There is an important distinction between reading and literacy at MMS. Reading is a mechanical process, and we are happy with our successes in teaching the mechanics of reading, but we aim for something higher. It is our intent to foster a culture of literacy, and we do this by imbuing our classroom and school environment with wonderful literature at all levels. We invite you to pursue our “reading lists.” We hope you join our community of readers.
MMS's Infant Program, known as The Nest, is designed for children from the age of six weeks to eighteen months. Montessori infant specialists must be keen observers and must also provide the nurturing that infants need in order to achieve those important early developmental milestones.
To learn more about Montessori infant/toddler communities, please click here and see classrooms in action.
The Nest's atmosphere communicates unconditional love and acceptance. Infants need to be socially and intellectually stimulated. This stimulation is achieved through exposing the infants to a variety of objects that are appropriate to their respective age and developmental stage. In order to evaluate what each child is ready to experience, staff members must be well versed in Montessori infant methodology and pedagogy.
The Nest fosters an environment that makes infant learning a positive experience. The primary goals of this program are to foster the development of basic trust and to assist in the normal development of the personality. Gaining this trust requires the infant specialists to be extremely attentive to the individual child's needs. Instead of following a stringent schedule, the staff respects the individual child's rhythm pattern of activities.
Infants primarily learn through their senses, so in order to promote sensorial learning, they require the freedom to observe and navigate within their classroom environment. The job of the infant specialist is to communicate with the infant in a meaningful way, which requires the specialist to be very much aware of both verbal and non-verbal communication strategies.
The overall goal of the infant program is to help infants gain some level of control and independence over their world. Independence is achieved through the infants taking an active role in their own self-care, developing effective ways to communicate with those around them, and gaining the confidence to navigate the world with confidence and to enjoy the explorative process.
MMS's Toddler program is designed for children from the age of eighteen months to three years. Parents can enroll their toddler in either the three-day or five-day program; both programs operate from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. If parents choose the former option, they should schedule their child for consecutive days, as this schedule proves to be most optimal for this age group. The environment is designed with the child in mind, as can be observed by the size of the classroom's furniture and the objects throughout the room.
To learn more about Montessori infant/toddler communities, please click here and see classrooms in action.
At the toddler level, less of an emphasis is placed on materials and curriculum. Instead, the toddler educators focus on aiding these young students in their early explorations of the world around them. A great deal of emphasis is placed on the development of gross motor and language skills. While the preschool child is fairly centered in the world and inner-directed, the toddler child is still in that earlier stage of separation. The toddler child is still acclimating to the world of sights sounds, and movements; the child is in awe of the object world, which, due to its relative novelty, can quickly overwhelm these young children. It is the teacher's job to nurture and assist the toddler child as he/she goes through this explorative process. These adults must first have confidence in themselves in order to assist toddlers in developing new and improved strategies for interpreting and relating to the world around them.
Upon completing the three-year cycle within the Toddler House, the child should be ready to embark upon the next stage of his/her Montessori journey, the Preschool Program. In preparation for this step, the toddler child will have learned the necessary social, verbal, and motor skills to communicate with this older age group. These language skills will prove especially important because at the next level, they will be more formally introduced to the symbolic elements of language, such as handwriting and basic literacy skills.
MMS's preschool program, known as the Children's House, is designed for children from the age of three to six years. At this level, as at all levels of Montessori education, the focus is on the individual student. With a ratio of ten or fewer children to each adult, each child receives adequate social and intellectual guidance within the classroom environment. The youngest children in the classroom develop social skills, learn to work in groups, and gain independence. Second-year students work at their own pace, while focusing on peer-to-peer social skills and also lessons. The third year in the Montessori preschool classroom is the extended day year, which is time when children make rapid academic strides. The afternoon is devoted to these extended day children. The emphasis on advanced academics and small-group lessons promotes a lifelong love of learning among children, which is a primary goal of Montessori education at each level.
To learn more about Montessori education for Preschool, please click here and see classrooms in action.
Practical life is an important element of Montessori's philosophy. In the preschool classroom, practical life skills are divided into three categories: care-of-the-self, care-of-the-environment, and physical skills. Students learn hand washing and snack preparation. They also learn how to maintain their classroom environment by taking an active role in cleaning the space. Physical skill development is very important at this level, which is why preschool students are often involved in pounding, scooping, pouring, and lacing activities. These activities, while key to successfully navigating in both the classroom environment as well as the larger world, also help the students to develop the fine motor skills necessary for handwriting and other academic skill sets.
At the preschool level, students have a great deal of freedom in terms of following their own academic interests. With the guidance of their teachers, students may select appropriate learning activities. Mathematics is introduced at the preschool level. Students use the traditional Montessori materials, such as number boards, counting beads, and fingerboards, to learn basic math facts. At this level, the basics of counting, the four operations, and the decimal system represent just some of the mathematical concepts that are covered. Students are also introduced to the sciences. At this age range, students study plants and animals. They also learn basic classification skills, such as differentiating between organic/inorganic, plant/animal, and living/non-living. Conducting experiments is also a major component of the science curriculum; these experiments often involve magnets and observing sinking and floating.
At the preschool level, children are gaining the necessary skills in order to learn the fundamentals of reading and writing. Before a child learns to read, the child must learn to listen. Listening skills in the Montessori classroom are often taught without the child even realizing that he/she is in a lesson. These skills are often taught during group time through activities such as "I Spy" games, listening to stories, and rhyming games. It is through listening that children learn to differentiate one sound from the next and begin to recognize necessary linguistic details. Activities such as puzzles and matching games prepare the child's eyes for reading. Once these audio and visual skills are developed, the child is ready to combine these skills and start the process of matching sounds to their respective symbols. The movable alphabet is used to introduce beginning and/or phonetic spelling activities. Once students understand the basics of letter sounds and are able to recognize the letters, actual writing instruction begins. Through practical life activities students have already developed the motor skills necessary for writing. The first pencil-to-paper activities include working with tracing metal insets and frames. Students only learn cursive, as it is easier than the stop-and-go of printing. With these basic skills mastered, students are ready to write complete letters, then connect letters together, and finally create whole words on the page.
Outside of mathematics, science, and language skills, preschool students are also introduced to geography. They learn about the parts of the earth, landforms, the continents and the solar system. At this level, art is also an important component of the student's day. Projects are open-ended and encourage students to experiment with different artistic mediums. Music is taught at "line time" through singing and also through an introduction to rhythm. Children also have the opportunity to learn the basics of Spanish and Chinese vocabulary and pronunciation when the foreign language teachers make their daily visits to the preschool classrooms.
The preschool program provides children with the necessary foundations in mathematics, language, and the sciences to succeed in the elementary classroom. Children leaving this classroom typically can read simple words and can also write in cursive. Their mathematical preparation leaves them prepared to take on the more advanced concepts seen at the elementary level. Perhaps, most importantly, emphasizing and encouraging positive social interactions, group work, and practical life skills, teachers ensure that the child has the necessary social skills to develop friendships and to learn at the next level.
MMS's lower elementary program, historically known in our community as the Junior classrooms, covers the traditional grades of first through third grade. At this level, experience and exploration are emphasized. As Montessori students learn by doing, the lower classrooms are rich in materials and resources. Students continue to develop practical life skills at this level; students take even more responsibility over their classroom environment. Beyond keeping the room clean, the students also must take care of the living things in the classroom, which means tending to the classroom plants and animals. At this level, students are exposed to several environments outside of the class year. They visit at least one museum each year and learn appropriate museum behavior. Students also have the opportunity to attend multiple theatre performances. It is through these experiences inside and beyond the classroom environment that students learn to appropriately interact with the people and the world around them.
To learn more about Montessori elementary level education, please click here and see classrooms in action.
At the lower elementary level, the curriculum builds upon those skills and concepts that were introduced in the Montessori preschool program. Students continue to utilize Montessori math materials in order to learn basic math facts. First-year students build upon their knowledge of the decimal system, and they are also introduced to the four arithmetic operations: addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. An introduction to fractions and monetary currency recognition are also taught at this level. Second-year students focus a great deal on multiplication; memorizing the multiplication tables is a major part of the second-year math curriculum. Students learn to multiply and divide large numbers; weights and measures are another focus. With a firm understanding of the four operations, third-year students move into more abstract mathematical concepts. More advanced fraction and decimal work are emphasized at this level. At all levels in the Junior classroom, geometrical concepts are studied. Montessori math materials continue to play an important role in the learning process for these young students.
The Montessori preschool student moves into the elementary classroom already possessing basic reading and writing skills. In the lower elementary classroom, children learn to read naturally and "organically" as reading is integrated into every facet of the classroom. Their knowledge of phonics and word-sight recognition continues to develop. First-year students read and are read simple, repetitive books. They meet in small groups to discuss what they are reading. Second and third-year students continue to develop their reading comprehension skills. The teacher will select some of the reading material, but students are also encouraged to read books that capture their interest. Instead of being taught as a single class, reading skills and lessons are integrated into the entire curriculum. There are students who need more time to develop their reading skills. These children, too, continue through our reading program and are introduced to great literature. In order to assist them further, MMS does use a comprehensive reading program, The Herman Method, which is very effective for students who need additional exposure to reading.
Beyond reading, students continue to work on penmanship. Montessori students learn to write in cursive-and only cursive. The United States is the only country in the world to teach two writing types. Cursive helps students avoid letter reversal and is the preferred method by special education specialists; cursive is also how adult communication is written. Learning print and then cursive is an unnecessary transition for the young student to make. Students are expected to practice penmanship and are given a variety of activities to improve these skills. Final assignments are to be written neatly; this is just one way that students are taught to put a great deal of time and care into their work. Along with penmanship and reading skills, students are introduced to basic grammatical concepts. They learn to identify the nine parts of speech. Grammatical work increases in complexity as the students move through the three-year curriculum.
Maria Montessori described the six-year-old child as one who is ready to explore the world. History is one subject area that really allows the child to explore and think about the world in a significant way. In many ways, history is the core of the elementary curriculum. History is taught from the big picture to the small. The child begins with the study of the universe and ends up with the study of specific peoples and cultures. In the first year, history lessons teach the concept of time, moving from hours to years to centuries and beyond. In the second year, the child studies the Fundamental Needs of People throughout time. The child gains an understanding of how people have met their physical and religious needs throughout the centuries. In the third year, the child begins the study of the universe — when and how life developed on earth. The Time Line of Life material synthesizes the child's work in history, science, geography, mathematics, etc. It is a fine example of the integrated curriculum of the Montessori classroom.
The Timeline of Life is a major curriculum component of science. Students learn to classify living things according to the Five Kingdoms classification system. Students study biology-both botany and zoology-during their three years in the program. Classification, vocabulary, and identification are the primary scientific skills they learn during their scientific studies.
Geography often connects to what students are learning in history. Students use the Montessori map puzzles and other materials to learn about the continents and countries. Third-year students choose a continent and conduct an in-depth study of it, learning about the countries and capitals as well as the socio-cultural aspects of the countries.
The early elementary curriculum expands the students' understanding of the world by requiring students to study either Spanish or Chinese. Language classes meet four times a week and emphasize speaking skills.
Beyond foreign language, students also have daily physical education classes and (barring extreme weather conditions) spend this time outdoors. They also receive instruction in art; art classes often connect to what they are learning in history class. At MMS, music education is a major part of the student's academic journey. First-year students are introduced to music through playing the recorder. They learn basic sight-reading and rhythm skills. The following year the student can choose to play one of the following instruments: violin, viola, cello, or recorder. The second- and third-year students have instrumental music twice weekly and vocal music once per week. They participate in a number of musical programs.
The lower elementary classroom provides the student with the necessary literacy and mathematical skills to move onto the upper-elementary program, where these foundations are further developed. Lower elementary students have been introduced to instrumental and vocal music, which is such a major part of MMS's curriculum. The child should matriculate from this level with an appreciation for a wide range of subjects and with the necessary foundational concepts for the complex work that upper-elementary students complete.
MMS's upper elementary program, historically known as the Intermediate Class, is designed for children ages 9-12 and covers the traditional grades of fourth through sixth. The upper elementary classroom, like the lower elementary classroom, relies more on Montessori materials than it does more traditional textbooks. However, textbooks are introduced at this level. Once students have a solid understanding of a concept in any subject area, textbooks are introduced as an additional learning tool. Practical life skills are a major part of the upper elementary classroom environment. As at the earlier academic levels, students take care of their environment and all of its inhabitants. Even greater independence is encouraged at this level. Students often are involved in the planning and selection process of class field trips, which usually include yearly museum and theatre trips. They also spend a few days away from home at a camp, where they learn about the outdoors and even have the opportunity to learn some survival skills. Students also plan classroom activities, prepare food, and run fundraisers. These are just some of the ways that Intermediate students gain independence within their classroom environment and in environments that are far removed from the classroom.
To learn more about Montessori elementary level education, please click here and see classrooms in action.
At this level, coursework becomes noticeably more complex. In mathematics, students work from textbooks for the first time (The Saxon Math Series). These textbooks are used alongside Montessori math materials. First-year students are introduced to geometry nomenclature as well as concepts such as congruency, equality, and similarity. Students also continue to build upon their knowledge of the four operations that were introduced during their time in the lower elementary classroom. They begin working with fractions and factoring. The second-year students study more complex arithmetic. Large multiplication and long division problems are completed abstractly (without materials). Montessori math materials are still very important in certain math areas, though. By the end of the year, students are adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing fractions as well as completing story problems. The third-year students master the complex concepts of squaring and square roots. The Montessori materials are used to present every new concept that appears in the text. The third-year students, using the insets of equivalence, explore the formulas for area and volume.
The study of science becomes more structured at this level. It is taught over a three-year cycle, and lessons are not divided by grade level. The first cycle is physics, where students learn about the three forms of matter and the eight forms of energy—all while gaining a deeper understanding of the scientific method. Many of these concepts are presented with the Montessori Impressionistic charts. The second cycle of the science program emphasizes geology. Topics covered include: the earth, how it is formed, types of land and water forms, along with the classification of rocks and minerals. The third cycle of science is biology, the study of vital functions, and botany. Looking at vertebrates and invertebrates, students study the functions that sustain life: respiration, circulation, digestion, sensitivity, locomotion, and reproduction. Dissection is an important part of this year's work.
Along with Mathematics and Science, the study of grammar also becomes more formalized at this level. First-year students learn to classify sentences by types. They also continue to work on identifying the parts of speech. Second-year students begin sophisticated grammatical analysis, breaking parts of speech down into specific subtypes. Verb conjugation is one of the most important concepts taught at this level. Third-year students begin identifying phrases and clauses, diagramming sentences, and working out of a grammatical textbook. All levels work on identifying parts of speech within literary excerpts.
At this level, the study of literature and history is taught in an interdisciplinary manner, with the literature books complementing and supporting what the students are currently learning in history class. Students, on average, read one literature book a month. First-year history covers humans' first appearance on earth to the ancient societies of Egypt, Greece, Rome, China and India. The Timeline of Human Life is a major learning aid in this class. Second and third-year students' history studies move much closer to home. In these grades, students study American history and read novels that reflect what was going on in American society during those years.
Like their study of reading, the students' study of geography is closely linked to the history curriculum. For example, when students study ancient Egypt, they will also study the parts of a river and irrigation. With the study of ancient Greece, students study the parts of mountains and the different kinds of islands. It is easy to imagine how the topics of geography and history can be integrated. Second-year students study the geography of America. They consider the potential impact that geography would have had on the early settlers and explorers. Third-year students study political geography of America; states and capitals are memorized. The expansion of the United States across this continent is studied at length.
Art is integrated into the history/geography/literature curriculum. Artistic concepts are taught using a variety of media, including drawing, painting, clay, and fiber. During the year, students have opportunities for showing their artwork.
Learning about the world is not limited to geography and history class. Students at the upper elementary level continue their study of foreign language (Spanish, Chinese, and Latin). At this level, students meet four times a week. Instruction combines dialogue practice, listening, reading, writing, and cultural studies.
Physical education continues at this level. Students are introduced to team sports, which offer great lessons in cooperation and understanding the rules of games. Musical education continues as well. Students continue their studies of vocal and instrumental music, and students take on larger roles in MMS's numerous musical concerts and performances.
Through intellectual, travel, and leadership opportunities, upper elementary students are becoming invested in their own educations. At this level, students are taking on complex assignments and are moving beyond the basic foundational skills taught at the earlier levels. At the end of the three-year cycle, students are prepared for the rigorous academic standards of the Middle School program. They also have the maturity and practical life experiences to take on the extensive travel opportunities that the Middle School offers. The independence and maturity gained at this level are essential for students to make a successful transition to the middle school program, where students partake in extensive travel and participate in MMS's impressive Farm Program.
Meadow Montessori’s middle school program, historically called the Senior Class, covers the traditional grades of seventh, eighth, and ninth. At this level, the students continue to gain more control over their choices and their environment. They are expected to take an active leadership role in maintaining the classroom environment and making it a comfortable space both environmentally and psychologically for themselves and for their peers.
To learn more about Montessori middle school education, please click here and see classrooms in action.
One of the ways that independence is fostered at this level is through the farm program, which is inspired by Maria Montessori’s theory of Erkinder; Montessori believed that adolescents should spend time each day working on a farm. During Farm Program, all of the children leave the confines of the classroom and spend their Friday afternoons on a working farm. Students spend time working with farm animals, preparing food, and tending to the gardens. It is experiences such as these that separate the Montessori middle school program from other middle school experiences. MMS students are learning to appreciate the outdoors while also learning essential lifelong skills.
Another way that the middle school sets itself apart is through offering extensive traveling opportunities for students. During the fall of each year, students spend a week in a rural setting, where they experience camping and other outdoor experiences; in recent years, students have traveled to the Leelanau Peninsula. Also during the fall, the third-year students visit Crow Canyon, Colorado, where they participate in archaeological digs and research and even have the chance to work alongside professionals in the field. For the final middle school trip of the year, the students visit a large city. Past cities have included Boston, Montreal, New York City, and several others.
These independence-building experiences in the classroom and beyond help Middle School students develop into self-sufficient individuals who value learning and exploration.
The Middle School curriculum is academically rigorous and is designed to ready students for intensive high school coursework. Students generally spend an hour to two hours on homework each evening. However, teachers never assign “homework for homework’s sake.” Coursework and homework are designed to promote critical thinking and logic skills; it is never merely “busy work.”
At this level, students begin to use more textbooks, particularly in the areas of mathematics and the sciences. Seventh-grade students are introduced to pre-algebraic concepts and begin to solidify their mathematical foundations. Eighth-grade students study Algebra I, which is an important foundational class for later high school mathematical work. Ninth-grade students partake in a rigorous study of Geometry. The Middle School science program runs on a three-year cycle. During the child’s three years in the program, he/she will study Chemistry, Biology, and Physics; the child will also be introduced to other pertinent scientific studies and areas along the way.
7th and 8th grade students have an English course each year. They learn basic research and citation, proofreading and revision, as well as organizational skills. Grammatical rules are introduced along the way, and when necessary, grammatical textbooks are used. Students are taught to write in various genres from fantasy fiction to the rigorous persuasive essay. At this level, students are pushed to develop strong thesis statements and to support their claims with evidence; the idea of writing for an audience is also considered at length.
At the 7th and 8th-grade levels, history and literature are taught alongside each other. The 7th grade students study history from the beginning to 1400 C.E., and the 8th-grade students study world history from 1400 to the present. The history curriculum is based on a pedagogical theory known as “Big History.” History is taught in a larger context, with an interdisciplinary focus. Connections are made among such topics as science and literature. The literature selection directly coincide with the students’ current historical studies. Depending on the year, 9th-grade students study either AP World History or AP Human Geography. Their earlier studies of World History leave them well prepared for such challenging coursework. At this level, writing becomes an additional focus of literature class.
At this level, students also continue their daily study of vocal and instrumental music. Students have daily foreign language class, physical education, and art. As you can see, the middle school students have a busy workday, which keeps them engaged in the learning process.
MMS’s middle school program prepares students for advanced-level high school work. Middle school students graduate from the middle school program with the necessary organizational, intellectual and social skills to make a smooth transition into any high school program. The majority of our middle school students choose to continue their high school educations at MMS. Given the fact that MMS’s middle school and high school curriculums complement each other so well, MMS encourages students to strongly consider moving on to the next level of this supportive academic community, where the emphasis at every level is on the individual student’s learning process and interests.
Classbook.com, the Official Online Bookstore of Meadow Montessori School.
MMS High School is designed for young adults between the ages of 15-18 (10th-12th grade). The high school program is the most recent addition to the MMS community. It was founded in 2004 at the request of two former MMS middle school students who missed the academic challenges and opportunities that an MMS education provides. Maria Montessori didn't “design” a program for high school students, but she did establish the philosophical foundation to build one. Over the past twenty years, Montessori high schools have sprouted up around the world, with only a handful here in the United States. Our program is on the forefront of defining what a Montessori high school should be.
As a college preparatory school, we are constantly looking for new and improved ways to prepare our students for that next academic step in their lives. One of the ways we accomplish this is through encouraging students to push themselves academically. Starting in their 10th grade year, students who have exhibited the necessary academic maturity are offered the opportunity to enroll in college courses at Monroe County Community College. College classes expand their academic environment, and they also give students a glimpse into what it takes to succeed at the next level. College freshmen often experience a bit of a shock their first year of college, and it is our hope that by challenging college classes while still high school students, MMS students will be better prepared for the university experience.
At the high school level, we push our students to think of the world in a global context. Travel is a major way that the high school program encourages such global thinking. Students are required to embark on at least one school-sponsored overseas trip during their high school years. Recent trips have included a service-learning trip to Belize and a trip to Italy that complemented the AP Art class that many of our students were taking that year. As you can see, the MMS high school environment is one that pushes our students to develop independence and the confidence to successfully navigate both social and academic challenges.
As a college preparatory program, MMS High School offers a rigorous academic program; the courses are designed with two goals in mind: to challenge students intellectually and to promote a love of learning. Each year, at least two Advanced Placement (AP) courses are offered. AP courses are especially challenging and are taught at the college-level. Each spring, AP students take the AP exam. Students who receive a three or higher on the exam often earn college credit.
Beyond our AP offerings, students are required to take a mathematics course each year. Class placement is determined based upon the student’s individual ability. Typically, the high school program offers at least three math courses, ranging from Algebra II and Geometry all the way up to Pre-Calculus and Calculus.
Our Science program is equally rigorous. The standard subject areas of Biology, Chemistry, and Physics are offered yearly. MMS varies its offerings a bit as well. In the past two years, students have had the option of taking an AP Environmental Science course and also a course in Ecology. Several of our students have experienced a great deal of success in taking chemistry courses at Monroe County Community College.
Students are also required to take four years of literature courses. Oftentimes, the literature curriculum is designed to complement our history curriculum. For example, if our students are studying World History, they also read World Literature. Our literature classes are designed to aid students in developing the necessary reading comprehension and writing skills in order for them to succeed in humanities courses at the university level.
MMS has an exciting history program. There are typically two history courses offered each year, and students are encouraged to select whatever course most interests them. Students are required to study history for at least three years; however, given the importance of the subject matter, we strongly encourage students to take a history classes each year. During most school years, both an AP and a non-AP history course are offered.
MMS realizes that core academic subjects are just one part of a well-rounded education. While other schools, due to budget short falls and staff shortages, continue to make cuts to non-core subject areas, MMS continues to add more arts and foreign language opportunities. High school students are required to take a Foreign Language class each year. We currently offer Spanish and Chinese. MMS has a large, dedicated music staff and offers instructions in strings, woodwinds, and vocal music. Students are required to choose an instrument to study each year and also receive vocal music training. Art classes, while not mandatory, are offered as an elective as well.
Across all levels of Montessori education, promoting a love of learning among students is a major goal of Montessori educators and students. At the high school level, educators and students alike continue to strive to meet this important expectation. One way that MMS High School attempts to meet this goal is by allowing our students to have an active voice in the learning process, which simply means that the High School staff not only listens to the students’ input but also takes it seriously. Students often request courses that interest them, and the staff does its best to meet such requests. While many high school programs require their students to read their high school handbook each year, our students have written their own handbook, and at the beginning of each year, the staff and students sit down to discuss any proposed changes to the handbook’s rules and policies. It is through simple acts such as these that students learn to challenge themselves academically, to have a voice in their own learning process, and to prepare themselves for the independence that comes with the university experience.
At this level, as at earlier levels, MMS hopes to prepare students for their next academic step. However, instead of preparing students for a move to another classroom in the school, teachers are preparing them for university, a major step in a young adult’s quest for independence and responsibility. The high school program has had tremendous success in placing students in excellent universities. Thus far, MMS students have been accepted at their top choice university each and every time, which is a tremendous accomplishment.
Our students have a lot to offer the college community. During their high school years, they have been pushed to succeed in both academic and non-academic pursuits. The extensive traveling experience that our students have provides them with a level of independence and global awareness that students in more traditional high school programs oftentimes lack. Another unique component of the MMS program is called “The Start Something New Program.” Upon graduation, high school seniors are required to complete an individual project that benefits either the school or larger community. In past years, students have developed a vast array of projects, such as a Model UN program for the 9th-grade students, a school talent show, a nature observation hut for younger students, and a school barnyard.
It is these “extra” things that impress college admissions committees and make MMS students stand out from the throngs of other applicants at competitive universities. The high school community is small, which ensures that faculty members are able to keep tabs on individual students and help them through any problems that might arise. Last year, MMS High School implemented a mentoring program. At the beginning of each school year, students select a teacher as a mentor. Mentors meet with their students each week and discuss the students’ recent academic and social successes and challenges. The mentors also help the students create goals and success strategies for themselves; it is often during mentoring sessions where “Start Something New projects are chosen. During the students’ junior and senior years, the college application and selection process becomes a major topic of conversation. It is the mentor’s job to help the students apply to appropriate schools, keep track of deadlines and other admissions material, and offer advice when it comes time to select the ideal school. Our students are usually accepted at multiple impressive universities, so the selection process can sometimes be tough.
It is through respecting the individual student’s interests and goals and through offering daily academic and practical life challenges that MMS High School ensures that each class of students is prepared for whatever opportunities or challenges await them at the next level of learning.
Extended Time Care
Extended Time Care (ETC) is available to all students enrolled at MMS. The school opens its doors at 7:00 a.m. and we close at 6:00 p.m. Every effort is made to accommodate the individual needs of parents and families.
Students in the early childhood programs (infant, toddler, and preschool) are in a Montessori environment throughout the day. A child can nap when he/she feels the need. Mealtimes emphasize grace and courtesy.
Students in the elementary and secondary programs participate in after school activities that include (but are not limited to) tutoring, athletics, 4-H, drama, and more. Each year, we update the list of clubs and activities.
The school is open 48 weeks a year; we close for two weeks over the December holidays, one week following Easter Sunday, and the first week of July.
ETC fees can be included in the annual tuition or assessed on an hourly basis.
Summer in the Meadow
MMS offers a complete summer program, with morning and afternoon classes as well as childcare. The program is available on a weekly basis or as part of an annual tuition. Each year we publish a catalog of the activities available to children of all ages. Click here to see the most recent offerings.
Sharing common literature builds community and sparks discussion long after the books are tucked away. We turned to the classics this year—works of fiction and non-fiction—that we hope you will come to know and love. Our summer reading list is centered on beautiful language, believing that we should surround ourselves with beauty each and every day.
Students are expected to complete the reading before the first day of school, and many of the classes assign follow-up activities. In other words, summer reading is an expectation at every level.
We also hope adults will join us in reading, not only the books with their children, but also the high school/adult selections. We welcome your engagement and conversation when school reconvenes in the fall.
The books are available to borrow from school or the Monroe County Library. We encourage all of you to purchase your books through the Book Nook. Most of the books are also available in audio format, should you want to listen as you read.
Click here to see this year’s selections.
MEADOW MONTESSORI SCHOOL POSITION ON TECHNOLOGY
"For in our times science has created a new world in which the whole of humanity is joined together by a universal scientific culture. Thus, children should learn to use machines habitually as part of their education." ~ Maria Montessori, From Childhood to Adolescence
Meadow Montessori School is an AMS-accredited infant-to-grade-12 educational community focused on academic excellence through the use of the Montessori Method. Along with imparting high standards in math, literacy, science, humanities, and the arts, we recognize the role we play in preparing the next generation of learners with the skills they will need to succeed in the rapidly-changing world of the twenty-first century. This includes access to and the responsible use of appropriate technology by our students as an integrated component of our overall curriculum.
THE NEST AND TODDLER HOUSE (0-3)
Meadow Montessori School follows the recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics and provides zero screen time for children under age 2. In addition, we believe that the focus of Montessori education at the infant and toddler level should be placed on learning social and practical life skills. Young children learn these best through play and regular interaction with other people. Information technology is limited to adult use for administrative and communication purposes, out of the sight of the children.
CHILDREN’S HOUSE (3-6)
As with the youngest children, Meadow Montessori School believes that learning occurs best in the preschool and kindergarten years when children have access to hands-on, sensorial materials. We believe it is in the best interest of pre-elementary children to limit digital and information technology in favor of focusing on Montessori materials and our connections to the natural world. Information technology is largely or completely limited to adult use for administrative and communication purposes, out of the sight of the children.
LOWER ELEMENTARY (6-9)
Information technology remains largely in the domain of adults during the elementary years. However, many children in this age range are interested in and may already be quite familiar with different types of technology, and this interest is nurtured on an independent basis through access to reading materials about innovation, inventors, and modern technology. In addition, older children may be interested in learning the concepts of coding "unplugged" as part of their math curriculum, and a small set of classroom computers may be available for older students to begin learning typing skills. At this age, access to the internet remains restricted, and any information or digital technology that is used has concrete, authentic connections to everyday life and/or a clear educational purpose.
UPPER ELEMENTARY (9-12)
As children begin transitioning from early childhood to early adolescence, information technology becomes more interesting and important as a practical tool. During these years, children have access to classroom computers in order to practice typing and to explore word processing and graphic design software for use in individual and class projects and reports; to practice math and logic skills, including coding/programming, through approved programs; and, for older children, to begin learning the basics of internet safety, etiquette, and research. Students may also find it helpful and interesting to begin learning about digital photo and video editing in various contexts. Technology continues to be integrated into the curriculum rather than taught separately, and its appropriate use is monitored closely by teachers and assistants.
MIDDLE SCHOOL (12-15)
In preparation for the level of independent work they will be expected to achieve in high school, students in this age range have regular, monitored access to school technology in order to conduct research; communicate appropriately with others; prepare reports and projects using word processing and graphic design software; practice math skills, including practical accounting and coding/programming, through approved programs; use geographic information systems (GIS) technology to create and explore maps for various purposes; and to explore design and engineering as part of a physics and physical/material science curriculum. Students are expected to begin managing their own digital communication with teachers regarding grades and assignments outside of school hours. Students continue to receive close guidance on internet safety and etiquette, as well as education on reliability of different resources.
HIGH SCHOOL (15-18)
Appropriate technology use becomes increasingly the responsibility of the students within this age range. Students’ schedules are much more personalized and varied at this level, with many students opting to dual enroll at Monroe County Community College. Because of this and the expectations of maturity at this age, the use of technology is not as closely monitored by teachers. However, students should be able to successfully navigate the use of most basic information technology at this age without significant adult assistance or interference. This includes sending email with proper etiquette, competently using word processing and spreadsheet software, and conducting research with the knowledge of reliable resources. Students should also feel comfortable being able to reach digital resources shared with them by teachers and professors. Meadow Montessori School students in the high school program will find it highly valuable to own and bring a laptop. These students are also assigned a personal email through the school, which they are expected to check on a daily basis, as this is the primary means of communication with all teachers outside of the classroom. The lists of ways in which technology might be used for each age range are not exhaustive, and may change. As technology evolves rapidly and lends itself to new and unforeseen applications in the future, Meadow Montessori School will continue to evaluate its use and effectiveness within the curriculum at all levels, adapting as necessary to fit the learning needs of our students. Technology will never be a replacement for the Montessori Method, but a complement. We anticipate that we will continue to integrate new elements into the existing curriculum over time, while remaining sensitive to maintaining a balance at all levels between the traditional use of Montessori materials and the responsible inclusion of digital and information technology.