Two new Montessori schools to open in Folsom at site of shuttered private preschool

Two new Montessori schools are scheduled to open in Folsom at the site of the former Brighton school that closed earlier this year.

The parent company, Higher Ground Education, will open the Guidepost Montessori campuses off Levy Road in January 2020, according to a news release from Quattro Development, which purchased the property for $4.49 million. The site includes a nearly 10,000-square-foot building and a 6,600-square-foot building, which Quattro Development will lease to Higher Ground Education.

Higher Ground has opened 28 schools since 2016, with 40 more planned across the U.S. by the end of this year, the company said.

The two new Montessori campuses in Folsom will be housed in the space formerly occupied by Brighton, a private preschool that had served the community for more than 25 years.

In January, Brighton Schools abruptly closed its two preschools in Folsom and Granite Bay, leaving employees and parents scrambling for new job and school placements.

“Higher Ground’s mission is to modernize and mainstream the international Montessori movement, and thereby enable children across the world to realize their human potential as knowledge-guided, value-oriented, efficacious beings, so that they experience the joyous process of growing into successful adults,” said Guy Barnett, vice president and chief development officer of Higher Ground Education, in an email. “We are looking for additional locations throughout the United States and more in the Sacramento region.”

The Montessori model, founded by Maria Montessori in the early 1900s, encourages a “student-led and self-paced but guided, assessed and enriched” education, according to the American Montessori Society. Guidepost Montessori is a national network of nearly 40 schools that serve children from infancy to middle school, depending on location. Classrooms often are multi-age, designed to provide opportunities for independence.

Folsom currently has three Montessori campuses: Folsom Montessori School, Folsom Lake Montessori Academy and Sundance Montessori, which all serve children 5 and under.

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Sawsan Morrar covers school accountability and culture for The Sacramento Bee. She grew up in Sacramento and is an alumna of UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. She previously freelanced for various publications including The Washington Post, Vice, KQED and Capital Public Radio.