Traverse City Record-Eagle

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December 6, 2011

Bertha Vos will reopen in fall 2012

School will offer Montessori, Int'l Baccalaureate curriculum

TRAVERSE CITY — School bells will ring once again at Bertha Vos.

The Traverse City Area Public Schools board voted Monday to reopen the Acme Township elementary school in the fall of 2012, offering a Montessori and International Baccalaureate curriculum.

That's good news to Acme Township Supervisor Wayne Kladder.

"I would like to say how excited we are on the east side of the school district to hear the words that Bertha Vos might be open again. That spread through our community very fast. We were getting calls left and right," Kladder told the board. "When the school closed, on the last day of school, I was there. The flag was lowered, it was folded up, and we have that flag at the township office. I would suggest to you that when you open that school next September, you use that same flag and raise it up again."

The move to reopen the school comes four years after the district made a controversial decision to close it along with two other neighborhood elementary schools: Norris and Glenn Loomis.

Glenn Loomis is now the home of TCAPS' existing Montessori program. Norris remains vacant, but the district is negotiating its sale with a New York-based children's author who hopes to make it a community and arts center.

Bids were solicited for both Bertha Vos and Norris, but none were received for the Acme Township school.

Megan Crandall said the community's feedback regarding the reopening was overwhelmingly positive, but a few people raised concerns that a Montessori and International Baccalaureate program takes resources away from traditional programs. She said others were upset that the "traditional students at Bertha Vos weren't good enough to keep the school." She disagreed with both opinions.

"I believe that this is a way to offer kids a different way of learning. Kids learn differently, and we have to be ready to adapt to that and offer ways for them to learn the way they need to learn," Crandall said.

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