Spruce Tree Montessori School was founded on March 8, 2012 by Sabrina Binkley, an inspired parent, whose son attended Fairbanks Montessori School in Fairbanks, Alaska for three years (preschool and kindergarten, age 3 – 6).
During its inaugural year, Spruce Tree Montessori School welcomed seven students, in grades first and second. The following summer, Spruce Tree added an early childhood program for children ages 2.5 – 6 and created a traditional Montessori classroom environment for preschool / kindergarten children. This fall, during Year 3, we will establish an upper elementary program for the 9 – 12 age group, grades 4th – 6th.
Spruce Tree currently employs three Montessori-credentialed teachers, a teacher assistant, a part-time PE coach/after-school program guide, a school director and a cleaning assistant. The teachers manage all classroom activities and curriculum; the director is responsible for administrative tasks and serves as the organization’s chief executive officer; and the cleaning assistant cleans the school facility after hours.
The school is primarily funded by tuition. A couple of fundraising events are planned each year in an effort to raise community awareness and funds for specific school items (last year we hosted a Book Fair at Barnes & Noble for playground improvements and a Holiday Wine Tasting for adding to our library collection), and we raise minor amounts of money through sales of school merchandise and our monthly Montessori Monday outreach and parent education program.
Strategically, Spruce Tree Montessori intends to develop its reputation within the Fairbanks-North Pole community by providing a top-notch experience for children and families. Creating balanced multi-age classrooms is a top priority in the short term. In order to solidify its place in the educational community, Spruce Tree will add year-round educational opportunities this fall (Year 3) and begin work on the feasibility of an adolescent program (ages 12 – 15).