Morgan Academy preschool to relocate to 320 West High Street
SHEPHERDSTOWN — As the 2018-2019 school year approaches, Morgan Academy is getting ready to move its preschool into town, to 320 West High Street.
Although the school has to wait until Aug. 20 for approval by the Shepherdstown Board of Zoning Appeals, Morgan Academy Founder and Director Bernardine Somers said she doesn’t anticipate any opposition to the preschool moving into the property. The property, which is owned by Asbury United Methodist Church, has been used for a variety community and educational purposes, including as an after-school care center and as the previous home to The Light of the Child – Montessori School, which moved in May to its new location at 110 North King Street.
“We’re very happy about the potential space, because we’re moving from 500 square feet to 1,500 square feet, which will be great for the children. We’re looking forward to renovating the space, and being right in Shepherdstown,” Somers said, mentioning the preschool is currently accepting applications for this next school year.
“It happened pretty quickly in the summer, at the end of the year. Our preschool teacher, Melanie Zajicek, said it would be nice to have more space for the preschool. We just started looking, and the place fell into our laps, and here we are,” Somers said, mentioning the academy signed a three-year lease for the building in July.
Somers said the number of students — 15 per day — will not change with the change of the location, to ensure students will benefit from the larger space.
“With a light and airy environment and space to move on the inside, it really creates a creative space, that allows more hands-on, interactive learning, and allows for more creative opportunities,” Somers said.
According to Somers, the location will only require minor renovations, which can easily be done before the beginning of the school year. Somers said the location also has a nice yard, where students will be able to play and learn, when not indoors or learning about nature at the Morgan Academy campus or at other outdoor areas around the community.
“Despite the preschool’s change in location, we’ll continue teaching our outdoor program focused on nature-based learning, so (the preschoolers) will still be outdoors a good majority of the time,” Somers said, mentioning preschoolers will visit Morgan Academy’s campus twice a month, to use the nature trail and learn about the academy’s farm animals.
Along with moving to a new location, the preschool is gaining a second teacher — Annie Thompson, who worked for over 10 years at Trinity Episcopal Church’s preschool. Thompson will co-teach with Vajicek, who has taught at Morgan Academy for five years, and has 25 years of teaching experience, according to Somers.
Morgan Academy’s kindergarteners will now use the former preschool room, to give the kindergarten through eighth-graders more space.
To find out more or apply for the 2018-2019 school year, visit learnatmorgan.com/morgan-academy-preschool/.