Starting this fall, North Yarmouth Academy will offer six new grade levels.

The private school in Yarmouth plans to absorb the Meadowbrook Montessori School and offer classes from pre-kindergarten through fourth grade for as many as 60 students. It now has 264 students in grades 5 through 12.

The Meadowbrook Montessori School will move into a 3,500-square-foot colonial-style home on the larger school’s campus, said Brad Choyt, North Yarmouth Academy’s head of school.

The lower grades will employ Montessori methods through second grade, with a transition toward NYA’s curriculum in third and fourth grades.

“It felt like such a natural fit,” said Anna Langstaff, director of Meadowbrook, adding that the two schools have similar philosophies about teaching.

Choyt said he has stayed in touch with Langstaff since he came to North Yarmouth Academy two years ago and the two have visited each other’s classrooms since then. Earlier this year, some members of North Yarmouth Academy’s board of directors discussed adding lower grades when Langstaff approached the academy about renting space.

The conversation eventually turned to a merger.

The new school will be called the North Yarmouth Lower School, dropping the reference to its Montessori roots even though the teaching practices will remain for younger students.

So far, 38 students have enrolled, and Choyt said he expects the remaining seats to fill by the start of the next school year. The additional students and classes were approved by NYA trustees last week.

Choyt said Montessori-style education emphasizes self-confidence, curiosity and persistence, aligning with the larger school’s mission.

“It was a pretty unique coincidence that as I was working on this, it was something our trustees were also considering,” Choyt said.

Langstaff said that for her students, the merger will unlock access to programs that a small, independent school could not otherwise afford.

Administrators will consider reinstituting a violin program and beginning to teach youngsters a foreign language.

The roughly 30 students who are now at Meadowbrook will have a chance to continue their education at North Yarmouth Academy. Choyt said annual tuition will be $7,900 for half-day pre-kindergarten and kindergarten, and $11,900 for full-day. Tuition for elementary grades will be $12,900.

Choyt said the tuition represents a “modest increase” from what Meadowbrook has charged, and Langstaff said the new tuition is in line with previously planned increases.

Matt Byrne can be contacted at 791-6303 or at:

[email protected]

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