The Hundred Acre School Is Expanding and Renovating to Provide More Options for Families

February 10, 2021

 The Hundred Acre School, the Pre-K through Grade 1 STEM school at Heritage Museums & Gardens, will be expanding to add two new classrooms by renovating existing space in the same building as the current school. The wing of the building currently housing The Heritage Collection exhibit will be remodeled to contain classrooms, and the addition of a connecting hallway linking the two wings of the building will make this new school building complete.  The Looff Carousel, at the center of the building, will remain open to the public.

The expansion of the school will result in a total of 5 classrooms.  The plan is to offer a range of classrooms from Pre-K to Grade 2 in a phased in approach.  The current Kindergarten students will be the first class to enter Grade 1, and the following year, Grade 2.  This will allow for Hundred Acre School students that plan to attend Sandwich Public Schools to transition to Grade 3 at the Oak Ridge school with their peers throughout the town.

“As one of the first STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) pre-schools to be opened on the grounds of a museum, it was the right school at the right time,” says Anne Scott-Putney, Heritage’s President & CEO. “We are delighted to expand to continue to meet strong community demand for small scale, outdoor oriented, pre-K and elementary education for children.”

The attached map highlights in green the footprint of the expanded school after the renovations. As an added bonus, the Hundred Acre School is also planning on building a new playground that will be located between the two wings of the school (in the area identified with a star on the map).  Renovations to the Hundred Acre School will be completed during the summer of 2021 and the expanded school will open for classes in the fall of 2021.

Now in its seventh year, the mission of The Hundred Acre School is to teach children to wonder, play, question, explore, discover and learn together while developing the habits that assure superior success as engaged and productive citizens. The Hundred Acre School engages students in active learning using Heritage’s museum collections, physical facilities and 100-acre grounds. Vital to the school’s success is the use of the scientific method and design thinking to guide exploration and discovery. On each measure of student achievement, enrollment, family satisfaction, innovative curriculum and contribution to the long term sustainability of Heritage, The Hundred Acre School has earned its place as a pace-setter and national model for early STEM education.

Once the renovation is complete, the Looff Carousel will re-open to visitors pending Massachusetts re-opening guidelines allowing for Phase 4 activities, including carousels. Heritage’s permanent collection will be stored in the short term, ultimately moving to its new home in the Special Exhibitions Gallery, with new gallery space also planned.

A portion of the funding for this project has been provided by individual donors and foundations. The ADA pathway and other construction costs have been provided by the Massachusetts Cultural Facilities Fund, a program of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, administered through a collaborative arrangement between MassDevelopment and the Mass Cultural Council.

Admission at the Hundred Acre School is on a rolling basis, and because space is limited, families are encouraged to enroll soon to secure their spot.

For more information, please visit our website at 100acreschool.org or email the Director of The Hundred Acre School, Melissa Russell, M.Ed., at mrussell@heritagemuseums.org.

 About Heritage Museums & Gardens:     

Celebrating 50 years in 2019, Heritage Museums & Gardens, is set on 100 stunning acres of gardens, nature trails, and open spaces. It is the only place where you can browse through rare works of art, stroll through stunning gardens, and see iconic antique automobiles all in one day. Explore Hidden Hollow™, an interactive outdoor discovery area for kids of all ages. Take a ride on the vintage carousel. And find your own special spot on Cape Cod.

Media Contact:   Judith Goetz

508-888-3300, x 115

jgoetz@heritagemuseums.org

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