Wicomico group seeks input on new private high school

 

By fall 2017, Salisbury could have another high school.

There are plans for a new, private school for grades nine to 12, that would continue the kind of education Wicomico Day School provides, but continue to graduation, explained Todd Becker, who has helped plan and open schools in other countries.

Called The Peninsula School, it would be at Philmore Commons, 424 Phillip Morris Drive, and offer a low student-teacher ratio.

The curriculum would include humanities, arts, athletics, practical life experience and STEM courses, in science, technology, engineering and math.

The plan is to start with only ninth grade, then, each year, add a level.  The first graduating class would be in 2020.

“We want to offer a learning atmosphere, which is small enough to create a community of learning, where the love of learning is at the center point,” said Becker, one of the organizers.

“It’s an intangible thing but when you have the right mix of students and teachers, when it’s large enough to run but small enough so there is regular interaction among students and teachers at different grade levels, when  you aren’t teaching to the test, but teaching to knowledge – that’s what we want to do,” Becker said.

A news release described the philosophy as “encouraging students to develop a love for learning, which will prepare them academically, practically and spiritually to enter university and life with a solid basis to develop each student’s own individual learning passions, qualities and skills under the tutorial guidance of the teaching staff.”

It would be designed for parents and students who have been attending schools that end at middle school, the home schooled “and others who seek a learning and growth atmosphere in a small, but intensive learning environment which balances the academic discipline of the state of Maryland educational requirements with the opportunity to explore one’s own learning desires and aptitudes,” the news release states.

Becker estimated tuition would be $10,000 each year, or lower, and said scholarships would help cover financial needs.

Although The Peninsula School wouldn’t be associated with Wicomico Day School, it would embrace the “academic qualities, challenges, values and atmosphere which are the hallmark of that school,” the news release states.

“We are looking for corporate sponsors to give scholarships or supply in-kind contributions,” Becker said.

He added that it couldn’t open until 2017 because much work is necessary, from getting approval from the state and accreditation institutions to applying for a tax-exempt status.

He envisioned 12 to 20 students enrolled when the school opens.

“We are really at the start. We’re looking for interested parents. We want people to let us know, are they interested in having their children come here? Are they interested in working?

“This is our information call-out. We are looking for people to work with us as volunteers, to be on board, to bring their expertise and bring their knowledge,” Becker said.

Those interested can e-mail to cekbecker@aol.com or call 410-422-9396.

 

Reach Susan Canfora at scanfora@newszap.com.

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