A Clintonville resident is bringing Community Montessori Columbus' special brand of education to Northland.

The newly formed school, serving children ages 2 1/2 to 6, is leasing more than 7,000 square feet of space at Karl Road Christian Church, 5400 Karl Road.

Taylor Dautremont, founder of the school, said Montessori instruction is a departure from typical early-childhood education.

"It's a philosophy of education that is child-centered, hands-on, and we build multiage learning communities," Dautremont said.

The school offers spots for 48 students. Community Montessori, which is not affiliated with the church, includes a full kindergarten curriculum, she said.

Dautremont said Northland was an ideal spot for the school, which is scheduled to open Sept. 30.

"I chose Northland, and this location in particular, when I was shopping for a school because it was maximally accessible and welcoming to the most diverse group of Columbus families," said Dautremont, who added that the school is not religiously affiliated.

She said she wants her school to serve as many people as possible, so the fee schedule is structured in a way that needy families who qualify could apply for subsidies through Franklin County Job and Family Services.

Services can range from full-year education to day care just a couple of days a week, said Dautremont, who grew up in Bexley.

Much of the space is carved into two classrooms, called children's houses, at the school, and each is staffed with a house guide and an assistant.

Dautremont, 35, said the school also features 15,000 square feet of natural and outdoor space.

"What is really important, what we really stress, is building independence and caring for themselves and their environment," she said.

"We work on making our space very much like a second home," she said.

Dautremont earned her bachelor's degree at Denison University and studied Montessori education in India.

She said she liked its sensitive approach to learning and serving the individual students in multiage classrooms.

Community Montessori Columbus is not affiliated with any other school, but Dautremont is seeking recognition from Association Montessori Internationale, whose mission is to use its "internationally recognized authoritative voice regarding the unique nature of childhood and natural human development to advocate for the rights of children and adults to have access to nurturing, developmentally appropriate, educational environments," according to its website.

Tyisha Hatch, director of business for Community Montessori School, said she's eager for the inaugural season to start.

"This is going to be quite different because I came from the charter side of education," Hatch said.

gseman@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekGary