Our Highland Mill Montessori School community began in the fall of 1996 at Billingsville Montessori School on Skyland Avenue. We opened with federal magnet funding in addition to regular state and local funds. The first year we had our Pre-K through 3rd grade Montessori community and also 5th and 6th graders who remained with us in a traditional program - essentially, two schools at one building site.
We began our Montessori program with Pre-K to 3rd grade classes. About half the children were new to Montessori. Some staff and children came from Amay James—the first Montessori program in our school system. We encouraged students who were new to Montessori to attend a summer session of classes.
With a combined effort of parents and staff, we worked to prepare the school by painting rooms, preparing garden areas, and moving furniture and materials. In August of 2002, we moved our staff and students to Highland Mill Montessori on Clemson Avenue.