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Greenwich Daily Voice serves Greenwich, CT

Whitby Promotes Global Awareness

Students at the Whitby School in Greenwich are taught to think on a global level. Whitby, the oldest Montessori school in the country, recently was accredited as an International Baccalaureate program, which means students who transfer to any school with the same accreditation will have a seamless shift in studies.

"Studies are designed so that a student in Switzerland will be learning the same thing as, say, a student at a school in Japan," said Monica Green, president of the Parents Association.

Green introduced a student named Francesco, who moved from Germany last year and couldn't speak any English except for "Hello." Now 5-year-old Francesco is not only speaking English fluently, but writing it too.

"We try to build internationally minded students who someday may enter jobs that haven't even been created yet, but by receiving a Montessori education, they learn how to be good inquirers and researchers to prepare for that unknown," said Bob Horne, Whitby marketing and communications director. Whitby serves more than 350 students from preschool through eighth grade.

Students learn not only their role in a global society, but also how they impact on a local level. This year, Green said, the Parents Association is planning events under the banner "Building Our Community." For Thanksgiving, the association is planning a cross-cultural awareness program on Nov. 19 where children, parents and teachers will sit and eat a feast together.

In the spring, the school will hold its annual benefit, which includes an auction. In May, it will have a traditional spring fair featuring a picnic, parade and May pole dance to coincide with grandparents' day.

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