New school will begin teaching students at the former Adams Elementary on September 6
QUINCY — The leadership of the Ulmus Academy has signed a three-year lease to open at a site where thousands of children spent their formative years in elementary school.
The Academy agreed to a three-year lease with Rupp Enterprises LLC for the northeast wing of the former Adams Elementary School building at 2001 Jefferson. They will be utilizing ten classrooms to start, with some will be converted to science and math labs, administrative offices, and a cafeteria area.
“It’s such a huge relief to have our home that is permanent,” said Ulmus Director Jen Wiemelt. “We did have some temporary options that we could have opted for. But it was going to be a logistical nightmare for both us and our parents just because of the transportation challenge we already have. So, having one building with all of our students in one secure place is huge, huge relief.”
The Ulmus (Latin for Elm) Academy will focus on the Classical Method of Education. The organizing principle is known as the Trivium (Latin for “three ways”). This three-stage approach is comprised of grammar, logic, and rhetoric. The Academy will strive to impart upon students the “tools of learning”: skill in knowledge, skill in logical analysis, and skill in oral and written communication.
When searching for a location, Wiemelt stressed that student and staff security, particularly in today’s climate, was at the top of the list.
“The most precious, precious people we have in our lives are our children,” she said. “So, making sure that they are locked in, and other people are locked out and the only people in their building are authorized people. It was the most important part of our decision making.”
The Academy currently has about 65 students enrolled and will accept approximately 90 for the upcoming school year. The school still needs a headmaster, one more teacher and new playground equipment.
Wiemelt admits the first year, with classes starting September 6, (the day after Labor Day) will have its kinks. But like any private educational institution, she knows financial support will always be critical.
“We are comfortable now, but that is probably our biggest challenge right now,” she said. “We’ve gotten a couple of nice big donations. But they are a one off, you know, so we’re wanting to really get out there into the community and talk about this monthly recurring donation.”
The Academy is running a monthly pledge campaign asking people to provide a donation, no matter the amount, in support of their mission.
But what matters now is Ulmus Academy has a home. A safe and secure home. And school will start on schedule on September 6.
“I cannot believe the doors that have opened (for us)”. Wiemelt says. “I mean, we were on the brink of signing a lease agreement (for a facility) that was not as secure. Then Rupp Enterprises came back with an agreement out of nowhere and said, ‘Hey, I heard about you guys, we’d love to partner with you.’ And I mean, it’s just an absolutely perfect space. So, there’s just stuff that has happened and makes you go ‘oh my gosh, we’re gonna pull this off in less than a year’. It’s crazy.”
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