Clark Montessori High School

Clark Montessori High School
Peter H. Clark Montessori Junior High and High School
3030 Erie Ave.
Cincinnati, Ohio, (Hamilton County), 45208
 United States
Coordinates 39°11′20″N 84°31′13″W / 39.18889°N 84.52028°W / 39.18889; -84.52028Coordinates: 39°11′20″N 84°31′13″W / 39.18889°N 84.52028°W / 39.18889; -84.52028
Type Public, Coeducational high school
Established 1994
School district Cincinnati Public Schools
Superintendent Mary Ronan[1]
Principal Rupa Townsend[1]
Grades 7-12
Enrollment 710
Color(s) Royal Blue and Black [1]         
Athletics conference Miami Valley Conference[1]
Team name Cougars[1]
Athletic Director Corey Parker[1]

Peter H. Clark Montessori Junior High and High School, usually referred to as Clark Montessori, is a junior and senior high school in Cincinnati, Ohio, United States.

The school has around 700 students as of August 2009. Its location was in the Hyde Park–area woods, on the former estate of Ohio Governor Myers Y. Cooper (1929–1931), with trails in its "backyard".[2] Recently completed in these woods is a small, ancient-Greek–style amphitheatre. However the school has been located in its temporary home in Winton Terrace since the 2007/2008 school year. Clark is supposed to move back into its permanent home on Erie Avenue, pending the new building's completion, for the 2011/2012 school year.

Clark is a part of the Cincinnati Public Schools. Founded in 1994 as a seventh-grade extension of existing district Montessori elementary schools, Clark expanded with its first class to become a full junior and senior high school by the 1999–2000 school year, making it the first public Montessori high school in the United States.

Despite having no entrance exam, 99.5% of Clark seniors have graduated and 96.5% of graduates attended post-secondary education. Additionally, Clark is racially and socio-economically diverse—30-51% of students are in their family’s first generation to attend college, and 33% receive free/reduced lunch.

Each student must complete over 200 community service hours in order to receive a Clark diploma. These house may be completed with any government recognized non-profit organization and previous stewardship projects include working with the Ohio State School for the Blind and Habitat for Humanity.

Four years of core classes at the honors level are required. Each student also must complete a 30-40 page thesis during their senior year. This project, known as the senior project, allows students to develop time-management skills, research a topic of choice with a qualified mentor, and utilize a university library. Many seniors take advantage of Saturday morning and after school help sessions hosted by senior team teachers in order to complete their senior project and stay caught up in other classes. All of the core teachers at Clark are expected to host at least one "help night" a week where struggling students can get one one one attention and improve their understanding of the subject.

In the four years of high school, students participate in eight extensive, academically rigorous two week (ten day) field studies referred to as intersessions. All freshman must complete an introduction to high school intersession in the fall of their ninth grade year, while all sophomores complete community service, juniors look at post secondary options, and seniors go on job internships. In the spring all students choice an intersession. Choices for the spring intersession include: Appalachian trail, travels to Morocco, Spain, Costa Rica, and the Philippines, community service with Habitat for Humanity, Cincinnati History, film production, life on a farm, improvements to school's environment, and meditation. Each year the spring intersession options change and financial aid is offered.

Students and families, carefully guided through the college process, also receive individual support with the financial aid process. There is a college mentor for each the junior and senior class, of about one hundred students.

Overall, student-led education unites parents, students, and teachers into an extraordinary support system. We learn, achieve, and thrive together.

The school has been given a rating of "effective" by Cincinnati Public Schools, but has been given many higher honors by education magazines and was in the top three school selected in Barack Obama's 2010 Race to the Top.


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