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TNSM Zoom Town Hall Meeting: February 2022

Hello Neighbors,

The New School Montessori has been a part of the North Avondale neighborhood for over 50 years! During that time we have been honored to serve many North Avondale families as their school of choice, promoting a holistic education with a focus on diversity, environmental stewardship, peace education, and the Montessori philosophy. The school has hosted North Avondale community events and for a while was a meeting space for the North Avondale Neighborhood Association. We love this neighborhood and are grateful for the surrounding community.  

We understand that our school, situated in a quiet residential neighborhood, has an impact on traffic, parking, and the bustle from the occasional outdoor event. We are committed to limiting the impact as well as building neighborhood relationships. One way we have intentionally limited our impact is through keeping our enrollment to roughly 150 students for decades. 

There are two developments happening we want to make you aware of and hopefully highlight the mutual benefits to The New School Montessori and our North Avondale neighbors. We also welcome your feedback as we go through the planning process.  

One is our recent purchase of 33 Burton Woods Lane. This property is immediately adjacent to our building at 29 Burton Woods Lane. The sellers are a New School Montessori alumni family and they offered the property as a partial donation. Due to the family being spread out throughout the country, the house had been neglected. We believe it would have been a challenge for the sellers to find someone willing to invest what would have been needed to renovate. We came to an agreement after sharing our plans to raze the house and create more natural space. There are no plans to build any type of structure on this property. We intend to plant trees, grow grass, and increase the natural beauty of our campus and neighborhood. Our purchase, we feel, was a win-win for the neighborhood and our school.  

The other development is the current New School Montessori capital campaign called the Kaleidoscope Campaign: A Beautiful Vision. One aspect of the campaign is to increase our Diversity Endowment to further support families at our school. Currently 25% of our community receives aid. We would love to create more opportunities for inquiring families, including families from the North Avondale area.

The other component to the Kaleidoscope Campaign is to address the challenge presented by our Annex building (the old church). After inspections by different architectural firms we were informed that it has lived beyond its architectural intent. As a result The New School Montessori began to have conversations around how to renovate or build new. We looked at this challenge as an opportunity to further our commitment to the arts, environmental stewardship, and community dialogue. With a new building we could fully align our mission and values through innovative earth-friendly design. The new building’s purpose would be to deepen the educational experiences for our students, not increase enrollment.

The new building (the Kaleidoscope Center) will also allow The New School Montessori to redesign our campus layout in a way that increases the natural space and opens a “greener” visual experience for our neighbors. The Annex would be razed and The Kaleidoscope Center would be pulled back to sit closer to the Mitchell Mansion. 

We are very excited about these plans and are eager to share more information. We would also like to hear your concerns, and answer any questions to the best of our ability.  

On Thursday February 17 @ 6:30 we would like to invite NANA and residents from Burton Woods Lane to join us for a ZOOM town hall meeting. If you would like to submit questions in advance so that we can be sure to have an answer during the call, please email them to, jeff.g@newschoolmontessori.com

We look forward to a productive exchange of ideas, and welcome your input. We have enjoyed being your neighbors for over 50 years, and look forward to a collaborative future together.


Jeff Groh
513.281.7999 (work)
513.379.0081 (cell)

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Meeting ID: 834 1749 2790
Passcode: FFPE11

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