dollars that exist for students from ages 3 to 14.
Covington Classical Academy is currently capping its class size at 15 eighth graders and 15 ninth graders for its 2021 school year. Tuition is set at $9,750 per year.
"I love taking bright students and seeing how far they can go," Kusch concluded. "We really want to foster life-long learners."
"We really wanted to be a part of the community by partnering with the main branch of the Kenton County Library and taking advantage of Covington's parks," Rentrop said. "The community has really embraced us walking around and learning."
-Connor Wall, associate editor