MANHATTAN — A Montessori preschool opening in SoHo next fall will have a terrace playground that will filter light down into the classrooms below.
SoHo Montessori, at 75 Sullivan St., will serve 185 children ages 2 to 5 years old. It will be nearly identical to a Montessori preschool that opened in the Flatiron in September and will help with the demand for preschools in the area after the nearby Children’s Aid Society on Sullivan Street discontinued its preschool program in the neighborhood in 2012.
“There is even more demand since that school shut down,” said Marcos Ciocca, founder of both Montessori schools. “A lot of parents have expressed interest in us.”
The SoHo school, at the former site of the Sullivan Street Bakery, will have two play areas — a second-floor terrace playground with skylight cutouts that provide natural light to the classrooms below, and an indoor playground with floor-to-ceiling windows. In comparison, the Flatiron school at 5 W. 22nd St. has one indoor playground with overhead skylights.
Tuition for 2-year-olds will be $19,700 for a half-day program and $27,450 for a full day. For 3- to 5-year olds, the full-day program will cost $25,950.
The school will take up the first three floors of an eight-story building with residential housing on the upper floors. There will be 10 classrooms, each with two teachers, where youngsters will explore their five senses, practice fine-motor skills and be exposed to math and “cultural subjects” such as zoology, botany and foreign languages.
“We feel that parents in SoHo will really appreciate the school because we foster independent learning and creativity,” said Ciocca, 34. “The neighborhood has that feeling and style.”
The Montessori method is a child-centered approach to learning based on the work of Italian educator Maria Montessori. It emphasizes giving children independence, classrooms with kids of varying ages and infrequent interruptions while children are working, according to the school’s website.
The SoHo Montessori and the Flatiron Montessori were founded by Ciocca and his sister Angela Ciocca. The pair also founded two Montessori schools in Miami called La Prima Casa, roughly 15 years ago.
Construction at SoHo Montessori began this summer and Ciocca expects to give school viewings to parents by June 2014.
The school is now accepting applications for next fall. To get more information or to register, visit www.themontessorischools.org.