‘The plant knows innately how to grow’

Collaborative College High School opens in Hurleyville

By LIAM MAYO
Posted 8/17/21

HURLEYVILLE, NY — The spirit of exploration drives education at all levels of the Homestead School, a Montessori school with campuses in Glen Spey and Hurleyville. Starting this fall, Homestead …

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‘The plant knows innately how to grow’

Collaborative College High School opens in Hurleyville

Posted

HURLEYVILLE, NY — The spirit of exploration drives education at all levels of the Homestead School, a Montessori school with campuses in Glen Spey and Hurleyville. Starting this fall, Homestead students will have the increased opportunities to explore supported by college-level resources.

On Friday, August 15, officials from the State University of New York (SUNY), the Center for Discovery (CFD) and the Homestead School gathered to break the ground for a new collaborative college high school (CCHS).

The high chool comes about as a partnership between the Homestead School and SUNY Sullivan. Jay Quaintance, president of SUNY Sullivan and long-time champion of the early-college model in New York, spoke about the opportunities such an approach provided for CCHS students.

“Early colleges, much like the Montessori movement, share the principle that we need to provide quality educational opportunities that help students become the best versions of themselves,” he said. “And that doesn’t always mean fitting into the traditional educational model.”

CCHS will build on both movements in “new and exciting ways,” said Quaintance, providing students with the resources to pursue questions that are meaningful for their individual experiences, and supported by the facilities and faculty at SUNY Sullivan.

The Homestead School currently offers a Montessori education to children in grades K-8. With the addition of CCHS, the Homestead School will expand its individual-focused approach, starting with an inaugural class of 9th grade students this coming fall.

CCHS will be located at 202 Main Street in Hurleyville, in a building that formerly housed the CFD’s THINC lab. The location allows for the high school to partner closely with local businesses and opportunities in Hurleyville, as well as with opportunities at the CFD.

The high school’s partnership with SUNY Sullivan gives students access to a wide variety of college-level classes and facilities, in areas ranging from the natural and health sciences to visual arts and farm-to-table culinary studies. Students will attend college-level courses at the Hurleyville location, and will have the opportunity to attend classes at the college in later grades.

Jack Comstock, the director of CCHS, compared the philosophy of learning followed by the Montessori system, which the early-college model extends, to the nourishing and cultivating of plants. A gardener can create an environment suitable for growth, preparing the soil and providing water when needed, he said, just as faculty can provide students with the educational resources they need to succeed. “The plant, however, knows innately how to grow.”

For more information, visit www.homesteadschool.com.

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