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Neighbors of Kane County

Montessori Academy Batavia welcomes chickens to school

Sep 26, 2016 12:26PM ● By Neighbors Magazines

After nearly a year of planning and preparing for the arrival of the chickens, the students and staff at Montessori greeted their newest school community members on the afternoon of Aug 29th.  Four hybrid white leghorn females were introduced to their new abode while the children looked on from the playground.

The chickens began laying eggs the first day they arrived and have settled in to their traditional red chicken coop. The hens are typically quiet and bring a sense of wonderment and responsibility to the academy’s students.

The academy intends for the elementary children to be the primary caretakers of no more than a future total of eight hens, including feeding, coop cleaning and maintenance, and egg collection. Older children will have the opportunity to advertise, market, and manage the sales of eggs to the Montessori parent community exclusively. Lead elementary teacher Katy Jahnke will offer guidance in this hands-on experience.

Montessori Academy’s proposal for city zoning laws to be amended for Public Facilities & Institutions zoned properties was added to the city board’s agenda in October of 2015. After minor deliberation, the city of Batavia approved Montessori Academy’s request to move forward with the project during the November 2015 board meeting.

Students at Montessori Academy of Batavia range from preschool through 8th grade with a teacher-to-student ratio of 1:10, and are given opportunities in certified Montessori education with real-world experiences, peer mentoring, and learning environments adaptable for each child’s learning-type and personality. Founded in 1971 by Liz and Art Basler, Montessori Academy’s grounds are home to six acres of organic gardens, riverfront and prairie path land, multiple educational buildings, and two large playgrounds.

Montessori Academy of Batavia is located at 595 S. River St. in Batavia and can be contacted at 630-879-2586. More information can be found at