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Thursday, 18 Dec 2014

Programs

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The Toddler Program: 18 to 36 months

Dr. Montessori recognized that toddler aged children absorb great amounts of knowledge from their environment quickly and effortlessly. The Montessori toddler classroom is thoughtfully prepared to foster the growth of this unique period of time and is a nurturing and rich learning environment.


Children's House: Ages 3 to 6

The Pre-K environment, first and foremost, is a "children’s house": a calming and respectful space that belongs to the children in scale, proportion, flow, comfort, safety, and inspiration. It is a hands-on, interactive, sensorial environment that "calls" to them. It is a place "of grace and beauty". It is here that the seeds of literacy, numeracy, care of self, others and the environment are sown. Both the practical and wondrous are offered in response to the child’s innate striving toward independence, toward the desire and ability to "do it for myself".

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Elementary: Ages 6 to 12

Two programs (Lower El: Ages 6 to 9, Upper El: Ages 9 to 12) are companion environments defined by non-interference in the learning process; they are conceived as continuums and designed to accommodate the full range of possibility and potential and wonder of each child throughout this expansive plane of development (the age of fairness and justice and exploration) as well as a freedom of movement during the work cycle; it is a "cosmic age" of looking outward to the universe, backward to the dawn of time, and inward to one’s own role and sense of purpose; therefore, the classrooms must provide students prepared and inspiring access to the necessary tools, materials, adults, technology, the outdoors, and one another so as to meet their imagination and thirsts head-on. These too are hands-on spaces that thrive on attention to order and care; most importantly, they are where students come to construct their own learning and, in turn, themselves.

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Middle School: Ages 12 & Up

The Middle School is part transition zone, part staging area, part performance, part R & D space, part Silicon Valley, and part launching pad. It is the place where the key materials of one’s childhood classrooms are traded for the tools of society: where the manipulative is exchanged for the calculator; the notebook for the computer, the concrete for the abstract. The Middle School environment serves the ample reflective, introspective, and intellectual needs of the adolescent. It also serves as refuge during a tumultuous phase of development as students prepare for entry into adult society. The need to "follow the adolescent" is great and the environment must keep up, must be there to support, must encourage them to push on. The Middle School environment is all about flexibility and technology, large scale projects and intimate dialogue. The essence of the Middle School environment is that it meets the radically changing and diverse interests, passions, and needs of the adolescent.

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“Respect all the reasonable forms of activity in which the child engages and try to understand them.”

—Dr. Maria Montessori


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