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Checks may be made out to "Ridgeline Montessori" and mailed to:
Ridgeline Montessori Public Charter School
4500 West Amazon Dr., Eugene, OR 97405
Ridgeline Montessori Public Charter School is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit; donations are fully tax deductible. Tax ID #: 93-1296441.
To learn more about why Ridgeline needs a permanent campus to call its own, watch this video and read one Ridgeline parent's account of our 2009 fire (below the video) and her hope for a permanent home for our school....
The smoke was still rising from my 5-year-old’s charred kindergarten classroom when he looked up at me: “Mama, did Boris the spider burn up in the fire?” That question, and the grief in his eyes, still haunts me.
On June 24, 2009, my son’s public K-8 Montessori school suffered a horrendous fire. Ridgeline Montessori Public Charter School had already let out for the summer, so thankfully nobody was harmed. But our main classroom wing burned down—seven of our nine classrooms turned to ash. The police and fire department still can’t tell us why.
Buildings can burn, and people go on with their lives. But Ridgeline Montessori was something special. My family had moved to Eugene, Oregon, in part for the public schools. We were thrilled when our boy—who loved to read for hours, needed to throw himself into a problem until he had mastered it, a child whose favorite word was “why”—won the admissions lottery into Ridgeline Montessori Public Charter School. At Ridgeline, our child would be guided gently by his teachers, left to build bridges, study his beloved invertebrates, and ponder the why without interruption. Soon he was doing all that in kindergarten—often while sprawled on the floor.
After the fire, the entire school community was devastated. Ridgeline had been leasing its space from the local school district, and renter’s insurance wouldn’t cover the most important things we’d lost: walls, a floor, and a roof. A home.
Our school had no choice but to downsize and split up its students into two crowded campuses a mile apart, a huge disruption to kids’ routines that cost us 15% of our enrollment. Friends couldn’t see their former classmates in the schoolyard, and elementary students were no longer able to interact with their role models, the middle-schoolers who were a mile away.
All of Ridgeline’s students are overjoyed to be back together again on one campus after two years apart. But we only have a one-year lease. Our students and teachers crave the stability of ownership: a forever home so that children of all learning styles can continue to benefit from the free, public Montessori education at Ridgeline. An education that is vital for all our children, but especially for the nearly 40% of our student body who qualify for free or reduced lunch. Without Ridgeline, a Montessori education is simply beyond reach for these families.
After years of constant searching, we’ve found a positively dreamy building we’ve agreed to try to purchase, one that would be turn-key and ready for students in fall 2012. With the greatest of excitement, I can report that the building is affordable, the financing is available, and we’re close to being able to afford our “forever home.”
But we need support not just from our local community, but also from the larger Montessori community, so we can secure financing and have the resources to operate the school, ensuring that all of our children can thrive. In addition, the purchase of our forever home will allow Ridgeline to provide a free Montessori education to 25% more students.
you for considering a contribution to our Ridgeline Rising campaign.
Wondering about Boris, the kindergarten tarantula? He’s a survivor...just like our school.
We thank you,
R i d g e l i n e
R e b u i l d e r s !
Many thanks to our generous Montessori friends for their gifts and support:
Montessori Academy at Belmont Greene
West Side Montessori