Bob Hope School expands to offer Montessori program

Published 10:14 am Friday, May 27, 2016

Open enrollment has begun for the brand new Bob Hope Elementary School.

The Montessori school will include grades prekindergarten through second grade and be at the former site of Trinity Baptist Church, 4301 32nd St.

Texas Education Agency gave the green light for Bob Hope School to expand from its current configuration of grades 6 through 12 to include pre-K to fifth grades. Bob Hope School Superintendent Bobby Lopez said they would begin with the lower grades and gradually phase in the other grades.

A sign outside the former Trinity Baptist Church announces registration for the new Bob Hope Elementary School. Mary Meaux/The News

A sign outside the former Trinity Baptist Church announces registration for the new Bob Hope Elementary School.
Mary Meaux/The News

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DeEtta Culberton, information specialist with TEA, said the agency also approved the increase in enrollment from 750 to 1,400 effective July 1.

The main campus for grades 6-12 is at 2849 Ninth Ave.

“We have 600 students on the waiting list for the sixth- through 12th-grade campus at this time, and in just a week and three days, when we began taking applications for the new PK to second grade program, we have close to 200 students on the waiting list,” Lopez said.

Officials with the Bob Hope School closed on the purchase of the new building on May 5 and just recently got news from TEA about the acceptance of their application for expansion.

“We have a great board. I just love their confidence. They said you’re doing a great job, we’re going to move and went forward with the purchase,” Lopez said. “They were just smart about it.”

But there’s a lot to be done before the new school can open. Church leaders were in the process of moving out of the large, multi-winged building late last week as construction crews moved in for renovations.

Virginia Rogers, who will lead the Montessori School, speculated the left wing of the church will be used for the younger students, with plans to use the right wing for third through fifth grades later.

The PK-2-grade school’s curriculum will be based on the educational approach created by Maria Montessori of Italy.

“It’s a child-centered educational approach,” he said. “They work with a lot of individualized learning – physical, emotional, social and cognitive, to develop the whole child. It’s rare for a public school to offer this program; usually it’s private schools.”

The new program will also offer dual language classes to allow English speaking students to learn Spanish and Spanish speaking students to learn English.

Lopez said they are looking to hire teachers and will offer a month-long training program for teachers in July.

Bob Hope School opened its doors in 2010 with 250 students. Years later they expanded to include 450 students, then 520 students, he said.

Mary Meaux: 721-2429
Twitter: @MaryMeauxPANews