Moving into the Elementary Program from our Preprimary program is a very smooth transition for the students. These are also multi-age classrooms.
Lower Elementary serves students in grades 1 through 3.
Upper Elementary serves students in grades 4 and 5.
We emphasize hands-on learning, which allows the students to learn new concepts through the use of concrete materials especially designed to promote an understanding of each new concept. The students move through the curriculum at their own pace. As they demonstrate mastery, they move on to the next challenge. Obviously, this translates into a completely individualized course of study for each student.
In the math area, students are introduced to advanced Montessori materials that help them understand higher level math concepts. The students are carefully guided through these materials that increase in difficulty and scope at each level.
Students participate in small group or individual lessons on a daily basis. We encourage them to move through the curriculum at their own pace, unrestricted by grade-level curriculum. We help the students develop responsibility for their own learning, encouraging independence and initiative. The Teachers give daily assignments in most areas of the curriculum, and students have the freedom to select the order in which they complete these during their day.
The students learn to use daily planners at the Lower Elementary level and continue to do so through the Middle School. This promotes the development of time-management techniques and a sense of responsibility regarding assignments.
There is ample time within each day for the completion of these daily assignments, with time remaining for independent work choices. Students are encouraged to pursue their individual interests and to complete independent research. They have the opportunity to present this work to their peers.
The classrooms are equipped with computers which students use for research and for programs designed to enhance math skills and reading for comprehension. The curriculum exceeds Ohio State Standards. It is challenging and rigorous, and the students are given guidance and encouragement to develop the skills necessary to be successful.
We strongly emphasize that our students be accountable: for their actions, their studies and other responsibilities. We encourage parental support of our efforts at school and suggest incorporating this philosophy at home.
In addition to the standard academic curriculum of mathematics, geometry, and language—which exceed state standards—we introduce the students to a very rich cultural curriculum that includes studies of civilizations, geography, botany, and zoology.
Elementary and Middle School students participate in two standardized tests each year:
The CogAT in the fall, which is a predictive test, giving us insight as to each student’s areas of strength, weakness and learning styles.
The IOWA in the spring, which measures our students’ achievement based upon a national curriculum. Although we teach a Montessori curriculum, not a national curriculum—which has very different benchmarks than our own—on average, our students score significantly above national averages.
In addition, we implement a test-teach-test system for our math, geometry and language curriculum throughout our Elementary and Middle School which ensures that each student is exposed to and learns each component of the curriculum at a minimum of 80% proficiency.